Shabbat away, everyone plays: the Dan Jerusalem hotel review.

Living in Israel with no close family around to take your kids for a few hours… or a weekend… can be rough on two married adults. But the next best thing is getting ‘away from it all’ even if it’s as a family.

Last year we went to Shoresh, and this year we decided to escape Tzur Hadassah life by making the 30 or so kilometer trip to… Jerusalem, to the Dan Jerusalem hotel (used to be the Regency), on recommendation of friends and the fact we booked this very late in the week.

But it was actually an excellent hotel, very kid-friendly, so much so I had to share.

Check in: We came at 2pm (though if we called in advance, we probably could have shown up earlier).

Staff: Really friendly, totally helpful.

Rooms: Actually, surprisingly modern and well-furnished. I never get high hopes for that sort of thing, but I do think it’s important when the idea of a weekend getaway 30 kilometers from your home is to feel like you’re somewhere completely different.

Beds: Super comfortable. And according to the kids, like a gymboree. And added bonus? They both slept beautifully.

Pool: Looks small when you get to the pool area, but it’s actually a great size and most of it is actually relatively shallow (meaning, for adults). So it’s pretty much geared towards kids in floaties being followed by their parents. There’s also a tiny kiddie pool next to it. The lounge area is mostly under shade which is also really kid-friendly and Ashkenaz-friendly.

DaniLand kids’ play area: This was a fun surprise – a whole kids’ area for younger and older kids, with age-appropriate games and activities. Arcade games, foosball, pool and video games in one room, and a small gymboree, tv, arts & crafts tables, dress up closet and video games in the other.

Food: Possibly the best if not one of the best Shabbat food situations I’ve had. The Shabbat dinner was ridiculous, full of options, and the kids ate really well. Then again, my kids are good eaters (lamb, child?) but there were the standard shnitzel options. Breakfast in an Israeli hotel – nothing beats it and it lived up to the rep.

Other than that… at hotels, kids tend to find their own fun.

Putting the bubbles in the bath was a big hit…

…as were the 395439653 fluffy towels provided in each room.

Extra stuff for families:

  • a crib for the baby (fairly big, enough that my 15-month-old was fine)
  • a mini bar fridge in the room, cold enough with ice packs we brought

The mirpeset attached to the room is not child-friendly (though lovely to sit on once they’re tucked in).

All in all it was really great, though if you’re shomer shabbat there’s not much to do towards the end because the pool closes at 6:30 and the DaniLand closes at 6. Then you’ve got to be creative about going for walks up and down the stairs and through the halls.