took some several years and $100 million to build the edifice,
the first 'theme' hotel belonging to the Hilton chain.
But it is in the interior decorations that the story of Solomon
and Sheba receives its fullest expression. Interior designer
Buki Zuker traveled to such far-flung corners of the globe as
the legendary Lost City in the former Bophuthatswana, in
southern Africa, to Las Vegas and to India for inspiration and
materials. A total of $5m. was invested to create the theme down
to the most minute details.
get them into the mood, guests arriving at the hotel are greeted
by the 'queen's maids-in-waiting' in full regalia. The reception
area, which operates on a satellite basis to provide guests with
greater privacy - is indeed palatial. It is adorned with a
14-meter-high cupola, painstakingly painted in the subdued
shades known in the biblical period (by new immigrant artists).
This looks down on an impressive mosaic floor, depicting the
various biblical animals which Solomon reputedly could talk to
(made in Ravenna, Italy). The domed walls are decorated by
reliefs of scenes from biblical times. By contrast, very modern
glass-fronted elevators carry guests to the 12 floors of the
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animal motif is to be found everywhere - in gold, on the backs
of luxurious lobby couches; above the numbers of the rooms; on
the bedspreads and curtains; and even on the handles of the
giant pots that are yet to be filled with plants.
A general ambience of cool elegance is conveyed by the use
throughout the hotel of a sand color scheme, here and there
highlighted by gold (so beloved by the two monarchs) and royal
blue - from the specially designed 40,000 meters of carpets
ordered from the US, through the beach umbrellas at the pool to
the outdoor paving stones hand-carved in India, and the
furnishings in the many public rooms and suites.
The bedrooms are truly regal with royal-size beds, giant,
gold-framed mirrors, and heavy wood furnishings. For the
bedrooms and suites, (including three two-bedroom suites with
outdoor jacuzzis), more than 500 fully equipped, luxurious
ready-made bathrooms were brought directly from the Or-Lev
factory in Sderot.
further pampering, you can go down to the spa with its saunas
and steam rooms, jacuzzi, mud baths and various massage
A mall with 6,500 square meters of shops, eateries,
entertainment and attractions will soon open adjacent to the
hotel, and it includes an adventure hall - Amazing World, billed
as 'a journey through the wonders of the world: hurricanes,
earthquakes, outer space...