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TRAVEL - INTERVIEW

Interview with Rodney Sanders, General Manager at David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

It is possible to feel the historical and cultural heritage of Jerusalem from the moment you step into the city. As a part of this city, David Citadel Hotel promises an unforgettable stay for its guests. I talked with Rodney Sanders about his career and David Citadel Hotel.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Rodney Sanders - David Citadel Hotel

Rodney Sanders - David Citadel Hotel

TRAVEL - INTERVIEW

by Melisa Kaya

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Whether for a leisure or business travel, while selecting a hotel, we first look at the location, building and design details, and the services it offers. But perhaps we may miss the importance of the touch that combines all these features. David Citadel Hotel is located in the center of Jerusalem. The building and its interior design bear the signatures of Moshe Safdie and Piero Lissoni. And all this is managing by Rodney Sanders, who has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, transforming these features into a privilege for David Citadel Hotel's guests. I had the chance to interview Rodney Sanders, General Manager at David Citadel Hotel, and I asked him about his career, David Citadel Hotel, and Jerusalem.

You have over 40 years of experience in the hospitality realm. Could you tell us about yourself and your career?

It’s hard to believe I’ve spent nearly 45 years in the hotel industry. Watching the industry in Israel evolve over almost half a centry is truly amazing. The rise of interest in tourism in this country has been execeptional. The ministry of tourism and simply the beauty of the country have attracted visitors from every religious denomination and culture from around the globe. I have been privileged to host many dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and the most kind people over the years. My career began with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, working in many departments and touching many aspects of the industry. Today I am proud to be part of the Alrov Hotel family and represent the most luxurious hotel in Jerusalem, the David Citadel Hotel.

If I ask about your hobbies, it's probably the first thing you'll say is "Cycling". But I think this is more than a hobby. Could you tell us about the charity that you launched in 2007, "Ride America for Hadassah" and your ride from Washington Seattle to Washington D.C?

Cycling is indeed my passion and came about from a very personal place. My wife and I always dreamt of crossing the USA, she driving across the country and me cycling by her side. Sadly my lovely wife passed away in 2006, however, my children and I decided we will make this dream come true, for her. We decided to work with the Hadassah hospital, as they treated my wife and her name was Hadassah. We raised $100,000 for her cause and I cycled across the USA in 45 days with the American Lung Cancer Association. 95% of the money raised was donated to Hadassah hospital. My hobby turned into a passion and after that, I cycled across Europe, Africa, Thailand, and New Zealand.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

And now you are the General Manager at David Citadel Hotel. Could you tell us about the David Citadel Hotel and the overall concept?

We refer to the David Citadel Hotel, as The Address in Jerusalem. Located in the center of Jerusalem, the hotel faces the Old City Walls and its rich history, is parallel to the trendy Mamilla shopping district and just minutes away from downtown. The David Citadel is the epitome of luxury. From our service to our cuisine, ameneties and oversized comfortable rooms, we provide each guest with a truly pampering experience. We are a family hotel with a team that’s always willing to assist guests and make them feel right at home.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel is the architectural project of Moshe Safdie and Piero Lissoni. What do you think about the building and the details they designed? What do you enjoy most about your building?

We are privileged and honored to have had Israel’s most famous architect Moshe Safdie design the building and famed Italian interior designer Piero Lissoni design the spaces from the lobby to the Grand Ballroom. Both Moshe and Piero truly understood the hotel’s DNA and integrated the history of Jerusalem in every design, while simultaneously maintaining a modern aesthetic.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Each room and suite of David Citadel Hotel has decorated with bespoke furnishing and lighting. Could you tell us about the features of your rooms and suites?

Starting with the architect, and ending with the linens, we simply choose the best everytime. Luxury starts with a sense of space which each room offers generously for guests to relax and enjoy every aspect of. Each bathroom is designed for guests to indulge in a soak, surrounded by Bvlgari amenities, Frette towels and robes. Slippers await, to take you on a tour of select artworks and furnishings, bespoke lighting, and sophisticated but hidden technology. And our Old City views? They are widely acknowledged to be the finest in Jerusalem, which is why so many of our rooms bask in them. Our Suites all face the views of the magnificent walls of the Old City, looking close enough to touch.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

So it can take a moment to realize: Your hand is resting on Italian velvet, your bags on hardwood, and your family on the finest bespoke furniture - up to 1,500 square feet of warm, inviting luxury. With a call to our reservations coordinator, adjoining rooms can be set aside, turning your suite into a full wing of the David Citadel.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel is hosting a selection of gastronomic places, and Executive Chef Avi Turgeman makes them special. Could you tell us about Executive Chef Avi Turgeman and gastronomic places in the David Citadel Hotel?

We are pleased to team with one of the finest chefs in the country. Chef Avi Turgeman brings over 25 years of fine dining experience to the hotel’s culinary experience. He’s passionate about using fresh and locally sourced fruits and vegetables to create a beautiful mix of divine flavors and tastes in every dish. At Seasons restaurant guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast with local delicacies on our famed terrace facing the Old City walls. The Lobby Lounge features a refreshing dairy menu including hot plates, fresh salads, sandwiches, cakes, light, and alcoholic beverages. Chef Avi has created an exquisite menu at our Scala restaurant, bringing the taste of Jerusalem’s finest fare in a Mediterranean restaurant.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

What are the incentives that you offer to companies that want to organize their meetings and events in David Citadel Hotel?

The David Citadel is unique amongst hotels in Jerusalem as we offer exclusive views of the magnificent Old City, not only in the rooms, but our terrace and outdoor pool also face this picturesque view. We are proud to provide the most stunning Chuppa and event backdrop in all of Jerusalem. Additionally, our Grand Ballroom welcomes guests with its luxurious and warm ambience. The room’s classic contemporary design is apparent in the richly textured carpets, pillars of rough-hewn golden Jerusalem limestone, and an ornately decorated Moroccan-style ceiling. Featuring a modular design, the Ballroom seats over 400 guests in comfort and luxury.

Furthermore, the David Citadel Hotel hosts four banquet rooms that are designed so that each can function independently for small gatherings or be instantly expanded for larger occasions.

Ideal for hosting meetings, the rooms come with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and adjustable lighting. The rooms’ classic contemporary décor combined with rich earth-tone colors, lush carpeting and wood paneling create an elegant ambience perfect for every occasion.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

Could you tell us about the award-winning Executive Lounge and the benefits?

The award-winning Executive Lounge at the Jerusalem David Citadel hotel is the perfect solution for any adult guest, staying for leisure or for business, offering a range of complimentary benefits in a relaxed environment. The exclusive lounge serves breakfast buffet between 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and a selection of Hors d' Oeuvres from noon to 10:00 p.m. Light dining and hot and cold beverages are available throughout the day along with complimentary newspapers and magazines from around the world, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and a full range of business facilities. An international bar is open in the evening providing a perfect separate space for hosting private business meetings, making it a top choice for dignitaries to meet in a more intimate atmosphere.

The Executive Lounge at the David Citadel Jerusalem hotel won first place at the Passport Awards, initiated by Israel's leading travel magazine Passport, and was named the Leading Business Lounge in Israel 2014 by travel industry representatives.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

How could your guests spend time at the David Citadel Hotel?

The hotel was designed to provide the ultimate level of relaxation and luxury for guests. Visitors can spend the day at our famed Spa and enjoy a variety of relaxing treatments, in addition, we offer a state of the art gym with a wide range of Technogym equipment and wellness classes throughout the day. Our year-round heated outdoor pool is the perfect place to lounge and relax throughout the day as it overlooks the Old City walls. Guests can dine in warmth and comfort with a delicious dinner at Scala restaurant with an authentic traditional Jerusalem style menu of meat dishes and hot appetizer to choose from.

What kind of additional services do you offer for business travellers?

Business travelers enjoy access to our Executive lounge where they’re able to sit in comfort and quiet. Free wi-fi is offered throughout the hotel as well as discounted parking rates for guests.

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem

What are the most famous attractions near you?

We are The Address In Jerusalem. Situated within walking distance of the historic Old City, guests can explore the many famed archaeological sites including the Western Wall, City of David, and Tunnel tours. The hotel is across the street from the trendy Mamilla Ave. shopping district. Furthermore, the hotel sits in the city center, located near the bustling Yafo street and Machane Yehuda Market. The hotel is in close proximity to the Israel Museum and the most popular tourist locations.

Thank you Rodney for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of David Citadel Hotel, Jerusalem





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