When I traveled to Tel Aviv last month with my boyfriend, we looked for a private hostel room at a reasonable price. The prices are crazy in Tel Aviv, and one of the cheapest options I found was Jungle Jaffa. When booking the place, it said that it includes breakfast AND dinner. That was a surprise, as I’ve never been to a hostel that has dinner included. My hopes weren’t high, but breakfast and dinner were over my expectations, and so were the friendly staff members. Some things weren’t perfect, but overall, I think it provides good value for its price. And if you book a dorm bed, I think it’s even higher.
Here’s my full authentic review of Jungle Jaffa in Tel Aviv.
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Short summary about Jungle Jaffa
Location: 5 stars – The hostel is in an ideal location, 10 minutes’ walk from Old Jaffa, 15 minutes’ walk from Florentin, and about 20 minutes’ walk from the nearest beach, Charles Clore Beach. 3 minutes from the hostel there’s a bus station, where you can catch buses to all the central attractions.
Cleanliness: 5 stars – Everything was clean when we stayed there.
Staff: 5 stars – The staff were super friendly and attentive to our needs.
Security: 3 stars – The hostel is always open, even at night, and there’s no code at the entrance. But we had our private room, and it was automatically locked whenever we closed the door, so we felt secure. Also, there’s no special room for luggage, so you just put it next to the reception and anyone can have access. Less comfortable, but alright.
Facilities: 3 stars – The hostel is overall quite basic. There’s a huge and well-equipped guest kitchen, a beautifully designed lobby, a water cooler, and free tea and coffee. There’s even a large rooftop with a nice view. But a lot of things that are usually included, like towels, are not included in this hostel. And while the showers do have a door, they are very basic, there’s no soap included, and the water temperature isn’t stable. The private room we ordered had A/C, but also very thin walls, so you can hear EVERYTHING outside.
Atmosphere: 5 stars – The hostel has good vibes. There’s lots of room in the common area and people are always around. There’s an age range for hostel guests, so people here are not too young and not too old, between 18 to 45.
Value for money: 5 stars – With free breakfast and dinner and a very reasonable price (compared to Tel Aviv), I think this hostel is well worth the money. Just make sure to bring all you need so you won’t need to pay for the extras.
Keep in mind – The hostel is on the second, third, and fourth floor of the building, and there’s no elevator.
Detailed review of Jungle Jaffa
Jungle Jaffa Hostel is within walking distance from Tel Aviv’s main sites. It’s 10 minutes from Old Jaffa, 15 minutes from Florentin, and 20 minutes from Charles Clore Beach. Rothschild Boulevard is about 25 minutes on foot, and the Carmel Market is about 30 minutes away. There’s also a bus station close to the hostel, where you can catch buses to farther away places.
There’s a supermarket about 400 meters from the hostel. But if you don’t want to make your own food, there are many restaurants in Old Jaffa and Florentin. There’s also a burger restaurant right next to the hostel, Burger Station 23. I didn’t try it, but it has a good rating on Google Maps.
There’s also a soccer stadium right next to the hostel, so if there’s a game, you should expect some noise.
When we stayed there, there were also constructions in the area, so it added to the noise. When there are no constructions going on, the area is quite quiet and pleasant.
Jungle Jaffa is located at She’erit Yisra’el Street 31, Tel Aviv.
The private room
We booked a private budget room, which is quite basic but very spacious. There’s a desk, a large closet, and a double bed. The mattress was not too soft and not too hard. There were two electricity plugs and USB entry points, one next to the desk and one next to the bed. Too bad there wasn’t a plug on each side of the bed.
When we came into the room, it was stuffy and hot. We spent some time figuring out how to turn on the A/C, until we found out that the remote was at the reception. Once we turned it on, it cooled the room well.
What we less liked about the room was the fact that it’s not soundproof at all. You hear every little knock, the people talking in the lobby, and the opening and closing of the nearby doors. In the morning, my boyfriend joked: “Now I understand why they sell earplugs at the reception.”
The common areas
The hostel has a nice lobby with many sofas, tables, and chairs. People were always around, eating, working on their laptops, or simply hanging out. So, it’s a pleasant space. There are even board games which you can take and play with. Next to the lobby, there’s free tea and coffee, so you can make yourself something to drink and enjoy it in the lobby.
Another common area is the rooftop. It’s huge, full of places to sit, and has a great view of the Bloomfield Stadium and a green public park. There was barely anyone up there when we were there, but potentially, it could be a cool place when it’s cool outside.
The guest kitchen is HUGE and looks like it has been renovated lately. Everything looks brand new, clean, and sparkling. There’s a large refrigerator where you can keep your stuff, as well as ovens, an electric cooktop, a food blender, cooking and eating utensils, and two sinks. Everything is labeled and organized.
We didn’t use it, but it definitely looked inviting.
The private room doesn’t have an ensuite. So, we had to use the shared showers and restrooms. There were some on our floor, the lobby’s floor, and more on the dormitory floor upstairs. The restrooms had enough stalls and were clean. But there was a sign on the shared showers that said they didn’t have hot water because of some problem. We decided not to take the chance and use the ones on the dormitory floor.
The showers are behind lockable doors. They are spacious, and there is a hanger on which you can hang your clothes and towel. The water temperature was overall warm but not stable. Maybe it’s connected to the problem on the lobby’s floor.
We less liked that the showers didn’t have soap and shampoo. In most hostels, they do provide these things, especially if you book a private room. But we learned that Jungle Jaffa sticks to the basics. When I asked the guy at the reception if they had soap, he suggested looking in the closets underneath the sink. “If you find anything, you can take it,” he said. We didn’t feel so comfortable about it because we weren’t sure if it belonged to someone, but our other option was to go out again after a long day, and we were tired. So… My tip for you – bring soap and shampoo!
Don’t forget to bring soap and shampoo!
When I travel, I always like to bring my soap and shampoo in small travel bottles so I don’t have to carry the full bottles.
The staff members are a mix of Israelis and volunteers. They were all very friendly and attentive to our needs.
Before arriving, they called us to make sure we understood that it’s a hostel and that the showers were shared. I guess some Israelis came and were disappointed to find out that they don’t have a shower in their private room, so they call to update before charging the payment.
When we arrived, the guy at the reception greeted us with a smile and explained about the different facilities and about breakfast and dinner. Our card key didn’t work properly, so he helped us fix it. Also, when we asked about the A/C, he personally came to turn it on for us. Later, another guy came to make sure we were ok with the A/C.
We kept on asking them things throughout the stay and they were always willing to help.
Jaffa Jungle Hostel supplies the basic things you need for a stay. Extras like towels and locks are not included. A towel costs 7 shekels, and a lock costs 10 shekels. They also sell coffee capsules for 5 shekels, a sim card for 69 shekels, and ear plugs for 5 shekels. And if you want to leave your luggage at the hostel after checkout, it costs 25 shekels starting from 3 PM. I guess that’s how they keep the bed price low.
There’s free WiFi, which works well. And like I mentioned at the beginning, there’s free breakfast AND dinner. The hostel stay is half-pension no matter if you book a private room or a dormitory bed. Though, from what I understood, it looks like they don’t serve breakfast and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
Breakfast included pancakes, bread, and cut vegetables. There was no limit on the number of pancakes, so it was nice. But it seems like breakfast isn’t the same every day, so you might not get pancakes.
Dinner was even better than breakfast. They served rice, lentils, oven-baked potatoes, and cabbage salad. Yes, it’s vegetarian, but there’s no limit on the amount you take, so it can fill you up. And they make a large amount of food, so it’s enough for everyone. We were really impressed.
Bring a towel so you won’t pay extra!
If you don’t want to pay the extra money for a towel, make sure to bring one. A quick dry towel is an ideal towel for travel because you don’t have to wait too long for it to dry, so you can quickly move from one place to another.
Compared to other hostels in Tel Aviv, Jungle Jaffa felt less secure. The front door was open and had no security code. So, anyone can access the lobby, the dormitory floor, and the rooftop. Also, they don’t have a secure room where you can store your luggage if you want to leave it there before check-in or after check-out.
Our private room had a door that got locked every time we closed it, so it was secure. But when I went to the dormitory floor, I saw a dorm that was wide open. Maybe you can close and lock it. I don’t know.
Jungle Jaffa Hostel is one of the friendliest hostels I’ve been to, and we really loved the half-pension! It’s located within walking distance from the main attractions, is clean, and has a super impressive guest kitchen. The cons are that it’s very basic and only offers what you need for a stay. You need to pay for a towel, a lock, and for leaving your luggage there after 3 PM. And the walls are thin, so it can get noisy. Good thing they sell earplugs.
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I stayed at Jungle Jaffa in August 2022 at my own expense and the review is 100% authentic.
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