There cannot be enough said about Jerusalem, Israel‘s capital city, and one of the world’s holiest cities. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains between the Dead and Mediterranean Seas, the scarred spiritual city has seen destruction and resurrection beyond mortal belief, and still radiates enduring magnetism. One of The 11 Most Religious Cities in the World, Jerusalem’s rosy-hued Old City is singularly sacred to Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Downtown, on the other hand, houses many modern structures. It’s no wonder that the best hotels in Jerusalem, Israel, both in Old City and outside it, are equally unique and avant-garde. Right from restored, grand hotels to old-world digs, one will find just about everything here.
What’s more, exploring Jerusalem is like making a thrilling discovery at every turn; for as you peel the layers off this mystic city, you’ll find unimaginably ancient worlds. So, here are some of the best hotels in Jerusalem, Israel for exploring the cultural and architectural treasures of one of the greatest cities in the world.
Where to Stay in Jerusalem
Deciding on the best area to stay in Jerusalem, Israel can be tricky since there are so many amazing neighborhoods to choose from, apart from all the great hotels. The beating heart of Jerusalem is, undoubtedly, the Old City. It’s some to some fascinating historic sites like the Church of the Sepulcher and the iconic Dome of the Rock, which is amongst the 10 Most Beautiful Mosques in the World. Moreover, Old City is divided into four quarters – the Jewish, Muslim Quarter, Christian, and Armenian Quarters, and has a unique melded culture. Hence, culture buffs who dig Israel’s traditional culture and don’t mind living in family-run establishments or smaller hotels will love Jerusalem Old City. After all, it’s one of the 8 Oldest Continuously Inhabited Cities You Should Visit One Day.
The city center, on the other hand, is primed for shopping, dining, and entertainment and features lots of designer and boutique hotels. Another excellent neighborhood is the historic Musrara with a distinct late-19th-century feel to it. The peaceful neighborhood is now home to numerous local restaurants, art galleries, and small hostels and hotels. Finally, the prestigious Germany Colony area is full of stately mansions and homes featuring Templar, Bahaus, and Ottoman architecture. Those looking to stay in cutesy hostels or rooms in extravagant colonial buildings will dig this neighborhood.
Villa Brown Jerusalem
Nestled in a restored 19th-century Ottoman Villa is the plush boutique Villa Brown Jerusalem. The historic structure, which is the former home of a prominent Jewish doctor, beautifully blends classic British styles with Arabic touches. The hotel is perfectly positioned on a busy road that connects Old City and the buzzing Downtown Triangle, placing most of Jerusalem’s attractions within walking distance.
The hotel is nothing short of a beautiful palace with a lovely, flower-filled garden leading to the lobby and restaurant. Also, it features gorgeous exposed original sandstone walls and an assortment of modern photography pieces. Additionally, marble tabletops, gold latticework, and plush velvet furnishings give the restaurant a royal character, but the background music keeps the vibe casual. For a small hotel, Villa Brown packs in a nice range of facilities, including a nearby gym, a rooftop mini-spa, and even complimentary bike rentals. Likewise, the terraced hot tub and sunbeds are a great place for some R&R. That said, breakfast is certainly the highlight of this place, complete with fresh mezze options and Middle Eastern delicacies. The best part is that it’s available as brunch until 2 pm!
24 warm, regally decorated rooms feature everything from gold bedside tables to ultra-soft, sink-into carpets. Moreover, some rooms even have gorgeous exposed stonework of the original villa, while bathrooms are indulgent to boot. For some shameless indulgence, choose the Junior Suite which has its own jacuzzi.
Abraham Hostel Jerusalem
The Abraham Hostel feels less like a hostel and more like a crazy, energetic contemporary urban collective. The frenzied, fun-filled hostel lies right in the heart of Jerusalem a little north of Old City. It lies on the busy Ha-Kherut Square right next to a bus stop as well as a tram station, making most of the city easily accessible.
For the price they charge, their endless offerings seem nothing less than riches. Guests can choose from a host of private rooms and dorms, including female-only ones. All of them have immaculate ensuite bathrooms, locker storage, privacy curtains, reading lights, and even space heaters for the winter.
That said, the fun at the hostel begins the minute you step outside the room. The vast lounge, which doubles as the party hall and event space, is the epicenter of all activity. With so many wonderful Israeli breakfast foods on the offer, breakfast is a wonderfully hearty affair. The rooftop chill-out place with swings and comfy couches is perhaps the best place to chill in the city. What’s more, the hostel even hosts a hummus-making class, so you can go back home with some fond food memories. Also, there’s the open mic night, a traditional Shabbat dinner every Friday, language exchange opportunities, bar crawl, pub quiz night, and even Indian food night! If you’re very, very lucky, you might be even able to watch a performance by a local Israeli band!
The American Colony Hotel
The romantic, tranquil American Colony Hotel is one of the best colonial-era hotels in Jerusalem, Israel. The dreamy hotel lies north of both Old City and Downtown, and since it lies close to the tram station, is a short ride away from both. Also, most major sites are within a 15-minute walking distance.
That said, the landmark hotel boasts such an ethereal setting that you might just not want to step out. It’s divided into the Main House and the New Wing, and the older buildings are said to have lodged pilgrims and Western adventurers in the early 20th century. It’s no wonder that the hotel is celebrity central due to its secluded courtyard hidden amidst the beautifully manicured gardens. A longish, heavenly pool sprinkled with daybeds and surrounded by foliage is a great place to laze. What’s more, all food cravings are fulfilled by the many restaurants on-site, including a cellar bar and a brasserie. However, the best place to dig into the hotel’s excellent Middle-Eastern fare is in the courtyard shaded by mulberry trees.
Guests can choose from 95 colonial-style bedrooms that feature comfortable, four-poster beds, and dark wood furnishings. Some rooms even boast absolute luxury in the form of sunken baths and private spas.
Notre Dame Guesthouse of Jerusalem Center
Travelers and pilgrims looking for a religious yet modern place to stay will appreciate the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. The Catholic Church both owns and operates the modern monastic hotel on behalf of the Pontifical Institute. ‘Notre Dame,’ which means ‘Our Lady’ in French, refers to the Virgin Mary, who is said to have attained heaven in Jerusalem.
The hotel is nothing short of a spartan palace, so don’t be fooled by its modest exterior trappings. The hotel lies right opposite the late-19th-century New Gate, so the Christian Quarter is right opposite the boutique guesthouse. The bustling ground-floor coffee shop and restaurant is an absolute favorite with locals, especially on feast days and Sundays. However, the actual jewel in this papal crown is the cheese and wine restaurant on the rooftop. It boasts spectacular panoramas of the Old City, the Judaean Desert, the Dead Sea, and even the lights of Amman sometimes!
Guests can choose from 146 rooms spread across the large complex. Both solo travelers and groups of travelers can choose from a range of staying options, right from bed-and-breakfast to full-board ones. That said, all rooms have basic mod-cons, while the suites even have TVs. Finally, some rooms also offer sweeping views of Old City.
Mamilla boasts a sleek, contemporary design and is one of the newer luxury hotels around. The place infuses tradition in the form of limestone from the Judaean Mountains in the lobby. Right off it lies a great lounging space with comfy sofas and eclectic light fixtures. A tranquil basement swimming pool is a great way to cool off on hot, humid days. Furthermore, the hotel has four kosher restaurants, of which the rooftop one offers excellent panoramas of Old City. Finally, the stunning outdoor courtyard fringed with foliage and rooftop sunbeds will certainly leave you wanting more.
When it comes to the accommodations, the immaculate, beautifully-designed rooms feature earthy hues with bright throws sitting against the white beds. Pale wooden floors and huge windows create a breeze, airy effect. Likewise, the glass wall between the bedroom and bathroom (that comes with a ‘cloudy’ setting, don’t worry) gives a great impression of space.
St. Andrews Scottish Guest House
The gorgeously designed St. Andrew’s Scottish Guesthouse looks about as old as the ancient archaeological mound that it loftily stands on. The stunning stone accommodation was built by the Scottish Church fathers in 1927 and has a rather serene bearing.
The delightful place boasts Moorish touches, Armenian ceramics, and vaulted and domed roofs. A portrait of General Allenby, who laid the foundation of this place, hangs above an impressive British-colonial fireplace. A flower-filled garden is a great place to lounge around or take a morning walk. Bibliophiles will love browsing thousands of titles in the comfort of the warm and inviting library. Moreover, guests are treated to free coffee and tea all day in the lounge. However, the icing on the cake is the splendid rooftop terrace with stone arches framing perfect views of the Old City. This is also where you can dig into a hearty breakfast, marking a perfect start to your day.
The no-frills, cheery rooms are airy, immaculate, and feature excellent beds. The rooms might feel like dorms, but the high ceilings, the massive amounts of space, and the inimitable Scottish feeling is palpable. If you feel like splurging, ask for the rooms with balconies, which have wonderful views of Mt. Zion and the Old City. Finally, the hotel even has a great location and is a mere 10-minute walk to the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.
King David Hotel Jerusalem
The magnificent King David Hotel is one of the most luxurious retreats near Old City. Since it lies right next to Old City, Jerusalem, the hotel is the perfect base to explore both the historic and newer parts of Israel’s multifaceted capital.
With origins going as far back as 1940, King David retains original Art Deco touches including majestic rooms and dark wood accouterments. The hotel has played host to former kings, presidents, and actors, and some names are even etched into the main lobby floor. Apart from great staff, a fitness center, and multiple restaurants, the hotel has a famously amazing poolside snack bar. The pool itself is a grand dame, with white daybeds and umbrellas lining its decadently blue depths. What’s more, the hotel also serves a kickass breakfast with mezze specialties.
All rooms at the hotel are spacious and comfy with twin/king beds and squishy sofas and classic décor. Apart from updated mod-cons in many rooms, the best rooms in the hotel offer spectacular views of Old City.
Mount Zion Boutique Hotel & Suites
The golden-hued Mount Zion Boutique Hotel & Suites lies a mere 10-minute walk from Old City, but that’s not all that makes it special. This boutique hotel offers luxurious Ottoman-style living in an 1880s-built historical setting. In fact, the hotel has a thrilling and a rather storied past. It was a former charitable eye hospital and was even used as an Ottoman arms warehouse during World War I.
The hotel has ethereal views of Old City from just about everywhere, which are accentuated by the arched doorways and windows. The outdoor swimming pool and hot tub look like a modern, decadent place plonked in the middle of a cluster of historic Ottoman-Moroccan structures. The Turkish-style hammam complex only furthers the feeling of relaxation. Gym rats, on the other hand, will love the well-equipped fitness center. Plus, a walk in the blossoming gardens filled with sweet-smelling olive, honeysuckle, and rosemary trees is a bonus. Last but not the least, breakfast is no less than a feast with fresh juices, egg dishes, pastries, and cheeses.
When it comes to staying here, one has the choices of a villa, 20 luxurious suites, or 117 rooms. Each room boasts Ottoman-Moroccan touches with patterned ceramic floors and exposed stone walls. While some rooms offer amazing views of the Hinnom Valley and Mount Zion. The older Citadel rooms are more spacious and feature a unique Moroccan character.
Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem
A stone’s throw away from the walls of Old City, Jerusalem lies the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The hotel beautifully melds tradition with modern creature comforts to offer a peaceful oasis for exploring Jerusalem.
Formerly the Palace Hotel, the now-Waldorf Astoria sits around a stunning inner courtyard built with pale Jerusalem stone. The lobby is equally striking, complete with the brand’s signature grandfather clock, glass sculptures, and fresh orchids. The impeccably trained staff is prepared to handle anything and is more than ready to share snippets of Jerusalem’s fascinating history. Additionally, they’ll help guests plan their visits to city sights, some of which can only be visited during certain times of the day. Fitness fanatics will love the fitness center. Apart from a buffet breakfast brimming with regional specialties, the hotel even features a flourish of kosher restaurants next to the inner courtyard.
Rooms at the Waldorf are particularly welcoming after a day of exploring Jerusalem’s Old City on foot. Comfy beds, lavish bathrooms, and a slew of mod-cons make your stay here very comfortable.
Alegra Boutique Hotel
The 1930s-built Alegra Boutique Hotel is one of the best hotels in Jerusalem, Israel. It offers both historic charm and modern living aspects. The iconic hotel has an interesting backstory. The century-old house that the hotel sits in is famous for the true-life Romeo-and-Juliet story of an Arab-Jewish pair.
The hotel redefines intimate living with just seven rooms. All rooms are spacious and feature plush Persian rugs, arched windows, and exposed-stone walls. At the same time, they’re one-of-a-kind and uniquely named after famous lovers from history. Plush beds and sheer drapes complete the romantic ambiance.
The rest of the hotel is equally novel and Byronic. The intimate dining room is the former courtyard where the chef whips up new gourmet menus every night. Breakfast is a hearty local meal of cheeses, shakshuka, and focaccia bread fresh from the oven. The Alegra has a rooftop plunge pool and a wooden deck surrounded by gardens and overlooking the valley of Ein Karem. The sauna with massage treatments is the perfect place to unwind. While the outdoor pool with daybeds is a great place to lounge around on a lazy day in the city.
The hotel is a 20-minute drive toward Western Jerusalem. It’s the perfect base for those who want to stay away from the bustle in the historic environs of Israel.
Located 30 minutes west of Jerusalem, Hotel Ye’arim is more of a rural hideaway than a luxurious hotel. ‘Yearim,’ which translates to ‘forests,’ sits atop one of Jerusalem’s highest peaks. Perhaps one of the best parts about the hotel is the ever-changing dossier of cultural programs and activities. These include everything from folklore storytelling nights and guided cycling tours to even hiking.
Guests can choose from a bevy of 220 simply-designed, yet elegant rooms. All of them boast jaw-dropping views, excellent lighting, flatscreen TVs, minibars, and lavish marble bathrooms with Dead Sea cosmetics. Some rooms even have balconies, while every floor has a sitting room/lobby decked out in pastoral art.
The hotel itself has a long list of amenities. There’s a children’s club full of puzzles and creative games. A fabulously outdoor pool with separate saunas and baths offers unobstructed views of the Israeli landscape. Do try out the deep-tissue massage at the spa, or engage in a spot of workout at the well-equipped gym.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars /Food Tours in Jerusalem:
- Mahane Yehuda Market Tasting Tour: The Mahane Yehuda Market or the “Shuk”, as it is called, is a late-19th-century market that is Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor one. Dig into delicious food at this lovely market, which sells everything from fruits to bread to street food.
- Anna: This iconic restaurant sits inside the ‘The Ticho House,’ which is one of the first homes built outside Old City in the 1860s. The historic structure now is a cultural center, museum, and a famous restaurant that serves exceptional seasonal Italian seafood and other dishes.
Recommended Activities In Jerusalem:
- Jerusalem – Full-Day Highlights Tour: Explore the best highlights of Jerusalem, ancient and modern, in a single day on this expertly guided tour.
- Jerusalem – Three Religions Holy City Walking Tour: What makes Jerusalem so special is that it is an important holy site for three religions – Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. On this exhaustive 4-hour guided walking tour, delve into the city’s five-millennium-old history by visiting ancient, age-old sites.