Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Next Stop: David Citadel Hotel

After visiting the famous King David Hotel, I dragged Rafi onward to visit yet another up-and-coming hotel that I had heard a lot of talk about: The David Citadel Hotel. It was just a few steps away anyway, located just down the block from the King David Hotel, so he really couldn't complain that it was out of the way. I had to see it. We were all the way in that part of the city and I did not want to make a special trip back there to visit it on my own. After all, I explained to Rafi, the David Citadel Hotel is known to be the current rival to the King David, so it only made sense to see them back to back for a true comparison. I convinced him that we would just go in to take a peek. But, as it turned out (and as he expected) I marveled at what I found inside, and just had to keep turning corners in order to find the stunning vistas that I knew were lurking somewhere inside and to discover the hidden niches that existed throughout the hotel.

The David Citadel Hotel's prime location

I have to say that, prior to entering the hotel, I really did not know what to expect from the exterior. It didn't leave much to the imagination, as you see from the image on the left. I could have easily passed right by this hotel walking down busy King George Street, but as it turns out, this misleading exterior is a big part of the hotel's appeal. The architect has been given great kudos by many a critic for his ability to allow the grandiose property to somehow blend in with its ancient exteriors. I knew it was worth a good look, so inside we went, and this is what I found (see photos below). I was particularly impressed by the unique way the natural light from outside danced inside the hotel's luxurious decor (it was clear now why the architectural genius had been prized so many times for his outstanding work. I wanted to live in a place like this, because how could you not be happy here:

Indoor patio dining 
The foyer
Heading outside to the patio and pool area
Another shot of the indoor patio with a view of the old city
Pretty, isn't it? And I haven't even taken you outside yet! Wait until you see the breathtaking views I'm about to show you in a minute. Opening its doors in 1998, the David Citadel Hotel was designed as a giant U-shaped structure with 384 rooms and suites; and its terraces (as you can see from the image on the right) have unparalleled views, championing that of even its nearby competitor, the King David Hotel. I literally uttered "Wowwww" to myself, and then to Rafi, on numerous occasions when my eyes beheld new splendor that was hard to articulate in words. How could you not have such a reaction to that view? It is no wonder that the David Citadel Hotel is competing with the King David Hotel for the undisputed title of "Jerusalem's Flagship Hotel". Here, no matter which room you are staying in, you can be guaranteed to have a majestic, sweeping view overlooking the old city and the Tower of David. Here are a few more shots of what you might expect to see from your very own hotel room: 

Hotel Room View (from David Citadel's website)
Another beautiful hotel room view

Here are a few more shots, for your viewing enjoyment, that I captured from my visit to the regal hotel (my personal favorite is the third one down, it's still making me laugh): 

The pool and the old city from the outer deck and balcony
That's Rafi, not wanting his picture taken :) Sorry, amor, it's too funny not to post!
A good shot of the U-shape of the hotel from the outdoor area
One last shot of the indoor dining area

Interested in staying here yet?  Well, as for me, I quickly changed my mind. I decided that if I had gotten married in Israel, which was once a serious subject of discussion, then this would definitely be where I would want to get married. 

Wedding Ceremony on the deck of the David Citadel Hotel
And I am not the only one who caved. The David Citadel Hotel has also been known to "steal" clientele from its wealthy neighbor, the King David Hotel. Do you remember the lists of ambassadors and famous guests who have stayed at the King David? Well, these same people, on their more recent trips, have also chosen to stay at the David Citadel Hotel. Reportedly, President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, Senator John McCain, Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, and U.S. Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice are just a few of the many recognized names and faces who have been a guest at this new staple hotel in Jerusalem. It makes me wonder who might be there right now? Likely, someone probably is. Not only that, but also, as I mentioned it's a popular choice for marriages and also for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs (people frequently journey with their family and friends from the United States just to have their ceremony take place here in Israel), and it is obvious that the hotel is full of these types of guests at anytime as well. 

A Bar Mitzvah taking place at the Western Wall, just steps away from the hotel
I feel a little guilty abandoning my former awe at the King David Hotel, but I was in for such an unexpected surprise when I entered the David Citadel Hotel. Sometimes it's better when you don't have any expectations. It just got better and better with every turn and every new view that I found. Additionally, the David Citadel has an exit out into the shops at Mamilla, making it really prime real estate property. I mean, you can't go wrong here, it's on King George Street (one of the most popular in the city), it has an incredible 'words-cannot-describe-it' view of the old city, and it's conveniently located next to the modern metropolis of Mamilla Mall. Did I mention that the Waldorf Astoria is being built directly across the street from it? Well, it is. Competition is abounding. I am so eager to share this beautiful corner of Jerusalem with a visitor in person, but for now, I will bring it to you via the virtual world and I do hope you have enjoyed the visit!

Check back in soon for a visit to the third and final stop on my hotel tour. Uh, for the moment that is. There will surely be more to come in the future. It just keeps getting better and better, so I promise you won't want to miss it! :) By request, I will also work on getting more pictures of ME in my blog!

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