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Jerusalem's David Citadel Hotel:  Something Wondrous to Behold and Experience

Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer

During Israel’s 1948 War of Independence the area of Mamilla outside the Old City was basically an Arab-Jewish section. The battles and the shelling reduced a lot of the area into rubble. Many residents were relocated to other nearby neighborhoods.

The Mamilla neighborhood declined and decayed over the decades while developers and government officials back and forthed over what to do with it. A new hotel originally named the “Hilton Jerusalem” opened for business in 1998 in an area that was characterized still by despair and crumbling walls.

The saving grace for the site was that the location close to the entrance to the Old City.

In 2001, Hilton, withdrew from property management. The hotel was renamed The David Citadel. Today the hotel is managed by the Alrov Hotel Group.

The past has truly been prologue to what has transpired on the site where the thriving five star David Citadel Hotel exists. Located in the hub of Jerusalem on the now prestigious King David Street, the iconic property faces the historic “David Citadel and Tower” and the ancient walls of the Old City.

A major part of the now thriving Mamilla neighborhood, the luxury hotel parallels Israel’s history.  Onwards and upwards.

Its illustrious architect, Moshe Safdie, born in Haifa in 1938, had an incomparable vision for the property: a horseshoe- shaped edifice constructed of traditional rough-hewn golden Jerusalem limestone, 11 floors, 384 rooms and terrace-style suites overlooking the Old City and the Tower of David, a glass-domed public lobby with hanging gardens in the inner part.

From the pianist playing in the evenings, to the world class spa, to the attentive and highly competent staff, to the soaring arched glass ceiling of the fourth-floor Lobby Lounge with its towering vases, the reach and scale of David Citadel and its offerings underscores what a five star plus hotel is all about.

The hotel is directly across the street from the Mamilla Mall where all kinds of shopping experiences are available. An incredible and easy walk to treasures archeological, religious and historical, from Holy places like the Western Wall, The Via Dolorosa, The Holy Sepulcher, Dome of the Rock, the Temple Mount, to vibrant markets and alleyways to wander up and down, the David Citadel has bragging rights to being in one of the top locations in the City of Gold.

“Repeat guests” and “celebrity visitors” make up just a part of the population that partakes of the hotel’s almost 400 comfortable and elegant suites and guestrooms.

A “home away from home,” for so many who always book the same room or the same suite, the David Citadel’s lobbies, beds and food become as familiar and comfortable to them as their own surroundings and amenities at home.

The hotel’s shady terrace is a gathering place for American diplomats, sophisticated guests and others.  A few of the “A” list political types who have enjoyed the ambience and amenities of  David Citadel are former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Senton John McCain, Senator Barack Obama, russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former U.S. secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The list literally goes on and on.

All of a piece, rooms and suites have natural tones in muted harmony and up-to date classic furnishings.  There is almost a replication of the gold and creams of the ancient city walls.  Overly large, plush pillows piled on big beds and polished stone bathrooms with deep tubs, freestanding showers, and those desirable L’Occitane toiletries, all accentuate the luxe nature of a stay at the David Citadel. 

In the great city of Jerusalem, there are many fine hotels. All of them have specific aspects to them worth bragging about. The David Citadel, however, is all of a piece, warm, welcoming and wonderful.

It is something wondrous to behold and experience.

David Citadel Hotel


(Photos courtesy David Citadel

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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