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All reviews ben yehuda deluxe studio great location old city light rail small kitchenette apartment hotel stay there again tram stop lounge area nice stay jaffa road hot water minute walk walking distance bedroom market
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Reviewed 28 June 2016

OVERVIEW

I’d use the word “hotel” sparingly when describing Shamai (even though they describe themselves as an “apartment boutique hotel” on their website). There are no common areas, no lounge or dining room, no room service (although rooms are cleaned daily) or even somewhere to sit. There’s a small wooden desk in the front as you walk in, which acts as the reception desk, and a bench alongside it with seating for two people, where I guess you can wait while being checked in. The building also houses some commercial offices in addition to hotel rooms. “Shamai Suites” sans the word hotel, would be a more appropriate description. But don’t let any of this semantics put you off, because, if you can do without the trappings, S.S. represents excellent value for money in Jerusalem.

LOCATION

S.S. is in a convenient and central location on the corner of Ben Hillel and Shamai Streets (hence the name). If coming by taxi, the driver will have to drop you off in Shamai Street because Ben Hillel is essentially a pedestrianised mall. The main hubs of Ben Yehuda, King George and Jaffa Streets are a short walk away. From the intersection of King George and Jaffa Streets, it’s a level 20 minute walk to the Old City. For public transport, you couldn’t be better situated, with buses running from King George St in all directions and the light rail running up and down Jaffa St. You could even walk to the famous Mahane Yehuda market, in about 25 minutes, up Agripas Street. In Ben Hillel Street, you’ll find plenty of cafes, restaurants and handy little grocery stores where you can stock up on bottled water, snacks and the like. On the ground floor of the building is a Pizza Hut, which we found useful mainly because of the prominent red street signs pointing to it in Ben Hillel Street. This proved invaluable as a marker especially when we first arrived and were still getting our bearings. Just look out for it and you’ll know you’re not far from home.

ROOM

Our room was no 33 on the third floor, directly overlooking the pedestrianised Ben Hillel Street. It was spacious, comfy, airy and light with a small balcony. It had two single beds pushed together, but they’re not really suitable for tall people. I am 1.72m and I just managed to fit! There was a strategically placed TV on the wall in front of the beds with an easy-to-use remote control but no English news or entertainment channels, which I found a bit disappointing. There’s a handy kitchenette (hence I guess the description “suite” as opposed to good old boring “hotel room”) with a sink, a bar fridge, a microwave, crockery, cutlery, glassware and a kettle. There was no toaster although they promptly brought one when we asked. Ample supplies of tea, coffee and coffee creamer sachets are provided and these are replenished daily. If that wasn’t enough, you just needed to ask for more. And for the self-caterers, a small, round dining table with two bar chairs for seating. In one corner, was an easy chair and at the other end of the room, a writing desk and a chair. Lighting was adequate and bright, except the bedside reading lamps did not work. We never bothered asking management to fix them as they weren’t really needed anyway. There was oodles of space for storing clothing including cupboard and shelf space and extra drawers in the two bedside tables. Ample room to store cases as well. And a useful safe for your valuables in the cupboard. It’s all fairly low tech with standard keys for the rooms, no swipe cards or other modern gizmos. Air con worked well to keep the room cool in the sticky Jerusalem summer heat. All in all, we were happy with our room.

BATHROOM

The bathroom was large and functional, with plenty of room to move around in, but it lacked adequate dry storage. The shower was above the spa bath. It had decent water pressure and the shower screen was effective in keeping the floor dry. However, overall, the bathroom could have done with some minor maintenance such as tightening the toilet seat and the shower rail and re- sealing the bottom of the shower screen which had rusted. Plenty of toiletries were provided and whether you used the existing supply or not, it was all replenished daily which left us with a bit of a problem as to where to put it all!

SERVICE

Rooms are cleaned daily to a satisfactory standard and I appreciated the fact that when we returned in the afternoon (sometimes quite early at say 2.00pm), the room had always been made up, unlike some hotels we stayed in where you could return at 5.00pm and the rooms still weren’t made. There is a concierge service at the rather Spartan front desk, from early morn until about 11pm (if you happen to get home or arrive after that, you will need to let yourself in via a code on a keypad at the front door). You’ll be checked in and any questions you have about venues or directions will be dealt with, but that’s where the service ends. On the whole though, the staff at the concierge desk were polite, although some were more helpful than others. But I guess this isn’t a place that sells itself on service. It’s the room and that’s it.

FACILITIES/COMMON AREAS

Pretty much none, only a tiny lift which we never used except to get our luggage up and down. Passageways and common areas though were always clean and well maintained.

INTERNET

Internet is free and unlimited. The connection was speedy and reliable and the service worked well all the time we were there.

NOISE

There is no vehicular traffic, as mentioned, on Ben Hillel Street, but plenty of human traffic. At times, eg Sat night after Sabbath, our room could get quite noisy from the exuberant crowds down below. Most other times though it was bearable. We quickly got used to it though and it didn’t stop us from sleeping. Anyway, this being Jerusalem, we never found the street sounds obnoxious, rather reassuring and uplifting. One could also hear the faint rumble of construction noise in the distance at the bottom of Shamai Street, but it was far away enough that it never really bothered us. Again, reassuring to note that economic activity is continuing apace in Jerusalem, despite the challenges.

SUMMARY

We spent five days here and were more than happy with our choice. The location is convenient and the room is spacious, comfortable and cool. Not much service or luxury trappings though. It’s fairly basic but clean and adequate and the room exceeded our expectations. For the price, it’s an excellent choice in Jerusalem and we wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again. Hopefully, by the time we return, the minor repairs to the bathroom will have been carried out.

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Artfornodriving
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2016

Location is great. Convenient access to light rail, Mehane Yehuda, Ben Yuhada St. and Old City. Excellent wi-fi and air conditioning come in handy after walking all day. Balconies to sit on outside rooms. Beds are comfortable, kitchen in 2 bedroom suite was quite functional. Staff is sparse but helpful. Aside from a daily wake-call that no one could seem to cancel, a great stay. Should also note given its great location a bit noisy on Thursday night. Very good value. With or without kids.

Room Tip: Having been in two rooms on 5 & 6, both with nice views and balconies. Small elevator if you don't like stairs.
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank napdMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2016

Shamai Suites was the absolutely perfect place to stay during our visit to Jerusalem. We were greeted at the reception desk with Ben who was bending over backwards to make sure our stay was perfect. Even after he went home there was always someone at the desk who answered our questions with a smile. The bellman took all our luggage upstairs to our room and was so kind. We had the perfect stay the rooms were clean and beautiful. We are so happy that we have a great place to stay when we are in Jerusalem and it is centrally located to meet all our needs.

Room Tip: Our room was perfect. Didn't know which direction it faced but it was a great room.
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Cynthia O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2016

We rented a one bedroom economy suite for four nights at an avg. price of $90/night.
We had two single beds in the bedroom and a bed/couch in the living room. The apt had some dishes, silverware, etc. it is around the corner from restaurants, coffee shops and Jacob's gift shop where we purchased several pashminas and two silver rings.
Terrific location, walk to busses that go everywhere and the light rail.

Room Tip: Lower floors are easily accessible without using the elevator.
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Cynthia L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2016

The staff was really helpful and friendly. The room was very modern and good value for what offers. Location is perfect, located right off Ben Yehuda Street and Yaffa Street, walking distance to Mamila Mall and all downtown shops. Also is well located for transportation as light train station and buses.

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Galia R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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