This must have been one of the first deluxe hotels in Aqaba, but it's long since been overtaken and is now in a state of comfortable old age or advanced decline, depending on your viewpoint.
Signs in the lobby hint at what the hotel once offered - a shop, the 'Dolphin Pub' and a cinema, all now closed. There's a definite quirky charm to the once-opulent 1970s architecture and decor, now so forlorn. But on our stay, the hotel seemed to be largely empty; my friend and I rechristened it The Overlook hotel, after the hotel in The Shining.
The location is very convenient for the centre of Aqaba, and the room was clean, as was the (deserted) swimming pool. But the bed was uncomfortable, the pillow rock-hard; and we just couldn't 'overlook' the number of things that didn't work: the TV, certain plug sockets, the toilet-flush cord (which snapped off), the bathroom light (which we had to tap a few times before it would stop flickering and stay on), and above all, the air-conditioning unit, which was as dead as a dodo.
And that was what made our stay unbearable. A nighttime temperature of 26 degrees celsius meant an uncomfortable night's sleep, even with the window open - which itself resulted in a mosquito feeding frenzy. We were glad to leave.
Don't stay in Aqaba unless you have an air-conditioned room - and don't stay here unless you're OK with the possibility that you may not have one.
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- Also Known As:
- Alcazar Hotel Aqaba