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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