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Abraham Hostel Jerusalem
INFOHOSTELS.COM HOSTEL OWNER QUESTIONNAIRE:
Hostel Name: Abraham Hostel Jerusalem
Your Name: Yaron Burgin, owner
A Brief Description of your hostel:
Abraham Hostel Jerusalem was opened in 2010 in order to provide quality accommodation for independent travelers in the Middle East. The hostel was already honored one of the 10 top large hostels in the world.
Abraham Hostel is located in Jerusalem's city center offering what all independent travelers and small groups are looking for: great atmosphere, a central location within walking distance to all major sites, comprehensive travel information, free WiFi, and above all clean rooms for an affordable price. The hostel also has an in-house tour company offering day trip to various destinations in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan.
If you're looking to meet interesting people or just relax after a long day of site seeing, grab a beer or a cocktail from the bar and chill out in our huge lounge. The hostel holds daily evening activities including live music shows and cooking classes. A fully equipped self-catering kitchen is available as well, especially for those interested in taking advantage of the nearby Machane Yehuda Market and its fresh produce.
Abraham Hostel Jerusalem offers 75 en-suite rooms, both dorm and private (single/double/triple/family) with air-conditioning, free WiFi, breakfast and a mini-fridge.
In addition, you can book daily tours to various parts of Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, through Abraham Tours.
We believe Jerusalem is one of the most amazing cities on earth, and welcome you to experience it with Abraham Hostel Jerusalem!
1. When did you open your first hostel? How many beds you started with? Was it easy at the beginning? Or it got easier once everything is set already?
We opened in 2010 with 120 beds and gradually added more rooms and beds. Now we have reached 290 beds and 75 rooms.
The beginning was very challenging but extremely exciting. My partners (Gal, Maoz, Nitzan, Dror) and me were always passionate about traveling so we are always thinking what does the guest need and want. In the early days we were still under renovations but the guests were excited as they so we are working hard to fulfil our dream.
Even though over time some aspects of the hostel are already figured out, I think actually it becomes harder each year. Being a host and a hostel owner is a 24/7 work and it required a lot of energies. Also as the industry is changing quickly and more competition pops up you need to improve all the time and re-invent yourself and the hostel.
2. What exactly inspired you to open a hostel ?
We are all travelers – we’ve been backpacking throughout several continents (Separately) and love the backpacking world of sharing experiences and making friends for life. I was mainly traveling in Asia and Central America and after another trip in my own country of Israel I decided that I want to bring more backpackers to Israel and the Middle East. Together with Gal and Maoz we shared this dream and in 2010 Gal found the perfect building to start.
3. What it feels like to manage a hostel?
It’s a great challenge and a great satisfaction. I don’t think I have 2 days which are identical as every day there are new things happening weather it’s with guests, staff or external people (city hall etc.). However you have a great power to change everything from small to big, and it’s great to see an idea becomes reality. I dedicate most of my time to my staff and we have lots of them – over 40 people. I believe if they are happy then our guests will be happy.
4. How many hostels were in your city when you opened yours?
There were about 15 hostels, but many more budget hotels or small guesthouses which are on the same market give or take.
5. Is your hostel a part of a chain or private?
We are becoming a chain these days – Abraham Hostels. We are opening another Abraham Hostel in Tel-Aviv at 2016 with almost 400 beds. In addition we own small guesthouse (50 beds) in Nazareth which is called Fauzi Azar Inn.
6. Have you stayed in a hostel before opening yours?
Of course! Lots of them. I love hostels and now that I am a father we still stay in hostels with our kids.
7. Are you still satisfied with your decision to open a hostel or you are having some doubts whether it was the right choice?
No doubt. I am working the hardest I’ve ever did, but every day I am smiling when I see people walking through the door with their backpacks or when I see travelers hook up in our lounge. I have a strong feeling of satisfaction from I do and I am living my dream.
8. What's the average type of customers you have in the hostel today?
We have a very large variety of customer – from backpackers, to couples, families, golden age people, business men, students and small groups. We cater for all independent travelers of every kind, aged 18-80 or as I like to call them “young and young at heart” .
9. Has your hostel also private rooms or it's just dorms?
Both – dorms and privates. We have 4/6/8/10 bed dorms (mixed, male & female) and we have single/twin/double/triple/family rooms.
10. Does your hostel offer any extra activities ? What makes your hostel outstanding or better compare to others?
We do daily evening activities, from open jam nights to communal dinners, workshops, beer tasting and many more. Also we have live concerts in our bar with locals coming in.
In addition we offer tours through Abraham Tours to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, The West Bank, other parts of Israel and to Jordan and Egypt.
As an independent traveler you can either do it all on your own or take a full package of services through us, or anywhere in between.
11. If you would have unlimited amount of money, where would you invest it in, to make growing your current one?
I would pay more money to my staff – they are doing an amazing job and I am always thinking of creative ways to give them better terms.
12. How do you see your hostel's future and future of the hostels in general ?
I believe Abraham Hostels will continue to grow throughout the Middle East and indeed this area will become a backpacker heaven. We encourage more hostels to open up around us and all together we will improve the experience travelers get in this wonderful peace of land.
13. How the hostels have changed in the past years ?
They have become more professional, less a family business and more a true business which needs more work and attention. The hostels cater to many more people nowadays which want more facilities and services but also they are willing to pay more to get it.
Obviously there is a lot more money in the hostel industry today and sometimes I am afraid that hostels become too expensive compering to the basic concept of budget accommodation.
14. How does the hostel influence the local area ?
The local shops around us are the happiest people since we opened. Hostel crowd go to local shops, use public transportation and consume stuff as locals. Everywhere you see a hostel you clearly see the impact on local businesses and that is true sustainability.
15. What's your advice to the future hostels?
Be creative, be energetic and make a great hostel
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