For the location in East Jerusalem and proximity to the Old City, the American Colony Hotel can't be beat. While others may talk about other 5 star hotels on the West side of Jerusalem, why is it that those hotel guests are at the American Colony having drinks at the lounge? Needless to say, for a different view of Jerusalem, I'd wholeheartedly pick this hotel every time. I felt safe in this neighborhood, and I actually like the charm found here that is sometimes lost in some of the newer more "sanitized" developments elsewhere.
I recently enjoyed a 2 night stay at the hotel, in room 114. Room 114, located right by the elevator, was apparently the living quarters of the Pasha's Fourth Wife. As you go up the stairs to the room (there are stairs to the entrance - for those that have special needs), you enter a small living/work area, complete with desk and chair, as well as comfortable sitting chair and table. There's a nespresso machine with a myriad of choices and seemingly endless supply, as well as thoughtful choices of teas and tea caddy. Here you will also find the first door to a balcony overlooking the inside courtyard. As you venture further in the room, you'll see two chairs and another larger copper table, a king sized bed, dresser and chair, and two balcony doors. This room has two balconies - two doors to the inside courtyard, and also a private courtyard to the front of the hotel. Note, there is a step to go up to the private courtyard. You also have a closet that looks like an impenetrable fortress of very solid doors. Plenty of storage in the closet, as well as the dressers, for those planning a longer stay.
The bathroom is off of the living/work area, with toilet, bidet, and nicely apportioned tub/shower. I'm a big guy at 5'10" and nearly 300#, and I fit into the tub with no problems. The amenities provided were the -417 Dead Sea Salt products, including shower gel, shampoo, and soap. The towels were soft and large enough for me plus some. One complaint about the robe was that it looked a little worse for wear, and did not fit. However, most hotel robes don't. The water pressure was plentiful, as was the hot water.
The bed was extremely comfortable, as was the bedding. I left the balcony doors open at night for some fresh air, and always felt cozy and comfortable. Carpets were a nice touch for the gorgeous marble floors that were a little cold in the morning first thing. One note, leaving the doors open means you'll also hear the Muzzein calling to prayer at the nearby mosque. If you take it like I do as part of the local charm, it won't bother you. In fact, while I heard the first prayer, I slept through the second prayer call.
Wifi was plentiful throughout the hotel, although a bit slow at times when there were many people in the lobby/lounge area. Every one I encountered working at the hotel was friendly and courteous and was always willing to help. Questions regarding directions, taxis, and shopping were met with helpful smiles and assistance.
Breakfast was an experience out of this world. I've stayed at hotels that don't provide a spread like this hotel does, and charge for it. Here, breakfast is included, and is a must do. A great spread of salads, cheeses, hummus, fruit, vegetables, olives, yogurt, and the list goes on. Some of my favorites were the spinach bourekas, falafel, labaneh, hummus, tabbouleh, oriental salad, and pita with za'atar. For the less adventurous, there's also made to order eggs, and your standard "continental" items (toast, croissants, pastries, etc). There is also tea and coffee (try the arabic coffee!!), as well as carrot (must try!), orange, and lemon (lemonade) juice. Chilled bottles of Evian are also provided. If you leave here hungry, you've done something wrong.
I did not swim (pool was closed), but it looked absolutely amazing, with plenty of space around to sit down and lounge. There are locker rooms for men and women by the pool, with bathroom, shower, and locker facilities as needed. A Sauna is also available, but this is mixed company - there is no separate sauna for men/women.
I can't recommend this hotel enough, and I can't wait to go back. Next time, for a much longer period of time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Elegant, historical Boutique Hotel with complimentary hi speed WiFi in all guest rooms and public areas, complimentary use of business centre and 20 minutes free local & international calls. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- American Colony Jerusalem
- American Colony Hotel Jerusalem