Last week, my boyfriend and I decided to stay a night at Jerusalem’s city center. We were seeking a unique stay experience, so we decided to try out the JERU Caps Hotel, one of the capsule-based accommodations in Jerusalem. Unlike its name suggests, JERU Caps Hotel isn’t exactly a hotel. While each capsule is private, you can’t really call it a private room. Also, there’s no breakfast, and storing large luggage is a bit problematic. We left the place with mixed feelings. But overall, it’s a good choice for budget travelers who want to lay down their head at night and enjoy some kind of privacy.
Here’s my authentic review of JERU Caps Hotel in Jerusalem.
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Get ideas for things to do and more places to stay in Jerusalem in my Full Travel Guide to Jerusalem.
Short summary about JERU Caps Hotel
Location: 5 stars – The location is perfect, just across the road from Aroma, where you can get something to eat in the morning. It’s 15 minutes on foot from the Old City, and another 15 minutes on foot from Machane Yehuda Market.
Cleanliness: 4 stars – Overall, the place was clean. The capsules were clean when we got them. The restrooms, on the other hand, were a bit dirty.
Staff: 4 stars – The staff members were very friendly and welcomed us with a smile when we arrived. Too bad the reception is closed from 11 PM to 8 AM.
Security: 5 stars – We felt the place was very secure. You have to pass two locked doors to enter the shared sleeping space. The front door is also locked outside reception hours, during the night. You can also lock yourself in the capsule.
Facilities: 3 stars – What this place lacks is good common facilities. There is a common area with a shared kitchen and even a refrigerator, but everything is small. Also, there’s a porch on the top floor, but there are barely any seating places over there. The showers have a door that you can lock, which gives more privacy, but there’s also a toilet in the same room and everything is SO cramped. The capsule itself, on the other hand, is very spacious and the mattress is comfy.
Atmosphere: 3 stars – We have mixed feelings about this place. On one hand, the capsules are all in one room, so you would expect to meet some people and experience something like a hostel. But on the other hand, every capsule is private, and people stay quiet in the capsule area, so there’s not really a way to socialize.
Value for money: 4 stars – We paid 140 shekels for each capsule (because we booked through their site). The price is good for a semi-private stay, though it’s a bit high for a capsule-based place. At the end of the day, all you really get here is a bed. There’s no breakfast.
A detailed review of JERU Caps Hotel
JERU Caps Hotel is centrally located 15 minutes on foot from the Old City and from the Machane Yehuda Market. Because they are in opposite directions, the hotel is right in the middle. Right next to the hotel is the Museum of Italian Jewish Art, and 3 minutes from the hotel is the lively Ben Yehuda Pedestrian Street, where you’ll find tons of stores and places to eat.
The hotel’s address is Hillel 20. Hillel is a popular street in Jerusalem, with great places to eat. Right across the road is Aroma, one of Israel’s most popular coffee chains, where you can get something to eat in the morning.
The common areas
There are two common areas in the hotel – the lobby and the porch.
The lobby has some coaches and seating places. There’s free coffee and tea for the guests. And there’s a small space where you can make something to eat. It looks like a small kitchen because there’s an electric cooktop and cooking utensils, but I didn’t see anyone use it.
The porch is on the top floor. It has great views of Hillel Street, so you can do people watching from there. But there are only a few places to sit, and the seating places aren’t next to each other, so it doesn’t have a socializing vibe. Whenever I went out there, I saw someone sitting alone with a cigarette. So maybe it’s just meant to be a smoking porch or a place to breathe in some air.
I’ve already stayed in a capsule-based place when staying at Capsuleinn. So, the capsule at JERU Caps Hotel disappointed me a bit. Compared to the one at Capsuleinn, it is very basic. It doesn’t have a TV nor a mirror. Also, there’s no way to lock it from the outside. When I arrived, the man at the front desk told me that they could give me a lock to lock the capsule doors from the outside, but it’s just not convenient.
The good thing about the capsule is that it’s very spacious. In terms of space, we could have stayed in one capsule, but it’s not defined as a “double capsule.” Actually, there are only single capsules in the hotel, so each of us had our own. That’s a bit annoying if you’re traveling as a couple and want to sleep together.
So, the capsule is very spacious. There’s a very comfy mattress, a shelf that comes out of the wall, hanging rods, and a small cabinet where you can store small items. There’s also light ceiling, a reading light, and an electrical outlet with three USB ports. It’s basic, but enough for a pleasant stay.
The shared capsule space
The capsules are in different shared spaces – mixed, women-only, and men-only. So, it’s like a hostel, where all the beds are in one big room, and the capsule is supposed to be like a private room within the general space. The problem is that it isn’t soundproof, and you can hear everything outside of it. For example, when some of our capsule neighbors came around midnight and started talking between them about their “filthy” capsule, it definitely interrupted our sleep. So, I guess your sleeping experience will depend on the other people sleeping in your shared space.
The shared space also includes a locker for each capsule. We stayed in a mixed shared space, where the lockers were a few steps away from the capsule. They were tall and didn’t look deep enough to store a large suitcase. Good thing we just brought a small bag. I know that in other spaces, the locker is situated below the capsule, but I think the size is more or less the same. On their website, the hotel says you can store a trolley-sized suitcase inside. I guess you can store larger suitcases next to the reception, inside their luggage room, but that’s not convenient at all. So, make sure to bring a small suitcase.
Also, the whole shared space has one main air conditioner, which is set to a very cold temperature, and there’s no way to change the temperature. Good thing there was a warm blanket.
There were three shared bathrooms on our floor, outside the sleeping room. Each bathroom has its own door, which can be locked. That’s great because it offers a lot of privacy. But the problem with the bathroom is that it’s tiny. It includes a shower, a toilet, and a sink, all crammed together. So, it was hard to get dressed and organized in there, but I managed. There are some hangers on which you can hang your towel and clothes, which can help you in the process.
The cleanliness isn’t perfect, too. At first glance, it looks clean. But if you look at it a second time, it’s not clean enough.
There’s liquid soap in the shower. Make sure to check that it’s not out of soap before you start showering. I didn’t check and found out it was over too late. If it’s out of soap, try asking the reception for a refill.
The water was warm when we stayed there.
The hotel provides free towels. There’s also free WiFi, but it didn’t work so well when I tried it. In the capsule, it kept disconnecting.
The staff members were great. They welcomed us with a smile when we first came and continued smiling throughout our stay. They explained about the hotel and its facilities, mentioned the porch, and made sure we had everything we needed.
The reception is closed from 11 PM to 8 AM in the morning. We found out only in the morning when we wanted to do an early check-out and didn’t find anyone at reception. I guess you can leave your keys on their desk or something. But it could have been good if there was a sign with some explanations about early check-out.
We felt very safe. There’s a locked door leading to the sleeping areas and another locked door leading to your specific sleeping area. To open the doors, you need to use the digital card given at check-in. And if you want, you can also lock your capsule from the inside.
The front door is open during the day but gets locked at night and can only be opened by the hotel key. So yes, we felt safe.
JERU Caps Hotel is one of few capsule-based accommodations in Jerusalem. Unlike other capsule accommodations, the capsules at JERU Caps are quite basic, with no special gimmicks. It’s simply a place to lay your head after a long day exploring Jerusalem. While it isn’t completely private, it still offers you some privacy and is overall a good choice for budget travelers traveling with light luggage.
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