Our Story

Our Story

When Lotte Eisenberg was 16, her family went on an unforgettable tour
at the Villa d’Este hotel on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
The magnificent hotel, its elegant gardens, and the beauty of the surroundings were engraved deep in Lotte's heart.
Years later, with this vision Lotte arrived to the small town of Tiberias, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.


In 1947, about a year before the establishment of the modern state of Israel
, in partnership with the “Africa Palestine Company”, and under the direction of architect,
Aharon Kempinski, Lotte established the Galei Kinneret luxury hotel.


Mrs. Lotte Eisenberg was appointed the hotel's first CEO
and thus became one of the first managers in the Israeli hotel business.


With great courage, charisma, and excellent taste,
Lotte used her charm to influence the design of the hotel.
In the hotel’s corridors and open spaces Persian rugs of the highest quality were laid out.
Graceful, antique furniture was procured from all over the world and arranged
in the guest lounges, guest rooms, and dining halls.
Delightful treasures, works of art, and original paintings were collected,
making the walls of the hotel a spectacular and colorful display.


Lotte's fingerprint could also be felt in the delightful culinary offerings of the hotel,
in its bustling nightlife, and in the creation of unique holiday experiences, thanks to a private beach, lush lawns,
and a cruise ship that shuttled vacationers to the heart of the lake.
Within a short time, word of this impressive destination spread,
and the young hotel gained the reputation as the best hotel in Tiberias and drew a huge demand from eager tourists.
As a result, Lotte persuaded the company's management to expand the hotel, and plans to build new additions grew.


Until the UN declaration on the State of Israel - and with it, the war.


During these days the British Mandate ruled.
Despite the growing political tension, Lotte invited the heads of the Mandate
to stay at the hotel and enjoy its various facilities.
Soon, a massive attack on the hotel began, and gunfire was heard from all sides.
British officers were evacuated from the hotel in armored vehicles,
leaving behind one canon, meant to protect the hotel manager and staff.
One of the defense officers who later arrived at the scene described his amazement that this was the first time
a British canon had been deployed in order to protect, rather than assault, a Jewish target.


With her strong spirit and pioneering heart, Lotte struggled.
She and her very small staff fought wave after wave of assassination attempts,
as well as a long period of siege and supply disruption.
The time after the liberation of Tiberias and the establishment of the state marked the
beginning of a period of prosperity for Lotte and the Galei Kinneret Hotel.


Among the first hotel guests to arrive were the UN forces that oversaw the ceasefire
agreement between the fledgling Jewish state and its neighbors. With them came the young state’s new leader,
David Ben Gurion and his wife Paula, who became regular hotel guests, along with a long line of royalty,
heads of state, movie stars, and celebrities from all around the world.



 

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