We stayed at the Armenian Guesthouse for 3 nights in May. It was supposed to be 4 nights, but on Jerusalem Day, the Old City was closed (Jewish settlers had occupied Al-Aqsa Mosque), and we couldn't get to the guesthouse. They wouldn't refund our deposit, and wouldn't even consider a compromise (splitting it 50-50), even though some of us had also all reserved one additional night at the end of our trip, a week later.
The guesthouse is on the narrow road to the Lion's Gate, and many small buses and taxis are reluctant to drive down it, and sometimes it is closed to traffic. So with each arrival and departure, we did not know whether we would have to cart all of our bags on a 10 minute walk up and down hills on cobblestone. And the hotel refused to help us with any part of that (with planning, with the bags themselves, coordination with the drivers, etc). Our second arrival was stopped just inside the gate (soldiers had closed the road), and we had our difficult walk, at the end of our long day. The next morning's very early departure was also a long walk with our bags because the cab driver wouldn't come inside the gate.
The rooms inside the main guesthouse are sparse and worthy of a 2-star hotel. The beds were small (nearly cots), the towels small and old, the bathroom fixtures were loose and in danger of falling apart, there was no soap, the shower was a handheld with no hook to hang it above ones head). They brought us a fan when asked, so be sure to ask. Also ask for an inside (courtyard) room as you'll have a better chance of quiet. The room was clean enough, and there were no bugs, even though there were no screens on the windows (which had to be open to get any air at all).
There are 2 rooms called the "Bishop's Quarters" in a nearby building. Two in our party stayed there, and I heard those rooms are luxurious by comparison. They are up steep steps (over 60), and so are not accessible to everyone. They also came with warnings not to stare out the windows or from the balcony or look too pointedly at the settlement building next door, "because they get agitated and might call the police". Also, these rooms are subject to the street noise, which can be substantial.
Breakfast was in the church courtyard, which is a walk from the main guesthouse rooms. It wasn't bad, but never varied from hard boiled eggs, hummus, yogurt, pita, jam. There is filtered coffee in addition to the instant, if you ask.
Aside from the manager, the rest of the staff was friendly. However, I would not return. I hear the Christ Church Guesthouse is very nice.
- Also Known As:
- Armenian Guest House Hotel Jerusalem