[Ed – Even jihdists need their ‘me’ time.]
You won’t be able to reserve a room ahead of time with any of the major online sites if you want to stay at Mosul’s Ninawa International Hotel. Orbitz announces it doesn’t support bookings anywhere in Iraq, and Booking.com without explanation reverts immediately to the original search page when you enter “Mosul, Iraq.” But old TripAdvisor reviews say it is well worth the stay—or certainly was before the jihadis stormed into town last year.
No doubt if you motor there from Baghdad or Erbil, braving frontlines, dodging airstrikes, navigating Shia militias, and talking your way through checkpoints manned by crazed abduction-minded jihadis, you should find a warm welcome with open—or possibly cocked—arms at this five-star palace in Iraq’s bustling, second-largest city.
In the absurdist determination to establish a modern caliphate, to fashion an earthly jannah (paradise) for those making the hajj to the Islamic State, the local jihadi ministry of propaganda has announced it has re-opened the Ninawa International.