Let me start by saying this hotel is magnificently situated facing the Dead Sea and very well appointed, Spacious rooms, acres of space in the public areas so never seemed crowded and multiple bars and swimming pools all go to make what we hoped would be a very relaxing 2 days by the Dead Sea. However our experiences with service let down the experience.
At breakfast on the 1st day there was no butter on the buffet near the bread and pasties, so my wife asked a staff member for some. It took 20 mins for some butter to arrive by which time we were finishing breakfast and about to walk out the door. As we passed the buffet we noticed again there was no butter on the table so the staff member must have just brought the one little portion out. Surely if one guest is asking for butter it would be a trigger to bring out a plate full. Just hope other guests didn't have to wait 20 mins too. Again at breakfast I had to go and hunt out a staff member to get a refill of coffee as there was no one circulating. At one point I saw 4 staff members talking by the desk at the entry than circulating to clear table and see if guests required anything. Sure, they might well have been discussing work matters but surely you don't leave you guests unattended to do so. I did not see any managers or supervisors circulating when we breakfasted so that may have contributed to the problem. Considering the prices paid and the reputation of Kempinski I found service to be below what I would expect.
Another issue that bugged us was the loud techno music played in the café that adjoins the infinity pool. We were planning to have a relaxing morning by the pool but it was far from relaxing with a constant 'thump, thump, thump'. A request to turn down the music went unheeded so we reluctantly moved on. I query if the music was being played for the benefit of staff who were all young rather that the guests? Again on the service issue, on several occasions we had to hunt out a staff member to order drinks and they seemed to circulate very infrequently or maybe there was insufficient staff on duty.
After 2 negative points I have to try and redress the balance somewhat with a positive. We, (wife, daughter and son-in-law) attended the Kush Bar one evening for a cocktail mixing course and we had a great time. I am unsure who the staff member was but think he was a manager as he wore a suit but he was most helpful guiding us with flavours and joining in our laughter. We had 2 cocktails, one he said he designed himself and our own concoction. We had a real laugh and was much more enjoyable than sitting in other bars most of which had few patrons and little atmosphere. I just wonder why they only run these cocktail courses on a single day of the week. The Dead Sea is not a place I would imagine most people spend more than a couple of days if you were not there on a Mon you would miss out. Why not run it every night? Kempinski, you might surprise yourself and generate a bit of a bit of a buzz about the place.
An enjoyable couple of days but let down by the service issues ...
- 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