Designed by acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie (he also did the David Citadel Hotel), this sprawling, contemporary cultural and educational center is run by the World Union for Progressive (Reform) Judaism. The complex boasts excellent views of the Old City and a network of terraces, gardens, and courtyards. At night, the college campus–like area bustles with activity—lectures, concerts, art exhibits, you name it. As for Beit Shmuel’s hostel, it contains rooms with private bathrooms that can be arranged for two to six people; better rooms in the Beit Shimshon Guest House wing can handle up to four guests. We’ll be blunt: The rooms are worn from heavy use. But we still recommend Bet Schmuel for all the cultural perks it offers. Visitors of all faiths and ages are welcome. Phone ahead to make arrangements if you need wheelchair access. Reserve far in advance, as this is a popular place to lodge.
- Frommer's Staff