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The Waldorf Astoria – New in Jerusalem

The hotel is now open! Read more about the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem here >>

One of the long-awaited highlights in Jerusalem, the Waldorf Astoria, finally opened its doors in 2014. Waldorf Astoria hotels around the world are synonymous with grand architecture, sumptuous interiors and the finest luxury facilities.

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem already towers impressively over the intersection of famous King David and Agron Streets and upscale Mamilla Mall. Located within what is known as the city’s luxury hotel district, the Waldorf Astoria is a few minute walk to both Jaffa Gate in the Old City and the restaurants and bars of Jerusalem’s downtown district. The building stands out for its striking Greco-Roman, Gothic and Ottoman architecture and its expertly preserved 80-year-old exterior façade (read more about the history of the building below).

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem hotel will offer 226 magnificent rooms including 33 suites and 2 presidential suites. Hotel facilities are spread over ten floors and feature 3 restaurants and a roof terrace lounge, the most modern fitness facilities, a full-service Waldorf Astoria spa and a health club including two indoor pools, sauna and steam room. The hotel will make an obvious choice for major events with 8 state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a conference center as well as the Palace Grand Ballroom that will seat up to 708 people for a sit-down banquet dinner.

Room rates have not been confirmed to date but are estimated to around $500 per night.

History of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Building

The old Palace Hotel was originally built in 1928-1929 merging Greco-Roman, Renaissance, Gothic, Romanesque, neo-Moorish and Mamluk architecture on the initiative of the Supreme Muslim Council, under supervision of the Mufti of Jerusalem and during the term of Raghib Nashashibi, the British-appointed mayor of Jerusalem.

The eclectic 4-storey building, designed by Turkish architect Nahas Bey and built by one Arab and two Jewish contractors, was completed in a record time of just eleven months by over 500 Arab workers. The Palace Hotel became known as the most luxurious hotel in the Middle East with 3 elevators, a central heating system and even some private bathrooms, almost unheard of luxuries at the time.

The facade was decorated with engraved verses from the Koran and the entrance lobby, topped by an octagonal skylight, reached to the entire height of the building. Ornate columns graced the entrance, and art deco lighting fixtures featured throughout the building.

The Supreme Muslim Council soon found that they could not keep up with the financial load of the hotel and they leased the hotel to hotelier George Barsky, who could not compete with the nearby King David Hotel once it opened in 1931.

The Palace Hotel was then turned into administrative and military offices of the mandatory government. In 1937, the Royal Peel Commission, which recommended the partition of the area, assembled in the hotel. During the British Mandate (1945-1948) the Palace served as military and administrative offices and with the establishment of The State of Israel the Ministry of Industry and Trade took up residence. In recent years the building has been abandoned.

That is, until now. The launch of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem has added an exciting new lease of life to the building and a new chapter in its history.