Inbal Hotel: Monolithic elegance in the heart of the Holy City
The Inbal Hotel in Jerusalem looks like a monolithic structure carved from a mountainside of limestone that bears the name of its location. While only thirty years old, the Inbal Hotel has become a landmark of Jerusalem and is considered to be one of the finer hotels in this historic part of Isreal.
Situated in a former olive grove in the Talbieh district, overlooking Liberty Bell Park, the Inbal is decorated in honey hues and caramel cream colors with glass and marble furnishings. The lobby has an air of elegance that is synonymous with a fine hotel—wide open with plenty of places to sit and converse with others. The curved wall of windows peers into a center courtyard which I found to be a wonderful place to relax while enjoying my morning cup of coffee or afternoon cocktail.
As I made my way to my room I noticed something a bit out of character at the row of elevators…the keypad to select the floor number was on the outside—no buttons inside the cars. This is something I don’t think I’ve seen before, but felt it added to the simple elegance of the hotel. As I exited the elevator and made my way to my room I noticed the narrow hallways with sleek smooth walls where the doors blended seamlessly. As I entered the room I was impressed with the decor and accents, but I was surprised by the rather petite size, especially for such a high-end hotel.
The bathroom, while beautifully designed, was pretty cramped. Some of the configuration challenges became apparent when I went to use the toilet. When I pulled down my pants to sit on the loo, my elbows would hit a protruding wall from the hanging toilet. That definitely smarted each time I sat down. There was also no place for the trashcan within the bathroom, so it is placed next to the toilet. The problem was, each time I would sit down, my heel would hit the metal receptacle, making a very loud sound as it crashed against the wall with great force, something I’m sure the neighboring guests did not appreciate in the middle of the night.
That said, the overall design was stunning, with wood-style tile on the floor, stainless steel accents, a frosted glass entry door and marble lining the space from floor to ceiling. The lighting in the bathroom is also sophisticated, illuminating the bathtub from underneath as well as accenting the vanity. Something else remarkable I noticed was the fact that the center part of the mirror did not fog up during/after my showers. Not sure what technology is used, but I certainly appreciated not having to take a towel and rub streaks across the reflective surface to see myself.
I stayed at the Inbal Hotel during Shabbat, so many of the amenities, including the spa, pool and restaurants were closed. Thankfully, hotel management permitted me to use the executive lounge, so I had access to some light snacks and drinks. The spread consisted mainly of grilled vegetables, smoked salmon, salads, cheeses, dried fruits, nuts and some other accoutrements. I was quite content with the healthy array of nosh on display. The lounge was comfortable with plenty of seating and lounging areas as well as a lovely terrace that looked out over Old Jerusalem.
While the Holy City comes to a halt by late afternoon on Friday, I found this a great opportunity to walk the ancient streets of Old Jerusalem and avoid the crowds. As night fell, I found it a perfect time to take some long-exposure photos without people walking in the frame.
I stayed at the Inbal Hotel but a mere two nights, just enough to get acquainted, but not quite enough to get to know all its splendor. The hotel is going through a major renovation and expansion, this did not disturb my visit in any way, and it’s nice to know that on a future visit it is likely that some of the space issues I mentioned will be addressed with more spacious accommodations.
The Inbal is absolutely a fine hotel, however until their renovations are completed, I’m not sure I would consider it a five-star property, but again, I did not have the luxury of seeing the hotel in all her glory, both due to Shabbat and the renovations. If you’ve ever stayed at the Inbal Hotel near Old Jerusalem, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
Inbal Hotel Information:
Address: Liberty Bell Park | 3 Jabotinsky Street Jerusalem 92145
Phone: 877-443-7443 (U.S.) (972) (2) 675 6777 (local)
Rates: $350 to $850+ (Inquiry)