Low-Cost ‘Pay as You Like’ Hotel a First, Chain Says

View of the Hilton Hotel Eilat Queen of Sheba in Eilat. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The first new hotel to be built in Eilat in 15 years is under construction in the city – and it will also be the first “low-cost” hotel in the world, modeled after the new low-cost airlines that offer basic service for a low price, that can be supplemented with other services for a fee. According to the Astral Hotel Group, the 400-room Astral Light hotel will put Eilat back on the map as a center of tourism for Israelis and foreign visitors – and start what could become the next worldwide trend in the hotel business.

For $100 a night,visitors get a modern, well-equipped hotel room – but without the other trappings of a hotel stay. Breakfast will cost extra, as will a workout in the gym, a swim in the pool, parking and so on. Customers will have the option of choosing a full hotel experience, for the full cost of a nightly stay.

Benny Zerach, chairman of the Astral Hotel Group, said that “just as easyJet changed the map of international air travel by lowering the costs of flights by tens of a percent, the Astral Light will provide visitors with all the services they want in a hotel, with visitors adapting the package to their specific needs.

Tourists or business people can get a basic room, and those who want other services can pay for them. This is the perfect solution for the new breed of “low-cost travelers,” who want to see the world on minimum expense. This hotel will for the first time position Eilat as a destination for these travelers, and will be the first of many more such hotels to come.”

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