This Sleek, Modern Hotel Sits Just Outside the Old City of Jerusalem

A favorite of visiting diplomats and tastemakers, the Mamilla Hotel sits just beyond the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem near the Jaffa Gate. Opened in 2009, it’s a member of the Set Collection, whose chic sister properties include Hotel Lutetia in Paris, the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, and Hotel Café Royal in London, among others.

Designed by Israeli architect Moshe Safdie with interiors by Italian designer Piero Lissoni, the hotel exudes tasteful contemporary style. As soon as you enter the airy, double-height lobby, the first thing you notice is the sculptural steel staircase contrasting with the pale limestone walls. The long reception desk is off to the right; to the left, there’s a small bar and lounge area; straight ahead are several seating areas with an eclectic arrangement of furniture, including antique Chinese chairs and a Barcelona couch by Mies Van Der Rohe. 

The hotel is kosher and has two restaurants: one for meat and one for dairy. Located in a luminous tiled space on the ground floor is Happy Fish, which serves Israeli and Mediterranean dishes like falafel, mezze, and the catch of the day. The rooftop restaurant, which boasts fantastic views of the city, offers burgers and grilled meats. A buffet breakfast with continental choices and Israeli specialties like shakshuka is served in the ballroom. The Mirror Bar is currently under renovation.

There’s a small indoor pool on the lower level, but the Akasha spa is in another building accessed via a pedestrian bridge that crosses over Mamilla Avenue. There you’ll find the gym, fitness classes, and treatment rooms for massages, hydrotherapy in a watsu pool, and hammam treatments.

Being a kosher hotel suited to religious guests means there are quirks like a Shabbat setting in the rooms, which turns the lights on and off at pre-programmed hours, and a special elevator that stops on every floor during Shabbat. (Religious Jews are prohibited from using electrical devices and even elevator buttons during the sabbath.)

Rooms feature a clean-lined design with neutral hues and pops of color like green or orange on the beds. The bathrooms have carved stone sinks and glass walls that switch from transparent to translucent with the touch of a button. 

Top Takeaways:

Location: Jerusalem

The Vibe: Sleek and modern with some eclectic design touches.

Rating: Five-star

Our favorite thing about the hotel: The fabulous design that feels modern yet warm and eclectic. 

Food + Drink: Happy Fish focuses on dairy and—you guessed it—fish with light Mediterranean options. The Rooftop is an open-air oasis for carnivores, with grilled steaks, lamb chops, and burgers. A breakfast buffet with continental and Israeli specialties is served in the ballroom, which is also available for private events.

Amenities: indoor swimming pool, spa, fitness center, three restaurants & bars

Nearby attractions: Jerusalem’s Old City, Jaffa Gate, Western Wall, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Mamilla Avenue shopping promenade

Rooms: 194 rooms — our favorite is the Mamilla Suite, which sleeps three and has sliding partitions separating the bedroom from the sitting area.

Pricing: Rates start at $486.

Nearest Airport: Ben Gurion is located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, with trains to both cities.

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