Jerusalem does not want for nice hotels, even grand hotels, like the David Citadel, the American Colony Hotel, and the Dan. But until now, to the discerning traveler, the city's lodging options may have seemed like exit 16a of the New Jersey Turnpike to the world's Manhattan. Two new hotels popping up around the super posh Mamilla mall will change all that.
The Mamilla Alrov, sitting on top of the new mall, is a stone's throw from the Old City and just a quick jaunt from the city center. Slated to open in saummer 2009, the ultra-modernist hotel will feature a network of patios and terraces with views all around Jerusalem to complement its sleekly designed open spaces. The hotel will also have an indoor pool and solarium, and a holistic well being center, which is a fancy word for spa, or so we think. The 192 rooms, including one presidential suite possibly planned to lure some high profile business away from the nearby King David Hotel, are designed with a minimalist bent. Besides for all the standard features like Wi-fi, each room comes with a personal PC and transparent bathroom walls that turn opaque with the push of a button. Classy!
Across from the hotel's King David Street entrance a high-class competitor is scheduled to open sometime in the next few years (officially 2010, though the project may have run into financial problems). Israel's first Waldorf Astoria will keep the Arab-Roman façade of the old Place Hotel, which once stood on the site, but the inside will be something all new. Though details on the level of luxury are scant, the Hilton backed Waldorf name usually brings with it opulent quarters for the world's ritziest tourists.