THE HIGHS: At about $65 US per night for a newly renovated hotel, this may be the best value in Jordan; Outstanding service and friendly staff; Surprisingly robust breakfast buffet; Free internet in the lobby; Phenomenal location right next to the gate to Petra
THE LOWS: No Alcohol Service at Dinner; No internet service in room (but this is likely to change); Too many Europeans use the otherwise comfortable lobby as a smoking lounge.
THE CURIOUS: The little sign in the bathroom asking you to discard your bathroom tissue in the wastebasket as opposed to flushing it. Did this mean they wanted my used toilet paper in the trash can and not the toilet bowl? And if so, I wonder how many other travelers besides myself completely ignored this request?
THE VERDICT: Newly renovated beautiful hotel rooms? A location right at the gates of Petra? Half the price of the Moevenpick or Crowne Plaza? Sign me up!
In Aqaba and at the Dead Sea, you will likely spend much of your day in a resort hotel. Thus, for those locations, I heartily recommend that you pony up some cash and select a nice multi-room suite that you will enjoy spending time in. But in Petra, you will be spending your day exploring the magnificent ruins and your hotel room is little more than a place to shower before dinner and then lay your head down at night. Therefore, while there are nicer hotels in Petra, the recently renovated, sparkling clean, and surprisingly plush rooms at the Petra Moon Hotel make for an excellent (and smart) lodging choice.
Although some of the printed guides may refer to the Petra Moon Hotel as a two star location, the entire hotel was renovated about seven months before the writing of this review. It is definitely NOT a two star hotel. The rooms are spacious, and feature comfortable beds with soft sheets and plush duvets. Each room has been repainted, remodeled, and wholly refurnished, and comes complete with a flat screen TV, DVD player, and satellite TV receiver that gets about 1000 channels from countries all over the Middle East. That’s no exaggeration- you get about 1000 channels. At night before bed, I found it great fun to explore the channels and tune in to stations from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudia Arabia. Naturally, there is a splattering of American channels as well. The bathrooms are also completely remodeled and are quite chic considering the price of the room. The showers were spacious and equipped with nifty massaging showerheads that could be removed from their mount and used as a body washer. The towels feature a cool little embroidered image of Petra. There was a little sign in the bathroom asking you to discard your bathroom tissue in the wastebasket as opposed to flushing it. I do not know if this sign referred to toilet paper or feminine hygiene products, but regardless I was not about to put my soiled toilet paper in a trashcan. It flushed just fine. The rooms did not have internet when I stayed there, but it looked like the hotel was beginning to install wireless hardware so that this service may be available in the near future. Regardless, there is free WiFi in the lobby. The heat turns off when you pull your card-key from the special slot and leave your room- but don't worry, the heat BLASTS when you turn it back on. The room goes from cold to cozy in about two minutes flat. If you visit during the summer months, I expect the A/C to function in the same way.
The room comes complete with a free buffet breakfast which is surprisingly robust. From eggs, to meats, to grains, to cereals, to fruits, to vegetables, to juices… you have plenty of choices and will leave on a full stomach. One day even featured an omelet station. A neat touch is that the hotel gives each breakfast attendant a little plastic bottle of water that can fit in a purse or even a large jacket pocket—it is meant to be taken with you and comes in quite handy as your thirst builds from charging around Petra later in the day. There is a dinner buffet for about $13 US per person, but the wife and I skipped it to head to a Yemeni restaurant we had read about. Another guest who attended the Petra Moon Dinner Buffet described it as “quite nice.” There is no alcohol service in the hotel, but this is not the end of the world for two reasons. First, you are right across the street from the Cave Bar- which is a spectacular location to have a beer or a cocktail, hit the “hubbly bubbly” (hookah), and unwind after a long day of sightseeing—the Cave Bar should not be missed. Secondly, the staff has no problem if you bring in outside alcohol. I had purchased a case of St. George’s Wine from the Zumot Tasting Room in Amman (another amazing experience not to be missed; see www.zumot-wines.com). When my wife and I sat in the lobby to access the internet each of the two nights we were there, I tipped a staff attendant two dinars, and he was quite happy to open one of our bottles of wine and bring us two wine glasses. On the second night, he even went to the kitchen (unprompted) and put together a small vegetable plate to enjoy with our wine, surprised us with it, subsequently rejected my second two dinar tip, and said “Welcome to Jordan, Mr. Timothy.” The guy really just wanted to show us hospitality, and my wife and I were very touched. The service in the hotel is superb, and all staff members seem to be under the watchful eyes of the very competent managers at all times. Their goal is to present a professional and welcoming image, and I believe they succeed at doing so. I should note that the lobby is well decorated and furnished with comfortable chairs and couches (see photo). The only problem I encountered there was with the other guests- European travelers were using it as a smoking lounge and though I enjoy a cigarette or cigar on occasion, their relentless chain smoking can become somewhat of a nuisance in enclosed spaces. A “no smoking” section of the lobby might be something for the hotel to look into… Or just throw buckets of water on the Europeans… Either one works for me.
There is no gym at the hotel, but exploring Petra means hours of walking and climbing—you will get a workout whether you want one or not, so pardon the pun, but “don’t sweat” the absence of a gym. You can also not dial out of the hotel from the phone in your room—but when I needed to call Hertz in Amman, the manager was happy to lend me his office and let me use his phone. (On an unrelated side note: If you rent a car, don’t bother with paying extra for a GPS… they just don’t work in Jordan and the country is very easy to navigate using a good map). The staff at the Petra Moon will also happily let you use the front desk phone for calls within Jordan. This seems to be a complimentary service too.
Given that there is no room service, spa, gym, business center, or in-room internet, I would not go so far as to classify the Petra Moon as a four star hotel. However, the actual rooms are easily four star quality, and the hotel overall is certainly on the cusp of being a four star hotel—Let’s call it three and a half stars. I love Moevenpick and Crowne Plaza hotels, but ask yourself: Do you really value room service, a spa, or a business center so much that you would pay for a room in one of those places when you could have the same room at the Petra Moon half priced? Can you live without those amenities for one or two nights? Given the brief amount of time I was in Petra (two nights), and my main purpose for being there (exploring, not lounging), the choice was easy. Give me the great hotel room, great service, and great value for my money. Give me the Petra Moon Hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Petra Moon Hotel is newly reopened with four star services. The rooms of five star amenities, all day dining room, shuttle service from the hotel to all different destinations in Jordan. The location of the hotel can tell you a story for being very close to the entrance of the ancient city of Petra. The Sky Roof Terrace and Restaurant offers a variety of cocktails and snacks. The hotel has a roof swimming pool surrounded overlooking Sharrah Mountains. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Petra Moon
- Petra Moon Wadi Musa
- Petra Moon Hotel Jordan/Petra - Wadi Musa