About 2 weeks ago I hosted 2 (married) relatives of mine in Jerusalem for 2 days. The wife is Israeli and the guy is an American (2nd time in Israel). They are both in their mid twenties. I booked them in the YMCA 3 arches hotel a week in advance by phone, and specifically asked the receptionist/clerck I spoke with, to bill MY credit card and not to ask them theirs. He said that it should be OK and that their policy is to bill only upon checking out, so my credit card will be billed after their stay. When my relatives arrived, the receptionist ask them for a credit card and told them that they have to be billed IN ADVANCE. Although they told the receptionist that the room should've been paid by (or at least they will charge later) another credit card (mine), he would'nt agree and my relatives had to give their card, which was IMMEDIATELY CHARGED!. When I heard about this I called the YMCA hotel and after ther regular Israeli style arguments by phone, they agreed to cancel the charge on my relatives' card and bill my card instead, as should've done in the first place. I later on came by to the hotel to pick up my relatives, and asked the receptionist to somehow make it up to them, as they kind of got offended. I asked for a nice gift, maybe a basket of fruits in the room or something. The receptionist said that since they handled it, he doesn't think they deserve anything. How's that for a service? In general, my feeling is that the service in the YMCA is somewhat slowish and not very efficient.
The rooms are very simple but clean and tidy, although somewhat small. No panoramic view from the window. Of course, the building itself is absolutely one of the nicest in the city, and climbing up the tower is a must - whenever I have visitors from either abroad or from Israel, I take them to the YMCA tower for a great panorama.
The breakfast was okay, but since my relatives stayed at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Haifa a few days earlier, they said that compared to the Dan hotel, the YMCA breakfast is simple. But I have to be honest and say that the Dan Panorama is a luxurious grand hotel. The Lobby is one of the most beautiful I ever saw, with a nice paintings exhibition and beautiful ceilings. BTW, since the YMCA is commited to reconciliation (sp?) between the 3 main religions, it is FULL of symbols, and the building itself is a great tour. It's a pity that their service is not as great as the house.
The payment was 450NIS (about 100$)/night, breakfast included.