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Reviewed August 5, 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
Reviewed July 17, 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 May 10, 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 May 8, 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 May 4, 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
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