Legendary, old world refinement, famous, landmark hotel and unique could all be words to describe the historic King David Hotel of Jerusalem and they would all be right. Located on an elevated site just outside the old walled city, this hotel has outstanding views of Jerusalem with its ancient walls, towers and temples as well as Mount Zion in the distance.
To give you a bit of historic background, the hotel was built in the 1930s by locally quarried limestone. It was then taken over by the British, during the British Mandate (rule) and used at its administrative headquarters for Palestine. The building was then partly blown up by the Zionist underground in 1946 as they struggled to form the country of Israel. Then in 1958 Dan Hotels (part of the Leading Hotel of the World brand) bought the building and returned it to its grandeur once again. This place has got plenty of history; you can just feel it as you walk its hallways.
Currently the King David Hotel has 237 rooms, 4 restaurants, tennis court, health club and one of the biggest and nicest pools in Israel. It’s located very conveniently 10 minutes’ walk from the old city and is surrounded by expensive shopping boutiques, fine restaurants and foreign embassies.
The King David Hotel has played host to almost every famous person that has ever visited Jerusalem, from Hollywood stars to American Presidents and global heads of state. In the lobby and hall ways, the hotel has put photos of their famous guest, so take the time to wonder around the extensive lobby area to check this out. The guests include Bono (singer U2), Bill Clinton, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, Madonna, and Elizabeth Taylor just to name a few. For movie buffs, the film Exodus was also partly firmed in the hotel.
We were lucky enough to stay at the King David Hotel for 3 nights and used it as a base to explore Israel and Palestine. Our room (deluxe old city view) was very large with a king bed and sofa bed, as I was with my two daughters (Bailey and Amie), I got the sofa bed.
The bathroom was well equipped, with free standing shower and separate bath as well as plenty of toiletries which were replaced daily. They cleaned our room twice a day and gave free bottled water for drinking. They welcomed us to the hotel with a date cake (delicious) and fruit basket in the room, which was a nice touch.
The breakfast buffet at the King David Hotel would be one of the most comprehensive I have ever seen, so much choice and different kinds of food. Very European with lots of cheese, breads and cold cuts, as well as apple strudel (yes, it was to die for).
After our days sightseeing it was so nice to be able to come back to the King David Hotel and use the massive swimming pool, an oasis in the heat and dust of Jerusalem. The pool is Olympic in size, with a separate area for little children to play in and plenty of cushioned sun chairs to sit on around the pool. The team of lifeguards and pool attendants are super friendly, love a chat and are very generous with towels. The gardens around the hotel and pool area are lovely, full of flowers and greenery, making it a perfect setting to relax at the end of each day.
Our experience staying at this legendary hotel in Jerusalem was nothing but outstanding, thus I would highly recommend it. Just a tip, if you do stay make sure you pay a little extra for a room with a view of the old walled city, it’s definitely worth it.