My Stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem in Israel: The Luxurious Terrace Room Fit for a King
5-star hotel in Jerusalem, Israel ✈
During my recent stay at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem in Israel, part of the renowned Hilton chain, I had the opportunity to experience a blend of historic charm and modern luxury. The Prime Minister of Israel was staying at the hotel at the same time I was there, while his residence was being renovated. However, I didn't see him at breakfast so he must have decided to order room service.
The hotel, housed in a palatial building dating back to the 1920s, is known for its Jerusalem stone exterior, arched windows, and stone balconies. The interiors are luxurious, combining lavish elements with modern sensibilities and hints of history. Particularly striking are the decoratively patterned marble floors and the elegant Art Deco details, which include chandeliers and geometrically patterned wrought iron work.
Upon entering, the airy interior courtyard with its atrium roof offered a palace-like ambiance, surrounded by elegant arched windows. This space, accentuated by a trickling fountain, plants, palm trees, and fresh flowers, connects to the hotel's two refined restaurants.
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“This stay was not only about enjoying a high-end hotel but also about connecting with the historical context of Jerusalem. The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem stands out for blending its rich past with present-day luxury, making it a unique place to stay in the city.”
The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem enjoys a prime location just outside the historic Old City walls, conveniently close to attractions like the Mamilla Mall and the Jaffa Gate, leading into the Old City. This proximity to key sites in Jerusalem makes it an ideal base for both leisure and business travelers.
History of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, originally known as the Palace Hotel, has a rich and complex history intertwined with the architectural and political landscape of Jerusalem. The hotel, completed in 1929, faced financial challenges and competition from the nearby King David Hotel, leading to its closure in 1935.
In 2008, it was announced that the site would reopen as a hotel, now the Waldorf Astoria. The renovation project, completed in 2014, preserved the original internal staircase and exterior facade of the Palace Hotel. However, much of the original interior was hollowed out, and many of its historical elements were lost. The renovation, which cost around $200 million, was one of the most challenging conservation projects ever undertaken in Israel.
King Terrace Room
My accommodation, the King Terrace Room, was a study in elegance. Large windows bathed the room in natural light, complementing the soft color palette of neutral hues with metallic accents. The room was replete with amenities, including a 46-inch flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, a fully stocked minibar, and a personal tablet for controlling the room's environment. However, I noted the absence of a refrigerator, which was surprising for a room of this caliber. Upon request, the hotel promptly addressed this by providing a small fridge.
The terrace, enclosed by shrubs, provided a serene space for relaxation. It's a nice space to enjoy a room service meal with friends or family. While the terrace was pleasant, I didn't see any lights or light switches. Since I wasn't planning on using the terrace at night, I didn't ask about it, but it might be a consideration for those wishing to use the space at night.
The bathroom was a highlight, featuring a luxurious marble design with both a soaking tub and a walk-in rainfall shower, plus a TV embedded in the mirror. Heated marble floors, plush robes, and slippers added to the comfort.
The hotel's amenities included two elegant kosher restaurants in the lobby - the Palace Restaurant and King's Court and the trendy kosher Terrace Restaurant located on the same floor as the terrace rooms. The Palace Restaurant impressed with its Mediterranean-style fare and an extensive breakfast buffet that showcased a remarkable variety of options, from freshly squeezed juices and pastries to savory dishes. The efficient and friendly staff ensured a pleasant dining experience. One evening, I invited my mother to enjoy a meal with me at the Palace Restaurant. Another night, I and spent some time relaxing at the Terrace Restaurant, savoring a drink and some food.
The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem offers a unique and restorative experience, designed to balance both body and mind. This exclusive spa, measuring 1,470 square meters, is notable for being the first and only spa in Israel to exclusively use products from the renowned Parisian skincare brand, Guerlain. The treatments at the spa are designed to reawaken your senses, providing a luxurious wellness escape within the hotel. The spa's hours vary throughout the week, generally opening at 7:00 AM and closing between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM, depending on the day.
The spa offers nine treatment suites, including two specifically for couples and seven for individuals. One of the highlights is the "Harmony in Jerusalem" treatment, an exclusive spa experience that uses hot stones and detoxifying techniques to encourage circulation and soothe muscles.
The spa boasts a range of facilities to enhance your relaxation and wellness journey. This includes:
- Turkish Hammams: These traditional Turkish baths are lined with slate gray marble and feature a central hot stone, offering a unique and authentic experience.
- Dry Saunas: Here, you can unwind in a serene environment with smooth wood-paneled benches and walls, enveloped in a gentle flow of heat.
- Indoor Pool: The spa’s pool area, with cream-colored chaise lounges and an arched ceiling, also features a Vitality jet-stream pool that allows guests to swim against a current.
Lounge Area and Fitness Center: The lounge area of the spa is stylishly designed with comfortable seating and accent tables, creating a soothing atmosphere. For those looking to maintain their fitness regimen, the fitness center is equipped with Technogym cardio equipment and free weights, complemented by a floor-to-ceiling mirror for form monitoring.
Retail Boutique: The spa’s retail boutique offers an array of Guerlain’s celebrated cosmetics and fragrances. Here, you can find both classic and new skincare products to maintain your post-spa glow.
Spa Services and Treatments: The Guerlain Spa specializes in treatments and products developed exclusively for Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, focusing on awakening the skin, invigorating the body, and calming the mind. These include:
- Facials: Signature treatments that restore radiance and enhance natural beauty, utilizing Guerlain techniques exclusive to the spa.
- Body Treatments: A range of treatments including hot stones, invigorating rituals, soothing massages, reflexology, and exfoliating scrubs.
Custom Approach: Before each treatment, wellness experts assess the individual needs of guests to design unique services. Guests also have the option to choose a signature aroma to accompany their wellness journey from start to finish.
This holistic approach to wellness and beauty, combined with the luxurious and serene environment of the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, makes the Guerlain Spa a haven for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
As my time at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem came to an end, I left feeling very satisfied. The hotel, located in a historically significant building, successfully combined its historical elements with modern luxury. The exterior has been carefully restored, and the interior is modern and luxurious. My experience was enhanced by the attentive service of the staff, high-quality dining options, and the relaxing Guerlain Spa.
The King Terrace Room where I stayed was comfortable and the terrace offered a peaceful outdoor space. This stay was not only about enjoying a high-end hotel but also about connecting with the historical context of Jerusalem. The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem stands out for blending its rich past with present-day luxury, making it a unique place to stay in the city.
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