Theme Week East Jerusalem – The American Colony Hotel

Monday, 1 October 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Hotels, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  3 minutes

© flickr.com - Alistair/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Alistair/cc-by-sa-2.0

The American Colony Hotel is a luxury hotel located in a historic building in East Jerusalem which previously housed the utopian AmericanSwedish community known as the American Colony. The hotel belongs to The Leading Hotels of the World. The building was originally built and owned by Ottoman Pasha Rabbah Daoud Amin Effendi al-Husseini, who lived there with his harem of four wives. Soon after his fourth marriage, al-Husseini died. In 1895, the building was sold to a group of messianic Christians who arrived in Jerusalem in 1881 and set up a commune. Their leader was Horatio Spafford, a lawyer from Chicago and his wife, Anna. In 1896, the Americans were joined by two groups of Swedish settlers. This Christian utopian society became known as the American Colony.

In 1902, the Jaffa hotelier Plato von Ustinov (grandfather of the British actor Peter Ustinov) was looking for a place to put up guests visiting Jerusalem and asked the Spaffords to accommodate them. Soon after, the building was turned into a hotel.

American Colony Hotel Arch © Magister © Magister © Magister © flickr.com - Alistair/cc-by-sa-2.0 © flickr.com - cyphunk/cc-by-sa-2.0 Garden of American Colony Hotel © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0 Interior of American Colony Hotel © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0
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Interior of American Colony Hotel © flickr.com - Adam Jones/cc-by-sa-2.0
Today the American Colony Hotel calls itself an oasis of neutrality in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is still owned by descendants of the Spaffords. A grandson, Horatio Vester, was the manager until he retired in 1980. His wife, Valentine, lived in the hotel until her death in June 2008. Since 1980, the hotel has been run by a Swiss company. The Effendis’ original bedroom is called “Room One.”

The American Colony Hotel, on the “seamline” between East and West Jerusalem, is the preferred hotel of many diplomats, politicians and foreign correspondents. Its famous guests include Leon Uris, Lawrence of Arabia, Christiane Amanpour, Bob Dylan, Tony Blair, Philip Roth, Eric Frattini and John le Carré. Carre wrote one of his books at the hotel and Frattini, include information over the hotel in his last book fiction, “The Labyrinth of Water”. In 1987, Peter Ustinov filmed much of the 1930s-set Agatha Christie mystery “Appointment With Death” at the hotel. In 1995, Peter Ustinov visited the hotel and planted a palm tree in the courtyard.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on American Colony Hotel and Wikipedia American Colony Hotel (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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