Time of Stay:July / August 2010. About 2 weeks with discontinuations.
What I expected: A nice and friendly hostel, cozy with places to hang out with other travelers, to have a chat and a drink over the experiences we have made during the day. The price per night is pretty cheap so I did expect a decent hostel with decent cleaniness standards.
What I got: Nice, friendly and helpful stuff. If I or my companions needed any assistance, new linen (because they “forgot” to exchange them) or anything else they helped out and did their job. Of course some things you can usually expect without asking but this is not the case all the time (especially during Ramadan the staff was more tired and sleepy during the day, but that is understandable).
Since I stayed a couple of nights I could bargain the room price, this was part of the charm.
The New Palm Hotel and Hostel is divided in two parts, where I usually stayed in the Hotel part, but for the price some others paid in the hostel part.
The "hotel" is much cleaner and nicer since the en-suite bathrooms are not shared with the whole hostel.
The bathrooms and toilets in the hostel part are more or less dirty and you need a little bit sense of humor to use them. When I stayed there one sink (in the toilets) was completely broken and the lights were not working (well that was all the time ;)).
The public areas were really nice and comfortable with lots of cushions, couches and places to hang out and chat with other travelers (inside and outside areas).
During the day the owner turned off the air conditioning (also in rooms without windows) in order to save electricity. You have to push him a little bit to turn them on again, especially if you want to have a nap during the day or you want to escape the outside heat. If you ask the cleaning staff you can even use the laundry machine (don't be shy). There are also 2 (or 3) computer with internet connection. Slow but good enough.
The location was perfect, really close to the Old Town of Jerusalem with the best view on the life of the locals. The entrance(s) of the hotel/hostel are located in a small market area were you can find a lot of local food and sometimes see how the lamb-delivery falls to the ground and no one cares about it getting dirty.
All together I believe that the location of the hostel is a big plus point and if you want to have a better experience make sure you can sleep in the hotel part (also dorms are available there). Don't be shy and bargain about the prices and tell the people if you want to have some changes. Some happen, some don't. But don't worry, if you're relaxed and able to take things as they are you can have the best time in Jerusalem ever. If you have a problem with dirt - never forget your flip-flops. And to be honest, you will be outside most of the time anyhow.
Oh and before I forget. You can book a few tours in the hostel. In our case the driver didn't show up so the hostel owner drove us around. We were stopped by the police one time because he was almost falling asleep when driving (after that we all tried to keep him awake and talk with him) and during the stops he slept in the car. Nvertheless, it was quite an experience and we got back to the hostel all save. (And we haven't lost our humor about it ;))
(To his defense: It was Ramadan and he couldn't eat and drink during the day.
Better: Make only tours if it is not Ramadan ;) ).
As you can see, my votings aren't very high but I hadn't big expectiations and that helped too make it a good experience ;)
If you want to have more comfort and cleanliness in the sleeping / bathroom areas you should chose another place.
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- Also Known As:
- New Palm Hotel Jerusalem
- New Palm Hotel And Hostel