She’ll get you there!
Travel Supplement

She’ll get you there!

Organised travel requires a woman’s touch. Brigit Grant talks to Naomi Mendel

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Mamilla Hotel Jerusalem Israel
Mamilla Hotel Jerusalem Israel

Men might believe they decide on holiday destinations, but women know otherwise.

Females are always on a fact-finding mission for suitable vacations as, unlike men, they realise the importance of inter-connecting rooms for children, access to the beach with a pushchair and journey times to the airport.

We’re generalising, of course, as men have successfully navigated the world, but ask one about his last holiday and he will tell you it was “good”, “ok-ish” or “very expensive”.

Asked the same question, a woman will reveal every detail of her excursion and pass on any business cards for bars and restaurants.

Knowing this makes Naomi Mendel the obvious choice for creating your holiday plans,  as she is a personal travel consultant at Hays Travel, which is the largest independent agent in the UK.

Naomi has been simplifying the vacation process for years, and her clients rely on her for competitive rates on flights and hotels across the globe, as well as to source package holidays both near and far.  Tailor-made arrangements are her speciality, along with Israel which is a personal favourite.

“We offer the keenest prices and a very personal service ,” she says, adding: “Something one won’t get by booking on the internet.”

Naomi Mendel
Naomi Mendel

Like her male counterparts across the travel business, Naomi knows that the industry is very fickle and a change in trends depends on so many factors.

“Until a few years ago, Turkey was probably one of the most popular destinations,” she says. “Because of the political unrest this has changed, although it is hopefully beginning to pick up again.”

“British Airways is also having a bad time at the moment, owing to their computer problems a few weeks ago and many people are saying ‘I won’t go with British Airways again’, but from my experience, this is something that will pass with time and be forgotten.”

Ritz Carlton Herzliya
Ritz Carlton Herzliya

The most obvious change has been the rise in prices since Brexit, which has affected the exchange rate.

“Many families are going for an ‘all-inclusive” arrangement so at least one knows everything is paid for in advance. No one wants nasty surprises at the end for ice creams, drinks  meals out, etc.”

This year, apart from Israel, some of Naomi’s most popular summer holiday destinations are Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and the United States. Cruises are also in demand, as are city breaks in Barcelona, Seville, Madrid, Venice, Florence and Rome.

A room in the Norman, Tel Aviv
A room in the Norman, Tel Aviv

Naomi can tell you a lot about Reykavik in Iceland, as it grows in appeal every year, but it is Israel she is keen to promote and, with a little persuasion, reveals her list of the best places there to stay and eat.

Below are her recommendations, which include the new West Lagoon Hotel in Netanya and Mike’s Place on the seafront in Tel Aviv:


For Excellence: The Norman, Hilton Tel Aviv, David Intercontinental, Royal Beach, Dan Panorama

For Style: Shalom and Relax, Melody, Artplus,Cinema, The Diaghilev

For Budget: Metropolitan, Grand Beach, Prima City


For Excellence: King David, Waldorf Astoria, David Citadel ,Mamilla Inbal

For Style

Harmony, Arthur, Arcadia

For Budget

Dan Panorama, Herbert Samuel, Mount Zion


For Excellence: The Seasons, Leonardo Plaza, King Solomon Hotel

Eilat: Royal Beach Hotel, Dan Eilat, Herods, Queen of Sheba, King Solomon’s  Palace  – a firm favourite, Lagoona  – all-inclusive, excellent value for money

Food in Tel Aviv 

CALYPSO ON THE BEACH  – just opened, with amazing chef

MAGANDA  – in the Yemenite quarter, fantastic food and ambiance

REGINA  – in the Tachana, the old train station

BENEDICT – 24/7 café serving amazing shakshuka



Tel: 020 3384 0564 or 020 8904 7808



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