There’s one thing I must confess. I married a lovely Israeli man… and I still haven’t made it to the Holy Land. My inner-Heb cries, “If I should forget Jerusalem, my left hand should fall.” Or something like that. In case it sounds pathetic, keep this in mind… we’ve only been married for a year and we’re planning The Big Trip now. That said, as a travel writer, I can tell you all about the top hotels in the world with eye-popping amenities that cost anywhere from $300-$1,000/night, but that doesn’t mean I don’t a) go ga-ga when I find a good deal and b) want to know where the real locals stay.
In my quest, I queried a man whose knowledge of Israel, quality (and that doesn’t always mean 600-thread count Frette linens), and, most importantly, authenticity, is second to none. That’s right… my husband.
So here’s a little secret gem that’s definitely not your generic luxurious, five-star hotel, but rather, an Arab-Israeli owned boutique hotel.
Concentrated in only a few hundred feet are Al-Aqsa Mosque, The Church of the Holy Sepulcher (where even the most die-hard American Jew isn’t immune to the holiness of Christ’s stomping grounds), and, of course, The Wailing Wall, the most important sacred sites of the top three monotheistic religions.
What my main man likes best?
There’s a wine bar in the entrance, it’s cheap (anywhere from $30-$100/night), and a REAL spot for those wanting to see Jerusalem, even if it means you’ll likely hear street-sellers in the morning and the hustle and bustle of Jews – and Muslims – living peacefully side-by-side in the heart of the Holy Land.
As Whoopi on Virtual Tourist says, “Some of the double rooms have a balcony out to the busy street and also have two floors in the room. These are great! The whole hotel is also very relaxed and cozy with lots of things hanging on the walls, everything from garments to photos and poetry. Lots of sofas and chairs everywhere and it gives you the feeling of being in some nice, but weird old lady’s house. Just outside you find everything you need from internet cafes to stores, restaurants, market and tourist attractions.”
And really, when you’re in the Holy Land, what better place to be?
45 Bedrooms, cable satellite in the lobby, on-site laundry, an internet lounge open 24 hrs., a safe deposit box, and a panoramic view of Jerusalem from the roof-top.
Tell them Jaunt Magazine sent you.