On my visit to Israel organised by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, I was very fortunate to be able to stay at Jerusalem’s most famous and luxurious hotel, The King David.
The King David Hotel is not just a hotel, but a landmark of Jerusalem. Opened in 1931, the hotel has seen many historic moments in Israel, and was also the subject of a bombing in 1946. Established by Elie Mosseri, a wealthy Egyptian Jewish banker, the hotel is built out of local pink limestone and occupies an elevated position offering views over the walls of the Old City.
The hotel has accommodated many celebrities, foreign heads of state and diplomats visiting Israel, and you can see some of their signatures on the floor in the lobby. Famous guests the hotel have included King George V; Jordan’s King Hussein; U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon,Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush; British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill, Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, and Tony Blair; the Prince of Wales; Elizabeth Taylor; Richard Dreyfus; Richard Gere; and Madonna.
I was fortunate to be there in the days leading up to the visit of the current US President- Barrack Obama.
The lobby to the King David is impressive and decadent, as you would expect from Jerusalem’s best and most famous hotel! Since Obama was due to arrive in Jerusalem the day after my departure, the whole hotel was being shut down. It was exciting to be inside the hotel during the build-up to the visit and to see Obama’s security getting the hotel ready! It all felt very 007. There was a marquee constructed outside, and there were TV crews mulling around the lobby!
My king-size bed was so comfortable I could have set up camp here and not left the room, but of course there was much sightseeing to be done! On arrival I was presented with a gift of strawberries and cookies, along with a little note saying “Shalom (peace/hello) and Welcome”. Everything inside the mini bar is complimentary, although you won’t find any alcohol in there! The feature I was MOST excited about, however, was the pull-out drawer with 4 plug sockets in the desk (can you tell I’m a blogger?).
The bathroom has your standard bath/shower combination along with Dead Sea cosmetics and bath robes. Complimentary toiletries included shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, shoe shine, cotton and a shower cap. The BEST feature of the bathroom is without a doubt the TV screen INSIDE the vanity mirror! It took me ages to discover it, but one day I was having a shower and noticed a rectangular outline inside the mirror. My eyes were then drawn to a control panel on the wall, and I realised it had volume/channel settings. From then on, I played MTV music each time I had a shower!
The best meal of the day in Israel is breakfast! You don’t usually get hot foods like sausages and baked beans, but you DO get lots of healthy foods. The breakfast at the King David Hotel is exceptional, with different cheeses, salads, seeds, grilled vegetables, smoked fish and fresh fruit juices. You won’t find be served fake orange juice here; there’s an actual juice section where you can pick out your fruits and ask the man to make it right in front of you.