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“Past its best.”

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Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Sweimah
Reviewed November 17, 2013

This hotel needs some competition. The owners are clearly keeping down staffing costs and investment in the rooms to extract a good profit. Can't blame them, that's business, but it comes at a price. We can't recommend it.

It is beautiful, with a great setting and big pools but it is lacking in personality and charm. The staff are friendly and helpful but there are not enough of them to make it a five star experience. They did not check us in, in the correct part of the hotel, turn down service in the evening only happened occasionally, they forgot to restock the minibar and what there was, was simply thrown in.

The restaurant at breakfast and dinner was always understaffed and lacked organization - again the staff were friendly and helpful but you were shown to a table and then left without anyone picking up the next stage - drinks, explanation of the buffet and so on.

The room was very worn (comfortable bed, however) with lights not working (never repaired despite requests that it be done) the wardrobe lights would never switch off so we had to jam the doors closed every night (again, asked for the fault to be rectified but never fixed).

It's a nice hotel but it is four stars (with faults fixed) not five stars. And it is very, very expensive.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank TerryMinuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded December 16, 2013

Dear Mr. Terry,

Dear Nataliec,

Sunny greetings from the Dead Sea,

We are disappointed to hear that we were not able to meet your expectations during your recent stay with us. We would like to offer our apologies for not being able to meet your expectations, as this is not the level of service we are known for providing our guests.

Rest assured that your points have been taken into consideration and that the concerned team members of our management have been notified to ensure your comments are being handled with immediate effect.

Once again, we do apologies for the inconvenience you encountered during your stay and we look forward to welcoming you again to ensure you spend a memorable experience at one of the world's natural wonders, the Dead Sea.

regards,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan.

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1,491 - 1,497 of 2,756 reviews

Reviewed November 13, 2013

stayed for 3 nights. great hotel but the bedrooms would be better if the lighting was brighter - there are just no options to raise the lighting level - energy efficient but not very functional. otherwise a great place to chill out after touring Jordan. spectacular pools and the Italian poolside restaurant was a great location for dinner

Room Tip: go for ground floor Ishtar pool villas for peaceful stay
See more room tips
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank WorthiesHale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded December 16, 2013

Dear WorthiesHale,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

As for your comment on the lighting in the rooms, I have addressed this point with our engineering department to take action where needed.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan

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Reviewed November 13, 2013 via mobile

This is a very nice hotel , especially so after two days at Dana hotel. We loved it from the time we entered, despite strict entrance which is standard around the area for 5 stat hotels.
The pools are elegant and villas are nicely located with easy access to Dead Sea .
The spa is biggest in Middle East but it's operated by external entities so it cost money to visit , unlike free service in Red Sea. We have regular cleaning staff folding our cloths and when we r back from dinner lights are dim music is switch on, no matter we asked for it or not and it's not straight forward to find remote or turn it off.
There are more than 6 Mosquitos when we first entered our room and I killed 4 in the first hour . And there were flies around when you are by beach at breakfast and even once in the room. But this is not hotel specific it's a common problem in the area.
The minibar is free but with limited options and once they didn't fill it but they said they die accordingly to their record. They are really not big problem though.
Overall staying here is very nice , experience at Dead Sea is really a once in a life time experience, would really recommend coming here.
And hope the hotel / country sort out the pest problem ASAP.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank Bunnygiant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded November 24, 2013

Dear Bunnygiant,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at this resort for 3 nights and it was wonderful.

There is super high speed free wifi in all public places. Inside room there was free internet cable. Hotel kindly provided a wifi router for our room so all our iPhones and iPad could get online for free all the time. Speed was around 2MBytes/s

The place was spotless and beautiful. Private beach was convenient to access, a few minutes walk from our villa. Services everywhere were impeccable. My wife accidentally had scratch on her knee on the beach and immediately staff came over with first aid.

The breakfast was a buffet with huge selection of all kinds of food, fruit and drinks. There were so many choices that it almost seemed a bit overwhelming. There were several high quality restaurants. We especially liked the Italian restaurant who cooked sea food spaghetti for us which was not listed on the menu.

Room is cleaned twice a day: noon and evening. Mini bar is free and replenished daily. Room was very spacious and enjoyed good view.

The only problem, which was not a problem of the hotel but common in the entire Dead Sea area, was flies and mosquitoes. There were quite a few and rather annoying. Apparently it was the season.

Highly recommended.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank laudney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded November 24, 2013

Dear Laudney,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

We stayed here for one night only after a visit to Petra and wanted to combine a visit to the Dead Sea. We also wanted a little bit of luxury after what was a strenuous but amazing couple of days. Although the Kempinski is at the top end, price wise, of the Dead Sea hotels it is worth every penny. It is sheer class and opulence from the moment you arrive. It is like a different world.

All the staff, without exception, were first class. Attentive, polite and very helpful. Nothing was too much trouble and they genuinely seemed to want to please. They are a credit to the hotel and the management.

The rooms are unbelievable. They are very big and comfortable. The bathroom with seperate shower and both was amazing.

The complex itself is unbelievable. Spotlessly clean, very well presented and the bonus of a private access to the sea.

We had a couple of meals whilst staying there, both of which were excellent both in quality and quantity.

Yes, it is more expensive than we would usually spend on a hotel, but I would have no hesitation in staying there again in the future. It is true that you get what you pay for and this was worth every penny. Thanks to everybody at the hotel for such a memorable experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Eagle7345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear Eagle7345,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. These comments are actually a recognition to the hard work spent by every team member of the Kempinski Family whose aim is to provide our valued guests with level of service they expect from a 5 star deluxe hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

We booked this property based on its ranking and reviews and regret to say it was a major disappointment from start to finish.
Check-in was slow and there was a sense of confusion among staff on the procedure, other guests checking in got frustrated too as they were not greeted or guided as to who will help them for over 15 minutes.
The resort architecture is nice yet maintenance of it was poor, lots of the fountains/pools were dirty and there is a serious insects problem throughout the resort (surely this can be fixed).
The pools aren't heated except for one (but it was full on our visit) making it impossible to swim in the many pools in the resort.
There are no pool attendants and when we asked the lifeguard to provide us with towels for the sun loungers we were told that we have to use the previous guest towels as these are 'sheets' and not towels and are only changed once a day. How using someone elses towel is part of a 5-star hotels service standards is a mystery to us. We asked for a waiter to order some water and although the cafe is less than 30 seconds away from the pool and was completely empty we gave up after 45 minutes. The staff is simply not interested in serving guests.
The room itself is spacious yet the decor is not that you'd expect of such a resort. It seemed like a color blind person put random furniture pieces together. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom is huge with a tub and seperate shower. The disgrace is that there is no hot running water in the shower so we ended up using the tub shower instead. The window screen was loose so we had to live with pesky insects all night although we had the insect repellent machine on all night, how much will it cost to fix the screen I wonder??
The food was below average and took a long time to get to us, almost one hour for a scoop of icecream. The prices aren't reasonable for what is on offer and the menu layout and selection are poor (you can even spot the spelling mistakes). We got called although we had the do no disturb to collect the food when we were still eating (again, why?).
The resort is huge to navigate and signage/maps/club cart service are poor to say the least. Had to wait more than half an hour for a cart to take us to the spa, eventually gave up and walked there (it was a workout).
Spa staff again are lost without anyone to guide you to the facilities. The hydro pool is too deep for a spa and they only switch it on when you ask. The outside pool was freezing (again why?). Lack of staff (and friendly staff) to show you around, offer you refreshments (we got a mini bottle of water) or even try to sell you a treatment. The spa at the hotel next door is 100 times better.
The mini bar is pathetic, there is only one small pack of local chips, no chocolate, no nuts,....
That said you aren't allowed to bring anything in to the hotel (again another mystery to us).
The breaking point of our visit was the main gate security refusing to let us in as we had my cousin and a friend. Handling this was extremely rude like we did something wrong. Eventually they agreed to let them in only for a few hours otherwise we would be charged for an additional room!! This is appalling as they weren't going to stay the night or use any of the hotel facilities.
We were upgraded on check-in and thought this is great but when we got to the room we saw the view and were disappointed it was overlooking the back of house of the cafe where the staff 'hang out' to 'chit chat' and prepare the shishas. There was partial sea view but nothing to write home about. Absolutely no privacy or relaxation.
Breakfast at Obelisk was messy without anyone showing you to your table, lack of service spoons, lack of anyone offering you coffee/tea and lack of refills. Rushed through breakfast (and the insects) as it wasn't enjoyable.
Overall service levels in hotels in Jordan is way below standards in Dubai and elsewhere in the world but this hotel takes it to a new level. For that money we would have happily enjoyed a super luxurious stay somewhere else. This hotel has nothing to do with Kempinski standards (which we've enjoyed at many properties). Safe to say won't be returning here anytime soon.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank RashaMinDubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear Rush2,

We are disappointed to hear that we were not able to meet your expectations during your recent stay with us. We would like to offer our apologies for not being able to meet your expectations, as this is not the level of service we are known for providing our guests.

We would appreciate you contacting our Hotel Manager on the email below in order to better understand your frustrations.

Georges Majdalany
Hotel Manager
georges.majdalany@kempinski.com

regards,
Henk Meyknect
General Manager & Area Director of Jordan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2013

Stayed 1 night in this classy resort billed as 5 star. Wonderful setting with nice architecture and a range of pools, bars, restaurants etc leading down to Dead Sea beach.

Nice welcome at reception by Bashar who looked after my needs for thestay - I really appreciated e late checkout and the changing room locker so I could shower before leaving.

Room was spacious but very dark with almost no natural light. Bed super comfy with all the nice fluffy pillows. Bathroom spacious and wonderful deep tub to relax in. Philippino household staff friendly and helpful. The so-called free mini bar was somewhat disappointing with one very small container of chips for 2 people - very stingy for the high price of the room.

The pool areas were very nice but marred by the constant thud of music from the Akkad cafe and the srcreaming of too many unrestrained children.

Breakfast buffet was OK but nothing out of the ordinary - be prepared for lots of family groups and large numbers of People all trying to get to the food - quite noisy and chaotic. I would really recommend a separate area for families due to the noise.

An enjoyable stay but perhaps not quite worth the price.

Stayed: November 2013
2  Thank Camdu1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KempinskiIshtar, General Manager at Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, responded to this reviewResponded November 13, 2013

Dear Camadu1,

On behalf of the entire team of Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea, I would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the special comments you have written about our hotel during your last visit. Regarding the families issue, we have addressed this point with the concerned team of management in order to ensure privacy and relaxation are available throughout the hotel.

We very much value the time spent in writing to us via Tripadvisor and We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future for another memorable experience at the Dead Sea.

Sincerely yours,
Henk Meyknecht
General Manager & Area Director Jordan

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 Luxury Hotel in Sweimah
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Sweimah
#1 Spa Hotel in Sweimah
#1 Business Hotel in Sweimah
Price Range: $170 - $383 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
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Also Known As:
Kempinski Hotel Amman
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Jordan

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