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“A mixed bag of hospitality”

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Mount of Olives Hotel
Ranked #76 of 101 Hotels in Jerusalem
Reviewed 1 September 2011

I stayed 16 days at The Mount of Olives Hotel. My first trip to Jerusalem really my first out of the states.

The good:
The staff for the most part is helpful and courteous.
My room was kept clean.
The breakfast which is included is amazing.
There are computers to use and free wi-fi
The owner is from the states and went well beyond being friendly and helpful to me.
One cab driver in particular was very nice and only ripped me off once which I overlooked.
Very close to the Old City and the Garden of Gethesmane
The money changer is near by and gives decent exchange and also the owner spent time in the states. Why the hotel doesn't make his services known was a question I never got answered.
The room safe was very secure.
The Kiosk across the street sells pretty damn good sandwiches and has pop, cigarettes and candy. I wouldn't go in there when the teenagers were working the prices jumped up compared to the regular guy.

The Bad:
My room was something resembling a flea bag hotel. Other rooms were far nicer than mine. They are remodeling so I will grant the belief that my room hadn't been remodeled yet.
There was no wi-fi in my room. Ten steps from my room it worked fine. Just not in my room.
No laundry service that I was aware of.
Very bad neighborhood at night. A friend I met there was robbed near by. I don't blame the hotel for this but a careless traveler who should have been smarter about being out at night. There is no warning from the staff about this.
The call for prayer will wake you from a dead sleep till you get used to it.
The hotel appears to be something of a boarding house for locals. It makes breakfast very interesting.
There was no tv in my room. I didn't complain tho. I believe others did and were quickly accommodated with new rooms. I didn't care enough to bother asking.
Avoid the idiot across the street and his restaurant. He didn't know that I recognized some of the swear words he was using about me.
The tour company ( the brochures are in the lobby) who's name escapes me is terrible. Get a few people together and just hire a car. Far more pleasant.
No shampoo in the rooms. There is a store down the block that sells it.

Overall:
Many of the staff were very helpful to me when I had some difficulties with my master card. The owner himself even offered assistance. The older gentleman who I think told me his name was Joseph was very kind and helpful. The breakfast is really amazing. The cab driver I used most of time was quite a character. Really a highlight during some low points. My room was rather well cheap and disgusting. I was in other rooms that were 4 star so I am unsure of the difference. My biggest complaint that deals directly with the owner and his staff was that they know getting cash is a priority for travelers and yet they play stupid as to where the atms are and the money exchanger around the corner. There is an ATM at Jaffa Gate too. Do not use the one in the college town near by. It doesn't recognize American cards. The cab driver took me here .. why not Jaffa Gate or the money changer around the corner that he took me to 3 days later I will never know. I ended up paying for a wasted trip. He later got me in and out Bethlehem so he made up for it. Avoiding a rather through search and grilling check point.

Now here's a highlight. Me and another traveler had a very early day and had scheduled a tour together. The cook came in early and made us a breakfast probably a few hours before breakfast was served. Try getting that in the states. He will as I found out the last day there will cook you an omelets or scramble you some eggs.

I witnessed the staff there be very kind to the elderly that stooped to rest in the lobby.

Now would I stay there again. Yes. It is far more interesting than a touristy hotel. Far more private than a hostel. Some of the locals ( a policeman of all people) told me I was ripped off for what I was paying but I honestly think I got a good deal but would have been far more happier with a better quality of room and wi-fi that worked in the room.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank Rotten_Johnny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 57 of 108 reviews

Reviewed 27 June 2010

Nothing was too much trouble for the staff at the Mount of Olives Hotel.

There is no AC but the wind howls around the building at night (in a pleasant way) which makes it cool. The neighbourhood is certainly noisy day and night and, yes, the call to prayer from the mosque can be loud, but I enjoyed the experience, personally.

I caught the bus back to the hotel every evening but i did so no later than 7pm, and then took an early night. If you are staying out late, I would probably recommend using a taxi to get back. Certainly do not walk on the Mount of Olives (the actual mountainside where all the churches are) at night as this is a well-known thieving hotspot.

The breakfast is good, Internet access is excellent, the staff can arrange taxis and tours quickly.

The Mount of Olives is a Palestinian area. This caused me no problems but it is worth noting as it is true that some taxi drivers in Jerusalem will refuse to take you there, and only Arab buses (departing from the bus terminal at Damascus Gate) go there.

My room was basic, but good. There was a safe in the closet.

They serve dinner, but also recommended to me a restaurant around the corner. I forget the name but it is the only one of the 2 nearby restaurants the hotel staff will recommend. It was wonderful: great food, great decor, friendly people.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled solo
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3  Thank LeilaN5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2010

First, let me say, I've stayed here twice over the past few years. The fact that I came back can attest to the genial nature of the staff and fairly decent price. The location is great for those wanting to stay outside a tourist style hotel and experience some Palestinian culture. It's a quick walk to the best overlook of the Old City at night or day; 10 min to the Garden of Gethsemane & cabs/buses. Most taxi drivers know the place ("ya', it's my neighborhood!). The breakfast is typical of the region, with humus, cold cuts, fresh bread, salads, cereals, etc. Web access is decent & was in the original house (see the website for history). Staff always greets you kindly and is available to hook up a tour or cab. There's a local snack shop across the street and an excellent falafal place a few doors down. NOW... about the ROOMS... the place is in pretty sad shape. I've never found crawlies in the bed or had to clean the shower, but the last time I picked the economy room and had to switch after the toilet began leaking all over the floor. The soap was't packaged... just random pieces left from the previous occupants. Most surfaces haven't been dusted in awhile. The carpet begs for socks, if not shoes. It's a step above a rough hostel and fine for those of us who are just sleeping and can leave our white glove test back home. If they'd paint, recarpet and deep clean every 6 mos, the place would be fine. If you have Hampton Inn standards, I recommend you stay there and leave this one for those with a more rustic nature.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ScottandSuzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2010

The hotel is located on the top of the Mt. Of Olives which is in Arabic quater. Not so far away from the Old Town and really closed to many interesting places. But on the evening it is better to go to the hotel by taxi. Rooms are small and modestly furnished, but comfortable. There was buffet breakfast with huge selection of local dishes. The hotel staff was friendly. We enjoyed our stay in this hotel and I can really recommend this place - just be ready for the singing of Muezzin from the minaret which is nearby at 4 A.M., but it is irresistible middle-eastern :-)

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank LucieGiselle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2009

We booked Mount of Olives Hotel based on the recommendation of a traveler we met in Jordan. It was very sound advice. This is an older hotel that has clearly seen better days. However, it's unique location on the Mount of Olives provided great value for money.

Our room had LCD satellite television, free Internet, a room safe, and hair dryer. Rooms were reasonable size (4mx4m). No a/c. Towels had a fresh smell and were plentiful. No room amenities were provided except small bars of soap. Coffee and tea was available for free in the dining room 24/7.

The staff was very friendly and helpful especially Emad who advised us on tours to Bethlehem and Jericho. Location was perfect on the Mount of Olives, surrounded by the famous churches and overlooking the Old City. Walking up and down the hill was a challenge. We took the bus often to and from Damascus Gate.

This was by far the best hotel we stayed in while in Israel. The rooms were clean and well-maintained. The Wi-Fi signal was very strong throughout the hotel. My laptop and camera easily fit inside the room safe which put my mind at ease throughout the stay.

The most enjoyable aspect was meeting and interacting with other guests who came literally from the four corners of the world with very differing beliefs and backgrounds. The morning breakfast room was a mini United Nations of religions, peoples and nationalities. Unlike the other hotels we stayed at in Israel, the informal atmosphere made it easy to strike up interesting conversations.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank massimo_occhionero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 June 2009

Good points about this hotel:
- very helpful staff
- modest prices
- rooms are ok, with cable television but no air conditioning

Bad points:
- the surroundings are pretty noisy, with lots of cars passing in front of the hotel and, since the hotel is next to a mosk, you'll be awaken every morning at 5 a.m. by the call for the morning prayer (the first night it REALLY wakes you up but you'll get used to it pretty fast...)
- the hotel is located in the Arabic part of Jerusalem : the collective taxis you can get at Ben Gourion airport won't drop you there and you'll have to take a second taxi from the old city. Same thing with some tours you can book in Jerusalem (like a day trip to the Dead Sea) : the bus won't pick you up at the hotel and you'll have to walk to other hotels near the center
- since it's located on the mount of olives, getting to the old city is a 40 mn walk : in the morning, when you just have to go down the hill, it can be very nice but at night...
- breakfast is... ehem... horrible

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Andre N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2009

We liked this hotel, but it lacked basic amenities. No shampoo, no coffee maker, two thin bars of soap. No maid service, which was fine, but a change of towels after three nights would have been nice. The WiFi didn't work. The twin beds which we pushed together kept sliding apart, so if you want to sleep next to your spouse, forgetaboutit!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank juliethegardener
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mount of Olives Hotel

Address: 53 Mount of Olives Rd, Jerusalem 91190, Israel
Region: Israel > Jerusalem District > Jerusalem
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #76 of 101 Hotels in Jerusalem
Price Range: £44 - £84 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Mount of Olives Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 61
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mount Of Olives Jerusalem

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