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“Best Hotel I have stayed in”

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Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
Ranked #1 of 40 Hotels in Aqaba
Certificate of Excellence
Livingston, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Best Hotel I have stayed in”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2013

My title sums up this hotel. The position is superb, looking right down the Gulf of Aqaba. All rooms face the sea, Corridors and services are to the road side of the building so little traffic noise. The architecture from the street is reminiscent of Le Corbusier, very striking but not particularly inviting. The group of pools are very exciting, including large outdoor bubble bath.

Rooms are very spacious and all have balcony to the sea ( the sun sets over the Sinai peninsular).Everything worked and was well maintained. The insect screen suffered minor damage when I walked into it, forgot it was there. When I returned to the room it was repaired. The cleaners had noticed and reported it.

The restaurant is very good. Some reviews have criticized breakfast. There is a huge choice,you do not need to eat everything every day. The choice is yours, but this is a nominally Muslim country and so pork products are missing. So many western breakfasts rely on pork.

The town is like most working towns, shops and facilities for locals. Our tour manager took us for an orientation tour on the first evening there. No pressure to buy anything, just a look around. We were reassured by this and ventured out along on the following evenings. I do not think I have felt so welcome anywhere. Everywhere the greeting was Hello Welcome to Jordon, are you enjoying your holiday? No hustling, no hassling just genuine warmth and a desire to chat. I talked to one gentleman who had been born in a cave in Petra; another who happened to be the Imam and showed me round the mosque. ( I was wearing shorts but this did not worry him as long as I removed my shoes).

Three nights of true luxury.

I travelled with SAGA.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Highcliff138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,213 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (221)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Belfast, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed at this hotel during our tour of Jordan in October 2012. Other hotels were the Evason Ma'in and the Movenpick in Petra. We were expecting the most from this hotel, but left with very mixed feelings.

(FYI: The Evason has a fantastic setting and a great spa, but doesn't score too well in terms of food and customer service.....the reviews are pretty much spot on so won't add anything further here.....The Movenpick in Petra had fairly average rooms and a so-so pool area, but boy do they make up for that with impeccable service, fantastic food and friendly staff.....we expected the least from this hotel, but ended up rating it as the best hotel of the three we stayed in....they really know how to look after their guests - faultless.)

But back to the Kempinski.......

Pros:
Beautiful room. Great facilities and perfectly clean at all times. Glass partition didn't really work for us....but each to their own.
Hotel is very expensively designed, but had a somewhat soulless feel to it. The minimalist design in the lobby does not make you want to linger....we felt the atmosphere more akin to an upmarket airport lounge.....
The staff from the Philippines - warm, welcoming and hard working.
The duty Manager - took time to listen to our issues, and seemed genuine in his attempts to remedy.

Cons:
Woeful service!
Beach - not enough staff on hand to provide towels and help with sun loungers....we waited 15 minutes before we were handed two towels!! Staff were too busy setting up cabanas for other (slightly more demanding!) guests to notice us.....

Beach restaurant: Jordanian staff were not very welcoming, and were somewhat arrogant when dealing with legitimate complaints. Thank goodness for the wonderful staff from the Philippines!

Breakfast - the egg station was woefully understaffed. One inexperienced chef is not enough! He was charming though, which made it more difficult to be cross when you'd waited 10 minutes to get something you hadn't ordered......again! Did like the giant pepper mill at breakfast. Great fun..... Food was pretty good, although the coffee could have been a little hotter.
As we were leaving early on the last day, we asked whether we could have toast, eggs and coffee sent to the room. We were told this was impossible. We received a paper bag with fruit, juice and stale Danish pastries......not really my cup of tea, and not what I'd expect from 5 star hotel.

Pizza in beach restaurant....What an ordeal!....Ordered a pizza with 3 toppings from the menu. First pizza arrived with 2 incorrect toppings, so asked if I could have what I had originally ordered. Waited another 25 minutes only to receive a very burnt (i.e. totally cremated) pizza still missing two of the three toppings! The waiter set it down and asked me if it would be ok....well, no, it's not what I ordered, and it's cremated! So onto pizza number three.....Was only at this point advised that they didn't have either of the missing two fillings in stock! And the reason the pizza was burnt was because I had ordered the "wrong" topping i.e. which takes too long to cook in relation to the pizza base!!! Priceless!! Why put that ingredient on the menu at all?? Ended up having a glass of wine instead...Also ordered the gazpacho one day - I don't recommend it......

My husband and I tended to order a bottle of wine when dining in the beach restaurant. This was cheaper than buying wine by the glass (bottle only £26 ++ !!!), and meant we could enjoy a glass in the room, prior to dinner. We asked to take the bottle with us when we were leaving the beach, but were sweetly informed they would do this for us. Great service you would say? Not when you wait three hours and have to make 3 'phone calls to finally receive it!! And this happened more than once......
(By the way, and if you like a tipple on holiday....Try the Rovers Return (turn right - a short walk from the hotel)...Forget your snobbery....(I know.....the name didn't do it for me either :)) but just go! Friendly efficient service.....and didn't have to wait three hours to receive a drink I'd already paid for!!! Oh yes, and the wine is the same as that served in the hotel. It just costs a lot less there!)

The view: Whilst I enjoyed the beach and going for a swim, I hated the rusty tankers lined up in front of the hotel. They didn't move for the duration of our stay.....and the water sometimes seemed murky......

Reception: We, and indeed other guests we spoke to, found the majority of the reception staff rather rude, with the notable exception of one very pleasant fellow. The security staff at the door were much more pleasant to deal with. Maybe a job swap would help!

The Japanese manager inspected the beach front area during our stay. He is obviously very detail orientated, and took great trouble to ensure everything looked perfect, That sums the Kempinski up for me.....it would seem that how the hotel looks is deemed more important than actually interacting with the guests to ensure they're having an enjoyable and stress free holiday.
Delivering good customer service should surely be more important than lining up sunbeds perfectly and smoothing out sand in ashtrays? Whilst attention to detail does have its place, actually interacting with guests and asking for their feedback would surely be a better use of this gentleman's time..

In summary:

The Kempinski just didn't do it for us.....Great looks, but no personality....

Aqaba, in general, was not to my taste. It's very conservative. Didn't mind having to cover up when out and about, but did not feel welcome as a Westerner. We did not experience this feeling elsewhere in Jordan......the people in Petra were particularly charming. My advice would be to stay longer in Petra........

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jackier33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
197 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

This is an exceptionally good hotel with its own private beach. Our very comfortable suite had a large balcony with fabulous views of the Gulf of Aqaba. Food in the buffet restaurant was very good and we greatly enjoyed the wine "buffet". Staff throughout the hotel were surpassingly helpful.

Despite the antiquity of the town, there is very little to see in Aqaba but the Kempinski is a delightful place to relax for a few days in well-priced luxury.

We had some problems getting hot water on two occasions, but we were very impressed with the speed of response of the management, and their gift of a bottle of wine certainly compensated for our inconvenience.

Room Tip: I highly recommend asking for one of the 7th floor suites
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rexie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2013

Everything was topp! Exceptional staff! If you are going to Aqaba i would recommend you to stay here. We came after driving car for 6 hours, our room was perfect. The hotel staff made everything they could to make our stay there to be perfect. The breakfast was “so-so” especially when you compare it with breakfasts in other Kempinski hotels , where for example you get served sparkling vine and have Asian station. By mentioned that I would suggest Kempinski read sea to improve their breakfast alternatives. Otherwise service where exceptional and since we didn’t find the food for us in the breakfast buffet, the chef made special dishes for us.
I would recommend to stay there and when we will come back to Aqaba we would stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trondheim, Norway
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2012

Have just returned from our second visit to Kempinski in Aqaba for 1 week.
Spacious rooms, great service and a superb a la carte restaurant (expensive) by the sea.
Looking forward to next visit.
Absolutely recommended !!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jari50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

This hotel is an excellent hotel with exceptional staff and facilities. A good selection of in-house dining and a lovely pool/beach area.

The rooms are spacious and the inclusion of a free non-alcoholic mini-bar is a nice touch.

My only concern are the horribly inflated prices of the in-house dining/services. These are on level with expensive European restaurants and typically 100-200% more expensive than in the restaurants outside of the hotel.

The service is generally good with kind attentive staff. They do however seem a bit limited in the strict policies of the hotel. This creates a stiffer atmosphere than necessary.

The location of the hotel is very good, a few minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of central Aqaba. The only thing of concern here is that there is a building project on the land next to the hotel (as of dec 12) that may cause noise.

Overall I would recommend the hotel for anyone who wants a truly lovely stay in Aqaba

Room Tip: Most rooms (from X01 to X30) are with a nice seafront room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Runar_the_traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bucharest, Romania
Level Contributor
154 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012

We traveled as a couple end of Nov in 2012. the hotel staff really made impressed us. (thanks to Alejandra and Daria!) And just to give an example after the second day the lady who was receiving guests on terrace remembered our names and what my girlfriend kind of drink she was preferring.
The hotel architecture has nothing to do with Arab culture or Jordanian culture, it's rather Swedish from my point of view. not really my taste, but that's just a personal view.
Food as exceptional, from how it was presented, to taste and selections, so congrats to the Chef.
I recommend this hotel for high quality standards of the furniture, spa, bath facilities, services, pool and again excellent service.

Room Tip: all rooms have sea side view. we did not hear any music from Intercontinental during our stay.if the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dragos L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea

Property: Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
Address: King Hussein Street | PO Box 1441, Aqaba 77110, Jordan
Phone Number:
Location: Jordan > Al Aqabah Governorate > Aqaba
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Aqaba
#1 Spa Hotel in Aqaba
#1 Luxury Hotel in Aqaba
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Aqaba
#2 Family Hotel in Aqaba
#4 Business Hotel in Aqaba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea 5*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gracefully situated on the white sandy beaches and azure waters of the Red Sea, The Kempinski Hotel Aqaba offers a transcendent sensory experience. With an array of culinary options, leisure activities, and top-tier pampering and perfectly at home within its picturesque surroundings, this resort is heaven to explorers and leisure seekers alike. Set against a stunning backdrop, the hotel combines the warmth of the Jordanians with the highest standards of a luxury European resort. Style is contemporary chic and the resort’s fascinating tear drop design guarantees sea views from every room, complemented by luxurious facilities and state-of-the-art technology. There are three lounges and three eateries to choose from serving everything fromextensive gourmet buffets, delicious fresh seafood and an assortment of tantalising treats. At night the hotel blossoms with wondrous façade lighting, paving the way for an unforgettable evening of cocktails and malts, around the sunken pool or at Aqua Lounge, a favourite with romantics due to its gorgeous views of the Red Sea.For pampering and healing both inside and out, Kempinski The Spa offers a journey of tranquility with treatments using an assortment of luxurious elixirs and ingredients. With a fully equipped gym overlooking the ocean, the resort offers everything your body needs to unwind and rejuvenate. It goes without saying that the diving here is incredible and guests can explore the largest collection of natural soft corals in the world when delving into the glittery, calm waters. Aqaba is a warm and inviting city, fringed with palm trees, shopping and a vast array of leisure, sporting and entertainment facilities. Ideal for year round sunshine, Kempinski Aqaba is the perfect location to explore all the delights that Jordan has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kempinski Hotel Aqaba

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