״I’m a summer girl״, Hani Sand says. And looking at her, you know it’s true. Her sunny smile, midwestern accent and sand-colored hair immediately make you feel like you’re in the company of a good friend. She loves telling people “Israel enjoys 322 days of sunshine a year;” which was reason enough for her to have made enjoying Israel her passion.
Her family got its start in the hospitality business in the 1970’s in Chicago, where her Israeli-born father worked the night shift at the Hyatt. As he moved up in the ranks, the family traveled around the world – from Los Angeles to Taipei and around the world again – finally landing Hani in Israel as a teenager when her father became the General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Jerusalem – where the family took up residence. During the school year, she floated through the lobby with her backpack full of books. During the summer, she worked at the pool bar. She loved accompanying him on his Friday night walk-throughs, as he made sure everything was up to standard; adjusting place settings, tasting the night’s specials, and greeting guests with a smile and graceful nod along the way.
Her modern-day Eloise story paints a playful picture, but in fact, her immersive upbringing groomed her for the service industry at a very young age. Her time in five-star international hotels gave her a deep understanding of the importance of making guests feel wholly embraced by hospitality; her formative years in Israel gave her the can-do moxie (or, “chutzpah”) to get things done – no matter the hurdle. A white tablecloth dinner for 50 in a remote stalactite cave? Yes. A seven day custom-Israel whirlwind topped off with an Egyptian jaunt via unlisted direct flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo? Yes.
Hani’s professional and academic trajectories have polished and bolstered her innate business acumen. After working in the Knesset for a beat, she joined UJA Federation of NY, specializing in their missions to Israel. Not long afterwards, she was recruited by Isrotel as part of their top-down rebrand to be their expert on international travelers, and she spent 3 years there consulting in-house. Simultaneously, she earned her EMBA from Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University. Since then, she has focused her energy on her passion: giving travelers the best possible Israel experience … relishing the excitement of the country anew through their eyes.
Raised at the epicenter of Israel tourism with her father as its patriarch, she is the sweetheart of the travel industry. She leverages her relationships, first-hand expertise, in-the-know savviness and discerning eye to create tailor-made itineraries for her beloved clients. Because of her access and experience, Hani has become one of the few true tastemakers for luxury travel in Israel.