Built in 1930 during the British Mandate, the King David has outlasted the British Empire and continues to sail on, refined and majestic. Its Egyptian-esque Art Deco lobby still draws gawkers, as does its lushly gardened pool area, made famous in the film “Exodus” (it’s where Paul Newman romanced Eva Marie Saint). For world leaders visiting the city, there’s no other choice for digs. Surprisingly, though, the rooms are not in the least old-fashioned. In fact, a number of them were combined in the late 1990s to offer more space to guests (although some remain small). Today, all boast fine wood furnishings, handsome heavy draperies, top-quality bed linens, and shiny wood parquet or thickly carpeted floors. Outside the guest rooms, the hotel’s many modern-day conveniences include tennis courts, a working synagogue, a small fitness center/spa, a shopping arcade, and the most lavish, over-the-top breakfast buffet in all of Israel. Tip: You don’t have to be a millionaire to stay here (despite the rack rates listed). Many air/hotel packagers and tour companies use the King David, and their guests pay far less than the guests who book with the hotel directly (although they’re usually relegated to the smaller rooms or ones that don’t have the iconic views of the Old City). Parent company Dan Hotels sometimes offers off-season discounts; check the website.
- Frommer's Staff