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“Beautiful huge hotel” 5 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
Leiden, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
210 helpful votes 210 helpful votes
“Beautiful huge hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2010

Stayed here for 2 nights. One of the most beautifull hotels I have ever seen. A lot of swimming pools right at the death sea. It is a huge hotel on a hill. Rooms are great, food is excellent. Service good be better. They have the biggest spa in the middle east (Anantara). The hotel is about 55 km from the City center of Amman. Don't expect nightlife over here.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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.
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1,340 reviews from our community

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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Northampton, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2010

Having just read through the last few reviews on this hotel, my husband & I were a little surprised at so many negative comments, particularly about the staff & management! We also had problems at check in, this time with their credit card machine which kept saying transaction failed, but when we checked with our bank they confirmed that all of the transactions had in fact gone through & the problem was their machine. The staff were very apologetic & were very quick to try & rectify the problem, reverse the extra payments & we were given tea, coffee & biscuits to enjoy on the terrace while it was sorted & our room prepared.

The room was very nice & the bathroom very stylish. The views from the balcony were stunning but there were weddings on 2 of the 3 nights we were there & the noise from the celebrations was so loud that we couldn't enjoy sitting out there in the evening & we were quite a long way from the party! I am SO glad we weren't in one of the rooms next to the infinity pool or it would have been deafening!

We ate in the Italian Restaurant the first night & other than having to put up with a group of Russian children/teenagers running everywhere screaming & shouting, it was very nice. The food was wonderful, so much so that we went back again the second night. We decided to go early in hope that we would beat the large family with kids, only to find that the noise from the wedding set up was so loud, whilst I like club/dance music, I didn't really want it on full blast while watching the sun set!!! When they put a sign up by the pool the next evening advising there was another wedding & the pool would be closing early, we decided to go to the Thai restaurant hoping that we would avoid the noise as that is in the main building,but that wasn't the case! How ever, the views & the food were fantastic & the staff were so friendly & attentive, so it certainly didn't spoil the evening & unlike some of the other reviews, I loved the décor in the Thai restaurant & I would certainly recommend it to everyone!

The room that breakfast was served in was very much like a cafeteria but the outside terrace was lovely. I personally didn't enjoy the food at breakfast but the food at the poolside restaurant at lunch certainly made up for that!!

The spa is the largest in the ME & is certainly worth a visit. We had full body massages & they were fantastic. We also enjoyed the pool & jacuzzi there beforehand.

The hotel also arranged for a driver to do take us on a mini tour including the Baptism Site, Mount Nebo & Madaba which was very interesting & I would recommend it.

We had a wonderful stay & we would certainly go back again. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone with walking difficulties as there are SO many steps to get to everything, but it is a beautiful hotel with very friendly welcoming staff.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2010

If you are looking for a trendy euro high-end place to hang by the dead sea, this is it. It is ENORMOUS though with its numerous pools that cascade all the way down to the sea. The rooms all have a nice sea view with an outdoor terrace. The bathroom is very chic with its concrete tile and chrome fixture. The general facilities are all very nice and it has a private little beach on the shore of dead sea complemented with a bucket of black therapeutic mud for the guests. The size of the hotel, however, is a bit out of control. It was quite a hike from the room in the main building to the pool situated by the sea.
The staff is full of smiley Asians imported from Philippine. If you are a serious foodie, avoid the dinner at the Thai restaurant on the premise because it simply was not authentically Tthai or inspiring in any way. And it is very overpriced. Shockingly, we were told the chef is from Thailand. Breakfast, however, was very very good.

  • Stayed April 2010, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2010

We had booked a sea view room but when we checked in we were in what must have been the the worst room in the hotel : a small dark room next to the BBQ/music and with no view as there were trees in front of the window/balcony. We refused to stay there and, to the credit of the hotel, they gave us a seafront room that was truly gorgeous. The hotel was not full and I cannot understand why "bad"rooms are allocated unnecessarily.
Otherwise, the hotel lives up to the expectations of its 5*star rating. A word of warning. When "swimming "in the dead sea ( really bobbing around ) be careful how long you spend in the water. We got severe rashes from the burning salt even having applied lots of the mud that you are given to coat yourself with ( it washes off ). And our driver/guide advised not to put your face under the water or ear/eye infections can result.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middle East
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2010

What a difficult review to write, but it needs to be written. I hope that the Kempinski management take the time to read this review. The Kempinski Ishtar is a visually stunning hotel, magnificent; but the hospitality, warmth and welcome are as cold as the stone with which it is built.

We arrived at the hotel after a three hour drive from Petra, and had been looking forward enormously to the last few days of our holiday, relaxing at the Dead Sea. Upon check in, the staff removed a bottle of Moet which my husband had purchased duty free for us to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. I was quite taken aback, explained that it was as a celebration, but they would not be moved and insisted that we could not have it.

In all my years of travelling, of all the five star hotels I have stayed in as an expat of 13 years, and prior to that 10 years in the Travel Industry, I have never, ever been treated so shabbily at check in. I felt so humiliated, and was angered to tears that I was made to feel like I had done something wrong. One bottle of duty free surely cannot make a dent in the profits made by a hotel - we paid USD1000 per night for our two rooms, and all our food and beverages were purchased from the hotel over and above that amount.

Let me tell you, Kempinski, that the value of goodwill lost from the confiscation and handling of this issue far exceeded the return you would hope to recoup. What a bitter taste you left in my mouth.

After such a longing to stay at this hotel, it was like a slap in the face, and all I wished was to be somewhere else. We had also booked two rooms, one for ourselves and one for the children, which we were informed would to be far apart. At this last straw, my husband put his foot down, and we were then upgraded so that we could have two rooms interconnected.

A most inauspicious start, with a teary, upset wife.....

The rooms..... We stayed in Junior suites. The rooms are superb, the bathrooms are enormous, constructed of grey granite, quite beautiful. The whole hotel is quite minimalist, constructed superbly, reminiscent of a museum. Beds were great, free internet and soft drink minibar, excellent house keeping.

The restaurants... We ate in the buffet restaurant the first night. My 15 year old said it reminded her of a cafeteria, and I think it defeated the majesty of the remainder of the hotel. I certainly didn't enjoy eating there, I prefer more elegant surroundings, though it was fine for breakfast. The food was fine.

The Thai restaurant - we ate here the next two nights. The food was fantastic, with good service. Again, very stark in its setting, and unusual in that a Thai restaurant would normally have more colour and opulence in its furnishings.

Poolside restaurants - we ate in both poolside cafes. The food was lovely, and the setting overlooking the Dead Sea divine. The staff in these cafes were most efficient. We appreciated the cold towels and complimentary water given poolside.

The setting.... . The views over the infinity pools are divine, we really enjoyed coating ourselves in mud and then popping aorund like a cork in the sea, and it was difficult not to enjoy ourselves poolside.

The Kempinski seem to think they have it all wrapped up in that they have a stunning hotel in an amazing location. The management staff in no way whatsoever can feel that they contributed to a good holiday experience. We almost felt that it was a favour for us to stay there. The management were rude, and arrogant, and made us feel quite insignificant, even though in our little world we are quite important.

I felt sorry for the working staff, mostly Thai and Filipino. between ghastly nouveau-riche wealthy Russians, and ill mannered, rude Arabs, not to mention a cold management team, they seemed almost cowed; and we felt very little interaction from them, as if they wanted to just do their jobs as quickly and quietly as possible, and not be noticed.

In summary, the Kempinski Ishtar is a magnificent hotel, with enormous potential, if only it was not managed in a ruthlessly cold, unwelcoming manner.

Even to the end, as we checked out, no one wished us well, asked if we enjoyed our stay, and we even had to carry our bags to the waiting car. As my husband heaved the bags in to the boot, someone came to help, at which you can imagine my husband's recommendation.

What interested me also, having stayed in the Moevenpick in Petra, Hitlon at Luxor, and Talisman in Cairo, was that there was no Guest questionnaire. Normally i wouldn't complete it anyway, but this just exemplified the total arrogance of the management of this hotel, in that they gave no consideration whatsoever to the guest experience, and where improvements might be made.

Would I recommend this hotel? Certainly not for any warm and fuzzy feeling, and you will gain nothing to enhance your experience from management or staff. The hotel itself? It has enormous potential, if not a bit cold and forbidding with its masses of stone and sparse furnishings. But if you can overlook these things, you can acheive great enjoyment from the location and amenities provided.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

Kempinski Ishtar Dead sea was mentioned in few feedback reviews among best at the Jordanian dead sea cost. In reality we were negatively surprised by a very arrogant security who did not want to let us in couple of times when we went for a walk to a neighbore Marriott. In fact the hotel left an impression of a military barracks, so we used evry chance to escape to a next door Marriott where the atmospere was much more cozy and the staff was very friendly.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2010

This is a hotel that pays very serious attention to detail from the minute you arrive (hot towel and cool drink) to the minute you leave (bottle of water). Beautiful position and breaky selection just about as good as you will get.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Luxury Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Business Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Spa 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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