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“Not good enough”

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Darna Village Beach Hotel & Dive Center
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Aqaba
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We had 4 nights and 3 full days in Aqaba, staying at Darna Hotel. We stayed there that long only because we had booked: the place is poor but not quite bad enough for us to go through the bother of checking out.
It does have some some good points: the location, at the south end of the Japanese Garden Reef is great. There is a good view across the Red sea from the pool-side terrace; we found the beds firm but comfortable; the air-conditioning in our room worked; some of the staff were very pleasant; and they have a nicely relaxed attitude towards accounting for refreshments and food.
Everything else was poor. Although recently built, the place is crumbling. Most of the items listed on the menu were not available and the food that was served was dull (and the comments on their web-site about getting the best of the catch from local fisherman is surely pure fantasy). Our room wasn't cleaned at all, not even to empty the bin: in an establishment that asks its guests to put toilet paper in the bin rather than down the toilet, this is surely inexcusable. The standard of service was generally poor, sometimes to the point of being surly. And the promised early breakfast on the morning of our departure failed to appear, despite us having paid for it.
The Bedouin Garden Village, immediately behind Darna, seemed really nice and the couple of evening meals we had there were delicious. Stay there instead.

Room Tip: Only stay here if the other hotels on Aqaba South Beach are full.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roger L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 25, 2012

This hotel is just not very nice or has been very loved. Even after spending a night and day walking in the Wadi Rum (which by the way is brilliant) and really just wanting a place to rest our weary heads for the night, we still checked out 30 minutes after checking in!!

Our room was sparse to be very kind. The bathroom gave the impression catching something nasty was imminent – not even the two free sachets of shampoo that were ceremonially dumped in the room along with our single accompanying toilet roll could make amends. A lovely view from a back window of an alley way filled with building debris and rubbish added a nice touch. But the highlight of our very short stay in the room, above all, was the fridge. The fridge that wasn’t plugged in. The fridge that wasn’t plugged in because the plug was the wrong fitting for the wall socket. Simply brilliant and summed-up the hotel!! A place people must only come to kill themselves.

The staff though were understanding when we said we wanted to leave. I think they cared about us leaving as much as they did about their accommodation. The best thing was the free Wi-Fi near the pool which we used to book a hotel room somewhere else!!

All-in-all, whilst the hotel is near the beach and is cheap, don’t bother staying here. Sleep on the beach; it would be a better experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JDMc1982
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2012

Here are some reasons you should stay at Darna Village

- It is indeed next to the beach
- It is cheap
- If you like diving (apparently that is reasonable as well)

Other than that, it is not a place I would recommend, particularly with Kids. The hotel has a general air of disrepair and there are bits of construction equipment & pieces of indeterminate objects lying everywhere. We were rather amused to find that the ladder to get into the pool on one side was completely broken (i.e the steps were completely broken) and you had to hoist yourself out using bits of broken steps. Also the pool is 5 ft at the shallow end and increasing thereafter, so clearly not meant for children.

The rooms were passably clean but despite booking well in advance, we didn’t get three rooms together (or even two – all rooms were in different parts of the property). Our room had a cavernous cupboard that didn’t look like it had ever seen better days, and I couldn’t help wondering if it might not be an idea to put the poor thing out of its misery, and use as a firewood – it was certainly not serving any purpose in the rooms.

The breakfast in the morning, was doled out, prisonlike in fixed quantity (2 pittas, 1 boiled egg, 1 packet of jam and butter and a sneeze of feta cheese).

The staff & service (and I use the term very loosely) was non – existent. A request at reception for a map of Aqaba led to much scratching of the head and some frowns. And finally, with a flourish, two brochures were presented to us. ‘you can keep them’, I was informed. Wow.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mridula M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

was beyond what we expected! The guys of Abed (Ashi, Fadi and etc`..) are wonderful people and give us a ratio of kings, they are very honest and caring all the time. The pool was clean and the place is spotless. Excellent area (adjacent to the beach). Rooms very clean, new air conditioner and refrigerator, however the bed is uncomfortable and the shower flow a little weak but we had a view to all the beach.
Dives were excellent! New equipment and very high quality.
We were two divers and two instructors are amazing all the time we made ​​sure all the sites that took us were impressive and the right has all the diving experience. Price dives is not expensive (20 dinars for dive if you take a package).
We was 3 people (we took 2 rooms).
The place is highly recommended. Sure we get back!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank TalDub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Move the sun bed at poolside and you get a temper tantrum from the owner. Talk to their very friendly snorkeling tour guide (Shark) who offers you Jordanian service and some tea..... get a temper tantrum from the owner. When ordering breakfast, you get a 'what do you want?'....no good morning or a smile... Shame shame.

The location on South Beach is lovely. Across from a public (#3) beach that you can walk to and wear a bikini. Hang out at the pool (which is clean). With tidy charming great rooms.

What is the real disappointment, is that I loved diving with the dive shop associated with Darna Village. The dive master was great.... but never again!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank MsWanderlustSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2012

I booked a bed in a 6 bed dorm by hostel world but when I got there that guy told me.. "My friend there is a problem with dorms, I can not fix it now, but I have private rooms, the prices is 25 jd but as you already booked the price for you is 18 jd for you"
I've booked dorms for 13 jd. It is not close to downtown so I took it! Later I realized that in that hostel there are no longer dorms.
Food is really expensive and it's not good. There are not nice with people, they do not help at all. They said there are buses to get there but it is not true, you must have to take a taxi for 5 jd!
They don't mind clients at all, they only mind your money! Water 1 jd, a small coke 1 jd, a non alcoholic beer 2 jd.
So guys DO NOT GO THERE!

Room Tip: Bargain all the time with them and only pay what you asked for, no more! Those guys are liars.
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank Mauro_itu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2012

Very uncomfortable stay, Darna is run by a lazy group of men, who made very little effort to make us feel welcome. Food was very expensive (and nothing special), rooms very basic, and although the website advertises they can help book tours etc, when we asked for help to book a snorkelling trip (or any kind of red sea boat trip), we were told to hitchhike into town, and make our own arrangements. Service really lets this place down. The pool was the only highlight, but even that was spoilt by the teenage children of the staff, who continually spat into it. Wouldn't recommend this place at all.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank NatW21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Darna Village Beach Hotel & Dive Center

Address: South Beach Road | PO Box 1703, Aqaba 77110, Jordan
Location: Jordan > Al Aqabah Governorate > Aqaba
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Aqaba
Price Range: $35 - $48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Darna Village Beach Hotel & Dive Center 2*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located some 12kms south of Aqaba downtown, 50 meters from the sea, ideal place for relaxing, diving, snorkeling. Air-conditioned Single-, Double-, Twin- and Triple rooms. Shared dorm is also available. On-site dive center and restaurant. ... more   less 
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