The main thing going for the Al-Gawaher are its very friendly, hospitable, helpful and laid-back group of guys who work there - a breath of fresh air from my experience of the usual distant, vacant and aloof service in Middle Eastern hotels.
I stayed in Al-Gawaher for 5 nights. The price is very cheap (400 Syrian pounds for a single room without bathroom, 600 SYP for one person a double room with bathroom, 1200 SYP for two people in a triple room with bathroom). Sleeping on mattresses on the roof is even cheaper, but unfortunately that wasn't an optioon at this time because I was there in winter.
There is unlimited free wi-fi available, which is great (and rare for the Middle East!). Hanging out in the lobby is a good way of meeting other travellers, and the staff can be both talkative or leave you alone on your laptop, whatever you prefer, they're very relaxed.
My main complaint about the hotel is the fact that the availability of hot water is very erratic, to non-existent at times! I had to run the 'hot' tap for a good 15 mins to get the hot water to flow, and often it didn't become hot/warm at all, no matter what time of day it was...not good in the wintertime in Aleppo! Also, the surface/bottom of the shower design is very dangerous - it is a split-level surface in the bathtub that you have to stand in to have a shower, so it is very slippery and awkward to stand in...I fell down once! There is also a chronic lack of toilet paper and soap in the hotel. No breakfast available.
However, there are either electric heaters and fans or split-system air conditioners in every room, the rooms are large, beds comfortable with sufficient blankets, facilities are clean for the most part and the location of the hotel is excellent, right between the Al-Jdeida Christian Quarter and the Old City, the 2 main areas of interest in Aleppo.
I would recommend this hotel for budget travellers, especially backpackers, as a laid-back no-frills place to meet people...just watch your step in the (cold) shower!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A clean and nice cheap hotel, located in city center, vey close to the old city and the Citadel. Quiet environment. ... more less