The Merkaz Shimshon-Beit Shmuel complex is a property that houses offices and activities for the World Union for Progressive Judaism. There is a hostel (the Beit Shmuel hostel) as well as a separately-located floor of hotel rooms. We stayed in one of the hotel rooms. These are located across the courtyard from the reception desk (opposite side of the complex from the hostel) and up a flight of stairs (or elevator) and through a door--it feels more like being in a converted wing of an office building than in a hotel. The roughly dozen hotel rooms surround a lounge area, and it seems that the rooms are often booked by groups who are attending weddings or bar mitzvah parties in the ballroom on the floor above. The members of these groups, understandably, use this lounge area to gather and socialize. We didn't mind too much but lighter sleepers might object to groups gathering outside their hotel room doors. On the other hand, lighter sleepers probably would already be bothered enough by the thumping of the loud DJ music from the ballroom above!
The room itself was spacious and nicely designed, with lots of horizontal space for suitcases as well as a desk and a good closet. We were traveling with our teenagers who don't share a bed well, so in addition to the fold-out couch, the hotel provided us with a rollaway bed. Since we didn't know how to roll it away, this did take up what would otherwise have been some open floor space, but it fit. Folding up the couch during the day restored the room to a fairly uncrowded state, even for four of us. The room and bath were both clean.
Note that there isn't maid service on Saturday--hang up those towels after your shower! And although shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel were provided, the supply wasn't replenished during our four-night stay.
The breakfast area is shared with those staying in the hostel (I think), because one morning we shared the space with an enormous group of high school students on a confirmation trip. Other mornings were much quieter (I think the wedding parties slept in). The breakfast wasn't impressive--I've had better breakfasts at a Hampton Inn--but it was adequate.
All this being said, the location is terrific and I don't think we'd have been able to find any other lodgings that could accommodate four of us for the price. We paid $250/night including breakfast during the last week of December. (There was a 20% discount for January stays, and they did give us that price for our last night, which was January 1.) If I were traveling with just my husband, or had a more generous budget to work with, I think I'd choose somewhere else on my next visit, but I also think this was the best choice for my family on this visit, considering what we were looking for in terms of space, location, and price.