BACKSTORY: Opened in 2009, this five-star hotel is at the heart of an ambitious (if overdue) scheme to redevelop Mamilla, a 19th-century neighborhood near Jerusalem’s Old City that was heavily damaged during years of Arab-Israeli fighting.
DESIGN NOTES: The challenge in a city like Jerusalem is to embrace history without getting bogged down in it. The Mamilla expertly manages this by marrying the traditional (walls of Jerusalem stone) with modern design elements (sleek black staircases, glass-and-steel ceilings).
WHAT YOU’LL FIND JUST OUTSIDE: The trendy shopping area Mamilla Avenue is seconds away. Walk a bit farther and you’ll reach the Jaffa Gate and the Old City, home to the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall and a maze of ancient alleys and bazaars.
IDEAL GUEST: The Mamilla is unquestionably a stylish place—you won’t find any fanny-pack types milling about the lobby. Even the most well-dressed guests, however, can’t resist nerding out on the amazing history that’s practically on the hotel’s doorstep.
BEST PLACE TO HANG OUT: It’d be tough to get a better view of Jerusalem than the one from the Mamilla’s roof. Part of the space is a sundeck; the rest is a restaurant and bar whose vistas are especially impressive at night, when the walls of the Old City are lit up.