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Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

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Belgrade, Serbia
posts: 18
Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Hi, my name is Jelena and I live in Belgrade, Serbia. Could you please recommend a nice hotel near or within the old city? I am coming over on business, but it is my wish to spend as much time as I can sightseeing and visiting all historical attractions. Since the company is paying for my stay there, I believe 150USD - 180 USDper night would be OK for my manager, but but I would prefer to have a good hotel downtown within a walking distance from Old city, to an exclusive hotel in the suburb.

Thank you in advance for your kind help and guidance.

Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 904
1. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

There are lots of nice hotels within an easy walk of the Old City. Have a look at these, for instance:

Eldan http://www.eldan.co.il/hotel/index.html

Inbal www.inbal-hotel.co.il/Templates/ShowPage.asp…

Prima Royale www.prima-hotels-israel.com/prima_royale.htm

Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza http://hotels-of-israel.com/plaza/index.html

All are very nice, in your price range, and not more than 15 minutes walk from Jaffa Gate.

Hope that's helpful.

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel

Belgrade, Serbia
posts: 18
2. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Thank you Suzanne. Your advice was very useful. I am really looking forward to seing Jerusalem for the first time.

Jelena

Jerusalem, Israel
posts: 904
3. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Hey Jelena - since this is your first visit, I suggest you write to Doug Duckett (a frequent poster on this board) and request his "Israel Travel Guide". It's chocked full of great and helpful information, places to visit, things to see, restaurants to try, etc. etc. etc.

Write to him at labatt@fuse.net.

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,113
reviews: 135
4. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Jelena, I am indeed happy to send you my guide -- free and non-commercial. Just e-mail me at Labatt@fuse.net.

Meanwhile, in response to your specific question, I'll quote my guide on hotel recommendations for Jerusalem:

I continue to recommend that people stay at the Jerusalem International YMCA, also called the Three Arches Hotel, 26 King David Street, P.O. Box 294, Jerusalem 91002 Israel, tel. (02) 569-2692, Fax: (02) 623-5192 This is not like staying in YMCAs in the US; this is not transient housing. It is in a beautiful stone building built by the British in 1931, designed by the same architect who did the Empire State Building in New York City. The location cannot be beat: directly across the street from the King David Hotel (Israel’s most posh hotel) and a 10-minute walk from the Old City. The entire hotel was renovated in the early 1990s, and it went from three stars (clean but very basic) to four stars at that time, and was then one of the nicest hotels of our visit. I need to qualify the recommendation to this degree, however. Since the violence of 2000-2003 caused a huge fall-off in tourism, the hotel lost a lot of money and has not been maintained well. As a result, it has a dowdy, run-down look (needs paint, frayed carpeting, stains, etc.). When I first arrived in May 2005, I honestly felt fairly disappointed and put-off. Then I took stock. The place is still clean and comfortable. The other assets, particularly price and location, are still fantastic (I paid $75 a night for a single room in downtown Jerusalem). I also love the place because I support its mission. The staff is carefully balanced between Jews, Christian Arabs, and Muslim Arabs, and the programming is interfaith for all three religions, including a renowned Jewish-Arab kindergarten program. (Seeing parents, mostly dads actually, dropping off their adorable kids every morning was a real perk.) People from all over the world and many Israelis as well stay there. So while I would not recommend it right now for people who really need a spiffy place that makes them feel spoiled, I still recommend it to those who value the other aspects I have mentioned. Also, a huge construction project is under way just behind the YMCA that will offer luxury housing, a new conference center for the YMCA, an outdoor swimming pool, and municipal offices. I’m hoping that the influx of new money will lead to another renovation in the hotel, and that is apparently planned. They do need it. The Jerusalem International YMCA is in the New City on King David Street, but only a 10-minute walk from the Jaffa Gate into the Old City. You can get more information about the YMCA at:

www.jerusalemymca.org/ENG/About/About.html.

Another fine, less expensive option is the Jerusalem Tower Hotel in the Ben Yehuda street mall area. If you want to splurge and spoil yourself, of course, there is always the option of the King David Hotel across the street or its newer competitor, the David Citadel Hotel just down the street.

End of quote from guide. I hope that helps, and let us know if you have any other questions.

Douglas Duckett

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Belgrade, Serbia
posts: 18
5. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

I don't know how to thank you both for being so kind and helpful. For me who joined this forum as a last resort, without much faith in the outcome, this is surprisingly pleasant and reasurring.Doug, thanks for your offer - I will e-mail you soon.

Warm regards from cold Belgrade,

Jelena

Northern California
posts: 770
reviews: 57
6. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Jelena -- My teenage daughter and I stayed at the 3-Arches YMCA this past summer. Suzanne Pomeranz would be able to give you a better idea of walking distances, but I believe we were within 10 minutes of the Jaffe Gate (Suzanne will correct me if I am mistaken). High praise for the hotel. I will not repeat what Doug has said, only tell you that he is correct. I was there 6 months ago. It is, in my travel experience, a unique place.

Northern California
posts: 770
reviews: 57
7. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

ps.

In my haste, I failed to add that the re-model that Doug has been anticipating at the 3-Arches had occurred at least on the floor where our room was. Actually, it was 95% complete, because as I recall, some carpet was still being laid in the hallway. Our room was spotless, everything new and working perfectly. Suzanne came up to our room and "inspected" it. I believe that she would agree that it was newly remodeled.

As to the lobby and restaurant, I would not touch a thing -- elegant building.

posts: 21,540
reviews: 30
8. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Jelena - I am sure you will like the YMCA. Have a lovely time in Jerusalem and do make some time for sightseeing!

Cincinnati, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 12,113
reviews: 135
9. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

Wow, that's wonderful news about the YMCA remodeling. It's SUCH a wonderful place generally, but has badly needed a makeover. With the tourists coming back, it finally seems to be happening. Hooray! I can remove the reservations in my recommendation if that is true. Suzanne, keep me posted.

Even without the makeover, Jelena, its still a fantastic location at a good price and a truly unique building and institution.

Douglas Duckett

Northern California
posts: 770
reviews: 57
10. Re: Where to stay in Jerusalem? Please advise

A little bit more detail on the YMCA. Our room was very small -- 2 small twin beds, a desk and chair and just enough room to walk around. As I recall, the drawers were in the closet. We travel "light" so we had enough room for everything (although Suzanne can tell you that there was not much space in the room theat we were not using). The air conditioning control was precise, and we could and did open the window at night. As I recall, we could get CNN International on the tv. The elevator has not been remodeled. It fits 4 people, 3 with luggage --is old and slow --and there is only one. We were there at the end of July, but never had an unduly long wait for the elevator. If the hotel were full, the elevator (lack of more/bigger elevators) would be a problem. In terms of a "business center," there is none. There is one pay-by-credit-card computer in the lobby. It was adequate for my use, which was just to check and respond to email. I would not recommend the hotel for "business" travelers. One night, my daughter and I ate in the hotel restaurant--outside, lovely evening. I did not expect anything special. In fact, the pasta that we both had was extremely good/creative/unique.