The first hotel chain to open an outlet in the West Bank will be Swiss company Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, which plans to open a luxury location in Ramallah this fall. Neal Ungerleider, who blogs as “Falafel Mafia” on “entrepreneurial journalism” site True/Slant, says that the hotel is currently hiring staff and will offer “172 rooms and suites, an executive floor, extensive conference and meeting facilities up to 800, all fully equipped with the latest audio-video technology, an all day dining restaurant, an Italian restaurant, two bars, pool with bar and restaurant in season.” It’ll be the only five star accommodations in the Palestinian city, he says.
Ungerleider points out that “the depressed Palestinian economy makes it impossible for all but the rich and upper-middle class to afford regular hotel stays,” which means the new business will likely cater primarily to business and political travelers, who tend to overnight on visits to the West Bank due to the lengthy bureaucratic process of getting in and out. He also posts a bleakly shot video introduction to Ramallah, which promises that “it’s always fun to walk around, even if you weren’t looking for something,” but ends on a somber note: “Ramallah is great,” reads a caption, “but do you know what lies beyond our city? A Wall. Separation. Isolation. Checkpoints.”
Hotel Chains Discover the West Bank [True/Slant]