Hotels

Review: Crowne Plaza Jerusalem

a view of a city from a balcony

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When it comes to visiting the Holy Land, and especially Jerusalem, finding hotels to book with points can be frustrating. In fact, in Jerusalem, there are 4 options: Waldorf Astoria, Crowne Plaza, Ibis, and a Wyndham. Soon, circa mid 2020, Intercontinental will open a $130 million property that will give the best of the best a run for its money. Until then…there are 4.

While I would have much preferred to stay at the Waldorf Astoria, throwing down 95k points or $500+ a night just wasn’t going to happen, especially when we had full day tours planned. Not only is it a gorgeous property, but it’s location is right next to the Old City. If you’re looking for 5 star properties, I’d suggest investigating it alongside the King David and Mamilla.

We landed on the Crowne Plaza Jerusalem.

a building with many windows and trees

Stay details:

  • When: May 2019
  • Where: Jerusalem
  • Stay: 4 nights
  • Loyalty: IHG Spire + Platinum
  • Perks: Club Level, room upgrade
  • Rate: 20k per night

Booking

Both of my parents are Chase IHG Premier cardholders and, as a perk of the card, get a 4th night free when booking with points. Considering that this hotel is only 20k points per night, and cash rates were $225+, it was a fantastic value for money. Here’s a look at the math, but we booked two rooms for 13.5k per night, per room. IHG often sells miles for 1/2 cent, so you could essentially buy a $225 a night room for less than $70 per night.

  • 3 x 20k per night – 4th night free with IHG Premier
  • 10% as a perk of IHG Select
  • 13.5k per night, pro-rated.

a screenshot of a sign in

Hotel Location

This is a big thing to note. The hotel is FAR from the Old City. If you have transportation lined up, great, but otherwise, you’re kind of on an island. You could walk up the street to hop on the train, but if you’re thinking you may waltz on over to Jaffa gate, think again. There is a shopping center down the road with a movie theatre ( we saw Avengers: End Game – epic experience ).

a map of a city
courtesy of google maps

Check-in

Not the best first impression at all. Front desk staff was gruff, the building was under construction, and no one helped us with our bags. Elite status was recognized, and a category upgrade given, along with club access, but to stay we had a welcomed arrival would just be a lie.

a group of people standing in front of a reception desk

In fact, the arrival experience was so lackluster I was looking to see if there was any way we could change hotels and pivot. After convening in my parents room, they thought it more effort than it was worth, and we decided to stay.

The Room

We were upgraded into view rooms that had been updated. The rooms were a breath of fresh air compared to the lobby and common spaces of the hotel, but they left our head scratching with two issues. One…the safe was bolted to a shelf that could be easily removed. The second, the doors didn’t close flush with the ground. As in, we could hear everything in the hall, but worse yet, if I laid on the floor, I could see right under the door into the hallway.

On the plus side, they featured newly redone bathrooms and large flat screen tvs.

Club level.

The best aspect of the club was the view. Unreal, 360 degree, sweeping views.

While the view was fantastic, and the food wasn’t too bad, there were major service issues. Multiple times during our 4 night stay we encountered food set out without plates and cutlery. Coffee machine was out of order or there just weren’t any cups in which to put coffee in if it were operational. In addition to these issues, we came up several times to just find crusty food laid out, and dirty plates sitting on tables.

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Gym and Pool

There is a large pool complex and a gym. Both looked as though they could use an update.

Overall:

Would I stay here again? For so few points, probably. It is a far, far cry from the likes of the Crowne Plaza Singapore, and fell short of even the Crowne Plaza LAX. With that said, in total, we spent 108k points total, for 2 rooms and 4 nights. How do you beat that?

Alternatives…

The Waldorf has residences that can be rented, and if the price was right, I’d lock one of those down. Additionally, if we were just renting one room, I’d think about using my Citi Prestige and booking the Mamilla which is adjacent to the Old City ( rates were in the $400s ).

But…if cash isn’t an option, and you’re traveling after the Intercontinental Jerusalem opens, I’d stay there. Odds are it will be somewhere in the 50-70k range ( the Intercontinental Tel Aviv is 50k ), and at that rate I wouldn’t even look anywhere else. Throw in a 4th night free with the IHG Premier, and you are sitting golden in what looks to be a world class hotel in a hard to beat location.

Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Doha

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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Affiliate LInk

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4.8
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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is a great starter card that earns Premium Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred into over a dozen partners many of which are US based including Hyatt, Southwest, United, IHG, and Marriott.

Welcome Offer

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 

Annual Fee

$95

Points Earned

Transferrable Chase Ultimate Rewards

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • That’s $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
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  • $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit via Chase Travel℠
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  • 10% Anniversary Bonus
    • Every year you keep the card, your total spend will yield a 10% points bonus. If you spend $10k in a year, you’ll get 1k bonus points
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  • Points are transferrable to 14 Ultimate Rewards partners
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  • No foreign transaction fees
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We keep an up to date spreadsheet that lists the best ever offers: You can find that spreadsheet here.

Historically 80k is a very, very good offer and hit in both 2022 and 2023. In 2021, we saw the offer hit an all time high of 100k. Who knows if that will ever come back.

Main Cast: 

Cards that earn flexible points and should be used on the bulk of your purchases.

Supporting Cast:

Cards that earn fixed points in the currency of the airline/hotel and can not be transferred at attractive rates. These cards yield benefits that make it worth keeping, but not necessarily worth putting a lot of your everyday spend on. 

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® is exceptional starter card and offers transferrable Ultimate Rewards, and pairs well with other Chase cards.

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Annual fee is quite low at $95 a year + you get a 10% anniversary bonus on points + $50 hotel credit in Chase travel.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Comment

  • DaninMCI February 12, 2020

    There are more than 4 hotels in Jerusalem you can book with points. Two Wyndham, (Tryp and Ramada I think), 2 Ibis hotels, Waldorf, Crowne Plaza and I think there are some other Accor and Viola boutique options as well. It is limited though I agree. I take private small group (<8) tour groups to Israel and we use the Crowne Plaza. It is not great but has really improved in the past year or two. The location is good as it's close to the Israel Museum and Central train station.

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