We stayed in the hotel for 10 days at the end of March, with two small children aged 3 and 5. It has been a miraculously relaxing holiday for us! I have read all the reviews before going but still I had some worries about the place as well as weather and temperature of the sea and the pools. It was perfect, very warm but breezy with a heated pool for kids and one for adults, although we preferred unheated infinity pool which was fantastically refreshing. You might need a cardigan in the evening otherwise it was real summer!
Now from the beginning: the check-in was long without any welcome drink or anything of the sort, which given our long travel and late arrival would have been welcome …the interconnected rooms which we booked were not available and they suggested that we spent one night in separate rooms… the proposal I angrily dismissed given the age of my children and the fact that they still woke up at night especially in a new place. So we were offered an upgrade for the night (rooms 2202/03). The next morning the reservations manager offered us to keep the rooms for the duration of the stay. These terrace rooms we ended up having were huge, nicely appointed, with high quality finish and accessories, comfy bed, pillows, linen etc. Fantastic bathrooms, large balconies and beautiful sea view. Rooms were just minutes away from everything, so we never had to use a club car. We found everything in the hotel very elegant, stylish and beautifully designed apart from Obelisk restaurant which we thought was a miss.
The breakfast was good although I agree with the other reviewer that something was missing (fruit and yogurt selection, no pancakes etc) to make it truly luxurious. But probably not all things are easily available in Jordan. Dinner buffet was very tasty. In other restaurants (grill and Italian) the food was tasty but there was no change in menu ever and service was unbearably slow. On one day there was no bread in the Italian restaurant at lunch, another day no napkins, no cappuccino etc…In fact the service is a problem throughout the hotel. Everything seemed a bit haphazard: e.g. at some point I was surprised to see a guy with fresh face towels at the poolside, as he appeared only once during our 10 days stay. Room cleaning was poor and I had to call every morning to make sure that the rooms were cleaned before we came back after lunch etc. The evening service in the rooms also only happened on a couple of occasions.
Having said all this, and despite all these little annoyances, we had a very nice stay, everything was easy, the grounds were clean and beautiful, especially 600+ years olive trees, Dead Sea views and air revitalising. The lifeguards at the kids’ pool were very good ( once we even left our 3 year old by herself while we floated in the sea), and overall staff was very friendly. The General Manager was around, talking to guests and he even organised a trip for us to Petra with his own driver. Many thanks again. The Spa treatments were very good.
It is a perfect place for an Easter holiday with kids, may be to combine with a couple of nights stay in the desert (with older kids, may be next year!).
Some tips: Don’t arrive on Thursday/Firday as it is the weekend in Jordan so the hotel is busy with locals, I would think the selection of the rooms is not the best. Bring the mosquito repellent and ask the hotel to supply the anti-mosquito device, as they have it but don’t just leave it in your room (which they should!). Also if you are with impatient kids, just go to the bar and ask for ice-cream to be served under you supervision as I ended up doing to avoid a half an hour wait!
- 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