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“Amazing location and outstanding staff”

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Citadel Youth Hostel
Reviewed 5 August 2011

Now, keep in mind that this is a youth HOSTEL. It is not a hotel, it is not a resort, it is a hostel. And a very fine one, if I may say so. The staff, particularly Adam, was incredibly helpful and the owner, Chris, is a wonderful resource. We stayed with a larger group that was a bit more demanding of staff time, but every one of the employees always had a smile and a helpful piece of advice ready for us. The hostel itself is a labyrinth of levels and rooms. Two kitchens, two rooftops and free internet. The rooms are basic and very clean. The roofs offer great views of the Old City and the location of the hostel itself is outstanding. This hostel is in high demand by tourists, so book ahead of time and realize you are getting a great deal for the service, rooms and location. There may be a lot of guests staying here, but everyone is friendly and the spaces are clean.

I highly recommend staying at this establishment.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank lpludwig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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168 - 174 of 297 reviews

Reviewed 17 July 2011

The building is amazing, the location is great, the decor of the loung area is lovely, and the free wireless is not to be taken for granted in Israel.
Having said that, 36 euro for a single room that was literally a capsule (there wasn't enough space to put my backpack on the floor!) is a bit much even for Jerusalem. On top of that, it was loud and overcrowded, and the public spaces (lounge and bathrooms) weren't exactly clean. Still, if you want a cheap accommodation in the old city and don't want to give up on a bit of charme, the Citadel might be a good enough choice after all.

One lefty remark: asking people to volunteer to clean the hostel for a free bed (in the dorm, not in the single room I was staying in) is sheer exploitation, and below minimum wage by any reasonable standards. The place is very successful and can surely afford to employ people and pay them! That really put me off I must say.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank trrraveljunkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2011

Nice communal areas with cool stone vaults. Staff are friendly, and there are communal kitchens for free use. Toilets are a bit butters. Rooms are pretty basic but fine - overall a good stay

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank dlennard_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2011

My lonely planet guide wrote about this hostel that it was "a boutique hotel for backpackers". Well, I found that this was stretching the truth quite a bit. Although conveniently located near Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, the place was dirty, crowded and falling apart. For a night without breakfast in a dorm, I payed more here than in any other hostel I visited in Israel. And it was definitely not good value for money. The beds were tiny, uncomfortable and, as rumor had it, full of bed bugs. The light in our dorm room was not working, there are only 4 showers in the whole place, all of the the toilet seats were broken and the kitchen was filthy. The staff did try their best to be helpful and friendly, but could not make up for this shockingly bad hostel. They are also pretty inflexible when it comes to check-in times and other requests. In addition, they have a permanent employee living in one of the female dorms who tries to missionary everyone into "accepting Jesus Christ as thy saviour" and tells you that you are destined for hell if you don't share her views. Shocking and wrong and upsetting!!
If you are looking for a nice place in Jerusalem, try the Austrian Hospice instead - their dorms are not more expensive, but far better. And they will not predict you a future in flames if you believe in evolution and science...

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Anna_R_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2011

I stayed here for a couple nights in November. I booked the "mattress on the roof" option, which in retrospect wasn't the best scenario; it rained both nights. I know that's not the fault of the hostel, but I soon found out that there was basically NO continengy for rain or inclement weather. Now, I'm not one to expect the red carpet rolled out to me for $20USD per night, but there was literally nowhere inside to crash - every square foot of space, from the hallways, lobby, kitchen, and dorm room were taken up by other roof dwellers that didn't wait as long as I did to get out of the rain. My proposed solution to the hostel management would just be to limit the number of roof guests in case everyone has to come inside, rather than squeezing everyone in like sardines. I understand that you can't expect a lot for the rate that they're charging, but I would hope that my money would guarantee at least a patch of floor to crash for the night.

None of that would have been an issue if the place weren't so tiny, but they need to scale to maximum occupancy of the hostel with the size of the location... obviously, this is an extremely historic and charming building (which is a great thing!), but there were just too many people.

As others have commented, the location of the Citadel hostel just inside the Jaffa Gate is fantastic, and the views from the roof are spectacular. It's a fun place to just hang out and chat with fellow travelers. Staying at this location, it's easy to get up early and get a head start on the tourist crowds in the Old City.

Front desk staff was fine to me (I know a lot of the other reviewers had issues), but I did witness a few altercations between the staff and some of the other guests, mostly over being nickeled-and-dimed for certain stuff. One woman was being charged extra because she setup a small tent on the roof when it started raining... I tried to figure out how management could justify charging her more for her foresight of bringing a tent along, but I guess that's the game they play.

Overall, I can't really recommend the Citadel hostel to others. The location may be great, but the one thing a hostel needs to deliver for a solo traveler is a good night's sleep, and I just couldn't get that here.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank JustinCase713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2011

Smelled like feet and urine. Dirty. Rude Staff. Overpriced. Loud.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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5  Thank gmarlenes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2011

Reception: You have to pay up front even if your not happy no refunds. No guest pass the front area.

Lobby: Lights out by 12am there is a dorm room right there!

Room: It was really cold, they don't tell you that you have to rent a space heater for 20nis/night. The sheets were from someone's house and they forgot to wash them or change them from the next person. Luckly, I had a blanket from home I could wrap myself in, but I was grossed out and cold! There is no ventilation place is musty everywhere.

Bathroom: We stayed on the first floor and the bathroom was used by everyone that step foot into the facility, rooms 18 and 19 share the bathroom with everyone too...The hot water gives you 3mins then goes to lukewarm.

Internet: only in one area...the lobby!

Key: You have to turn key in to the receptionist every time you leave the facility.

SPEND THE EXTRA CASH AND STAY SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank karlcast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Citadel Youth Hostel

Address: St. Marks 20 | Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem, Israel
Region: Israel > Jerusalem District > Jerusalem
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 71 Speciality Lodging in Jerusalem
Price Range: $30 - $67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 18
Also Known As:
Citadel Youth Hotel Jerusalem

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