Jerusalem-born Raffi Sadeh studied hotel management, graduating from the École hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland. He went on to manage hotels and hotel chains in Israel and in various cities in North America. During his career Raffi held the position of CEO of the Isrotel Hotel Chain for 26 years as well as CEO of the Fattal Hotel Group. Raffi has also held public posts in the Israeli tourism industry including Vice President of the Israel Hotel Association and Chairman of the Eilat Hotel Association.
Mr. Sadeh’s appointment in January 2014 to CEO of the Dan Hotels Corporation was not his first connection with the luxury chain: in the past he held the position of Deputy Director General of the company in two separate terms during the late seventies and mid eighties.
Travel Research Online: What was your first or most memorable experience in travel?
Raffi Sadeh: I enjoy traveling to exotic places where I can see new cultures and traditions and I think that Papua New Guinea probably tops the list.
TRO: Is there anything in particular that prompted you to study hotel management?
RS: I was born to a family of hoteliers, my grandparents, my mother and my uncle were in the hotel business and I grew up at the Sharon Hotel in Herzliya. When the time came for me to make a decision regarding a profession, I finally came to the conclusion to continue the family tradition.
TRO: Having held positions in many different hotels and hotel chains, what sets Dan Hotels apart from other luxury hotels and chains?
RS: Even being a public company, the founders and their descendants maintain this chain at the highest standards and their professionalism has always attracted me to work for them. Being on the job as General Manager and after having worked for them twice before, I know that it is the best company to work for in the hotel industry in Israel and I am very happy to be here.
TRO: What is one aspect of Dan Hotels you’d want more travel agents to be aware of?
RS: The Dan Hotels are considered to be the best hotel chain in Israel. It is important for travel agents to realize the quality and price tag go together.
TRO: Dan Hotels has 14 properties situated around Israel. Can you tell us more about these varied locations, and how this choice might aid a consumer looking for specific experiences in Israel?
RS: The 14 properties which we fully own and manage have been assembled over the years with an emphasis on city hotels and therefore we own 4 hotels in Jerusalem, 2 in Tel Aviv and 3 in Haifa. Our resort hotels are both in Eilat and on the Mediterranean coast in Caesarea, Herzliya and Ashkelon (Ashkelon is now closed for extensive renovations). This spread of locations gives us an advantage over other chains as tourists as well as business people can find a Dan Hotel in their desired location. Another advantage is for people who want to tour the country can do so by going from one Dan to another and enjoy a preferential rate.
TRO: What is the most fulfilling or rewarding part of working in hotels and hotel management?
RS: For me the most rewarding aspect is to see happy guests who upon departure tell us they have enjoyed their stay and are looking forward to coming back to stay with us, when this goes together with profitability I feel fulfilled.
TRO: Is there anything new or exciting on the horizon for Dan Hotels?
RS: We are constantly improving and upgrading our properties and we are now working on upgrading and introducing new Food & Beverage facilities and modernizing our menus.