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Originally a pasha’s palace transformed by a charitable group of American Christians who moved to Jerusalem in the late 19th century, The American Colony Hotel opened in 1902 at the request of Baron Ustinov, grandfather of the actor Peter Ustinov. An oasis of tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem’s busy streets and just a ten-minute drive from the Damascus Gate of the Old City, it has always been regarded as a neutral place where people of different backgrounds come together. The 94 rooms are bright and airy, many with a unique layout and style and spread over the four buildings that encompass the hotel’s old and new wings. The public areas have a colonial feel with whitewashed buildings and wicker furniture and the bar is a popular spot with journalists.

Elsewhere, you can enjoy several dining options, including the Courtyard Restaurant, the Arabesque Restaurant in the Palm House, and Val’s Brasserie. The hotel also offers a sauna, massage facilities, lush and mature gardens, and a secluded outdoor heating swimming pool that opens from May to October.

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Audley Travel Specialist Emma

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Israel specialists on 01993 838 433

Rooms

Spread across four buildings that incorporate the hotel’s old and new wings, the 94 individually designed rooms and suites vary in size and layout. The Pasha rooms with classic decor, dark woods, Ottoman style furnishings, and plush leather seating are the most elegant. Some of these rooms also feature 100-year-old stone flooring and vaulted or ornate painted ceilings. 

Location

The hotel is located to the north of the Old City, within a short taxi ride from many of Jerusalem's main sites, including Yad Vashem, Mahane Yehuda Market, and the Western Wall. The Damascus Gate is a ten-minute taxi ride away.

Food and Drink

The hotel has several dining options, including the secluded Courtyard Restaurant where tables are dotted around a garden of mature mulberry trees, tropical flowers, and a central fountain. There’s also the pool-facing Val’s Brasserie for lunch and dinner and the Arabesque Restaurant in the Palm House for a more formal dining experience. Elsewhere, there’s the Cellar Bar and the Summer Bar, both open seasonally. 

Facilities and Activities

Complete with Jerusalem stone, Italian glass mosaic tiles, and cascading water features, the outdoor swimming pool is heated from May to October. The hotel also has a Swedish sauna as well as a fitness room with cardio equipment such as treadmills and free weights. Massages are available on request, but charges apply.

Our opinion

We love the historic character at this pasha’s palace turned boutique hotel near the heart of Jerusalem. The lush gardens filled with palms, flowers, fountains, and mature mulberry trees are a real highlight.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.