How to find Palestinian hotels in Jerusalem
I regularly receive emails asking my recommendation on where to stay in Jerusalem.
A few months ago when I was planning my trip to Jerusalem, I thought I’d contribute to the Palestinian economy and stay in a Palestinian-owned hotel. However, from my experience, I realised that this shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding your stay.
- See what religious sites you plan to visit regularly (probably Al-Aqsa) and search for hotels in your budget around that area (Caution: Old city is hilly and has a lot of stairs, as well as some routes that are not direct).
- If you have trouble with stairs, check if the hotel has a lift based on your needs. Due to old construction some hotels don’t have lift, while others might have only one flight of stairs.
- Palestinian hotels are likely to be own by Christians or Muslims, whereas Israeli will be Christians, Jews or Muslims. But religious diversity in a hotel is better, otherwise, they’d have to shut down on a religious holiday. Either way, the room cleaners, and waiters are likely to be the least paid at any hotel and should be tipped.
Hotels that are members of the Arab Hotel Association are listed at http://www.palestinehotels.com. From here you can choose Jerusalem in the drop down to get Arab owned hotels.
For hotels that are not listed here, you can center Google Map around the Old City, and type hotel in the search. From here you’ll see all hotels where you can further check which is the most suitable. I stayed at Hashimi Hotel which is the closest to Al Aqsa, and know people that have stayed at Victoria (not New Victoria) hotel, and Capitol Hotel just outside the Old city gates. There are others such as Addar, Alcazar, Jerusalem Panorama, National and Ambassador hotels.
Visiting the old city in Jerusalem is a very personal experience and you have to make sure the decisions you make help you in making the most out of your visit.