Not a good experience.
I've been on a world tour and my 3 night stay at the Commodore Hotel was very marginal. My first clue things were going to be substandard was when I emailed the Commodore Hotel several days in advance to arrange a shuttle pick-up upon my arrival at Ben Gurion Airport and I received no reply. When I showed up a very friendly woman went through the usual details of checking me in and sent me on my way to my room. My room was adequate but I wouldn't consider it 'modern' as other commenters have. There were two single beds and the one I slept in was comfortable. The bathroom was lacking in terms of toiletries and housekeeping never replenished the towels I used, just removed them even though I was tipping the standard every day. There was no English language Israeli TV (JN1) news available for selection although there were two good US movie channels. The most annoying part about the room was this motion sensor timer system they have employed (I imagine it's to save wasteful power when no one is in the room but had forgot to turn things off). Having to turn the TV on every 20 minutes (or set the timer on my iPhone) was nothing short of maddening. Also I discovered that the safe in my room was already locked and of course, I couldn't use it. So I went to the front desk with that complaint and a gentleman told me they would send somebody up to fix it - that never happened. The next day I spoke to a different gentleman who told me that it would take 3 days to send in an engineer to fix it and generally put me off my hopeful notion that I would be able to use it.
When I asked about the shuttle back to the airport at check-in, the friendly woman told me it would have to booked at least a day in advance. So early on day 2 I spoke to the front desk a gentleman who told me he would arrange it. I was very specific about the day I wanted it because when I'm traveling internationally, I really don't care for any unexpected headaches. When arrived back at the hotel later that day, the earlier woman asked me why I had booked the shuttle for the next day.... I could go into more detail about the shuttle fiasco but to summarize IT NEVER DID SHOW, like I knew it wouldn't and I hate being right about matters of that nature. When I went to check out at 9:30am (my 'shuttle' was supposed to arrive at 9:45am - I 'booked' it with several hours to spare because I felt reasonably confident things weren't going to go as planned) there was NO ONE at the front desk. I waited 10 minutes and found the front desk staff member in the restaurant who seemed upset that I wanted to check out in advance (15 minutes) of my 'shuttle' pick up time. When it became apparent the shuttle was not going to show, the front desk staff member did an admirable job trying to put that fire out and the hotel paid for a taxi to take me to another hotel where the shuttle would (*fingers crossed*) pick me up and take me to the airport. She blamed the mistake on the shuttle company (I knew this was true because I was confident in the earlier woman's competence) explaining "they were Jewish". Indeed, the shuttle driver at least, was gruff and marginally competent (that episode a story in itself). I do wonder though why they avail their guests of a sub-standard service.... At least I got to the airport in time (with considerable consternation) and for a reasonable price.
Finally, I have to report some politically related observations. I want to be clear this has nothing to do with the Commodore Hotel. I never felt welcome in (Arab) East Jerusalem (where the hotel is located). My 'American' appearance (I'm Canadian) and accent clearly put me on the outs with the locals even though I make a point of being exceedingly polite. In the Muslim Quarter of the Old City a couple of vendors made clear (while not being hostile) they were not interested in my business. There are two convenience marts adjacent to the hotel and in both there was considerable discussion amongst the staff (in Arabic) prior to arriving at the final price and indeed afterwards. Nobody was smiling. For that reason alone I couldn't recommend Westerners stay at the Commodore Hotel or in East Jerusalem. Do visit the Old City but stay in West Jerusalem or Tel Aviv instead. Maybe if you're sympathetic to Palestinian issues you may be willing to overlook the hotel's and neighborhood's shortcomings...or perhaps I was just unlucky on both counts. I gave them the benefit of the doubt though but it just didn't work out for me.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Re-opened on 15th April 2011, the hotel features 45 luxury guest rooms with modern accommodation facilities in an unmatched boutique style interiors styled in contemporary flares with modern conveniences and modern style furniture including:- Electronic door locks- Air Condition- Telephone- 26" LCD TV with 16 satellite channels- Mini-bar- High speed internet. In addition, our skilled chef provides mix of local, oriental and western delicacies in our open buffet restaurant during lunch and dinner times. ... more less
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