Stayed here for 2 nights whilst visiting from Jordan. After a somewhat harrowing journey across the Allenby Bridge checkpoint (be prepared for a lot of waiting and a lot of hassle) we booked in over the phone whilst enjoying cold beers at café Rimon's in the Muslim Quarter of the old city (FYI - cheapest and best beer in the old city, great food, a lovely owner and a great people watching spot).
The owner of the Kaplan, Eli, is possibly the friendliest hotelier we have ever met and made us feel very welcome (and safe). We got a great rate, far cheaper than anywhere else we tried for the same standard of accommodation. Eli also gave us free wifi access which was really helpful. However, as you might expect for the low price, the rooms were definitely 'no frills' and a tad grubby (consider bringing your own towels and pillow cases!). But it was safe and totally doable for a few nights..
The hotel is in a good location within the New City (a Jewish area) and only a 10 minute walk to Damascus gate in the old city. It is close to all the New City shops, bars and restaurants, so great for accessing the Jerusalem nightlife (which mainly consisted of very young and rowdy American-sounding youths, so not the best for the older connoisseur but there are definitely places to go e.g a couple of Irish pubs with outdoor seating).
If you plan to be out all day and night (which is probably why you have come to Jerusalem!) then this hotel is a bargain option, but you wouldn't really want to spend time hanging out at the hotel as the room was very small, not the cleanest and there were no communal seating areas elsewhere in the hotel (as far as we could tell). The biggest bonus for us (having spent considerable time in the middle east) was the water pressure in the shower, which was really high and the water really hot. The only downside was that the bathroom was a wet room so the floor and room got completely soaked (bring flip flops!). The sink was also strangely designed so that it was impossible to use it without getting water everywhere! A squeegee mop was provided for clean ups, but it was a little grim having a damp, grubby bathroom to use. The outside noise was not a huge problem for one of us that wears ear plugs, but the aforementioned rowdy teenagers did party into the wee hours so this could be a problem if you like an early night. We also overheard a fascinating conversation from the room next-door - the walls are pretty thin.
With all that said, we would definitely consider staying at the Kaplan again as with a bit of smart packing (a towel, pillowcase, ear plugs and flip-flops), it is most definitely doable and we just couldn't get a better rate for such a good location.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC