At home, in Jerusalem
By DANIEL CLINTON
The Tamar Residence brings the concept of full-service apartments to J'lem’s hotel industry.
The recent opening of the Tamar Residence has introduced a new trend in hotel
accommodations to Jerusalem – the full-service apartment, which has become
increasingly popular around the world in recent years.
Located in the
Baka neighborhood, adjacent to the lively German Colony, the Tamar Residence
offers the feeling of living in Jerusalem to the vacationer or business
Imagine having an apartment in Jerusalem with a full-service
kitchen where you can prepare meals with groceries you selected yourself from
the nearby market or have brought to you by the concierge service. I have been
disappointed in the past while vacationing in Barcelona or Bombay when I
couldn’t take home spices or local ingredients from the city’s colorful markets
to try for myself in a hotel kitchen. The Tamar Residence offers that
Not only do you have the feeling of actually living in a
Jerusalem apartment, but the possibility of preparing your own meals can save
you a lot of money, particularly on an extended stay or while traveling with
family or young children.
The Tamar Residence is surprisingly reasonable,
with suites ranging from NIS 600 to NIS 1000 a night for up to a family of four,
with the option of staying in a two-bedroom penthouse for NIS 2,200 a night. The
prices fluctuate depending on the season. In addition to the reasonable prices,
there are certain amenities that should be a given at any hotel but,
unfortunately, are not: free wireless Internet service and free
Other amenities include laundry service, shopping service, a
synagogue opposite the residence and 24-hour reception. The suites’ separate
dining area, living area and bedroom offer an alternative to traditional
one-big-room hotel accommodations.
Baka has an authentic vibe and will
even give someone visiting from Tel Aviv the feel of being abroad. The hotel is
located on Bethlehem Road, which is lined with old Arab houses made of Jerusalem
stone that predate the State of Israel. The Tamar Residence is built into the
neighborhood, as opposed to many hotels that are often disconnected from their
A short walk brings you to the German Colony and its
picturesque main thoroughfare, Emek Refaim Street, lined with cafes, shops and
restaurants. The Tamar Residence offers the German Colony’s large
English-speaking population a place to house visiting family members. The price
and apartment-like amenities are particularly convenient for
While the German Colony offers a wide array of restaurants and
cafes to choose from, those staying at the Tamar Residence need go no further
than the Grand Café, the hotel’s resident eatery. The kosher dairy restaurant is
versatile and convenient and can serve your breakfast, lunch and dinner needs.
The food is simple and good, and the prices are good as well. However, it is the
design and atmosphere of the Grand Café that are the most striking. Seating is
available outside and inside in a setting that is distinctly European. Of
course, carnivores and those looking for a restaurant open on Shabbat have a
plethora of choices in the artsy German Colony.
Although the Old City and
Jerusalem’s myriad tourist attractions are close by, the immediate neighborhood
is charming and a pleasure for architecture fans. The diverse history of the
area can be seen in its buildings, with influences from the Ottoman period, the
German Templers and the British Mandate period.
The hotel’s suites are
simply designed, with comfort taking precedence in details such as televisions
in the bedroom and the living room. Some suites are equipped with a small garden
porch. The two-bedroom penthouse takes up the entire third floor of a building
and is equipped with a magnificent balcony, offering a lovely view of Jerusalem.
There is one penthouse in each of the hotel’s three buildings to go along with
its 32 total suites.
The feeling at the Tamar Residence is intimate, and
the service is personal. The Tamar Residence is the initiative of Danny
Rubinstein, one of the founders of Isrotel Hotels. He came to Israel from
Australia in the 1970s. The concept of the hotel is new in Israel and offers a
good alternative to traditional, impersonal hotels that keep you separated from
the place in which you are vacationing. It very well could start a trend in the
way people vacation in Israel. ■
The writer was a
guest of the hotel.