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“The Amerivan Colony Hotel is different” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The American Colony Hotel

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The American Colony Hotel
Ranked #10 of 97 Hotels in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
Karlsruhe, Germany
Level Contributor
42 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The Amerivan Colony Hotel is different”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2008

The hotel is situated on the 'seam' and therefor we had sometimes problems to find a taxi driver who would drive us there at night. It's a 10-15 min. walk from Damascus Gate. We had a room in the 'new' part. It was spacious, clean and interestingly furnished. Certainly not luxurious. This is true for the entire hotel. The breakfast buffet is good, but modest. We had dinner once. There isn't much atmosphere in the restaurant. The food was of good quality but nothing to write home about. If you look for arabic cuisine and atmosphere, go elsewhere. Service in the restaurant seemed a little bit disconnected at times. Front desk service was ok. They have a nice, well stocked bar with a pleasant bar-keeper. The court yard is a very beautiful and quiet place. The pool is small, but pleasant. Also the sauna is modest. There is a very interesting book shop oppposite the hotel, as well as a a nice souvenir shop. All in all the American Colony is a nice place, but it's reputation exceeds reality.

  • Liked — court yard, bookshop
  • Disliked — general atmosphere, price
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ABCM_nchen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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935 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (191)
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English first
San Francisco, CA, USA
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2008

The American Colony is a nice hotel in the middle of what can be a chaotic city. I will leave the opinions of the neighborhood, etc., to others on this board but I will offer a few practical items to keep in mind.

The room:
The door locks are rather unusual as you have to use your room key to lock the door from the inside. That might be fine if you could just leave your key in the door overnight but you also need your key to operate the power and air conditioning for the room. This was rather disconcerting as had there been a need to evacuate in the middle of the night, especially if the power was out, you would have to fumble to find your key hanging on the wall and then somehow get it into the door lock to unlock the door. My recommendation is either to ask for a second key for your room or else to make sure you bring a small flashlight to this hotel “just in case.”

The king bed was very comfortable but, as there is a footboard, it was just a bit on the short side short for a tall person.

There is no clock radio nor any other kind of timekeeping device in the room so be sure to bring your own alarm clock!

There is no iron nor ironing board provided in the room if that is important to you. I did not check to find out if you could request one to be delivered by housekeeping.

The service:
As for the service it was a bit inconsistent. The check-in process was smooth and the staff very friendly but housekeeping seemed to be a bit slow (they did not attend to my room until mid-afternoon despite the fact that I had the ‘make up room’ hanger up since 8am). There was no answer on the 24 hour room service line several times early in the morning and it also took quite a long time to be served and to get the bill at the lovely courtyard restaurant. If you do have lunch at the courtyard be sure to check out the daily special which comes with bread, soup or salad, a nice main course, and coffee. The lunch special runs about USD$30. The included breakfast buffet is excellent and don’t miss out on the omelet station!

Other:
If you are settling you hotel bill in a foreign currency you do not have to pay the rather substantial VAT tax for most items charged directly to your room. If you do dine in the hotel, or order drinks at the pool, make sure you charge the meals to your room as this will save you a nice bit of change in the end. This VAT tax will, in fact, show up on the bill when you sign at the restaurant but don’t be alarmed – it will be removed when you check out. It appears that this VAT tax was removed automatically as, while I was prepared for a fight over this issue, it was taken care of at check-out with no discussion and no problem.

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank SFTraveler10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel-Aviv,Israel
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2008

The American Colony Hotel is a beautiful place to stay in when in Jerusalem and we had been planning to do so, with our friends, for a long time. Following a deal ad in the newspaper, we booked 2 rooms for 2 nights and our reservation was confirmed for 2 Pasha Suites.After a visit at the Museum of Islam, which we recommend, we arrived at the hotel and had a nice lunch in the alhambra-like courtyard after which we were shown to our rooms nos. 4 & 5 on the second floor of the old building. Remember rooms 4 & 5 when making your reservation. The rooms are fantastic, they open on one side on a long narrow corridor overlooking the courtyard restaurant and on the other side on a balcony overlooking the pool.After a rest and a swim, as we were getting ready to go out, we heard a lot of noise outside and when we opened the door we saw the preparations for a party on a large terrace, The Pasha Terrace, directly opposite our rooms. There was a buffet and a steady stream of guests coming in. We went out hoping it would be just a 5 o'clock thing and it would be over by the time we got back. Unfortunately that was just the aperitif, and it appears that down the hall on the same floor is the Pasha Room for Banquets and the party there was in full swing and volume by the time we came back.The worst thing was that all the catering service was made on trolleys along the narrow corridor alongside the doors to our rooms. the trolleys carrying food traveled noisily back and forth at high speed spilling food on the floor so that we had to step over the grease to reach our rooms, the heating recipients were discarded in a pile blocking the way to the elevator. We called the reception and asked the guy to come up and see for himself.He came up, stepped over everything in the way, looked around as if we had bothered him for such a minor thing and said: "thank you for bringing this matter to my attention". No apology! No:"I'm sorry"! what hotel school did he attend? Is this "The Leading Hotels of the World"?
or "Relais et Chateaux"????? Hardly.
The noise went on for a long time until everything was cleared away. We decided not to let it spoil our vacation, took a sleeping pill but the bad taste remained. The place is great but not the staff, except for one waiter and the doorman who was very helpful. And once you step out of the complex you find yourself walking along trash filled streets and broken sidewalks.
And no! we won't go back. It is not worth it. There are so many nice and friendly places.

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
8 Thank benben_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roslyn, ny
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2008

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Jordan and Israel including a four night stay at the American Colony hotel. I decided to stay there based on other traveler reviews on Tripadvisor. The hotel is very well known in the area, and it is quite beautiful. However, as a Jewish American, it is somewhat disconcerting to be in the Arab portion of Jerusalem. The mosque is across the street and the muezzin is audible at dawn. The area has a street of restaurants that involves walking in a "sketchy" neighborhood of trash filled streets and lots. For similar money you could be in the "other" Jerusalem, the King David, David Citadel, etc. As for the hotel, we had a Pasha suite, but it had stairs to the bathroom, which we didn't like. For half the money, we switched to a very comfortable deluxe room which is more than adequate for the hotel. The breakfasts are great, the staff personable, but variable in quality. The evening concierge was better than the day one. The hotel is relaxing and historic, and with the courtyard and pool you forget you are in a very busy city. I felt more comfortable though taking taxis to get to where you were going- even our tour guide took the taxi to start a tour of the Old City. To get to the other parts of Jerusalem also entailed taxi rides. The nearest bus station was an "Arab" one, and did not go to the other areas of significance in Jerusalem. I could only recommend this hotel to those willing to be a little more adventurous, and willing to see Jerusalem from the Arab perspective.

  • Liked — history, great rooms
  • Disliked — location
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank andyone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
padova, italy
Level Contributor
147 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2008

How many hotels in the world are significant to a given city like the American Colony of Jerusalem, Israel? Probably few, very few. When you walk past the front door of this little (not so little, as you'll discover after you'll have explored the annexes...) palace, you will enter the history of the last two centuries in Jerusalem. A history which you'll feel made of secret talks, agreements, compromises, offerings, requests - by diplomats, officers, spies, businessmen, common people - always in a low voice, while sitting in the shadow of the wonderful courtyard, or in the old rooms belonging to a bygone era. There is of course a lot of romance in it, but it feels pleasant, understated, relaxed...
Wonderful. And costly as well, but worth the price. The rooms of the old building are somehow dusty, nicely (if you like the taste) furnished, wide with lots of flavour. The rooms of the new building are certainly less intriguing, although very comfortable. The restaurant ranks among the best in town, and you'll not be disappointed by the quality of the food. The service is sloooow, and the waiters could easily be a bit more friendly.

  • Liked — the feeling
  • Disliked — two hours for a meal...
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank antoniosecchi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicester
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2008

My first night in Jerusalem was not at the American Colony but across the road at another chain hotel. As a war was going on at the time (it is Israel) that hotel was full of refugees from the north of the country and disgruntled young americans confined for their own safety. The latter were so rude and resentful I checked out and checked into the American Colony.

This was the best impulse decision. The AC is a lovely eccentric historic place with attentive staff and decent food and rooms. It is also a meeting place for all sorts of people who normally do not speak to each other in public (this is Israel after all). Lots of interesting guests to chat to in the outdoor courtyard restaurant.

The area does need a little care (it is East Jerusalem) but nearby oases of sanity are the Anglican cathedral of St George and French Dominican Ecole Biblique.

Many of the hotel staff are Palestinians and Israel Arabs so it is possible to hear sane alternative voices amidst the general madness that is Israel and especially found in Jerusalem

If I ever return to Jerusalem - it is to the American Colony that I will return with much pleasure and gratitude.

  • Liked — The history
  • Stayed June 2006, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Durer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, CA
Level Contributor
80 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2008

Our extended family recently returned from an eight day stay in Jerusalem. We chose the American Colony Hotel because of its excellent reviews, but also because we didn't want to stay at a big generic stone edificed West Jerusalem hotel. We wanted a more exotic, authentic Middle Eastern experience. We have stayed at very fine hotels, so our expectations were high. We were not disappointed.

Thanks to Chantal at Regent Tours (I highly recommend them), we got excellent rates on our rooms, all of which were beautiful and in different parts of the hotel. My husband and I stayed in Room number 14, one of the Pasha Deluxe rooms off of the central courtyard. It was enormous, with a large terrace overlooking the pool.

This is an unusual hotel, one of a kind in Jerusalem. You won't find busloads of Americans here, but an eclectic mix of people. On our first morning at the hotel, we sat next to Tony Blair's entourage (he had already left), and saw across the courtyard a famous artist/film director. The people here are as colorful as the hotel -- different races and nationalities, non-Jew and Jew, straight and gay. The grounds are beautiful -- palm trees, tropical flowers, jerusalem stone and vibrant bird life. A gentle warning -- You must get used to the "Call to Prayer" if you stay at the A.C,, as you will hear it loudly and clearly five times a day from the neighboring mosque. If you are a light sleeper, use a pair of earplugs at night.

Although we are solidly identified Jews, we felt completely at home and welcome at the American Colony, a mostly arab run hotel. Still, if you are a strictly observant Jew, or are politically very right of center, you might not feel wholly comfortable here. It is obviously not a kosher hotel, and lies on the border of East and West Jerusalem. As to the location, it was not an issue or us. We felt comfortable walking to the Domascus Gate by day, and there were always taxis in the evening. The hotel is literally acoss the street from three newish big Jewish hotels, so don't believe it when you hear that the A.C. is in the middle of East Jerusalem.

Now on to the service -- We found the service at the hotel consistently excellent. Everyone seemed quite willing and anxious to make our stay a special one. I will say, however, that we Americans have to get used to the slower pace of Middle Eastern service in bars and restaurants. This is uniformly the case, we found, all over Israel. You will be graciously served your drinks or food, but don't expect the waiter to dash over and ask you if you need a refill soon. In Jerusalem, everyone takes their time. The A.C. is no exception, but I would say the service is BETTER and more gracious here than at the big hotels. We had drinks at the King David, and dinner at the American Citadel. Their service was not at all as good as at the A.C.

Finally, if your budget allows it, and you are looking for a beautiful, unique hotel in Jerusalem, than I highly recommend the American Colony. We absolutely loved it and can't wait to return one day.

  • Liked — Beautiful hotel and accommodations, excellent service
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Kenya2010
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

Property: The American Colony Hotel
Address: 1 Louis Vincent Street, Jerusalem 9720071, Israel
Phone Number:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Jerusalem
#4 Spa Hotel in Jerusalem
#5 Family Hotel in Jerusalem
#5 Romantic Hotel in Jerusalem
#8 Luxury Hotel in Jerusalem
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The American Colony Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 93
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
American Colony Jerusalem
American Colony Hotel Jerusalem

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