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“Charming Hotel with lots of history and excellent service”

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The American Colony Hotel
Ranked #10 of 100 Hotels in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 17, 2012

This is a charming Hotel with lots of history. Despite necessary renovations the Hotel still managed to keep its personality, and you will definitively notice its remarkable elegance and style.

The rooms are very well decorated, in colonial style. The sleep quality is very good, and you will find all the comfort items you'd expect from a 5 star Hotel. Wireless Internet was free. Satellite TV was OK. The safe could be larger (not enough for laptops). The room size was very good, even if not in line with modern 5-star Hotels.

Breakfast was excellent, with a very large selection and great quality. Check in and check out were fast and efficient, and other areas (bars, gardens, swimming pool) are also very charming.

The Hotel complex has plenty of free parking. The Damascus gate of the old city is 10 minutes walk from the Hotel.

The price-quality ratio I got was excellent, but your mileage may vary.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank john2008a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 11, 2012

There is a movie set quality to the American Colony hotel that takes you back in time. It could be circa 1900 and the hotel has this elegance and style of another time. You could imagine Agatha Christie walking through. The hotel is elegant, yet updated. Tinges of age lend authenticity to a hotel that has lived through history. Our room (the deluxe pasha) was huge with a main room, dressing room and then the palatial bathroom. Two french doors led out onto the patio. Outside there is a beautiful patio, a book store and shop. The grounds are like an oasis. Behind the main building is a wonderful pool The pictures on the website are exactly what you get.

The breakfast buffet was extensive, fresh and delicious. We ate the humus, roti, falafel and pita everyday. The hotel is only a fifteen minute walk to Old Jerusalem and we didn't have any trouble getting to the Herod or Damascus gate. The waiters and hotel staff were very nice. I stay in a lot of hotels, but this one is truly special and memorable. It's living in a part of history.

Room Tip: We stayed in the East Building, room 54. It has it's own private patio and looks out onto the m...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MGL324
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2012

I stayed at the American Colony Hotel for about 8 nights between the end of October and beginning of November/2012 and my stay couldn’t have been better. The main reason why I chose this hotel was (1) the proximity to the Damascus Gate in the Old City, (2) because it is a historical building – actually, a complex – and (3) because of the excellent ranking from Trip Advisor . The hotel is situated in the heart of the Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem and the walking distance to the Damascus Gate is about 10-15 minutes. Together with the Jaffa Gate, this is one of the main accesses to the Old City. There are a few souvenir shops, one or two grocery stores and an ATM on the way to the Gate. I felt perfectly safe walking back to hotel late at night. I read in some of the previous reviews that people complained about the nearby Mosque because of the calls to prayer early in the morning – I can’t speak to that because my room was opposite to the Mosque and I couldn’t hear anything.
I stayed in a small but very comfortable room in the Palm House, one of the several buildings that form the complex. The building had just been remodeled and you could still see the final touches been given. My room literally smelled like new – new furniture, new tiles, new bathroom – and, in fact, I was told that I was the first guest to stay there after the remodeling was completed. Maybe because of that the wi-fi did not work when I first tried it. I talked to the front desk and the next time I was back in the room I found an Ethernet cable so that I could connect my laptop directly to the network. However, that would not resolve the issue with all those apps we got so used to: my iphone still wouldn’t work other than just a cell phone… Not a problem: they sent me a wireless router and then everything worked perfectly. There was a small flat screen TV on the wall with local channels, CNN and BBC, among others. There’s also a mini-bar stuffed with all sort of goodies and beverages. The bathroom had a tub with shower and glass doors, toilet, a large mirror on the wall and a very interesting tile pattern in black and white that somehow always reminded me I was in the Middle East.
The staff, the Front Desk team in particular, couldn’t be more polite and ready to help. They gave me suggestions about places to go, restaurants to eat (try “The Eucalyptus” outside the walls of the Old City and close to the Mamilla Mall) or specific details about some very unusual places I wanted to visit, like the Horns of Hattin, near Tiberias. Having breakfast and dinner at the courtyard couldn’t be more pleasant. The breakfast buffet has a variety of breads, fruits, cakes, salads and cheese. At dinner, besides the usual menu, there was always the day’s special, always delicious, making you wonder what would be next day’s dinner. The waiters, somehow criticized in some of the previous reviews, were always around, ready to take an order, bring more bread or another glass of wine.
The hotel has always 3 or 4 taxis ready to take its guests to close destinations or far ones, like Bethlehem or Jericho. As a suggestion to ANY taxi ride (starting at the Hotel or not), always ask the driver BEFORE the ride if the payment is going to be by the meter or a pre-fixed price. All taxi drivers are able to communicate in English, some of them, very fluently. It’s always interesting to talk to them about aspects of the daily life in Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular.
My whole vacation in Israel was absolutely awesome and I’ll definitely go back in a year or two – there’s so much still to see! Staying at the American Colony is a must to me and I can’t think of any other hotel to stay at while in Jerusalem.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank albnas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

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.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Main Building are close to breakfast and the lobby lounge.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2012

This hotel is very interesting as it was formerly a palace. The grounds are spectacular. There are older olive trees interspersed around the gardens and such. You can take a stroll, meditate, or meet with friends and you won't be disappointed. The rooms were very interesting. We stayed in a large mini-suite on the first floor. It was overlooking the pool. We were awakened by the early morning Azan or call to prayer. The ambiance was irreplaceable. Could I make changes to the hotel? Yes, but the experience was very worth it. Besides, how often can you say you've stayed in a palace before? Anyway, life is about creating memories and you will definitely walk away with some fond ones by staying here!

I brought my family (two young girls). They were in awe and loved the gardens. The breakfast was a Mediterranean style buffet and it was quite delicious.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank E B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2012

The public areas and gardens are lovely, but the rooms and amenities are disappointing. Beds and bedding need to be upgraded/updated. The sheets were thin, and the mattress cover did not cover the entire mattress. The plumbing in the bathrooms also needs to be upgraded -- old water faucets that never could quite mix the hot and cold properly, and there was a problem with hot water late in the day so if you wanted to take a shower after a long day of sightseeing and before dinner, you couldn't really do it. Service was fine, and the food was good (OK breakfast, and had one dinner, which was good). I probably wouldn't stay here again.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank PAlaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

I think this place gets a bit of a "bye" because it is in East Jerusalem and everyone wants to be "fair." The hotel is certainly not bad but it is not exactly in the 5 star category, except that on the east side of the city it is the best available. Certainly no match for the 5 star hotels in the western part of the city. I had apartment #6 which is the presidential suite; has a nice balcony and it is a nice room but beware of the various steps near the doors; don't stay in this room if you are afraid of falling. The soaps in my bathroom cracked in half right out of the box; I didn't see any shoeshine service available; there was no evening turndown; the clock next to the bed was an hour ahead even though they had changed to winter time a month ago, and I felt a little like that you come here and "rough it" a little bit and say that you were here and you're not supposed to expect that it is that good. Service was pretty friendly, the gym and pool were fine, the spa service was very good; and breakfast was fine. I really liked the gardens with the smell of the spices. In this neighborhood, I don't think people tend to walk off the hotel grounds and around in the eastern part of the city, certainly not at night. Even after 45 years from 1967, it still feels like a "pending" area -- feels like walking around the Turkish part of Nicosia in Cyprus. This is definitely a historical property and it is interesting walking around the hotel late at night looking at all the memorabilia. Definitely come once for a night, but I couldn't see myself doing more than that at this property. I want to be somewhere where I can step out and walk around more and if it is a Leading Hotels hotel then it should deliver excellence on all fronts.

Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
2  Thank 649ic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The American Colony Hotel

Address: 1 Louis Vincent Street, Jerusalem 9720071, Israel
Location: Israel > Jerusalem District > Jerusalem > American Colony
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Jerusalem
#5 Romantic Hotel in Jerusalem
#5 Family Hotel in Jerusalem
#7 Luxury Hotel in Jerusalem
Price Range: $250 - $567 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The American Colony Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 92
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

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