This hotel is probably good value for the money, but you must be prepared to deal with some definite inconveniences and issues. There are reasons why this place is relatively low cost, even though it is in an excellent location. There are also reasons why it has received good reviews. In my opinion, it's a very mixed bag.
Pros: Excellent location, near Zion Square. It's near Jaffa St. and Ben Yehuda pedestrian streets. It's a lively area full of activity, shops, cafes, 24-hour grocery stores, and just about anything you could want. I loved this environment.
Cons: (1) There is NO TAXI ACCESS! The hotel is on a pedestrian street with no vehicular access nearby. You will have to walk for several blocks from you taxi to get there. Getting a taxi to leave was a major problem. The owner told me if he called a taxi to meet me nearby, they taxi company would immediately start charging 100 Shekels as soon as the call ended and the charges would continue until I reached my destination. On Friday (Shabbat) morning, there simply were no taxis around on the nearby streets. I had a lot of luggage and this was a problem. I dragged everything for several blocks over to the Jerusalm Towers, which seemed to be the closest place for taxi access. I actually was meeting a Bein Harim Tour Group there, but Jerusalem Towers did seem to be the closest place to get a taxi at that time. (2) It gets VERY NOISY and you can hear outside noises in your room from blocks away. If you are bothered by noise, this is not the place for you. I was there on a Thursday night, which is an especially loud night because of all of the partying going on before Shabbat (Friday). The noise did diminish later at night (much later after midnight).
Pros: The room had a private bathroom with shower. It also had a large closet. It was very basic and utilitarian, but for the price you will not get luxury and I thought it was OK.
Cons: No breakfast is provided by the hotel. However, there are plenty of cafes around where one could get some breakfast. As mentioned above, sounds from outside from blocks away could be heard inside the room, although things quieted down later at night.
Pros: It is an older building at a fantastic location (as discussed above).
Cons: You must go up several flights of stairs to reach the hotel. There is not elevator. If you have a lot of luggage or trouble with stairs (both applied in my case, i.e., several bags and recent knee meniscus surgery), then this can present definite issues. The owner did help me with the luggage though.
Pros: A wonderful, personable, helpful, friendly man. He went out of his way for me. I really liked him a lot.
Cons: None. I only have good things to say about him.
OTHER OBSERVATIONS: This place reminded me a bit of a college dormintory. I suspect it has great appeal to 20-somethings who want low cost accommodations near the very active and fun Zion Square.
CONCLUSION: This is a great value hotel for anyone of any age if you are prepared for and can deal with the issues I described above. I would stay at this place again, but only if I had less luggage and also with better preparation for needing to walk several blocks to arrive and depart via taxi. I simply was not prepared for the various issues that arose and they took me by surprise. I did not see the issues discussed in reviews here (but then again, maybe I did not read enough of the reviews to find the problems). At any rate, I dealt with whatever came up and the wonderful ower helped a lot.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kaplan Hotel is the best choice for low-budget travelers. Located right in the center of Jerusalem on Jaffa street, just off Ben-Yehuda st., right across Zion square, and near the new train station. Its location is ideal for shopping, grabbing a bite to eat or having a coffee. It's a 10 minute walk to the old city, to mahane yehuda market, and most central tourist attractions. All our rooms are equipped with air conditioning, free cable TV, and free Wi-Fi. Guests are welcome to use the hotel's kitchen, as well as have a free cup of tea or coffee. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kaplan Hotel Jerusalem