Unlike most cities, we didn't travel to Jerusalem to experience fine dining, hip coffee shops and a happening night life, but to experience the history it had to offer. With that in mind the Old City, being the focal point for much of that history, was the best place to stay for our three nights in Jerusalem. While the Old City does get deserted come evening, in no way did it feel unsafe and it was quite enjoyable to explore at night in relative peace compared to the day. In fact I'd argue that to truly experience it you really should explore it at night as well as the day.
The Hashimi Hotel was well located to do just that. A five minute walk and straight shot to Damascus Gate, where Arab Buses go to Bethlehem and other West Bank cities makes it a good location to explore other areas (Bus 21 on NW corner of roundabout just to the left of Damascus Gate goes to Bethlehem, take a taxi from last stop to wherever you need to go or for a tour). Based on reviews, it seems like some rooms are nicer than others. We were quite happy with our room- it was clean, the AC worked well, bathroom was very small but clean as well. I'd rate this hotel more in the 2.5 stars category. Be mindful that there are quite a few steps climb since there is no elevator.
Given the price paid, the hotel a great value for the location and a fantastic deal overall. I'd recommend staying here again. The only disappointments were that we had to wait a minute or so to get the hot water going (but very hot once it did) and the outrageous prices offered for arranging tours or transportation. The staff spoke English very well, were nice but not very helpful in finding our way around or providing alternatives to their options. Instead of paying $200 for a day trip to Hebron, we did the same for a fraction of the price taking the Arab bus and catching a taxi from there.
FYI, for transport to the airport, if you're taking a Sherut, make the reservation a day before (the hotel can make the call for you). The pickup is from Jerusalem Hotel (don't trust google maps), less than a five min walk north of Damascus Gate. If you decide to rent a car, there is a parking lot just to the left of Damascus Gate.
On a final note, don't forget to have some kanafeh from Jafar Sweets. It's super close to the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Al Hashimi Hotel and Hostel is located at Old City, Jerusalem, Israel. It offers air-conditioned accommodation rooms, all of which have a cable television, private toilet and bath, telephone, and an Internet connection. Some of its amenities include restaurant and cafe, tours and city trips, room service, and safe deposit boxes. While staying here, you can visit some interesting places like Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Dome of the Rock, and Via Dolorosa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hashimi Hotel Jerusalem