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Travel Blogs from Jerusalem
... close and touch it. What an interesting experience. Countless Jewish people were either touching the wall and praying out loud or placing slips of paper containing written prayers into the crevices of the Wall. Many Orthodox Jews could be seen standing at the wall, chanting and swaying. Men to the left and women to the right. We were even lucky enough to witness a young boy's Bar Mitzvah while we were there. All religions are welcomed at the wall and it truly is ...
... were at that time and several are thought to have been there at the time of Christ. Pope Francis, on his recent visit, planted a new tree there. On this site is a very different style of church. The Church of All Nations has a very dark, somber interior and features dark purple stained glass windows, creating an atmosphere of mourning and sorrow. In the middle is believed to be the rock that Jesus prayed over prior to his ...
... was magnificent! There were originally 4 towers each named for one of Herod's brothers but only this one survives. I rested for awhile under an olive tree and tried to get my head around the significance of where I was sitting. I do not know why the far distant past has such a hold on me; I only know that by times I feel that is speaking to me. As I made my way through the Armenian Quarter I was beset upon by an obnoxious old Jewish man who was determined that ...
... old Train Station, at the northernmost end of the old Jerusalem Railway Park
(that’s maybe not what it’s called, but it’s the old railway line, taken out of
commission in 2005 and turned into a linear park, that runs roughly parallel to
the German Colony). The restaurant is very well “produced”, everything is very
cute, the graphic designs are great and they have displays of produce stacked
As we approached the Old City, the throngs of orthodox Jews became more and more prevalent. With Passover, huge numbers of Hasidic and Sephardic Jews were visiting. They were clearly evident in their huge fur hats, black outfits, and side-burn curls. It was also evident that they seem to all have HUGE families. The sheer volume of strollers being pushed around by the orthodox was overwhelming. Added to these crowds were the busloads ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Jerusalem Hotel
A soecial corner, perfect position
I've stayed here with my wife sonce 05th of December to 10th of December. All people working in the hotel are very friendly, we have a wonderful big room (nš 105). Yes, like said other persons the bathroom is small bat usefull. The restaurant is a special place, food is very good, you can smoke Arghilee and on friday night they organize arab music concert. In the night the restaurant use to be full and the ambiance is very friendly. The position is perfect, very close to Damascus Gate you have everything walking distance, also to west Jerusalem if you want to spent one night in the "movida" of Jerusalem's west people (Pubs, restaurants...). There's a collective Shuttle from/to the Ben Gurion Airport that can bring you to from the hotel (price 45 shelk). For any informations they're very nice persons and you cna ask him for help. Probably the price is quite too high, but is a perfect experience to visit a special city like Jerusalem is.
We went with a tour with Altenative Tours with base in the hotel, is regular: no guide just transportation where you have to pay all entrances. Even if you decide to don't go in this hotel you must spent one night in the restaurant that is a special corner in Jerusalem.
Good hotel, excellent location, nice people but ...
This is a very good hotel. The situation near the bus and taxi station at the Damascus Gate is really excellent. The personel is very helpful and friendly.
But : for $ 120,- per room and per night, we would have appreciated to have air conditioning in the (beautiful) room and not a large fan. Especially in august 2006 (average outside temperature : 33° C). Never will a fan be as efficient as air conditioning to refresh the atmosphere.
In any case, we recommend this hotel.
Nice and special
The Jerusalem Hotel is interesting in several regards. First, it gives you easy access to the Old City, 200 meters from Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Muslim quarter. Ten minutes walk from Jaffa Gate, and from there, a stroll to Jaffa Street, Ben-Yehuda, and most of the New city. Short of staying in the Old City itself (I don't know about the hotels there), this is probably as convenient as it gets. Technically, the hotel is in East Jerusalem, so your 60-second walk from Damascus Gate takes you through a busy Arab shopping area and the minibus terminal for Arab buses. Unless you have issues with mingling with the Muslim population, this is a bonus, as your Jerusalem visit might otherwise be confined to Jewish or Christian landmarks, and you would miss entirely the Arab side. The hotel is a small boutique property, appears to be family-run, and its standards are high. It is truly a refined oasis in the middle of a bustling neighbourhood, but it's mostly the building and the location that make it special. Its terrace-restaurant, shaded and surrounded by green, is a major advantage. Always full when we were there, with a mixture of younger international tourists and locals, eating not cheap but reasonably priced Palestinian dishes and smoking argileh (a must, even if you are a non-smoker). The hotel has a "political" twist, they work with a small tour operator proposing trips to the West Bank and Gaza, visit Palestinian refugee camps 'in order to understand their situation' etc. We did not take any of these, but we were told by other travellers that the guy running the tours is very knowledgeable. I suppose it's worth talking these tours depending on your ideas (i.e. your sympathy for the Palestinian cause, or at least your openness to see their side of things rather than limit your Jerusalem stay to the Hebrew parts). With the conflict in South Lebanon and the rockets falling in Northern Israel, we were cautious about going to the West Bank, so we booked a trip to the Dead Sea and Massada instead; we got up early in the morning, had breakfast, waited for the bus...nothing; we inquired and the trip had been cancelled without notice! This was quite unprofessional, but I can't blame it on the hotel. We organised our own trip to Massada and Dead Sea with public transportation the same day (and it turned out perfect). We had initially a smaller room on the ground floor, not very nice. The next day we were moved to a very, very spacious room also on the ground floor. Both had an "authentic" feeling, like sleeping in a medieval palace: natural stone floors and walls, very high ceilings, standard comfort (no air conditioning, only a large fan). Don't expect much light in the room, at least on the ground floor. Breakfast was good and fresh, but scarce if you compare it to the gigantic "Israeli buffet" served in large hotels in the new city. But you can have breakfast in the terrace, and this is priceless. Overall, a good experience, we would most likely go back to this hotel if we go to Jerusalem again.
Very good -- nice people!
I have been at the Jerusalem Hotel during Christmas vacations 2005-06.
It is in the eastern part of Jerusalem, very close to the Old City. We never experienced safety problems, and we used to walk to the hotel after 10 pm.
I really enjoyed it, because it has a lot of atmosphere, much more than standard international hotel chains. Staff is nice and helpful. They host the Alternative Tours Agency -- we did 2 guided tours with them and they were very interesting.
The only remark is about breakfast: very limited selection.
The place to stay in Jerusalem
Staying in Jerusalem to rest and visit friends after a long trek over Asia, the Jerusalem Hotel provides a relaxed and comfortable base. It has none of the atmosphere of the a chain hotel - which is great. It has a small lobby with a constantly available computer and delightful rooms that are nothing like anything you will find anywhere else. The bathroom of my room was small - only a shower - but everything worked well. Breakfast is is substantial and well prepared with western touches to a middle eastern meal. The joy of the hotel is its bar/restaurant. It has meals all day and provides a very Palestinian atmosphere with good food, good local and imported beer together with regular live music make this a very visitor friendly place to experience the city. And its a few minutes from the Old City and many important sites.
Very Mixed Feelings!!! (long)
I was so excited to find the website for this charming looking little hotel during my search for a place to stay in Jerusalem. I already had in mind that I wanted to stay in a Palestinian hotel for various reasons including the desire to practice my Arabic. This place looked to be exactly what I wanted. The photos on the website were beautiful and there were various tours posted. Unfortunately, when I clicked to read more about the tours, nothing happened. When I inquired about this via email the response I received was that they had not paid to update their site and that was why no further infomation about the tours could be obtained. I was assured that I could book something once I arrived. Also, I was charge a higher rate. For a single room I was told it would be $95.00 per night. The website quoted $85.00 per night. Again, they said that they had not updated their site. Although I found myself wondering why a hotel with such wonderful credentials would not bother to update their site (I am sure they get many of their customers this way) I decided to go ahead and book my reservation of four nights. To make a very long story short, I did not arrive at the hotel on the day of my original reservation. I arrived the following day. This was a result of being held up and questioned for hours & hours at passport control ... probably because I had arrived from Syria. This was an exhausting predicament but understandable, I suppose. When I finally arrived at the hotel the next day, I explained what had happened and how there was absolutely no way for me to contact them to let them know that I was being held up and would not be able to arrive the day before. The guy at the desk... I forgot his name but he was the son of the owners of the hotel... was going to charge me for that night even though I had not been there. I have worked in the hotel industry in the past and know that this is standard if one does not cancel a reservation in a timely manner. However, under certain circumstances, rules can be bent. I had to explain numerous times the situation and finally he agreed, reluctantly, not to charge me for the previous night. I expressed my appreciation. Next, I asked about the hotel tours. He, very matter of factly, told me to look at the pamphlets at the side of the front desk. There were none left, however. So, I proceeded to ask about the tours and he looked quite irritated. He said that I could ask the next morning when the tour guide arrived. I explained that I wanted to go ahead and book something that evening as I did not even know what would be available the next day nor did I know the times or prices. Again, he looked irritated but when I pressed the matter, he finally called the tour guide so I could talk with him. I was able to get two tours booked for the next day. I did the Jerusalem Political Tour and the Old City Tour. For those of you who may read this and are considering the Political Tour I will tell you that they guide was nice personally. However, once we got into the actual tour, he expressed himself in a very angry manner. In a way, I can understand this as he was Palestinian and so many of the issues this tour touched on were Palestinian related. Still, the tour could have been done in more of a professional manner. He also used some foul language when expressing his anger over certain situations such as the Jerusalem Envelope/Wall, which I did not particularly appreciate. The tour was $20.00 US. Afterwards, we were ready for the Old City Tour and were passed off to an older man with a very heavy accent... somewhat difficult to understand. He was very sweet, kind, etc but did rush us through the entire thing. This tour was an additional $15.00 US. A family that I toured with was told that both tours was only $20.00 and were very surprised (not to mention.. not happy) when they were asked for additional money for this part of the tour.
Whenever I asked questions about how to get to places, get taxis, etc. I was made to feel as though I was simply bothering the desk clerk. This was the same man I described before... the son of the original owners. I believe his name began with an "R". Also, the night before I left, I asked about arranging a taxi ride to the Allenby Bridge border crossing for the following morning. He said he did not know how much it cost and that I should just wait till the morning to arrange this. I agreed but explained that I still needed to know how much it would cost so I could make sure I had enough sheckles. Again, in a VERY irritated manner, he made a phone call to find the price for me. (Wouldn't most hotel workers know this type of information already???) Finally, he told it was 35 Sheckles. I thanked him and went to bed. The next morning there was a very nice woman at the front desk (PLEASANT SURPRISE) I do not remember her name but she was pregnant. She called to get me a taxi and then told me it was $35.00 US!!!!! A huge difference from 35 Sheckles!! I had the money to pay, of course, but this guy had given me the wrong information the previous night. Suffice it to say... this guy sucks at his job! Maybe he figures it doesn't matter since his parents own the place but, in this case, he has caused their hotel to lose a potential repeat customer... and... to get this review on Trip Advisor.
I will say that the hotel itself was very beautiful. The rooms were small but very unique and charming. Mine had the feel of being inside a beautifully decorated cave. The stone walls were very cool! The bathrooms were very tiny with only a shower...no bathtub. The shower curtain was due for a change as it had mold on it.
Internet was included in the price of the room and I was able to send emails which was very convenient.
I inquired about room service. Apparently, they did not normally deliver food to the rooms but since I did not prefer to eat in the restaurant, the manager of the restaurant was kind enough to bring my food to me. Very sweet man! The food was absolutely delicious!!!!!!
In summary, the hotel was gorgeous, the food was delicious, the room charming and cozy but the front desk guy was not service oriented. The tour guide... too angry! Despite how nice most things were, I would definitely not stay here again. People who own/slash work at hotels are in the service industry. Perhaps the son of the owners needs to have this reiterated to him. Primarily because of his behavior and lack of service, I will never stay at the hotel again nor will I recommend it to others. There are lots of other charming little hotels to find in the city where one can experience a cozy setting combined with good service.
Great Place Just Outside the Old City
We had a great 2 night stay at the JH. The building is a huge converted mansion situated about 3 blocks north of the old city. The entire hotel is decorated with a Moroccan flair. Our room on the second floor had a balcony that over looked a neighboring courtyard.
Also, try the hotel's restaurant. Breakfast is included, but dinner is worth staying for (great middle eastern food).
Very good value, friendly managment
A friend and I stayed at the Jersualem Hotel for two nights in early March 2005, and we found it an excellent base from which to explore the wonders of Jerusalem.
The inn, at about half the cost of the bland chain hotels, is a very good value. Rates include a simple Mediterrean-Continental breakfast in the hotel's very pleasant garden restaurant. There's also a computer in a corner of the lobby where we were able to use the Internet.
The building that houses the hotel is pretty extraordinary. A large, antique stone structure, the hotel makes you feel like you are stepping back in time. It's also decorated with Middle Eastern furniture and art. Some of the corners are slightly dusty, but the overall the atmosphere is very welcoming and comfortable.
However, the best part about the hotel is the family that runs it. They speak perfect English and seem very happy to make each of their guests feel at ease. With a high staff-to-room ratio, I was afraid that the attention from the family might be a little overwhelming; but their presence was never overbearing.
I would definitely recommend this hotel for tourists who want to experience the best of Jerusalem.
A real home from home in Jerusalem
This is an absolute treasure of a hotel. Comfortable, large and individual rooms with great showers and all amenities, friendly, welcoming staff and a great restaurant where you can just hang out with a mint tea or have a superb meal. We just got back from a 6 day trip to the Holy Land, spending a couple of nights at the Jerusalem Hotel at the beginning and another night at the end of our trip. We were welcomed back like old friends on our return! On arrival, late at night from the airport, it seemed like a friendly, peaceful haven. The rates are great - really good value. I can't praise this hotel highly enough (and I'm usually such a grouch). It is an unassuming, gentle and characterful place - we can't wait to return.
High value and friendly staff
What a find! I first found it in Frommers and then looked further to their web site. --------------------------
An off-season single is $75 per night, including a cold buffet breakfast. Free wired broadband internet, free cable tv with many English channels, and newspaper service (at cost) are provided. A hotel computer is available if you did not bring your own.
The rooms vary in size, from smallish singles and doubles to very spacious doubles and triples. Ask at the desk and see if there is one of the larger rooms available. As it was off-off season, I paid the single rate for a spacious double with balcony, over 300 sq. ft. The bathrooms are small, its amenities are sparse, but the overall value is outstanding. The local direct-dial telephone rates from in-room phones are very reasonable.
The best part value is the location. Forget the constant $10 taxi rides from the big chain hotels to anywhere, as the Damascus Gate into the Muslim/Christian Quarter of old Jerusalem is a five-minutes walk from the hotel. There you will find the crowded bazaar and the Stations of the Cross and facinating walks to the Western Wall and all the old city sites. Restaurants and shops are a 15-minute walk to downtown new Jerusalem. The on-site restaurant serves a Middle Eastern menu and is vegetarian friendly. The garden dining room is always busy at night, mostly with locals, and the live Palestinian music on Friday night was a treat. Average meal without liquor or beer is about $20.
Another bonus is that Alternative Tours is located at the hotel, offering unique tours of the city and surroundings. I took the Jerusalem Political Tour, and visited the military road checkpoints, the 9-meter-high "security" wall being erected through neighborhoods in the city and similar sites never seen on the traditional smiling-guide bus tours. Contact Abu Hassan, ------------------, -------------, or through the hotel. A refugee camp tour was said to be very enlightening.
With so much included, the single-person vacation at the Jerusalem Hotel cost $542 for seven nights, broadband internet, cable tv, local telephone, English newspapers, and a bountiful cold breakfast buffet.