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“Never coming here again!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea

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Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Dead Sea Road | P.O. Box 941806, Sweimah 11194, Jordan   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Sweimah
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
298 helpful votes 298 helpful votes
“Never coming here again!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

We booked this property based on its ranking and reviews and regret to say it was a major disappointment from start to finish.
Check-in was slow and there was a sense of confusion among staff on the procedure, other guests checking in got frustrated too as they were not greeted or guided as to who will help them for over 15 minutes.
The resort architecture is nice yet maintenance of it was poor, lots of the fountains/pools were dirty and there is a serious insects problem throughout the resort (surely this can be fixed).
The pools aren't heated except for one (but it was full on our visit) making it impossible to swim in the many pools in the resort.
There are no pool attendants and when we asked the lifeguard to provide us with towels for the sun loungers we were told that we have to use the previous guest towels as these are 'sheets' and not towels and are only changed once a day. How using someone elses towel is part of a 5-star hotels service standards is a mystery to us. We asked for a waiter to order some water and although the cafe is less than 30 seconds away from the pool and was completely empty we gave up after 45 minutes. The staff is simply not interested in serving guests.
The room itself is spacious yet the decor is not that you'd expect of such a resort. It seemed like a color blind person put random furniture pieces together. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom is huge with a tub and seperate shower. The disgrace is that there is no hot running water in the shower so we ended up using the tub shower instead. The window screen was loose so we had to live with pesky insects all night although we had the insect repellent machine on all night, how much will it cost to fix the screen I wonder??
The food was below average and took a long time to get to us, almost one hour for a scoop of icecream. The prices aren't reasonable for what is on offer and the menu layout and selection are poor (you can even spot the spelling mistakes). We got called although we had the do no disturb to collect the food when we were still eating (again, why?).
The resort is huge to navigate and signage/maps/club cart service are poor to say the least. Had to wait more than half an hour for a cart to take us to the spa, eventually gave up and walked there (it was a workout).
Spa staff again are lost without anyone to guide you to the facilities. The hydro pool is too deep for a spa and they only switch it on when you ask. The outside pool was freezing (again why?). Lack of staff (and friendly staff) to show you around, offer you refreshments (we got a mini bottle of water) or even try to sell you a treatment. The spa at the hotel next door is 100 times better.
The mini bar is pathetic, there is only one small pack of local chips, no chocolate, no nuts,....
That said you aren't allowed to bring anything in to the hotel (again another mystery to us).
The breaking point of our visit was the main gate security refusing to let us in as we had my cousin and a friend. Handling this was extremely rude like we did something wrong. Eventually they agreed to let them in only for a few hours otherwise we would be charged for an additional room!! This is appalling as they weren't going to stay the night or use any of the hotel facilities.
We were upgraded on check-in and thought this is great but when we got to the room we saw the view and were disappointed it was overlooking the back of house of the cafe where the staff 'hang out' to 'chit chat' and prepare the shishas. There was partial sea view but nothing to write home about. Absolutely no privacy or relaxation.
Breakfast at Obelisk was messy without anyone showing you to your table, lack of service spoons, lack of anyone offering you coffee/tea and lack of refills. Rushed through breakfast (and the insects) as it wasn't enjoyable.
Overall service levels in hotels in Jordan is way below standards in Dubai and elsewhere in the world but this hotel takes it to a new level. For that money we would have happily enjoyed a super luxurious stay somewhere else. This hotel has nothing to do with Kempinski standards (which we've enjoyed at many properties). Safe to say won't be returning here anytime soon.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Dear Rush2,

We are disappointed to hear that we were not able to meet your expectations during your recent stay with us. We would like to offer our apologies for not being able to meet your expectations, as this is not the level of service we are known for providing our guests.

We would appreciate you contacting our Hotel Manager on the email below in order to better understand your frustrations.

Georges Majdalany
Hotel Manager
georges.majdalany@kempinski.com

regards,
Henk Meyknect
General Manager & Area Director of Jordan
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (278)
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

Stayed 1 night in this classy resort billed as 5 star. Wonderful setting with nice architecture and a range of pools, bars, restaurants etc leading down to Dead Sea beach.

Nice welcome at reception by Bashar who looked after my needs for thestay - I really appreciated e late checkout and the changing room locker so I could shower before leaving.

Room was spacious but very dark with almost no natural light. Bed super comfy with all the nice fluffy pillows. Bathroom spacious and wonderful deep tub to relax in. Philippino household staff friendly and helpful. The so-called free mini bar was somewhat disappointing with one very small container of chips for 2 people - very stingy for the high price of the room.

The pool areas were very nice but marred by the constant thud of music from the Akkad cafe and the srcreaming of too many unrestrained children.

Breakfast buffet was OK but nothing out of the ordinary - be prepared for lots of family groups and large numbers of People all trying to get to the food - quite noisy and chaotic. I would really recommend a separate area for families due to the noise.

An enjoyable stay but perhaps not quite worth the price.

Stayed November 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Dear Camadu1,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. Regarding the families issue, we have addressed this point with the concerned team of management in order to ensure privacy and relaxation are available throughout the hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013 via mobile

Food delicious, coming from Dubai have sampled a few buffets in my time and this was one of the best. We ate both nights in the Obelisk restaurant.
Service was strange because sometimes the staff were weirdly over attentive and then sometimes downright ignoring rude. One very nice lifeguard who was sweet with our son.
Ok. Maybe I'm a grumpy Pom but I hate flies. (And there were lots of them)
Shouldn't have to pay for kids play centre.
The location and design of the hotel was good despite it being so enormous. The pools were beautiful.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 13, 2013
Dear Rotthills,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

As for the rest of the comments, I have personally addressed them with our concerned team to take action where needed. We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

This was my last stop after a trip to Jordan and the stay was planned to spend some R&R with a good friend before leaving for our respective countries.
I was greeted at the hotel with smiles and laughs since having come from the desert, it took me a moment to get used to this beautiful luxurious resort. The staff at reception in main building were wonderful. We were upgraded to a beautiful room at the Ishtar part facing the dead sea.
The room, the view, the facilities, ...everything was just perfect.
The service was what you would expect from a 5 star resort...but at this particular one, it went a step beyond...
At night, we wandered outside the hotel since my friend had been to the other resorts (next door). In terms of style, and elegance the Kempinski Ishtar really is in a category of its own. The only thing I would perhaps add, is some live music or entertainment in the main bar areas to create a little more ambience. We would have made our comments to the General Mgr at Ishtar reception, that we happened to see, but we were too tired and he was busy with other guests, and we didn't want to disturb. We found out that the King of Jordan had been at the hotel that day to meet other dignitaries. . :-)
I would recommend this beautiful hotel to anyone that wants or needs pampering and doesn't mind paying the price for it.
I particularly want to thank Waleed (Operations Mgr), and Sultan at the beach part, who made our stay very enjoyable and gave us a 10 star treatment, with their always ready smiles and helpfulness. Waleed, thank you for the take away mud :-) I have mud to last me until the next time...
Ana canadiyya :-))

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 3, 2013
Dear Divagirl 2013,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverley, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013 via mobile

Our suite wasbpool side and excellent. The room was very long which meant that it was somewhat dark. The en-suire was superb in every respect; jacuzzi bath included. The hotel boasts several pools and restaurants catering to all tastes. Access to the Dead Sea is easy for the able and transport is provided if you feel a bit lazy or have a problem walking. The staff are very helpful and obliging. Prices reflect 5* hotels of high calibre and are worth it.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 3, 2013
Dear Mr. Abulkeek,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amman, Jordan
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

Been there with my wife for a special occasion, and they upgraded the standard room to a nice junior suite.

The suite was perfect, modern furniture, exotic lightings and a nice balcony with a great view!
Swimming pools were perfect, they have a heated pool which is perfect in cold days. The staff always happy and smiling.

Tiny touches makes big difference, the complimentary cold water bottles, the fresh cold towels by the pools and the Arabic sweets in your room.

If you are planning to stay in Dead Sea, then Kempinski Ishtar is the hotel you should consider!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 3, 2013
Dear Mr. Joudeh,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

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 ...

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this review, November 3, 2013
Dear HawakerAsutralia,

We are disappointed to hear that we were not able to meet your expectations during your previous stays with us. We would like to offer our apologies for not being able to meet your expectations, as this is not the level of service we are known for providing our guests.

We would appreciate you contacting our Executive Assistant Manager on the email below in order to better understand your frustrations.

Warren Goadby
Executive Asisstant Manager
warren.goadby@kempinski.com

Again, please accept our apologies.
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea

Address: Dead Sea Road | P.O. Box 941806, Sweimah 11194, Jordan
Location: Jordan > Dead Sea Region > Sweimah
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Spa Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Business Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Luxury Hotel in Sweimah
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea 5*
Number of rooms: 345
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

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