Immerse yourself in the unique and tranquil beauty of the American Colony Hotel Jerusalem while delving into cities rich past and add your name to a guest list that includes Lawrence of Arabia, Winston Churchill, Bob Dylan, Uma Thurman, Richard Gere, Giorgio Armani, Miuccia Prada, Tony Blair & Mikhail Gorbachev, to name a few.
Enjoy a stay in one of Jerusalem’s premier boutique hotels, which for more than one hundred years has been a home away from home for discerning travellers who recognise quality.
The rich history of the American Colony Jerusalem dates back to the late nineteenth century when a Christian family from Chicago moved to Jerusalem to live in peace and offer aid to families in distress.
With their charitable door open at all times to their Arab and Jewish neighbours as well as Bedouin from around the city and from across the Jordan River, they soon established good relations with the local population and became well known for their acts of benevolence and assistance to the community.
The home they bought was initially built as a palace for a pasha and his four wives. That palace would soon become The American Colony Hotel. The seeds of the American Colony Hotel Jerusalem were sown in 1902, when Baron Ustinov (grandfather of actor Sir Peter Ustinov), finding the Turkish inns of the time unacceptable, needed suitable accommodation in Jerusalem to house his visitors from Europe and America.
Before long, the American Colony became a lodging for Western travellers and pilgrims whose expectations were not met by the establishments then existing in Jerusalem. The American Colony Hotel has a unique place in the history of the area, having endured countless challenges and a series of wars. It was the venue from which the white flag—made from a bed sheet from one of the Colony’s hospitals, currently displayed at the Imperial War Museum in London—was taken in 1917 to initiate the truce that ended Ottoman rule in Jerusalem.
The Colony has always been known locally as a neutral island, remaining outside the turbulent politics of the land. Owned neither by Arabs nor Jews, but by Americans, British and Swedes, it has always had friends from all sectors of Jerusalem’s mixed society. An oasis where Jews and Arabs comfortably meet, it is also a favourite haven for international journalists, high-ranking officers of the United Nations and diplomats from across the world.