By John Lee.
Baghdad’s Palestine Hotel, famous for housing foreign journalists during the US-led invasion of Iraq, has since undergone a makeover.
Hotel manager Fadhel Salman Hassan told AFP:
“We are a five-star establishment … We have 405 rooms, three bars [and] by order of the minister of electricity, the power never cuts.“
The hotel is majority-owned by the government.
“This is not a hotel“, added Hassan “it is a tourist complex.”
Rates start at $200 a night, and visitors can also enjoy cocktails at the panoramic 18th-floor bar, where most drinks cost $15 or more, but the occupancy rate is only 35 percent.
The hotel was built in 1982 and was managed by the Le Meridien group, which pulled out after sanctions were imposed on Iraq following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.