The American Colony Hotel – East Jerusalem, Israel

The Style and Charm of an Old Pasha’s Palace

More than 100 years ago a wealthy landowning pasha built this fortress­-like villa, including summer and winter rooms for his four wives. Today, as the American Colony Hotel, it is the city’s most evocative and atmospheric hostelry.

A well-known meeting place for international diplomats, correspondents, British and American expats, and – if one can believe the rumors – spies, it’s as suggestive of romance and intrigue as Casablanca’s Rick’s Café. Moorish arches, hand-painted tiles, and painted wooden-coffered ceilings adorn some of the more exotic guest rooms.

The cool enclosed courtyard, complete with splashing fountain and lemon trees, is an inviting oasis for a drink or the Colony’s famous Saturday buffet lunch of Middle Eastern and continen­tal choices. English-owned, Swiss-managed, and with a predominantly Palestinian staff, a stay here is worth the splurge, especially for those checking into the Pasha’s Style rooms, traditionally furnished and located in the orig­inal buildings.

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