However, while it may seem almost invisible from the outside, the inside of this hostel is another story. Sure, it is in an older building, which means no elevator and for those carrying anything but a backpack, it can be a pain in the ass (I had my Kelty, so this rang true), but that isn’t a reason to not book at this cozy hostel.
Inside, it’s small and friendly and a great way to start travels through Israel. Gordon Inn isn’t like other hostels I have stayed at in that the common areas aren’t in your face. Instead, they are down a hall so if entering or exiting the hostel, unless you make it a point to head there, you could miss others who are hanging out. But, chances are, if you’re staying there, you’ll swing by to see who is watching TV, or enjoying the complimentary coffee and tea or having a drink at the bar. Or sitting outside relishing the Mediterranean air.
During my visit, I stayed in a private room on the second floor. While the wifi wasn’t spectacular there (i.e. it didn’t really work), the room itself was clean and cozy with two double beds next to each other and nice fluffy pillows and blankets, plus a mounted television high on the wall opposite the bed.
The room also had a terrace with a little patio set. The bathroom was spotless and included towels.
The common area
A perk of Gordon Inn is free wifi, and while it didn’t extend to my room, it was quite easy to access here. During my visit, people were hanging out playing pool and soaking up the fresh air on the balcony. I didn’t hang out at night there, but can imagine it is a chill place to be before experiencing the Tel Aviv nightlife.
Hostels typically don’t have great breakfasts. However, Gordon Inn does. The buffet includes fresh Israeli pastries, coffee, juice and more. A far cry from the hard-boiled egg, toast with Nutella and some cereal options at other hostels.
I was most delighted with the staff at Gordon Inn. Everyone was friendly and extremely knowledgeable. They offered me information on tours I could take, hostel events and group outings and more. They were warm and helpful, something I find extremely important when visiting a country and staying in a hostel.
Located only 150 meters from the beach, and just off of Ben Yehuda, Gordon Inn is in a great spot. While you may have to walk a bit to get to some of the nightlife (or hop in a cab like I did), there are so many things to do just outside the hostel door. Restaurants here range from cheap to pricey, coffee shops and cafes abound and there is plenty of markets to be had nearby, too.
The bottom line
Gordon Inn is clean, and has a friendly, albeit somewhat sterile atmosphere. However, the sterile vibe disappears in the common room, where it is far more social. Rooms are not near the common areas, which means ear plugs aren’t necessary (unless you’ve got loud bunkmates or neighbors) and the location is fantastic for daytime beach fun. While I would have liked the wifi to work in my room, it isn’t a deal breaker, particularly because it was so strong downstairs.