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Author: KB


Kerry Bak

Joined In Apr 2019

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KB 1 Reviews
Fantastic, well organised Pesach programme

We have just returned from the White Palace Hotel on the Island of Crete, off Greece. The programme is run by Lachish Tours and Moshe Engel of Israel. The rooms are spotless and simplistically decorated. That said there is ample wardrobe space and as befitting a 5 Star hotel all amenities are provided. The food was catered to an exceptional level. Good Hechsher (Rav Rottenberg of Vienna) and four Mashgichim on duty all the time. Everything was non gebrochts and no kitniyos. There was no mixed swimming and davening was Askenaz (Nusach Sefard). Chabad guests made their own Minyan (Nusach Ari) and the Israelies also made a third Minyan. Breakfast consisted of a salad and cheese room, a hot station and matzo section. There was a minimum of at least 6 - 7 cheeses, yogurts, salads, olives, egg mayo and tuna salad and raw veggies. Hot station included, various egg dishes including shashuka, omelettes made to order, fresh oven baked 'pizza', potato in cheese sauce, veggie kugel things etc. There was a choice of machine or shmura hand baked matza. Oh, there were also dinner 'rolls' or burger buns. Whatever they're called, they looked better than they tasted until you asked the omelette chef to turn them into 'eggie-breads' Divine. Of course you could also make your own packed lunch at breakfast if you went on outings/trips. Lunch consisted of soups, steaks, mixed grill, lamb chops, chicken pargiot, chicken kebabs, beef stews, wraps, lamb, fish, the salad room (minus the cheese). There was also a section of sausages, meat balls, burgers, chips and ketsup. Everything you can think of plus a room full of desert, ice cream and ice lollies. Evening dinner was on par with lunch. Every day was a varied, fabulous selection and almost unlimited amounts. I never saw anything run out. There was a fair selection of table wines and limited choice soft drinks. Yom Tov and Shabbes nights were plated service (excluding the salad room) and day times on Yom Tov and Shabbes were half plated and the rest from the various salad and buffet stations. Dishes on Yom Tov and shabbes were traditional and included stuffed carp, gefilte fish, baked salmon, sea bass (whole) chopped liver and a local Aegean sea fish (yum!). Mains were plated and always had both beef and chicken Kiddush - on the terrace overlooking the sea. Full kiddush including kugels, fish, herring and a sweet table. The tea room consisted of various teas and coffees as well as cakes, biscuits and brownies as well as freshly squeezed lemon juice and iced water. The supply was continuous and varied from day to day. Fresh fruit was limited and repetitive. Constructive criticism is that the chef whilst excellent could do well to note that with a large Ashkenazi European guest list some dishes had a bit too much chilli and it would have been advisable to inform people. Even the tomato salad had chilli! Furthermore, just like the Israelies love their dips with everything we love our mayo which was very missed. Not a single salad had mayo but there was loads of basil, coriander and the ubiquitous chilli! Although requested, we were told there was no mayo to be had. There were weather related issues which I felt were not properly dealt with and the dining room was way, way overcrowded and consequently uncomfortable. I also feel one station per food section was not enough for such a large programme and should have been divided into smaller but more sections. If Lachish use this hotel again, I would not return. The hotel is not designed for bad weather and the dining experience was marred by the overcrowding. I've heard the reasons why, but to me, they are an excuse and a solution should have been sought. Daniel the Lachish programme run-to guy, the problem solver, PR man etc was amazing. Well done Daniel. Its impossible to please everyone all of the time but he sure tried. I hope to go on next year's programme but would need to clarify a few points such as the hotel's ability and infrastructure to deal with bad weather to include heating options, dining room size and stations for food,

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