We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“uncomfortable property with poor service for a 5 star hotel”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 12 more sites!
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Sweimah
washington dc
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“uncomfortable property with poor service for a 5 star hotel”
Reviewed May 11, 2008

I spent a week on site - part of it alone, then for a conference and with my husband. The property is huge, with lots of pools (very nice) and beach access for Dead Sea activities. The room was also very large on the 3rd floor, with a nice terrace. Lots of stone and marble - kind of cold, really, which describes the general feeling we had all week. Not all of the rooms have full sized terraces, but they have at least a small porch with sea view. There were no cushions for the benches on the terrace, which you could not sit on otherwise. We thought this was odd, AND it was not offered until we asked. When requested, housekeeping brought one pool chair cushion and two beach towels. Not really what we were expecting. There are restaurants where you have to have "reservations" - but the tables never fill up. There are bars where you cannot get snacks. Service in the bars at the pools is slow and inattentive. We had to get up and remind people of our order, or drag them over to take our order. Not all of the restaurants are open all the time. Pool area restaurants close early. This was in high season on the Dead Sea! The health club was very good. Nice new machines, and a good variety, with a very helpful staff. They were the best staff in the entire hotel. The property is not easy to get around - beware anyone with disabilities, there are many steps and steep walkways. On the other hand, there are carts that will take you around so long as you are willing to wait...... Drinks and food are very expensive - and we had at least one incident where the bartender asked for cash instead of room charge and there was no reason we could determine...unless he was pocketing the cash. By contrast, when errors were made, such as improper bills or very slow service (one night I just left the restaurant after waiting half an hour for a second glass of wine) the management was very apologetic and accomodating. No cash machine but you can go next door to the Movenpick for that. Housekeeping service was very hard to predict - sometimes we got washcloths and handtowels, sometimes not. Minibar is free, and refilling was prompt each day. Shower was good, but the layout of the bath was odd and the glass doors tend to slam shut without warning. The shower drain was very slow. So all in all, for a five star resort, this one needs a lot of work.

  • Liked — the pools, health club and the location on the Dead Sea
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank travlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

2,578 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,660
    491
    222
    104
    101
See reviews for
611
1,018
129
198
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (529)
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
England
Level 6 Contributor
177 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2008

Wonderful grounds and spoilt for choice with eight swimming pools but not a great choice in Restaurants.Excellent for short stays but could get boring as little to do close by.

  • Liked — Beautiful grounds
  • Disliked — So big it seemed deserted nad very quiet
  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank oscar0734
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London/Singapore
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2008

First impressions are good. Very good. The foyer and entrance of the hotel is plush and stylish. Check in was smooth and we were taken by buggy to the room (a terrace room) which was comfortable (not spectacular, but the price reflects that).

Then the fun began! It was quite possibly the most hilarious service I've ever experienced in a hotel. Fawlty Towers eat your heart out! There were too many incidents to mention but some of the highlights were;

- Restaurants not being open and therefore the resort, which was full, had only one restaurant open to serve everyone....so there were lines of people waiting for dinner
- Waiting staff so incompetent/badly trained that the head chef in the Italian restaurant was serving the meals
- Room service that didn't appear on numerous occasions
- Zero service by the pool
- A function all day with a live band (i.e. blaring music...and it's not that we are against some music, but you had to raise your voice to speak all across theproperty it was that loud!)
- The spa fully booked for three days (they are opening a new spa though, so hopefully that fixes that problem)
and it goes on...

Peaceful and relaxing, it wasn't. BUT again, for the price you pay, we weren't expecting five star service...we were expecting three star service, but instead we got no service.

Maybe this was just the week we were there but there was a whiff of general chaos about the place that I think may be a permanent aspect to the property.

And we never once saw the general manager wandering around, or any level of manager....which leads us to believe that the staff are generally not being guided and trained properly.

We enjoyed the Dead Sea itself though - it's a wonderful experience.

  • Liked — Location, pools were pretty
  • Disliked — Service, service, service
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank LMALondon_Singapore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 11, 2008

As previous reviews have noted, the service here leaves a LOT to be desired. The property itself is quite pleasant, spacious rooms, decent common areas, and nice pools. That's about all this place has going for it. The service ranges from indifferent to rude, the quality of food is terrible (tried three restaurants), and the size of the property makes it challenging to get around - two elevators, several sets of stairs and more hiking from reception to the beach.

This place may be the best on the strip (haven't stayed at any of the others), but that says more about the quality of the other hotels that it does about this one.

  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JackHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwickshire
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2008

I stayed at The Kempinski in April at the height of their season. The rooms were excellent, clean and spacious. My balcony looked out over the Dead Sea with easy access to the beach. Although there's not much to do in the area, the facilities in the complex are excellent. The most impressive asset they have is the staff, attentive, friendly but not 'in your face'. You hardly noticed their presence until you found yourself lost or confused and then they magically appeared. The mood of the hotel is laid back and plush with spacious corridors and plenty of seating and drinking areas. The whole place comes to life in the evening, with subty lit pools and miles and miles of polished sandstone.
A definite destination for that area

  • Stayed April 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank WarwickshireTia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
Reviewed April 5, 2008

We stayed here in march 2008 for 5 days, check in was fine despite the tiny reception desk which was miniscule in comparison to the cavernous lobby area, the room was very well designed with a huge bathroom and a dressing area with a great view over the complex and sea. This hotel is huge, to get to the beach / dead sea we had to take 3 lifts / elevators and do quite a bit of walking, this was not a problem for us but anyone with a mobility issue should avoid this hotel. Service was patchy and could be very very slow, it was necessary to be quite assertive at times in order to place and actually receive food and drink orders. However the quality of the food coming from the kitchens was Excellent and worth the wait. Room service was was very good value and well presented and was relatively prompt. Breakfast tended to be the most challenging meal of the day, dishes and juices etc were not replenished and we had to request for this to be done, when ordering any item from the egg chef do not stray too far or you will find your omelette etc being delivered to some one else's table.
You will definitely need your hotel map which is placed in your room to navigate your way around this hotel, the hotel is architecturally stunning and will probably receive many awards for its design, however the design of the hotel does tend to dwarf the actual guests.
Staff were friendly and keen however may I suggest you request staff to repeat your order back to you as the staff have varying levels of competency in english.
This area consists of a strip of several international hotels, there are no local restaurants etc around, however there is a shuttle service operating between the hotels so you can compare them all. I also made use of the shuttle service to go to the spa in the Marriott next door as despite my best efforts i was unable to get an appointment for the spa in this hotel, apparently there are plans to build the largest spa in the region here in the near future.
The hotel provides vats of dead sea mud with which to plaster yourself, do try this as it's great fun, then wash it off in the dead sea as you bob around.
We would definitely go to the dead sea again, but we would not stay at this hotel, it lacks ambience, service is patchy and the scale of the complex does not lend itself to a relaxing break.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank northsiders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hanoi, Vietnam
Level 6 Contributor
597 reviews
97 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 446 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2008

This has to be one of the best hotel experiences I ever had ..

Let me list the things that enticed me most:

The room: spacious, fantastically designed (with separate area for the ladies to get their paint on, which I would have transformed to papa's computer corner, if the internet plug had been located there) .. In fact . So beautiful that I did a video walk through. The bed was super comfortable. The bathroom is a work of beauty .. Big, marble, a tub that fits the whole family, several compartments for everything.

Impeccable service, free fruit basket upon arrival, over-the-top quality control (order a bucket of ice and you get check-up calls every 5 minutes if the bucket has arrived .. Talk to a staff member in the elevator and they ask if everything is ok), beautiful space in general, the location, the beach, the mud, the sheer number of pools, the quick response to a bleeding foot ..

I could probably go on 10 pages about the things I liked and enjoyed .. But I know that readers here (and the hotel management) thrive on the little things that did not go so well .. So, I go into the nitty gritty (again, all the things I liked outweigh the things I was less happy with, but this is one hotel I totally want to come back to and very much recommend to everyone!)

- the food .. I was not super impressed .. I felt they are trying hard with what they can get .. But it did not live up to the standard according to everything else .. The monkfish at 'the codes' can easily replicated at home with some fish sticks and thai hot chili sauce, they thai beef salad was so so ... Food was also expensive (compared to what else we had in Jordan), there was no real 'Jordanian food' besides the typical appetizers and the nights we were there, there were only 2 buffet and 1 a la carte option. The angus beef burger was pretty much the best thing we had .. But you need to order extra onion slices, as the advertised tomato/onion jam is something the GM does not like to see (so we were told) and so it is not being served with it. .. On a different note, the breakfast buffet was great, including salmon and Italian prosecco .. Though the refill on that one bottle appeared to be sluggish to non existing (so .. Get up early)

- the website and the brochure says something about a VIP special pack for children .. And I am very curious to hear what other people with kids got .. But for us it did not come automatically, I had to request it .. And what we got in the end was every parents' nightmare .. A mini piano (the cheapest you can get from China, it sounded mistuned from the beginning, we left it in the room when we departed) .. Obviously, whoever assigns those gifts has no children...

- the grounds are beautiful, but vast .. You better pack everything before you go to the beach .. Otherwise it is a 15 minutes walk back to your room (if you stay in the main building) or you book a room in the Ishtar village (closer to the shore) .. The vastness also gives the place a deserted feel at night (while reception keeps saying they are fully booked) ... While all the pools look very beautiful, not many of them are actually used .. There is no jakuzzi kinda pool and the kid's pool could use a slide (like the one left to the compound that appears to belong to hotel still being built).

- the game room for the kids was a mixed experience .. First of all .. It is really hard to find .. Then (while designed with a lot of care).. It is manned by one of the life guards (the website says something about animators) .. And the first time we went we only saw two life guards huddling over a computer game .. But later, when we spent more time there .. One of the life guards actually spent some quality time with our son, which was very nice.

- the atmosphere at the reception upon arrival was fairly hostile .. Maybe the reception is too small .. It is not a best first impression if you have 3 receptionists with a line of 3 - 4 each .. Guests who don't know the concept of lining up, people complaining .. On the positive side .. We arrived before check-in time but we still got a room right away ..

- My personal biggest gripe was the fridge (oh .. Free minibar .. That is pretty cool, but it comes down to 2 free beers .. The rest is soda, water and mixers, a bag of nuts and a mini pringles tube) .. But what good is a fridge if it is barely below room temperature? I waited until next morning .. Thinking maybe the fridge was just turned on .. But it was still luke warm .. An engineer came and checked and babbled something about '5 minutes' .. When I returned around lunch time it was still luke warm (and the room was not made yet) .. I called again (response to complaints is incredibly fast) and another engineer even hauled another fridge from a different room .. But in the end .. Even warmer than the other one (thus I called for ice buckets so often) .. Overall I can say they tried .. But the fridge thing might be a design error .. There are no vent openings in the closet the fridge is housed in .. So the air around it is too warm ..

Summary: I cannot wait to return to this place .. It is amazing .. We talked to friends who were at the nearby hotels and they did not have the 'whoa' experience that we had about the room .. I hope with reviews like this the place can even improve a bit .. And it is not there fault if the sushi bar only looks pretty, but nobody eats there .. They are trying and they are probably throwing out a lot of nice display fish .. (They even had Ikura!)

  • Liked — Pretty much everything ..
  • Disliked — food did not meet expectation
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank caipirina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Sweimah
0.5 mi away
Crowne Plaza Jordan - Dead Sea Resort & Spa
2.5 mi away
Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea
0.2 mi away
Dead Sea Spa Hotel
Dead Sea Spa Hotel
#8 of 9 in Sweimah
899 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.6 mi away
Ramada Resort Dead Sea
Ramada Resort Dead Sea
#7 of 9 in Sweimah
480 reviews
7.5 mi away
Ma'In Hot Springs
Ma'In Hot Springs
#1 of 1 in Ma'in
665 reviews
1.2 mi away
Grand East Hotel - Resort & Spa Dead Sea
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea

Property: Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Address: Dead Sea Road | Dead Sea, Sweimah 11194, Jordan
Phone Number:
Location: Jordan > Dead Sea Region > Sweimah
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Sweimah
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sweimah
#1 Luxury Hotel in Sweimah
#1 Spa Hotel in Sweimah
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea 5*
Number of rooms: 345
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kempinski Hotel Ishtar gives you the opportunity to enjoy its riches where Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra once strived to unravel mystery. Situated gracefully on the shores of the largest spa in the world the Dead Sea, unique for its ozone-rich air, mineral sea water and ultra-violet filtered sunshine. Surely there is no region on earth where nature and history have more wonderfully conspired, where so exciting drama has obtained a so beautiful theatre. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Prestigia, Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire, Cancelon, getaroom.com, HRS, HotelQuickly and Evoline ltd so you can book your Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Kempinski Hotel Amman
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Jordan

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing