Booked a big suite at the King David this weekend? Unless you’re the president of a major world power, you better start making other plans.
Managers at the historic Jerusalem hotel are booting guests from prime rooms to make space for more than 30 heads of state expected to attend the funeral of the Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, who died September 28 at the age of 93.
“The hotel is going to turn into a fortress,” said Haim Shkedi, the King David’s CEO, according to the Israeli newspaper Ynet.
Located in the center of Jerusalem, just blocks from the Old City, the King David is among the country’s most historic and luxurious hotels. It regularly hosts foreign dignitaries, including American presidents.
The hotel expects to host dozens of world leaders visiting Israel for Peres’s funeral on September 30. Other dignitaries will stay at the Waldorf Astoria, the Inbal, and the David Citadel Hotel, all located near the King David in Jerusalem.
The King David’s Shkedi told Ynet that his hotel had dealt with sudden influxes of world leaders before, including in advance of the funeral of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin following his assassination in 1995.
“We are very skilled in putting together the technical preparations,” Shkedi told the paper. “The most difficult thing is determining who we will be allowing to stay with us and who we will be turning away, along with having to evict the current occupants of the rooms due to the arrival of these various heads of state.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.