Great place to stay if you want to be close to central Jerusalem (it's less than a block away from the Davidka light rail stop on Jaffa Road, and less than a 5 minute walk to Mahane Yehuda, Ben Yehuda, and Geula. It's a quick train ride (3 stops) down to the other end of Jaffa Road by Jaffa Gate and Mamila, and from there it's an easy enough walk through the Old City if you want to get to/from the Kotel (Western Wall)
Yes, it's a religious hotel, and during the holidays it does cater to a mostly religious clientele, ranging from yeshivish to Chassidish. There is a charedi synagogue in the basement, as is typical of most hotels in Jerusalem. However, it has a separate entrance from the hotel itself so it's pretty much independent.
That said, my wife and I (who fall into the more modern end of things on the spectrum) never felt out of place, and were made to feel welcome by the staff. Breakfast (which came with our rate) was a full Israeli-style buffet, with fresh cheeses, fruit, vegetables, eggs made to order, and breads/pastries, as well as coffee/cappuccino and juices. The kosher supervisor (mashgiach) was very attentive and made sure everything was cooked and served properly.
The elevators are set to run automatically on Shabbat and holidays, which can be disconcerting to someone not familiar with the concept. However, there were no shabbat clock (timers) on any of the lamps in the hotel rooms, which I found somewhat odd. Considering that the hotel went to the trouble of installing ritual hand-washing sinks in each room (and not in their bathroom) - I found the lack of shabbat timers somewhat odd. However, the staff was helpful with guests who needed lights switched back on after housekeeping serviced rooms. Beds were comfortable and A/C was cold as ice (a good thing in Israel especially during the summer months)
There were a couple of small minuses that kept me from giving the hotel a full 5 out of 5:
Parking: The parking lot for the hotel is small, even for Israeli-sized cars. If you're renting a car and planning on staying there, make sure you can get a space. Otherwise you'll be paying for parking on the street or in one of the municipal lots (there is one within a few blocks' walk by Mahane Yehuda)
In-room safe: We had two separate stays on our recent trip, one for 5 days and another 2 days. Both times, the in-room safes were not working.
TV service: Only a few channels are offered - no Fox, Sky News, or CNN. While it's true that some guests don't watch TV, there are quite a few who would.
Internet: not easy to connect to, and pricey compared to other locations nearby.
All in all - a really good place to stay in Jerusalem, and we'll be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Prima Palace offers a unique blend of modern surroundings with traditional atmosphere, catering specifically to religious, observant visitors. It is within walking distance of the Kotel and the Old City. The hotel is glatt kosher. • 76 Rooms • In-room Netilat Yadaim sinks in most rooms • Courtesy Tea & Coffee making facilities in room • Mini refrigerator in room • Multi channel cable TV • Safe deposit box in room • Synagogue • Separate mens mikve • Banquet halls • Glatt Kosher - by Badatz Agudat Israel • Free wireless internet in public areas ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Prima Palace Jerusalem