I came back yesterday from my short stay at the Dead Sea.
The Kempinski resort is really big, but the golf carts will take you from the main building to the villas, infinity pool, etc. It looks nice, a lot of flowers, oleanders, buildings well maintained.
Check in was easy. I arrived early in the morning, around 10:15; the receptionist told me I could not have the room until 3pm, but they will try to get me a room earlier, which they did in about 90 minutes. I asked if it would be possible to have an extended check-out, and that I was willing to pay for that, thinking that like for other hotels, i would pay half day or similar. I was told I needed to pay a full night charge if I wanted the room after 1pm. That is not what i call going over the board for the clients. Anyways, I said ok. Then surprise, the rate at the reception was of JD 188 when on their website or hotels.com or booking.com, one night Ishtar room double occupancy was priced at JD 341. That is the price we have paid to book our rooms online. It is the first time I see that the room fee per night is half the price at the reception, than online. Waiting for my room, I had the time to explore the resort. Again, it is nice, and well maintained, features several pools. The one immediately behind the main building, it is gorgeous, but nobody seemed to spend their time there, as it was quite far from the beach. The Infinity pool is a place mostly for young people, more animated. Many locals apparently spend their weekends at the resort. A group of young people was celebration their graduation from university. There is “a lazy river pool” more appropriated for family with kids. The beach is what one could expect at the Dead Sea. Not great, but ok. There are buckets of mud available for the guests. It was a new strange feeling to apply the mud to our bodies, but it seems to have a lot of healing properties, and it leaves one’s skin very smooth.
Now, going to the rooms. The room is big, with a nice terrace and a good sized bathroom. However, you can notice that it is not very clean, not what you would expect in a 5 star hotel, more like a 3 star. I found two insects in the bathroom and on the phone in the room. The furniture is dated and quite dirty in some places.
A nice touch: Minibar is free and includes water, orange juice, sodas, and beer.
The most negative point of our trip: THERE ARE BED BUGS!!! After the first night I woke up and my left thoracic area had four bites! It is itching and very discomforting. Knowing I might not be very succesful with the hotel staff, I did not expect much, however, I went and informed the reception. They said they did not know what I am talking about, maybe it was from the mosquitos. I have tried to explain, and finally gave up, just asked them to send the housekeeping for a thorough cleaning (I was quite sure the cleaning would not be so thorough, but one can hope). When we came back to the room, it looked “cleaned” – open cans of soda from the other day, dust on the furniture, only the bed was made. So, no solution for the bed bugs. I was releaved that we were leaving that evening, so we did not have to spend one more time in there. Nevertheless, when we got home, the luggage was unpacked in the bathroom, and we were very careful and looked for any prove of a bed bug. Luckily, we did not bring any univited guests to our home.
Food: it is very expensive. I have ordered room service: one sirloin steak with potatoes – 26 JD. They forgot to bring the salad and the sauce. The breakfast buffet is good, with Arabic food, international food and some Thai food as well. A nice touch: champagne for breakfast. The view from the Obelisk restaurant is magnificent over the Dead Sea and looking towards the West Bank. Though the staff tries to be helpful, they are not very well trained. Us and other people had to wait next to the tables that had been used and not cleaned, while the staff would clean other tables at the end of the restaurant. When told, there was no reaction. Finally after more than 5 minutes of standing next to the table, someone came and took another 5 min to clean it.
So, would I come back to this hotel? My answer would be NO. However, it is considered to be the best at the Dead Sea. My question comes, if I want to come again spend a few days at the Dead Sea, where should I stay?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.