An update for the Shiloh dig team
I recently took a tour of our new dig headquarters, and I thought that those of you on the Shiloh dig team would like to hear about it. Usually, our team stays as the Jerusalem Ritz hotel, but it is currently undergoing renovations. Because of that, we will instead be staying around the corner at the Ambassador Boutique, which is owned and managed by the same people as the Ritz. You can check out the Ambassador Boutique website here.
I walked in the front door and recognized the lady at the desk as one whom I had seen often at the desk of the Ritz. She recognized me, too, and greeted me by name. Another staff member whom I knew from the Ritz walked into the room, and he recognized me, too. He went to call Issa, the hotel manager, who appeared shortly to give me a tour. It is so nice to know that our old friends from the Ritz will be with us at the Ambassador Boutique. They always make us feel like we are at home among family.
The hotel is beautiful and newly renovated. On the main floor, there are several cozy seating areas as well as an outdoor patio. On the next floor is the room that is to be our office/workspace. It is a nice, large space with plenty of tables and chairs. Issa told me that we can rearrange the furniture to suit our needs and track in as much dirt as we please.
Up on the sixth floor is our meeting room. It is a large room with lots of windows on two sides. The view is spectacular. Issa said that it seats 60 people, which should be quite adequate for our evening meetings. Adjacent to the meeting room is a wide outdoor balcony with tables and chairs where one can sit and enjoy the view.
Issa showed me two dining rooms. One, on the ground floor, is what they are currently using. There is another dining room on the sixth floor, but the renovation of the kitchen is not quite complete. He hopes to have it up and running by the time we arrive. Both dining rooms are very nice, although the one on the sixth floor certainly offers a better view. Like the meeting room, it has lots of windows.
I peeked into several of the bedrooms. They are quite nice. I suspect that we will get spoiled staying there. One downside is that the rooms are smaller than at the Ritz, so they might seem a bit cramped.
Finally, Issa showed me our laundry room. Several years ago, we purchased a washing machine which we keep at the Ritz hotel for the Shiloh staff members to use (sorry, volunteers – it is for staff only!). Several staff members have expressed their concern that the washing machine might not be available at the Ambassador Boutique. However, Issa did not forget us. He did not want to transport our washer to the other hotel, but he arranged to have both a washer and dryer at our disposal for the duration of our stay. So, I would say that we came out ahead on this one. No more stringing our laundry up to dry!
Issa also made sure that we have a place to park our rental van and an outdoor work area behind the hotel. I think that we will be quite comfortable and well-taken-care-of at the Ambassador Boutique.