Mexico City: Accommodations

4 Seasons Hotel – beautiful upscale hotel. Some great places to eat and drink inside too.

Ignacia Guest House – small and quaint. Only 5 rooms.

Las Alcobas Hotel – little hotel but nice rooms and interior

San Angel inn – a Carmelite Monastery from 1692

El Patio 77 B&B – Eco friendly hotel in El Centro

Hotel Gran Ciudad de Mexico – Upscale old school charming hotel in El Centro

Reforma (zona rosa) – big night life….Genova street shopping – check out Little
Korea

Casa Prim Boutique – at the edge of Zona Rosa. Nice hotel with rooftop bar.

Chaya B & B – in Zona Rosa. Not elevator so it is a better bargain here.

Casa Decu – in Roma and one of the best hotels for the money in Mexico City

Hotel Carlota – in graffiti filled Juarez neighborhood

Condesa DF – great little bohemian hotel with a great rooftop bar

Tel Aviv: Accommodations

The Norman – www.thenorman.com – 1920’s mansion – one of the best hotels in Israel.  rooftop pool and lounge. plus a nice spa. And great location. 
Alexander Tel Aviv – www.alexander.co.il/luxry-hotel – beautiful modern hotel next to the beach in Tel Aviv.  they have a wonderful location and a beautiful rooftop restaurant. 
Poli House By Brown Hotels*https://brownhotels.com/poli –  Hip little hotel in the heart of Tel Aviv.  10 minute walk to the beach or grab a free bike at the hotel and ride to the beach. this has a cool Rooftop bar and pool.  the rooms are really small and fairly expensive.  this hotel is in a great location too. it is next to the Carmel (HaCarmel) Market. we did not lay at the pool with the hipsters. this is the place to be in Tel Aviv.  if you are 25 to 40.  see hotel pictures below. 
Hotel Montefiorewww.hotelmontefiore.co.il – a very small and beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of TLV.  really quaint with an award winning restaurant on site too. 
Ultra Hotel* – http://www.atlas.co.il/shalom-hotel-tel-aviv – 29 rooms hotel that is pretty trendy but basic.  great cocktail lounge.  1 Block from the beach. 
Vera Hotel – http://theverahotel.com –   a really cool boutique hotel with only 39 rooms.  with a spa and sundeck on the roof.  mid priced too. 


Jaffa Market House – http://www.atlas.co.il/market-house-hotel-tel-aviv-israel – a great little hotel on the heart of Jaffa. excellent breakfast and happy hour.  this is a more reasonable place vs The Setai. they are across the street from each other. 
The Setai Tel Avivhttp://www.thesetaihotel.co.il – One of the nicest Hotels in the heart of Jaffa.  next to the beach, great pool and really nice hotel.  
Shalom Hotel * – http://www.atlas.co.il/shalom-hotel-tel-aviv – a cool hotel near the beach.  great rooftop bar.  
Orchid Hotel* Tel Aviv – http://www.orchidhotels.co.il/?orchid_tel_aviv=orchid-tel-aviv&lang=en –  pretty big hotel with 200 rooms.  great services including: Spa, Business center, Pool and Gym. the hotel is at the beach too.  
The Brown Beach Boutique Hotel* – http://www.brownhotels.com/beach –  great hotel just one block from the beach.  the hotel has a small spa and a little bar plus a nice space for breakfast. the rooms are fairly large and clean but miss on little details like paint on light switches and missing grout in bathroom. overall the rooms were pretty clean.  rooms 308, 408 and 508 have balconies and views of the water. use a hotel bike to ride for miles up and down the coast.  great value. 
* join the hotels frequent guest program and receive a discount if you book direct. 

 

Jerusalem: Accommodations

Mamilla Hotel – www.mamillahotel.com – One of the best Luxury hotels in Jerusalem. very modern. great roof top deck for drinks.
Waldorf Astoria www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/israel/waldorf-astoria-jerusalem.com  is one of the newest luxury hotels and equally beautiful and pricey as the Mamilla but the Waldorf  is much more authentic.
American Colony Hotelwww.americancolony.com  american owned hotel with great service and attention to detail. one of the few places with great outdoor pool.
The David Citadel Hotelwww.thedavidcitadel.com one of the older classic hotels, nice roof top pool plus a spa and a gym. Perfect location.
Leonardo Boutique Hotel * –  www.leonardo-hotels.com – a little more reasonable than the hotels listed above.  nice rooms.  no room service though. coffee and food one floor below reception.
Villa Brown Jerusalem* – www.brownhotels.com – great location and more reasonably priced too.
Dan Boutique Hotel* – www.danhotels.com  Reasonably priced hotel that faces the old city wall.
*Join their frequent guest program for 5%  discount off of your room but you must book your room directly with hotel.  Better chance for an upgrade too.
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Petra & Wadi Rum, Jordan – Incredible!

Visiting Jordan from Israel: A trip to Petra Jordan is well worth it if you are in Israel and have a couple of extra days.  You can see Petra and Wadi Rum in a day but it will end up being one of the longest days ever.  Instead I would opt for at least one night in Petra.  Arrive early morning at one of 3 Jordan borders – the one near the Eilat Airport in Israel is the easiest place to cross.  You can get your Visa at the Border or have your Jordanian guide or tourist company arrange it ahead of time.  We knew a local Jordanian guide that handled all of our paperwork.  We booked an early morning flight online to Eilat on Akria airlines ($110 roundtrip fro Tel Aviv). Took a 10 minute Taxi to the border.  Walked across the boarder and our Jordanian guide was waiting for us with paperwork and car.  We went directly to Petra with a tourist souvenir stop on the way. 
We checked into Movenpick http://www.movenpick.com/en/middle-east/jordan/petra/resort-petra then headed to Petra which was just across the street.  After our 6 hour tour we hung out by the pool and had drinks on the Rooftop then dinner inside.  Then at 8pm we headed 1/2 way down Petra to see Petra by night.  The dark trail is lit by candles but you cannot see anything until you get to the main square.  The main square is lit up by 100’s of candles on the ground. They have a few speeches and solo musical performances then the main building is lit up with many different colors for about 2 minutes.  Get ready to photograph.  People are everywhere, so grab one of the mats sit and enjoy.  There are no concessions at night so bring water…and maybe a bottle of wine.  Once done head back to the Movenpick and get a goods night sleep.  Head over to Wadi Rum in the morning and spend 2 hours in an open bed truck riding and enjoying the landscape. Then head back to the border.  If hungry grab a quick meal at the border town before going back. Papaya was one of the better places to eat in town.  Very local and very friendly. The lamb and chicken skewers were amazing and cooked on a little grill right at your table.  The french fries were quite tasty too. 
Petra – This incredible Nabatean city was built around 2300 years ago. It is in the southern part of Jordan and worth a visit. It was made famous in the West after the filming of Indiana Jones. It is approximately a 4 km walk each way and well worth it. Food and drinks are available along the way.  Price for admission is approx $50 and includes a horse ride for 30% of the way.  You can hire a horse and buggy, plus solo horses and camels if you would rather not walk it.  Be careful the local Bedouins (nomadic locals) handle the transportation and they will push you not just for a tip but as much money as they can get from you.  Ours offered to have the horses take us right to our hotels cash machine.  They are camped out all over the site also trying to sell you local crafts.
Wadi Rum – a huge dessert valley in southern Jordan. It is a popular destination due to it’s rock climbing, hiking, outdoor adventures and a night filled with beautiful stars.  The mountains, rock and sand are a beautiful pink and salmon color.  The sand can get pretty hot in the summer so do not even try wearing flip-flops or sandals. If you also want to stay the night you have many choices of Bedouin camps.  They range from 4 Seasons like accommodations at the Memories Aicha Luxury Camp – http://www.mlc.jo/en/  or mid – level at Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp – http://www.wadirumnight.com or very basic and as cheap as $25.  The more expensive camps have air conditioning in individual rooms.  The cheaper ones do not. If you like the most basic just make sure it is not going to be 90 plus degrees.  

 

Bethlehem, Banksy & The Banksy Hotel and Hebron Information

Below are pictures of Banksy’s hotel that he secretly built in Bethlehem. And yes it faces the wall 10 feet away. The rest of the pictures are of the interior of the hotel except for the Dove and Flower Thrower pictures that are actually painted on the wall.

You can actually stay in the hotel and walk through the museum inside that Banksy created about the conflict.  Seeing his hotel might have been better then seeing the girl with the balloon destroyed at auction.  The guy is a a creative genius. When I was asked recently, if granted a wish,  who was the one person that I would love to have dinner with, I can unequivocally say it would be Banksy.  Please go see and even stay in his brilliant hotel. And maybe track him down at a concert or two???

Walled Off small

Sulwis Suleiman – sulwis@gmail.com  +972 54 582 3612 – he tours all over Israel including: TLV, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, West Bank, Jordan etc.

Bethlehem Tour Guide – Issa (Abu David) Phone number – 0523730465

Al – Surfara Restaurant – www.facebook.com/مطعم-السفراء-Al-sufara-Restaurant-315722595985/ – this is a very local family owned hole in the wall with great shawarma and falafel. They make the falafel right in front of you on the street.  The salad and pita are also very very fresh.  This place is in front of the church 100 yards up the little shopping street near the fake starbucks.