After 10 nights at the Mount Zion Hotel we came to have an appreciation for its positive qualities and an understanding of a few shortcomings. Here are our comments.
Positives of Mount Zion Hotel:
· Location, location, location. It is within easy walking distance to most of the places we wanted to go - first and foremost – to the Old City! Also: German Colony, King David Street and its restaurants, Yemin Moshe and Mishkenot Sha’ananim neighborhoods. It was a longer walk, but we did go on foot to the center of the city to Ben Yehuda Street and the produce market. We like this easy access.
There are also several good restaurants nearby. We ate at Lavan, under the Cinematique, a very short distance from the hotel, several times, just because we liked it and it was so convenient.
· It is unique architecturally, has character and a sense of place. The history of this location and its place in history contribute to this. We have not seen anything like it anywhere we have traveled. We prefer to stay in places that are of the place, rather than a more homogenized hotel that could be anywhere in the world.
· The views facing the Old City, Mount of Olives and the Hinnom Valley are truly special, particularly as the light changes throughout the day. These views can be seen from all the public areas.
· Our room was in the Citadel wing. We had requested a room with a terrace and thankfully, we landed one on the top floor with those glorious views that you see in the photos, with a terrace. Each morning, late afternoon and evening, we would sit on the terrace and drink in the views. Sure the exterior wall could have been painted so we didn’t see that paint peeling, but when faced with such views, we didn’t look there! Every time I was on the terrace, I looked at the Old City walls and then panned over to the dividing wall with the West Bank. It was always a reminder of the complexities facing Israel. We commented more than once to each other that 60 years ago, if one had stood on this terrace, you would have been shot at. Now there are tourists here.
· The mattress was comfortable and the room was quiet. We might go out on the terrace and hear some music coming from the Mount of Olives, but once we went inside the room and closed our door, there was silence. We had a small refrigerator that was convenient. The bathroom was spacious in comparison to others we have had in Israel and there was plenty of hot water, however, the water pressure in the shower is restricted significantly. This probably is due to water conservation efforts.
· Buffet breakfast – good variety of foods, nicely displayed and excellent service
· The front desk personnel can be very friendly and helpful. Just stay away from peak times when they are processing a tour group!
· There is a lovely swimming pool and hamman that you can enjoy.
· Reasonably priced for all that you get.
Negatives of Mount Zion Hotel.
·Some of the front desk personnel, even on off times, were more helpful than others. Don’t expect to get a warm greeting. Having access to assistance is important to us and a benefit over staying in an apartment on your first stay after 37 years. I would give them just an average to below average rating in this area, since there was such variability from person to person.
· In the hallway, next to our door, there was a pretty mosaic table. Unfortunately, this was used after room service and usually had dirty plates and glasses. We finally did speak to the restaurant manager and it was taken care of that day. But it is an operational issue that needs to be addressed. It’s not a pretty sight to see as you return from a day of touring. Keep in mind, however, that there was only one such table on our floor; it happened to be just at our door!
· Check the number of bath towels. On two days, we had to call housekeeping to get them. Better to do this in advance and not wait until you are dripping wet from a shower.
· Wireless internet. Our computer died, so it did not turn out to be an issue for us. However, we thought their access fees were pricey at $6 per hour, $15 up to 24 hours and $67 for up to 7 days. If you plan to stay here and want internet access, maybe a package price can be negotiated. It’s worth asking about.
All and all, not so many negatives and far more positives! Frommers lists the Mount Zion as a moderately priced hotel. From that perspective, it is a very good value.
If you would like to see some photos, check out this link:
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- Also Known As:
- Mount Zion Jerusalem
- Hotel Mount Zion
- Mount Zion Hotel Jerusalem