Clinton to sleep in style, but Albright gets bigger digs

JERUSALEM — Contrary to popular wisdom and reports in the Israeli media, President Clinton will not be staying in the recently inaugurated $1,720 a night Rabin Suite on the ninth floor of the Jerusalem Hilton.

That suite, which has a kitchenette, is reserved for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has asked that the facilities be equipped with a toaster.

Instead, Clinton is moving up one floor to slightly smaller premises, where the tariff is only $1,380 a night.

He will be the second head of state to sleep in the Presidential Suite. The first was Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who slept there at the beginning of the year, soon after the hotel opened.

Clinton arrives tomorrow only two weeks before the hotel marks its first anniversary.

Given the fact his stay will be brief — his visit to the region is only three days — much effort, expense and detail has gone into it.

Over the past week, some 25 rooms on the third and eighth floors have been set up for Clinton's delegation and converted into offices, some of them code-named POTUS (President of the United States) and some code-named FLOTUS (First Lady of the United States).

Other rooms have been taken over by White House communications, the Secret Service, the U.S. Embassy, the State Department, the transportation advance team, the staff mess (including Clinton's chef) and the advance team for Albright.

Representatives have been meeting daily with senior Hilton staffers to brief them on the president's likes, dislikes and allergies. Floral arrangements, for instance, may have to consist of artificial flowers because the president has an allergy to pollen.

What's in the room? The entrance hall features an extremely well-stocked mini-bar, on top of which is an ice bucket containing a large bottle of Carmel sparkling wine.

Leading off from the hall is a living room-dining room containing a round table that can be extended, seven dining room chairs, a buffet, two soft sofas, two firm armchairs, one soft settee and one hard settee made inviting by 12 scatter cushions..

On the center settee, which also doubles as a communal footstool, is a sugared silver bowl of chocolate truffles.

Then there's the study with a wooden desk, a leather upholstered chair, and a bookcase containing several ancient clay pots and 58 books on Judaism and Israel. The choice runs from Mishna to Jewish humor and folklore.

The bedroom off the study is slightly smaller than that in the Rabin Suite. The draperies in old gold and storm blue match the queen-size bedspread and the cloths covering the bedside tables. The mattress is quite hard. A wooden table at the end of the bed has a push button at the side, which causes the table top to rise and reveal a hidden TV.

In one corner of the bathroom is a meter-high stem vase with a white floral arrangement. Next to it is a very deep, free-standing oval bath. The bathroom is stocked with a generous variety of Ahava toiletries.

In between the bathroom and the bedroom is a walk-in dressing room with a safe on top of the chest of drawers and 50 wooden hangers.

A series of Bartlett reproductions of Jerusalem landscapes line the living room and bedroom walls.

The living room, bedroom, study and bathroom are all equipped with telephones, and all lead onto a magnificent patio furnished at either end with wooden tables and chairs, overlooking the Old City, David's Village and the Judean Hills.