With its panoramic views of Jerusalem, plush seating area and decorative elements, this could be almost any other room at the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel. Except the floor is made of AstroTurf, the walls are made of transparent cloth, and the roof is a bamboo mat.
Welcome to one of a dozen private sukkahs built on the porches of the five-star hotel’s Penthouse Suites.
These 12 private sukkah suites represent the vanguard of holiday hotel luxury in Jerusalem. They carry an all-inclusive price tag of approximately $50,000 for a family of four for the eight-day holiday. The seating area in the 430-square-foot sukkah includes a wide red couch, two matching armchairs and a glass coffee table with a polished wood frame. There’s also a dining area and walls decorated with faux grapes hanging from a wooden weave.
Like most hotels in Israel, the Inbal also builds two huge sukkahs for the regular folks: huts that together can accommodate 600 guests at mealtime. But those who can afford a more intimate experience need not leave their penthouses during the holiday.
Waiters serve hot meals from a kitchen set up on an annex on the top floor. Guests dine with sterling silverware on a starched, white tablecloth. When the meal is over, waiters clean the table and bring in cots for guests who want to sleep in the sukkah at night.
The whole enterprise, whose planning began three months ago, costs the hotel around $100,000, including dozens of extra staffers for the penthouse floor, according to Alex Herman, the Inbal’s vice president of sales and marketing.