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“I must be a glutton for punishment to rebook but Madein was a special request by our visiting family.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Madain Saleh Hotel

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Madain Saleh Hotel
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Al Ula
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“I must be a glutton for punishment to rebook but Madein was a special request by our visiting family.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2012

Although the weather in January was ideal time to visit, when we arrived to this incredible site we were shocked to find many areas defaced with graffiti and ridden with bullet holes. It did not feel safe at all. There were a few other visiting local and foreign tourists but given the effort, distance and money that takes to visit this beaten up place, I doubt we will return. Sadly, our previous visit was probably the beginning of the worse-has-yet-to-come scenario. Many of the actual grave sites that could be entered for inspection and photagrapgy had junk food wrappings, empty soda cans and food waste. There was extremely noisy work by crews on heavy machinery within the protected area as well as strategically placed WC facilitly buildings already in place unlike just the year before. The inner roads and paths were obliterated and signage was minimal. Although these efforts seem to be in place to promote this site, I fear that the entire site has been compromised. I'm glad I got to see it just a year or so ago. Its sad to know that not even all the resources in the KSA can protect such an important site... I guess there's just too much local opposition and general lack of appreciation due to conflicting views per their religion. The hotel visit allowed us to arrive, sleep, wake up early and leave. This time we brought provisions ( bread, cheese, bottled water, deli meats) and although we had several coffees and tried to order simple local fare - it was just not good. It also seems that staff member visitors or other locals are more privy to the kind of attention paying guests shoulld have. I recal 3 seperate times in 1.5 days at the hotel when a typical tray wv Arabic coffee and dates were offered to staff friends who took lobby area seating and socialized openly. At least someone enjoyed the warm hospitality. the hotel insists to coordinate a series of police escorts through all the towns/cities all the way to your final destination should you arrive by car. Although an understandable safety precaution, this " rule" will certainly put a damper on your own pace.it cost us extra hours and one escort nearly caused an accident with against us. The place is fascinating and a great photo op. We appreciate the opportunity to visit the first time but not a desirable destination at all for all the aforementioned. If you go then please be prepared and pack your gear accordingly.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank sandfilledboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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16 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2011

I have worked as a travel agent for over 4 ½ years but was not visiting this hotel in that capacity. There are 2 hotels in the area & the one I am referring to has the signage on the hill behind it & a pool out back which women are not allowed to use, surrounded by rocks. It is hard to get into town as no public transport. My experience with dealing with this hotel (& I use the word “hotel” loosely) started over the phone as I had not received the vouchers required for transportation & tours. My so called travel agent was to organise my SAR270 per night 3 day stay, but as I have found to my cost, anything to do with tourism is just something this country has not grasped. The manager assured me that everything was booked & I would not have any issues when I arrived at the airport (2 ½ hr drive away). When I arrived I was given the key & told where the room was (no bell boy to carry anything). The room was ok until closer inspection. The air-con vents did not move although there was some cold air coming out, the bathroom was dirty, the mattress is extremely hard & balanced on two smaller bases. As for the wiring, I did not feel safe plugging anything in & the tissues were stuffed in a box. See the photos! Food takes up to an hour to arrive & is luke warm at best – don’t even bother with breakfast (SAR30). Children run freely screaming without any adult intervention & the air is stale from all the smoking.
I am a single lady travelling alone & feel totally ripped off by my experience. The “manger” has limited English & also acted as my tour guide for a trip to the local sights. However, unless you actually asked a question, little history or info was given. The transportation for the tour was organised by the hotel & cost SAR800 + SAR100 permit. The tour transportation was a very old land cruiser complete with cracked windscreen, ripped seats & rubbish strewn around. The driver spoke no English. Maybe I should not have been surprised by the state of the vehicle as the driver that collected me from the airport (again organised by the hotel at SAR1400) in an old Toyota reeking of cigarette smoke, (not good for Asthmatics) had his personal belongings complete with used soccer kit & smelly socks across the back seat & parcel shelf. The boot was also filled with his personal stuff so forget bringing a large suitcase. The drive from the airport took 2 ½ hrs, the return (same driver – Abdulla) took the same route, in a dangerous 200+km ph drive lasting just 1 hr 45 mins!!!! This was a terrifying ordeal & Abdulla who had continuously tried to pick me up on the drive to the hotel somehow forgot any English. I repeatedly asked him to slow down but he replied “no English”. The journey ended in a report filed with the local police dept who also said the return trip should not have been more than SAR500. So please be under no illusions when booking this hotel – I have stayed in better back packer & will not be returning to this hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the pool are very noisy if children are playing. Not good sound proofing from other roo...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank aSoloFemale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 7, 2011

The Good: The Hotel was very good, especially considering its 2-star rating (as written outside the hotel building), the rates were a bit on the higher side.

The Bad: The restaurant service was one of the worst i had ever experienced. The reason for that can be attributed to the lack of sufficient staff to attend to the customers. There seemed to be only 1 attendant with another one doing his extra duty (other than attending to in the restaurant counter).. The Hotel seemed keep the minimum number of staff probably finding that the hotel would be empty most part of the year.

Room Tip: We stayed at the Junior Suite, which is in fact made by connecting two rooms via a common door... Th...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jowharf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 21, 2011

This is our 2nd visit to this hotel, previous visit was Feb 2011. On both occasions we had the same problems on checking out...... on the first visit we put the extra room charges, and further extra charges for non existent guests due to the size of the group we were traveling with numbering 30+, at the time it was also quite amusing the sudden inability of the reception staff to speak English, when querying the bill.
By strange coincidence 8 months later exactly the same issues arose, this time the group was much smaller and consisted of 4 families (15 adults and children in total), only 4 bill payers.
The charges for 3 extra persons, Breakfast, packed lunch, and buffet, and an additional room levied across all of the bills, again perfect English spoken seconds earlier gave way to shrugs. After nearly an hour of trying to sort out the issues and getting knowhere, and knowing we faced an 11 hour drive back to Riyadh, we resigned ourselves to just swallowing the loss and moving on........that would have been the end, but for the fact that I had to return to collect my paperwork, I found the reception staff, and one of the waiting staff all but 'high fiveing' each other on a job well done, the look of shock at being caught spoke volumes.
Breakfast buffet 30 riyals per person and is adequate, Packed lunch 17 riyals per person also adequate.
Weekend buffet is 100 riyals per person, not worth the money, our first night we ordered Al a carte,cost was only 50 riyals (total cost including drinks) for all 3, good sized adequate mains.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SusielouScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loughrea, Ireland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2011

While the hotel may not measure up in every way, it's location and the genuine, friendly efforts of staff make up for a lot of shortcomings. In any case, the priority is to have a good base near the Madain Saleh tombs and it certainly provides that. Food is good, good hearty breakfast and evening meals provide the nourishment after a great day visiting the Heritage site.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank eddieore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2010

This 4-star KSA standard rating is a barely a 2 star USA/EU reality....it is a safe w/ a clean bed to sleep but a desert camp would have been more comfortable and appropriate had we the time..A/C was a noisy racket, the pool was in full green bloom with algae, the grounds were sadly dried up from lack of maintenance.....The food was incredibly mediocre and imagine the bed came to us straight from the microwave....like I said a camp would have been ideal...The other hotel is a bit closer to the site and looks newer from the outside...Focus on your purpose to visit Madain Saleh and know you are so lucky to be there but forget the hotel experience...the hotel graciosuly "arranged an official KSA POLICE escort to and from the UNESCO site and then the next day back to Jeddah. Know that a tragic incident occured to a group of French citizens a few years ago....impressive escort logistics but hampered our collegues return to Medina to catch his flight out....

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sandfilledboots
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2010

I am trying to book a trip for my parents when they visit in April to see this heritage site in Saudia Arabia. They were due to visit 2 years ago but unfortunately my father became sick and we had to cancel. They were upset that they had missed it and have since then talked about going next time they come back.

I am now trying to rebook the package and its so expensive its beyond belief. I have got them 5 nights in Oman with flights for the same price as 2 nights in Mada'in Saleh excluding flights - this does not seem right.

Previously the hotel organised packages which included transfers, tours and hotel on a FB.

Now they do not offer packages and the hotel charges for rooms on a RO basis and you have to arrange your own way to Mada'in Saleh.

To me it seems they do not want to attract tourists which i find strange considering Saudi is trying to promote tourism. In my opinion they are out to rip the tourist off and its daylight robbery what they are charging. I have been quoted SR3,500 for transfers between Medina and Mada'in Saleh and then Mada'in Saleh to Hail - do they think i am crazy. In a country where fuel is less than water this is pure madness.

Anyone who is prepared to pay this price is mad.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CazRiyadh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madain Saleh Hotel

Property: Madain Saleh Hotel
Address: P. O. Box 297, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia
Location: Saudi Arabia > Al Ula
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Al Ula
Number of rooms: 65

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