Showcasing the Best of Contemporary Jerusalem
Berlin-based travel blog Travels of Adam has partnered with Brown Hotels, Jerusalem’s official tourism site and other local businesses to showcase the contemporary side of the city with a contest for a trip to the city in 2017.
The grand prize represents a microcosm of Jerusalem has to offer modern travellers, with 3 nights in the new Brown Jerusalem Hotel, dinner at the kosher-fine dining Touro Chef Restaurant and a tour of the West Bank from alternative tour operator Abraham Tours.
Brown Hotels’ Tel Aviv properties are regulars atop lists of gay-friendly, boutique, design and luxury hotels in the city, and co-owner Leon Avigad says they are excited to bring their approach to Jerusalem’s accommodation sector.
“Our philosophy is to create the best hotels we can based on values of pluralism and open-mindedness that give all of our guests a sense of home, regardless of their race, gender or orientation, and we make a point of reaching out to every community we feel we have something to offer,” Avigad says.
“But there’s no denying that we also think Jerusalem has so much to offer gay travelers, and if us opening a gives them a place in Jerusalem where they can feel at home in the city, then we’re certainly ecstatic to be a part of that.”
Travel blogger Adam Groffman maintains a series of hipster city guides aimed at the modern gay traveler that isn’t interested in specifically gay neighborhoods or hotels so much as what is cool, hip and gay-friendly.
“To me, Jerusalem is one of those cities that just surprises you and makes you fall in love with it — it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight or whatever, and that’s what I’m trying to emphasize in my updated Hipster Guide to Jerusalem and the contest with Brown Hotels and Jerusalem Tourism,” says Groffman.
“Of course, you have all the history and culture that it’s famous for, but also a modern side that doesn’t get as much press — art galleries, a cool, kind of underground nightlife and so many creative minds and new ideas.”
Regarding the state of gay-friendly accommodation in Jerusalem he adds that “as a gay traveler, I’ve never had a problem finding friendly accommodation in Jerusalem. The Abraham Hostel is one of my favorite places to stay, but I think it’s a positive development for the city to have a hotel that’s known for being gay-friendly, where gay travelers know beyond a doubt that they are welcome and can feel comfortable.”
The contest is a prime opportunity for the city to showcase the many sides of modern Jerusalem, from luxury hospitality and fine dining to alternative tours, according to Spencer Ho of iTravelJerusalem.
“In a lot of ways Abraham Tours and the Abraham Hostel were the pioneers of contemporary tourism in Jerusalem, and I think the opening of Brown Jerusalem is a step forward in developing an accommodation sector ready to meet the needs and desires of this new generation of travelers from across the spectrum,” he says.
“They are a younger, more alternative and diverse crowd that want a unique experience whether they’re spending $25 a night on a dorm room or $250 on a room at a boutique hotel.
“Not only that, but many come from communities that haven’t always been part of our market, but must be going forward. You know, tens of thousands of gay tourists visit Tel Aviv every year, just 45-minutes away, but Jerusalem has never had a hotel that proudly says it serves gay travelers. Until now.
“The fact that travelers like Adam [Groffman] find as much to love in Jerusalem as they do in Tel Aviv, London, Berlin or Paris is a testament to the potential of the city to attract this new generation.”