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“Wouldn't Stay Anywhere Else”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Jerusalem Hotel

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Jerusalem Hotel
Ranked #49 of 98 Hotels in Jerusalem
Certificate of Excellence
NYC
Level Contributor
58 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Wouldn't Stay Anywhere Else”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 22, 2012

We constantly reminded one another how lucky we were to have chosen the Jerusalem Hotel. Although I give it only four stars for being a little rustic (which in a way is also one of its good points), I couldn’t imagine staying anywhere else in East Jerusalem. True, we had to walk up a number of stairs each time to get to our room, the handle kept falling off the cold water faucet, and the lock on the door broke, but any problems with the room were cheerfully and rapidly repaired. The owner and extended family who run the hotel (including their close friend Naser, who is a prize at the reception desk) are always around and solicitous. As fascinating and wonderful as Jerusalem is, it can be difficult to manage its political intricacies, and it can also be hot and tiring with all of its hills. To return to the Jerusalem Hotel after a long day and sit in its quiet, cool garden knowing that you don’t have to go out to search for a cold drink, a good meal and a place to relax becomes more important than you would have thought. If you want a modern, recently-renovated hotel that caters more to tourist groups, then go a little farther away from the Old City to the St. George Landmark Hotel. If you are looking for a true East Jerusalem experience where locals, international workers and independent travelers intermingle and compare notes relatively free from the political tension that hangs over the city, then you will love this hotel as much as we did.

Room Tip: If you have trouble climbing stairs, choose a room on a lower floor.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank diiplo11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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215 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Fort McMurray, Canada
Level Contributor
92 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2012

I have been staying at the Jerusalem since 1997. It is a quiet family owned and operated hotel. The outdoor patio restaurant is a pleasant place for a meal or drink. There is traditional palestinian music on Thursdays. Room have private bathrooms, flat screens, internet and air conditioning. For those so inclined there is hubble-bubble aka hookah to smoke.

Room Tip: On Thursdays there is traditional oud music which is amplified, you may prefer a room at the side or...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Safirehov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
246 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 7, 2012

I made the huge mistake of staying in a larger hotel and wish I had stayed here. Totally agree with the last reviewer's comments re supporting a palestinian owned hotel and I am ashamed now I did not do so. Also the one I stayed in was further away from the old city and totally devoid of character but full of tour groups... dire...
This hotel is beautiful, a 19th century mansion and a small boutique hotel. Quite unique and I will stay there if I go back- and recommend it to all my friends if they go over. Great covered terrace with outside heaters where we sat even when snowing and raining outside. 5 mins walk to the garden tomb and to the old city. I felt perfectly safe around there. Very reasonable price for Jerusalem.
I cannot speak highly enough of alternative tours who operate from the hotel- but do not do main stream tourist tours pls note- and offer political tours which provide a true insight into life and the difficulties for the palestinians (and armenians and others too for that matter). Essential to see the apartheid wall, refugee camps and settler areas which "funnily enough" the israeli tour guides do not show you... and to at least balance the propaganda of which I had plenty in Israel- and see both sides of the story and both sides of the awful berlin style apartheid wall dividing communities and people from their land.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Kate70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
104 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2012

A friend of mine recommended the Jerusalem Hotel, and I would recommend it to anyone staying in Jerusalem who is willing to pay at least US $100 a night for a room. The rooms are small but charming; while mine was narrow and the two twin-size beds were basic, the high ceiling and the wonderful decor more than made up for the lack of floor space. There were oddities, such as the bathroom door that banged against the sink when I opened it into the long, narrow bathroom; the towels were clean but only half-size. But the room and the bathroom were spotlessly clean, the HDTV worked well, and the furniture and furnishings created a wonderful Middle Eastern ambience. The English-language TV stations that I found on the TV included the BBC, CNN, France 24 and Fox News (for what that's worth). The full-size old-fashioned wooden wardrobe with arabesque carvings was a wonderful period piece. My only real complaint was that the wi-fi in the room was extremely unstable, so I had to go into the restaurant to get reliable wi-fi or use the one computer in the lobby area to check my e-mail. The restaurant is charming and sun-dappled in the morning and I found the breakfast more than ample; the buffet table had all of the items typical of a traditional Palestinian breakfast -- including some wonderful zata -- along with American-style cereal (choice of wheat flakes or raisin bran). I had a vegetable shawerma for dinner and it was large and tasty. The hotel staff wasn't overly friendly, but neither were they unfriendly; the only thing that annoyed me is that they didn't offer to store my bags in a secure location; they just directed me to leave them in the lobby. In contrast, the restaurant staff were friendly and extremely solicitous. I stayed at this hotel because I wanted to support a hotel that was Palestinian-owned and -operated, and I didn't feel unsafe in the Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem where the hotel is located, even if my Asian face made me a curiosity for the locals. As everyone else on this site has noted, the location -- just two blocks from the Damascus Gate -- could hardly be better. I had an inside room on the first floor which was relatively quiet; the only annoyance was an obnoxious stray cat that made noise outside of my window. The room itself was quite warm, which was unusual in my experience of Israel & the West Bank in the middle of January. I took a tour with Abu Hassan through another tour guide rather than through the hotel itself; I had some mixed feelings about the tour, but I did not find Abu Hassan too 'angry' (as one reviewer described him); I thought he was well-informed and relatively restrained, given the horrendous treatment that Palestinians are subjected to by the Israeli authorities. If you're looking for a standard American-style business class hotel with all the amenities, the Jerusalem Hotel is probably not for you; but if you're looking for a unique experience in a Palestinian hotel with ambience and charm, then I would recommend this one; and if it matters to you, staying here will also help support the continued presence of indigenous Palestinians in a city in which they are under siege by the Israeli government.

Room Tip: Ask for an inside room away from the front windows and the restaurant; there's a fair amount of...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank savvyworldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

The good thing about this hotel is that it's just a couple of minutes walk from Damascus Gate (one of the entrances to the old city, and good for public transport). The bad thing is that the hotel is way overpriced. It's small, but hardly "boutique". Rooms are gloomy, and full of fake old furniture. You can barely see out of the windows. The bathroom was tiny and worthy of something 1/3 of the price; so was the breakfast (carton juice, hard-boiled eggs only, flavourless jam). There's cable TV but most channels were pay-per-view. We wish we'd had stayed at a proper hotel such as the Ambassador, or saved some cash and stayed at the YMCA 3 Arches.

Room Tip: Our room was right in front of the restaurant - very noisy on Friday nights when they have a live si...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Stephane115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2011

The hotel was conveniently located within a short walking distance from the garden tomb and the Damascus Gate. The charming antique Mediterranean décor generated a unique ‘stepped back in time’ cultural experience. This is a small boutique hotel with character. The staff at the restaurant and front desk were friendly and helpful.
Whilst our experience at the hotel was great it is unfortunate that they associate themselves with the tour company, ‘Alternative Tours and Transportation’, who were absolutely awful.
The hotel arranged a private tour to “Nazareth – Tiberias – Sea of Galilee” on our behalf (the reason for the private tour was that the tour company was not offering this as a group tour for the dates we were in Jerusalem). We were met in reception by a man who with a flick of his wrist indicated we should follow him (he was talking on his mobile so we did not even get a hello out of him). We followed him to a van and took a seat. He commenced driving (still without any greeting as he was still on his mobile). About 10 minutes into the drive he finished his phone conversation and since he still did not make any attempt to speak with us I approached him and asked what was happening. He informed us he was our driver (still no introduction) for the day. We were a little shocked as given his unprofessional and unfriendly demeanour we assumed he was just picking us up to take us to the real ‘tour operator’. We advised that we didn’t book a driver we booked a private tour (we could have just arranged a taxi if this was the case – which we had the previous day and it turned out much cheaper and the driver was friendly and knowledgeable –what you would expect). He advised he was just a driver and couldn’t explain anything as he had no knowledge and we could read the free brochures provided at the sites. He then continued with “if you’re not happy I’ll drop you back to the hotel”. We were a little shell shocked, my partner was adamant that we should just go back to the hotel as given the initial experience the day was not going to get any better. I on the other hand, really upset at the thought of not visiting these sites prior to leaving Israel (we were leaving the next day) went against my better judgement and continued with the trip. It was, as expected, a big mistake and has left a very bad taste in our mouths of our experience in Jerusalem, Israel. By the end of the tour the driver had still not introduced himself or provided any insightful information on sights or his country. In fact, when we returned to the hotel I advised that I would like to speak to Management prior to making payment. He then started getting verbally and physically aggressive. He was calling us ‘idiots’ (which in fairness we obviously were for continuing on the trip) and whilst he did not touch me, he was physically threatening by flailing his arms around and getting right up in my face screaming and pointing at me. The hotel staff had to interject and hold him back – unbelievable! We remained calm and requested the hotel to call the tour management so we could express our disappointment in what I felt was in effect fraud, at a minimum false advertising. They sold me a private tour (which we paid good money for) and gave us a driver who was rude, unprofessional and completely unknowledgeable about any of the areas/sites we were visiting. The Manager of the tour company was not willing to offer any concessions and advised he would talk to the driver. We kept our word and paid the full amount – a shame the Manager did not feel he needed to keep his word. The grievances I highlighted to the Tour Company and hotel are as follows:
1. The service should not be advertised as a ‘tour’ or ‘private tour’. We should have been informed upfront that it was just transportation.
2. Staff/Drivers should always exhibit a friendly and professional demeanour. At a minimum I would expect a driver to introduce themselves at the start of the trip. At any point of the trip would have been helpful in this instance… how could someone who is so rude and unprofessional be representing the travel industry for his country??
After complaining to the hotel staff (who were actually present through the interchange and very understanding and helpful) we were advised that the hotel had received numerous complaints from hotel guests in the past and the hotel management continues to support them as they have a commercial deal whereby the tour company transport hotel staff home at the end of their late shifts for free. If only we had known this before being subjected to the terrible day with this tour company. This is disturbing that such a terrible tour company would be recommended to guests for the hotels own gain, especially when complaints had been made previously. We also asked to speak to the hotel management to share our experiences as he was not arriving until later and he did not bother to meet with us.
I would recommend the hotel, but stay away from ‘Alternative Tours and Transportation’.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank rhysmaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
155 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2011

We were pleasantly surprised by the vintage Palestinian decorations, the stone walled rooms and public areas, the balcony and vine-covered restaurant where the free breakfast may be taken. This hotel is half a block from the Garden Tomb, and two blocks from Damascus Gate. It was very convenient to the terminal for the shared bus from King Hussein/Allenby Bridge to Jordan, and to the terminal for shared bus to Bethlehem. This is obviously East Jerusalem -- part of the West Bank -- but is completely safe and affords a good feeling for Palestine. It is also a short walk to Jaffa Gate and Jaffa Street and its restaurants. It is close to very good Palestinian restaurants.

Room Tip: We always ask for two single beds to ensure a larger room. However, this hotel caters to European N...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Reamor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jerusalem Hotel

Property: Jerusalem Hotel
Address: Nablus Road | East Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
Location: Israel > Jerusalem District > Jerusalem > Down Town East Jerusalem
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 98 Hotels in Jerusalem
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Jerusalem Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A family run hotel situated in an old Arab mansion located only a few meters from the Garden Tomb and The Damascus Gate and within a short walking distance to major historical and cultural sites.Originally built by a feudal lord in the heart of the ancient city of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem hotel has been carefully renovated.Accentuate its 19th century Arab character and refurbished with Arabesque furniture.This distinct architecture is evident in the arched windows.High ceilings, cool stone flagging and secluded vine garden.The thick stone walls, cut from unique creamy Jerusalem stone,Have been exposed and pointed with a traditional Arabic plaster.Rooms are timelessly decorated with antiques inspiring a Middle Eastern oriental milieu.Each of our 14 rooms is custom-furnished, air conditioned and provides a state of the art, fast internet connection, network facilities, wireless internet, two direct dial, separate phone lines, and a Yes cable receiver for guests comfort viewing.Once upon a time a gentle women and men but are start our speech and pleasantries reach, we must offer greetings!and peace!Shall we tell tales tonight .or sleep?we'll tell tales ...once upon a time the storytellers tells such quenching grapes fell upon a place, named KAN ZAMANwhere doors open wide where nerves do unwind where friends and dear ones and visitor who loved once from every neighborhood and home do stay...Enjoying the charms of nights, and joys of the day...The two eating places, the airy 'VINE' garden-patio restaurant and the authentic Diwan (indoor) offer a rich variety of Mediterranean dishes as a full meal or as a snack at reasonable prices. Live Arabic music is organized weekly. The Diwan is ideal for parties accommodating up to forty guests.Whatever the reason for you to visit Jerusalem, our hotel offers the relaxed, warm and friendly atmosphere for you to enjoy. ... more   less 
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