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“Absolute delight!”

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Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea
Ranked #1 of 40 Hotels in Aqaba
Certificate of Excellence
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
45 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Absolute delight!”
Reviewed January 12, 2011

We stayed at the Kempinski Aqaba at the end of an exhausting 9 day trip all around Jordan. So this was like a treat to the senses after a week or so of B&B stays and rushed itineraries.

First things first- if you want to swim, snorkel or engage in any water sports, would strongly advise you to stay in one of the beachfront 5-stars. Jordan is a conservative country and you'd feel awkward in a swimsuit on a public beach with fully dressed locals-it is just not the done thing here. That was one of the main reasons we picked the Kempinski. Plus, they are the newest hotel in Aqaba and plenty of things going for them

Rooms- Big plus. Fantastic rooms, all rooms face the lovely blue waters of the Red Sea. Big sea front balconies to sit out and enjoy a meal or cocktails. Drinks in the bar are complementary ( really nice !!) and replenished once a day. The transparent bathrooms are really fun and give the hotel a really cool, glamorous kind of feel. Dont worry- they have blinds for privacy too :)

Service- Very warm and friendly staff. Special mention of Oliver in room service

Pool- the pool was warm and pre heated to 30 deg celsius plus there was a hot jacuzzi , all very welcome in the cold Jordan winter. Also , they have a very nice beachfront with peaceful waters which are wonderful for a swim. They offer water sports through Sindbad tours (which seemed a bit expensive ). If you want to, you can easily find a glass bottom boat, with a bit of haggling with the locals to snorkel and spend the day on.

Food- Food was great. well made and decent variety although they did have a lot of restaurant renovations going on. We really enjoyed our relaxed lunch and wine on the beachfront hotel- a perfect top off to our 9 day Jordan trip!

Would highly recommend this place for a short romantic break or for a relaxed beachfront/ water sports vacation or if you want to explore the amazing corals of Aqaba. Not much in the city per se outside of that, so for long stays the place itself (no fault of Kempinski!) can be a bit dull.This is also an extremely child friendly place , we saw they were equipped with a play room fully stocked with everything including shovels and buckets.
The only funny thing that put us off was that this hotel at the time went catered to a mostly senior crowd-most of the guests were a bit stuffy and would not even smile at breakfast! Quite unlike the smiles all around in Jordan and the hotel staff.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank gp2008Mumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (222)
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 9, 2011

This hotel is brand new, beautiful, ultra modern/minimalist - a beautiful property. Most of all however the food and service is excellent. Traveling around Jordan, even staying in very high-end international properties, I was generally underwhelmed by the food and the service - especially at a lot of places that charge for five star service but don't deliver. This hotel was by far the best place we stayed in Jordan - food and service on par with the best of the best anywhere in the world. Expensive but well worth it.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank louisegreen555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2011

We enjoyed our 5 night stay at the hotel. The buffet breakfast was outstanding. I loved that you could order freshly made pancakes/waffles/crepes and they were always delicious. We ate so much for breakfast that we rarely needed lunch! The rooms are very modern and all face the sea. We loved both the room and the bathroom. However, the view was not fantastic as there were tankers moored in the bay which rather spoiled it! There was also an empty site next door which didn't add much.

The pool is lovely but we found the screaming kids very annoying and it wasn't very relaxing to sit by the pool but we were out exploring a lot so didn't bother us too much.

All in all a nice, modern clean hotel but we didn't like Aqaba much so I doubt we would return.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank LondonViaggiatore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brno, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
48 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2010

Excellent personal service, excellent "minimalist" architecture, excellent cuisine, I think it is the best hotel in Jordan and one of the best hotels all over the world. All rooms have direct sea view and are very spacious. Free minibar with soft drinks and beer. Free internet. Usually I do not like buffet dinner and prefer á la carte restaurants but buffet dinner at this hotel was so great, that I had to visit it twice during my 4 days stay. Nice beach even with brought white sand :-), heated swimming pool. Vere friendly and helpful staff !!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Petr13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 30, 2010

Every thing is excellent Nice people fantastic surroundings. Outside the hotel there is no so much to do so it is very important that The facilities like a Spa have to be impeccable.

  • Stayed December 2010
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Guapa1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArminDubai, Manager at Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea, responded to this review, January 1, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your valuable comments and we are very pleased to read about your stay with us.

It is with pleasure to inform you that we will open our Kempinski Spa in Spring 2011 which will feature 9 different treatment rooms over two floors and all overlooking the Red Sea with a great variety of exclusive treatments.

We look forward in welcoming you back with us again soon.

Kind regards

Armin Hies
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed December 27, 2010

We chose the Kempinski Hotel based on the ratings it received on this site. However, now we have completed our trip it is difficult to understand why it has been rated so highly. We booked direct with the hotel through their website. The address was shown as King Hussein Street, Aqaba with no number or other guidance as to its location. After driving past a group of other 5* hotels twice, we finally stopped outside a building that looked like a government office to ask a security-man for directions. It was only then that we saw Kempinski written on his badge and we realized we were in the right place. This was the start of two mysterious nights without any kind of signage. The hotel was completely anonymous from the street and throughout.

We were booked as VIPs. As we entered the hotel we were offered cold towels, but we were carrying bags so we declined and walked to the reception. The towels were not offered again and no drink was offered, despite this being part of the VIP package. It was a very unwelcoming start to the break. The package also included a free mini-bar. This contained only two alcoholic drinks (Amstel beers), some sodas, and a small box of chips. The beers were replaced each day but seemed stingy between two people. There was also a fruit bowl in the room with three bruised apples in it, which did nothing to enhance the experience.

Inside the room the absence of information continued, and where it was provided--in the guest directory and on the TV--it was minimal and contradictory. For example, the directory said the AM/PM restaurant was open all day but when we checked at 2.30pm it was shut. Again there was no information outside the restaurant about opening times, menus or prices, so we had no idea what was on offer. The same applied to the beachside restaurants. As a consequence we went to establishments outside the hotel to eat. If this approach is a style-statement it is a very poor choice, as it results in the hotel having a distinctly unfinished and somewhat impoverished air about it. Some pictures of the hotel are attached to illustrate.

Several people have remarked on the lack of privacy in the bathroom and we would agree. Whilst the glass wall between the bath and the bedroom is an interesting touch, the blind provides little privacy when using the toilet and bidet, especially when the lights are on. Again zero-signage results in an absence of basic hot and cold signs on the taps, so it was hard to use the shower without accidentally getting an unpleasant blast of cold water. Overall the design of the bathroom, whilst aesthetically pleasing, was dreadful, especially the placing of the bath taps and shower controls.

The inclusive breakfast was fine, if a little bland. The hard cheeses need to be covered to stop them sweating and going stale. The coffee was odd-tasting too, but the juices were excellent. Unfortunately, the restaurant staff behaved like pests. Another reviewer referred to them as flies waiting to pounce and that is a fair description. They seemed keen to grab used plates as quickly as possible, regardless of whether the other person had finished eating or they were interrupting a conversation. The only person in the restaurant who emerged with credit is the door-lady who managed to say ‘Good morning sir and madam’ unlike the rest of the hotel staff who treated my wife as if she was invisible.

The location on the beach is good and the gardens are small but pleasant. The pool is well designed but the water was too cold for swimming. The outdoor Jacuzzi was heated and lovely. The sun beds and towels were excellent quality too.

Despite the hotel being operational for well over a year, the sauna is not open yet. The sauna is noted in the guest directory, on the Kempinski website, and on Bookings.com (who get their information from the hotel) even though it is not available. Maybe this omission combined with the lack of signage, are indications that the hotel is experiencing financial difficulties.

On the plus side, Reception staff arranged two dives for us at a local marine park and these went well. We can recommend the Jordan Dive Centre, whose employees were very helpful and professional. There is more to say, but the main points are covered. Overall, this hotel has the potential to be very pleasant but it needs to give much more attention to the details (e.g. proper signage, heat the pool, appropriate training for the staff) to make it a luxury experience and worth the price.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank DubaiMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ArminDubai, Manager at Kempinski Hotel Aqaba Red Sea, responded to this review, January 1, 2011
Dear Guest,

It is with great interest to read about your valueable comments and thank you for sharing these with us.

Kindly note that we are currently sourcing additional outdoor as well as indoor signage covering all areas of the hotel premises in order to guide and direct all our guests accordingly.

As a courtesy to all our guests we are offering a complimentary minibar service in each room or suite which is refilled on a daily basis. For any additional choices we also avail a 24hr Room Service as well as our Lobby Lounge and Bar.

Whilst our bathrooms feature a unique design we fully understand the privacy needs our guests are asking for and have now sourced additional blinds as optional solutions in every bathroom.

Kindly note that all outdoor pools remain heated throughout the year and vary between 25-28 degrees as well as the outdoor jacuzzi at 38 degrees.

At last we are pleased to announce that the hotel will feature a luxurious Kempinski Spa with over 800sqm and full sea view to be operational as of Spring 2011.

We do look forward in welcoming you back with us in the near future.

With kind regards

Armin Hies
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leuven
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 21, 2010

I really love this hotel and experienced the best service ever! The hotel was modern, new, very clean, luxurious,... If I would have to pick one negative comment it would be that the hotel area is not that large, but this was not a problem to me for a one week stay. November is a great time to go there.

  • Stayed November 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pippeke
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 Luxury Hotel in Aqaba
#1 Romantic Hotel in Aqaba
#1 Spa 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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