Are The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem’s Days Numbered?

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Calcalist reports that the Jeremy Blank and the York Foundation have foreclosed on the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and that shares of the hotel have been transferred to them by a Luxembourg court due to failure to make debt payments.

However the hotel’s owner called the action illegal and invalid, and it’s unclear who actually controls the hotel that has been closed due to COVID-19.

Either way, it does not bode well for the future of the Jerusalem’s only 5 star US flagged chain hotel.

The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem opened in 2014 and is a gem. We’ve stayed there several times and while the service isn’t quite up to international luxury standards, it’s excellent for Israel and we love our stays there. But best of all, you can use Hilton points and free nights to stay there. Previously the David Citadel Hotel was also a gem in the Hilton portfolio when it opened in 1998, but it left Hilton in 2001. That led to speculation about how long the Waldorf would last in the Hilton portfolio.

The Reichmann family from Toronto opened the hotel and then sold the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem to Michel Ohayon of France in 2018 for about $170 million. At the time, he said that he planned to finally complete the spa and pool area of the hotel, but that never came to fruition before the pandemic hit.

COVID-19 has caused many hotels to drop their flags and change management companies. If the hotel does indeed transfer ownership, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the new owners switch hotel flags as well. But Leonardo Palace just does not have the same ring to it.

Jerusalem has never been a very hospitable place for international chains. Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott have all lost several properties in the city over the years.

Will the Waldorf Astoria be next?


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21 Comments On "Are The Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem’s Days Numbered?"

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It doesn’t seem that Jerusalem hotels have much to gain from being flagged. They’re not attracting many business travelers, and leisure travellers often come as part of private tour groups or are religious Jews with different needs than what the American chains are providing.

I would think with the US embassy being in Jerusalem that would bring some contracts, but Waldorf is probably too upmarket anyway.


Oh man I have the best memories from our visits to the Waldorf Jerusalem


I’ll miss the Waldorf. Lhavdil, I hope it doesn’t become the next Dan Pearl (4 star hotel and closest walking to Jaffa gate). Went into bankruptcy after a few years and for most probably 10+ years vacant and now waiting to be torn down.

El Capitan

There is a Building in that location being built.

El Capitan

Do you mean the hotel building?

Nat Zitomer

Something is being built, but last time I was in the area, signage on the project doesn’t mention a hotel at all–never-mind a brand name.

IHG baby!

Kimpton Palace has a nice ring to it.

Kova tembel

First, the bare headed people that control the government of Israel have to reopen their country for business. Until that happens, all the hotels are going to remain dormant and suffer. Enough with the sanctimonious Covid tyranny. Here in America I can, and have, gone and stayed in any Hotel I please.


I enjoyed the Waldorf Jerusalem sooo much! I had a great 10 day stay there.


I adore the Waldorf. The treatment was amazing and the rooms and bathrooms were so comfortable and lovely. Food was delicious but I’m not sure it’s the hashgacha (certification) that I’d use and I wish they would choose the highest one so I could go back. I could be wrong but I don’t think it’s the same as the Plaza. Love the Waldorf and hope they can stay and I can go on my next trip god willing.


you think they would sell it for 120 million develop a relationship with christopher nassetta ceo of hilton and then get him to drop the waldorf name from the contract


What do you think would happen to points reservations placed now if it drops out of Hilton? Surely cash reservations would be honored.

El Capitan

Usually they try to cancel points reservations. Dan got SPG to rebook him at mamila when the plaza left SPG tho

Hotels in Yerushalayim

Although I never stayed at the Waldorf, I did use points to stay at the Inbal and loved it. We rented a car and parked at mamilla parking lot if we wanted to be in that part of the city. It ended up being very reasonable to park and the Inbal parking was free. Loved the Inbal but they are obviously also still closed due to the pandemic šŸ™


Under which chain is the Inbal


Dubai would buy it


Dan What’s with the intercontinental in Jerusalem. Do you think it will finish as planned.


Leonardo Plaza?