Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village
|Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village|
Newly rebuilt, Hilton Taba.
|Former names||Sonesta Hotel & Kfar Nelson|
|Opening||November 1, 1982|
|Owner||Hilton Hotels & Resorts|
|Number of rooms||400|
The Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village (Arabic: هيلتون طابا), formerly the Sonesta Hotel (Hebrew: בית מלון סונסטה) and Kfar Nelson (Hebrew: כפר נלסון), is a hotel in Taba, Egypt. Built between 1979 and 1982, it was the stumbling block in negotiations between Israel and Egypt over the final border between the two countries. After months of negotiation and a decision by the UN to grant Egypt the tiny strip of land, the hotel was finally sold to Egyptians and then later became part of the Hilton brand.
Eliyahu Paposchado built the Sonesta Hotel beginning in 1979, six kilometres (4 miles) from Eilat and next to Raffi Nelson's Kfar Nelson, while the Sinai was under Israeli control. It was immediately considered one of Israel's premier hotels and would later prove to be a problem in the ensuing talks between the two nations. After the peace agreements were signed between the two nations, the status of the hotel and village were to be decided on future negotiations. In 1986, an international panel ruled that the land would be returned to Egypt, but that Israelis would be free to visit the tiny strip without paying a tax (to this day tourists do not pay a tax when travelling between Eilat and the Hilton Taba). In January, 1989 the hotel and adjacent village was turned over to Egypt. Remnants of the hotel's past are still prominent within the hotel. On the bottom floor, there is an 8.5 metres (28 ft) high wall relief, made in 1980–81 with a Hebrew inscription by the Jerusalem sculptor, Daniel Kafri.
It was very popular with Israeli tourists until it was targeted by terrorists in 2004. Thirty four people died and hundreds were wounded in that attack. Since then, the hotel has undergone major renovations and has seen a drastic drop in Israeli tourists. Hilton Hotels International denied liability to the victims of the terror attack on its grounds and refused to compensate its guests. As of 2008, wrongful death and negligence litigation commenced by hundreds of plaintiffs against Hilton is still pending both in Florida State Court and in New York's Southern District Court.
- ehotelier.com. "Hilton Asked to Compensate Sinai Victims. | ehotelier.com News Archives". Ehotelier.com. Retrieved 2011-11-30.
- [Hilton Taba Resort & Nelson Village website]