We arrived at Tel Aviv Airport from London on a very early flight after haggling with a a Sherut taxi driver at 6.00am over what should have been a standard fare beacause he didn't have enough passengers to fill his van (Shared taxi should cost 60 shekels to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv Airport). When we arrived at the National Hotel we were greeted by Ms Nirvana who was very friendly and welcoming and very kindly gave us a drink and a complimentary early check in which was just what we needed. All the staff were nice and friendly from the owners, general manager, waiters and of course Ms Nirvana on reception who has been mentioned many times before who is one of a kind very helpful and full of energy…and the gentlemen who was on night reception whose name begins with B…(just like me to forget) whom deserves a mention. The room was adequate except no kettle but maybe we could have asked for one because the staff supplied an iron when asked for. If I had any complaint it was the room was cold at times especially the bathroom although the staff tried to resolve this whenever we brought it to their attention …maybe it was just me feeling cold. Oh and the bed was somewhat hard for my liking but there were lots of pillows.
Breakfast which was included was more than adequate with fresh eggs being cooked as you desired.
As highlighted by previous reviewers the area is in the Arab district and the streets and buildings do look somewhat run down compared to other areas in Jerusalem but it does give access to lots of small shops – bakeries, food and small grocery shops and even an English bookshop which served hot drinks and we never felt unsafe or had any problems in the locality.
From the hotel it only took about 5 minutes to walk to Herods Gate in the Old City but most of the time we walked to Damascus Gate (8-10 mins) or Jaffa Gate (15-20 mins) where more was happening. The new tramline (6.60 shekels a journey) doesn’t go to Herod Gate but does stop around Damascus Gate but there are buses (6.60 shekels a journey same cost as the tram) near the Hotel.
Overall we had a wonderful time in Jerusalem and the staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful.
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