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Not to be confused with the Notre Dame de Sion Guest House in the Old City, this is one of the most special places to stay in the Jerusalem area. It’s set in a walled convent with its own orchards and gardens in the charming village of Ein Kerem (birthplace of John the Baptist), a half-hour municipal bus ride from downtown Jerusalem. Not all guests are religious; many travelers come for the poetry and romance of the place. The convent itself is a lovely ensemble of atmospheric, stone buildings; rooms are very simple but spotless, and many share a balcony, a huge plus in a setting this lovely. Rates are slightly higher on weekends; for reservations (which are essential), you must phone between 9am and 2pm Jerusalem time.