Never say never. That has always been one of my mantras. And yet, there was one thing I said I would never do. I said I would never, ever, ever stay in a hostel. Hostels are for solo travelers, super budget travelers, backpackers, and kids in their late teens or early twenties, right? We don’t fit into any of those categories. The thought of sharing a room with strangers and sleeping in a bunk bed frankly makes my skin crawl. However, when we spoke to Abraham Tours and they offered to host us both on their tours and in their hostels, how could we say no? Thus started our first time ever staying in a hostel.
There was one condition. That condition was that we would stay in private rooms for the duration of the trip. We might be willing to try something new, but we weren’t willing to completely alter our travel style. That condition wasn’t a problem as all of Abraham Hostels’ locations offer private rooms in addition to the traditional shared rooms.
Israel is expensive, so even if you’re not normally a hostel traveler, a private room at one of Abraham Hostels’ locations might be the perfect option if you want to travel on a budget. Plus, one of Abraham Hostels’ slogans is, “Abraham, the first backpacker,” so it seems fitting to stay at a backpacker’s hostel in Israel.
Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv
Our very first hostel experience was at Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv for two nights, the newest of Abraham Hostels’ offerings. We’d been traveling for almost 24 hours when we arrived, so it was quite a relief when we walked through the door and found that our room was big, clean, and quite comfortable. It’s a hostel, so we weren’t expecting anything too fancy. The room was sparsely decorated and lacked the amenities of a hotel like shampoo or a hairdryer. But what it did have was comfortable beds (two twins pushed together), nightstands, a desk, a wardrobe, and a whole lot of space both in the room and in the bathroom. If you don’t bring your own hairdryer, there’s one at the front desk you can borrow.
Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv also has some nice public spaces. The rooftop provides a great view of the city as well cozy seating areas. That’s also where you’ll find the laundry facilities. The other main common area is the lounge/dining room. Here is where everyone gathers for breakfast or a drink at happy hour. There are refrigerators for people who want to buy and prepare their own food. There’s a bar with local Israeli beers. There are hammocks and couches for relaxing. In addition, there are TV rooms if you want to catch up on the news, though we never saw those in use.
Something we always look for when choosing a hotel is location, and Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv is in a great location near Rothschild Boulevard. We were able to walk from the hostel to wherever we wanted to visit, both attractions during the day and restaurants at night.
Because Tel Aviv is Israel’s business center, Abraham Hostels recently announced Abraham Business to accommodate business travelers. Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv now offers co-working spaces and meeting rooms in addition to the comfortable rooms, daily events, transportation, and tours.
Fauzi Azar Inn
If it weren’t for the fact that there are shared rooms, Fauzi Azar Inn wouldn’t even seem like a hostel. Fauzi Azar Inn, located in the center of Nazareth, is a guesthouse inside a 200-year-old Arab mansion.
The 15 rooms include typical hostel dorm rooms and private rooms, some with en suite bathrooms and others with shared bathrooms. The public spaces are absolutely gorgeous. There is an inner courtyard with stone walls, greenery, and an ancient fountain. The lounge upstairs has arched windows, marble floors, and a high painted ceiling.
Fauzi Azar Inn is the first of the hostels of Abraham Hostels. When owner Maoz Inon, now one of Abraham Hostels’ partners, first opened the guesthouse, people thought he was crazy as the tourist market in Nazareth was pretty much non-existent. But Fauzi Azar Inn helped revitalize Nazareth, and now there are many hostels in the city. Abraham Hostels is hoping to have the same success in the Arab town of Jizr az-Zarqa with Juha’s Guesthouse.
In addition to exploring Nazareth, Fauzi Azar Inn is a good place to stay in order to visit other parts of Galilee. Abraham Tours offers a number of tours from Nazareth including the Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights, Haifa, Acre and Rosh Hanikra, and the Jesus Trail. The guesthouse also offers a Traditional Cooking Workshop where guests gather together and learn to prepare Maqluba, a traditional Arab dish made with chicken, rice, vegetables, and local spices.
Abraham Hostel Jerusalem
Abraham Hostels Jerusalem has been around a lot longer than Abraham Hostels Tel Aviv and it does show in the rooms. The private rooms are much smaller. The bathroom is split into two tiny rooms, one with a toilet and miniature sink and the other with a shower stall and sink. Our room showed some signs of wear as a lot of repair work was done in the bathroom and the heater sounded like it was on its last legs (which I reported so hopefully it will be fixed for the next guests). However, the room was still comfortable.
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We enjoyed hanging out in Abraham Hostels Jerusalem’s lounge and bar, sipping on Israeli beers, talking, looking through our photos, and listening to guests play the piano.
The hostel is also very well situated, close to public transportation and within walking distance of lots of restaurants. There are also a number of tours offered from Jerusalem including Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea, Hebron, Bethlehem, plus two-day trips to Jordan.
In addition to the affordability, a huge appeal of a hostel is the ability to get to know other travelers. This is especially important for solo travelers, a few of which we befriended on our trip through Israel with Abraham Tours. We had so much fun exploring Israel and Jordan with our new friends, and have even kept in touch with some of them. Because Israel is such a unique, conflicted place, spending time with other travelers is an especially welcome addition to a trip to Israel because you can get different perspectives on the experience in the moment.
So, have we converted to hostel travelers, throwing away our spinner luggage in preference for a heavily loaded backpack? No. But we will consider staying in a hostel again, as long as we have a private room of course. We certainly have more open minds to the hostel experience and won’t overlook a potential accommodation possibility just because it is a hostel. Our very first hostel experience was a good one and we can without reservation recommend staying at Abraham Hostels to other travelers who are either looking to travel to Israel on a budget or want to meet some fun travel buddies. It just goes to show, never say never.
Thank you to Abraham Tours and Abraham Hostels for hosting our trip to Israel and making this post possible. As always all opinions are our own. This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them it costs you nothing extra and we earn a small commission which goes towards running this website and bringing you more travel stories.