A Jewel in Jerusalem. Just Checked out…Mamilla Hotel

The only memories of my too-short visit to Israel 20+ years ago revolve around missed flights into Tel Aviv (crazy security), driving (quite poorly) in the middle of the desert, and being awestruck at all the gorgeous guys walking along the promenade in Tel Aviv. I do recall, however,  being struck by the beauty of holy city of Jerusalem in particular and I long to go back with the kids soon.

A friend of mine recently returning from a family trip to Israel came back raving about one particular hotel – Mamilla. The name Mamilla derives from “that which comes from God”  but really refers to early neighborhood outside the Old City in Jerusalem where the hotel resides and that has now been developed into a $400MM urban renewal project in the area – resulting in a luxury neighborhood with shopping mall, pedestrian area and 5-star hotels.

A bit about Mamilla Hotel: Opened in June 2009, the 129-room hotel is considered the first luxury “design” hotel in Israel and has quickly gained instant “hot” status with accolades from Travel & Leisure (IT List 2010 – best new hotels in the world) and Conde Nast Traveler (2010 Hot List).  Famous Italian designer Piero Lissoni (known for his gorgeous minimalist interiors in hotels as well as cool products for Boffi, Knoll and Cassina, to name a few) designed the modern hotel with dark wood floors, exposed Jerusalem stone and limestone walls – reflecting old and new perfectly. Rooms have all the amenities you could wish for including baths with liquid crystal walls that allow you change the configuration with the push of a button.

You will find an outdoor rooftop lounge and restaurant (a happening scene) with views of the Old City, Tower of David and Jaffa Gate in addition to a mirror bar, indoor pool, sun deck and cafe at the hotel. Opening later this year will be a 10,000 square foot wellness center and spa.

Above: The lobby – stunning…

Heres a quick review from friends who stayed there:

“We went to Israel on a family trip with extended family including  our kids- ages 7 years old and 6 months old. We stayed in Tel Aviv for most of the trip, but none of the hotels are really worth mentioning. In Jerusalem, we stayed at Mamilla – which was recommended to us by two different friends – and absolutely loved it. You have a beautiful view of the Old City and the hotel is in a great location.  There is an excellent rooftop restaurant and bar (make a reservation for dinner!) and an amazing breakfast that you should not miss.

The rooms are very nice and the bed extremely comfortable, especially after day of touring. The bathroom was large and had interesting features like a glass wall that you could tint for privacy(that was particularly enjoyable to my 7 year old). The only thing we didn’t love about the hotel was the dark halls – they could use some light!”

 I’m drooling over the pictures of the hotel – what do you think?  Comments please!

Mirror bar/cafe…gorgeous!

One of the rooms – adore Piero Lissoni.

 Great colors -am loving the purple tones in all the new hotel openings. Purple is the new black!

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