After reading some positive reviews but also some very negative reviews, we were very apprehensive about staying at the Lev. We were very pleasantly surprised with our stay. As everyone has indicated, the location is spectacular, right across the street from the top of Ben Yehuda Street and next to a supermarket and a major department store. In general, the room was actually a small studio apartment with a refrigerator and a microwave. Our room was clean enough and had a safe. It faced a courtyard, so there was not a lot of noise from outside. The bathroom had a huge medicine cabinet. Most of the staff we dealt with was friendly and helpful.
More specifically, some positive and negative comments:
Hotel Room – As indicated above, our room was satisfactorily clean. It had a refrigerator and microwave, which came in very handy, since the hotel does not provide a complimentary breakfast, and the meals that are served at the hotel are a bit expensive. The bathroom had a good sized counter and a huge medicine cabinet.
Staff – When we first checked in, the young lady at the front desk was not unfriendly; she just didn’t know anything and didn’t seem to care to find anything out. The man who worked at the front desk later that evening and for a couple of days after that was very helpful and gave us information about parking and money exchange. He said the young lady was probably new, but he didn’t seem inclined to give her the information she could use to help hotel guests. Other front desk staff, as well as the cleaning staff, were friendly and helpful enough. We did not have the room cleaned each day, but only did towel exchange, and the staff was very accommodating.
Parking – The hotel’s website gives the impression that there is parking at the hotel. In fact, there is a garage next to the hotel that closes at 9:30pm and is totally closed from Thursday night through Sunday morning. Fortunately for us, we arrived on Thursday night after the garage had closed or we may not have known that they would not reopen until Sunday morning. This would have been disastrous since we needed to drive to a Bar Mitzvah on Friday night and Saturday morning. The parking lot close to the hotel costs about $23 per day. We were very fortunate when we stopped someone on the street to ask him to read the parking lot sign for us, and he told us about a free parking lot about a 12-minute walk away, which we used for the six days that we stayed at the Lev.
Hotel Room Security – We had read some reviews about money disappearing from the room, but we found that the rooms now have a free safe, which worked very well for us. The door does have only one lock that doesn’t seem too secure, but we had no problems with doors not locking, as some other reviewers have discussed. The hotel provides only one regular key for each room, which the guests are asked to leave with the front desk when we leave the hotel. We accidentally left our key in the room. When we got back to the hotel late on Friday night, the security man, who was working his first day on the job, was given a large ring of keys which was supposed to contain a master key, and told to try to open our door. Initially, neither he nor we could find a key to open the door, but he was so nice and apologetic, and he tried so hard to help us that we certainly couldn’t complain about him. We were starting to panic because it was Friday night and no cleaning staff were available with master keys. The security man made phone calls and got additional information and advice from his superiors, and eventually, after about ½ hour, we found the right key on the large key ring. Although this was a problem created by the hotel’s somewhat antiquated system of door locks, we could not fault the staff’s response and attempts to help us.
Noise – As we indicated above, our room faced a courtyard, not a busy street, so we had very little problem with outside noise. However, as other reviewers have discussed, the hotel does nothing to control the young people who stay there over Shabbat and yell back and forth to each other in the hallways and make a lot of noise. We have stayed at other hotels where a lot of young people (sports teams, etc.) stay, and the hotel posts signs requiring appropriate behavior and sends personnel to make sure that there is not a lot of noise in the hallways.
All in all, the Lev is probably the best value in the area, because it is more than just a hotel room. We were very happy with our stay and would certainly stay there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ideally situated in the center of town. Within walking distance of shopping and business areas, historical sites and cultural centers of Jerusalem. All suites and penthouses have one or two bedrooms,a living room, kitchenette, dining area, air conditioning, cable TV, radio and telephone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lev Yerushalayim Hotel Jerusalem
- Lev Yerushalayim Jerusalem