First I will say that our trip happened as the tourist industry was taking a major hit. Almost every hotel we stayed in during our 5 day trip had scaled back in one way or another.
Kempinski did the same and it seems that they closed the main building and were placing all guests in the resort section of the hotel.
This was a huge Plus for the guests. the rooms were spacious and had balconies with views of the dead sea. Our friends room had a patio which led directly to the pool, just awesome. The hotel grounds are full of lush plant life.
the Staff at the front desk and in the main buildings were all very professional and made us feel welcome. Now to the down-side
The service staff in the resort section were very I can only describe it as "grumpy" I was taking some photos of the grounds and decided that I didn't want a lounge chair in my photo. when I moved it the pool guard came by and started placing it back right in the middle of my picturetaking. when I asked him to leave it alone he did not do much more than grunt and stood in my frame. I had to be a bit rude myself and motion him out of my way before he remembered that he was there to provide service to guests and not to police me.
On to the poolside restaurant. we were having a decent time ordering and eating when our server let us know that we had 15 minutes to finish or move to another table. They also came by and wanted to swap out our wine glasses for plastic cups right in the middle of dinner. The waitress was unsuccessful in making us understand what was going on so another male waiter came buy and explained what was happening. They were getting ready to close the restaurant soon and they were starting to get everything ready for the next day.
The real issue being that there was a midnight bus that takes the staff home and if they miss that then they are stuck waiting until 2am for the next bus. I was further told that in the past they had more than one shift of staff and this would not have been an issue.
We felt bad for the staff but we also felt that as paying guests, our experience should not be diminished by poor management. Certainly our food bill was not any cheaper so this was annoying to me.
I have stayed at Kempinski Palace in Djibouti, Africa and I have to say that the Hotel brand certainly has a grand style and their properties make you feel like you just stepped into your own personal estate. I will say that this place would be my choice if I return to the dead sea. I hope that next time, business has picked up enough that their staff is not so stressed out.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Kempinski Hotel Ishtar gives you the opportunity to enjoy its riches where Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra once strived to unravel mystery. Situated gracefully on the shores of the largest spa in the world the Dead Sea, unique for its ozone-rich air, mineral sea water and ultra-violet filtered sunshine. Surely there is no region on earth where nature and history have more wonderfully conspired, where so exciting drama has obtained a so beautiful theatre. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Kempinski Hotel Amman
- Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Jordan