Photo: Leonardo Plaza
Many of the big names on the Jerusalem hotel scene can be found in the city center and downtown Jerusalem. Staying in the city center is typically more expensive, but in terms of convenient access to major sites in the Old City, the best restaurants in Jerusalem and major public transportation arteries, there is no better choice. If budget is not an issue, then you will be spoiled for choice. The King David Hotel is one of the most famous luxury hotels in the city and is renowned for its elegance, old-world charm and first-class service. You can also opt for the nearby prestigious David Citadel Hotel, or the trendy modern Mamilla Hotel, which is the first design hotel in the city. Each of these hotels offer magical views of the nearby Old City.
There are a number of more modest yet high quality hotels in the city center, many of which are in or nearby the upscale neighborhood of Rehavia. The Dan Panorama on central Keren Hayesod Street as well as nearby Prima Royale Hotel are both popular with tour groups and families. The Leonardo Plaza up the street, adjoining Independence Park, is one of the tallest buildings in the city and offers outstanding dining options with restaurant Primavera run by top chef Shalom Kadosh. There are a bunch of smaller hotels near to Ben Yehuda Street that offer good value for money such as the stylish boutique Harmony Hotel and Jerusalem Inn. Abraham Hostel in the center of town is an ideal base for backpackers and for those on a budget.
In and near the Old City
Photo: American Colony
There is nothing quite as exciting as staying in the Old City in Jerusalem, just footsteps away from some of the most holy and scared sites in the world. Though you won’t find a choice of luxury hotels in the Old City, there are a number of authentic and special places to stay. The Austrian Hospice on the famous Via Dolorosa offers charming accommodation and magnificent views from its rooftop, whereas Alhashimi Hotel in the Muslim Quarter offers a special Arabic experience near to the Dome of the Rock and Damascus Gate. Protestant Christian pilgrims will enjoy tranquil Christ Church whereas Catholic Christian pilgrims will most likely opt for the impressive Notre Dame. Travelers on a budget can choose from a selection of decent hostels.
If you’re looking for close proximity to the Old City without the intensity of actually being in the heart of it all, then you may want to consider nearby hotels. The Mount Zion is known for its romantic and charming atmosphere and offers great value for money. Dan Boutique Hotel up the road is a modern and comfortable option. Both hotels are near to the new cultural hub The First Station and Emek Refaim Street with its many shops and restaurants, and are also next door to two of Jerusalem’s premier cultural institutions, the Cinematheque and the Khan Theater.
There are several top hotels situated in the American Colony precinct, both on the border of east and west Jerusalem as well as in East Jerusalem itself. The area has a unique feel and is not a far walk from the Old City’s Damascus Gate. If you’re looking for extraordinary and luxurious accommodation, you’ll enjoy the American Colony Hotel, popular with diplomats, journalists and those in the know. The nearby Dan Jerusalem, on the slopes of Mount Scopus, is a sprawling hotel that is well equipped for families, events as well as businessmen.
Photo: Jerusalem Gate Hotel
The entrance to Jerusalem is a convenient choice as a base when you plan on touring the country extensively, as it gives you convenient access to the city as well as the main road out of town. You can’t go wrong with the Crowne Plaza Jerusalem, with its location right next-door to the International Convention Center (Binyanei Ha’uma) and its unforgettable panoramic views. Popular with businessmen as well as families, the nearby Ramada Jerusalem is an affordable luxury hotel with extensive facilities and services. If you’re looking for a well-equipped hotel with a no frills approach, go for Prima Park Hotel Jerusalem. Or if you prefer an atmospheric guesthouse, check out Allenby #2 Bed & Breakfast. Each of these hotels are within walking distance of what is known as the Museum District, where you will find the famous Israel Museum and Bible Lands Museum, the Knesset, the Supreme Court and many other tourist attractions.
There are a couple of hotels located right by the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. This makes traveling around the country as easy as it gets and means you have quick access to the light rail as well as inner and inter-city bus network. Consider a stay at the Jerusalem Gold Hotel, which has a reputation as a friendly, comfortable hotel with affordable rates. The Orthodox Jewish community, in particular, enjoy staying at nearby Jerusalem Gate Hotel, which offers glatt-kosher (mehadrin) dining at its restaurant and bar, a synagogue with daily prayers, and even a mikvah (ritual bath) on site. These hotels are next to Center One shopping complex with a variety of shops and eateries as well as the landmark Chords Bridge (Bridge of Strings).
Photo: Inbal Hotel
Talbiyeh, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Jerusalem, is not only home to the President’s House and the Jerusalem Theater but is where you will find the Inbal Hotel, a warm and friendly luxury hotel that is popular with Americans and English-speakers. If you enjoy the feel of suburbia and don’t mind being a little further out, consider a stay at the Eden Hotel on a leafy green street near the Haas Promenade in the neighborhood of Arnona. And if you enjoy a country atmosphere or are looking for a hotel well set up for families, Ramat Rachel Hotel on Ramat Rachel kibbutz makes an excellent choice with its extensive facilities and sprawling country lawns. Ramat Rachel Hotel may be further out from the city center but is very near to both Rachel’s tomb and the town of Bethlehem.
Photo: Alegra Hotel
There are plenty of lovely hotels and guesthouses in the Jerusalem Hills and areas surrounding Jerusalem. This is ideal for those who prefer to be a little closer to nature yet well within reach of Jerusalem. Both Yearim Hotel and Shoresh Green Hills are nearby to national parks, hiking and bicycle trails, forests, monasteries and wineries. Yearim Hotel is well set up for events, whereas Shoresh Green Hills offers self-catering accommodation and is most suited to families, but also has an event venue nearby.
The quaint village of Ein Karem is another great option for those who prefer a more tranquil and slow-paced backdrop on their vacation but who also want to be near to the city center. The neighborhood is home to some major Christian sites as well as entrance points to some beautiful hiking trails. Alegra Hotel is a hip boutique hotel that is ideal for couples in pursuit of a decadent romantic getaway. On the contrary nearby Notre Dame de Sion – Ein Kerem is distinguished by its serene, clean, comfortable and simple accommodation – perfect for Christian pilgrims.