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“Weird, but fabulous”

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Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Sweimah
Reviewed February 28, 2009

This was Fantasyland on the Dead Sea with absolutely no relationship to anything Jordanian or even Middle Eastern! That said it was fabulously luxurious and kitted out like a cross between the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Jetsons.I remember when the only thing at the Dead Sea was a concrete toilet block ,barbed wire and a cold tap, so viva la difference!
. You get driven by golf buggy to your room, and they seem to vacuum the beach every morning. The apartments had lovely views and the bathrooms were very swish with Dead Sea mud soap (natch) which doesn't lather.
Like another reviewer I was a bit surprised that a man was slapping mud onto undressed women in an islamic country, and the proportion of Russian men with 17 year old model "girlfriends" was also umm..unusual.
The staff were lovely and breakfast on the upstairs terrace was breathtaking. The spa area was huge and deserted, so we frolicked around under huge water jets and swam in a pool with salt water pumped up from the sea.The outdoor infinity pool is heated which was great for February, but the other pools were not . There was even a Baywatch style lifeguard who was serious about preventing any horseplay.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Emeritus01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 27, 2009

We spend our week-ends quite frequently at the dead sea and either stay in the Kempinsky or the Moevenpick - both are excellent hotels and it is sometimes hard to make the choice.

While we like the unique style of the Moevenpick with its village type accomodation and the good restaurants, the Kempinski offers excellent and very spacious rooms, a beautiful beach with great sand and better pools. Above all however, there are less groups which means a lot of comfort especially when checking-in and out and during breakfast.

The rooms: We stayed both in the main building and in the villas, and all the rooms are extremely spacious, have great views and an outstanding bathroom. They are very modern and offer all amenities, including free mini-bar (a fact that I always appreciate at this price). They are well maintained and service is outstanding.

The restaurants: there is one really good Thai / Asian outlet in the main-building. The Italian restaurant by the pool is rather average, though not bad. The main restaurant in the Ishtar building isn't worth - the design dosn't fit the overall concept (one feels like in a high-school canteen) and you only get the buffet (probably ok if you like that).

The pools and the beach: many different pools which allows for quietness and privacy. There is a large pool below between the villas which is really nice and usually quite and there is a round one that is good for kids and families. The one to go for is probably the one next to the main building since it is absolutely quite and has almost nobody else around. The beach is much more refined than the one of the neighboring hotels - excellent and very fine sand and very clean and well maintained.

Service is outstanding and staff is very friendly - there are many Asian staff which certainly helps.

The spa looks great but so far I didn't try it.

The choice when going to the Dead Sea!

And if you have a bit of time: don't miss to spend one afternoon in Wadi Mujib! It's a little river running through a canyon with lots of birds. Probably Jordans most beautiful place and just 15 minutes drive from the hotel!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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Thank Pascal P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2009

We stayed at the Kempinski for a few nights in January and had an absolutely wonderful time. We had arrived in Jordan after experiencing the chaos of Egypt, and the Kempinski seemed like Heaven! The rooms were spacious and very well appointed - with a free minibar. I'm not sure if it was the time of year or the trouble in Gaza, but we had the entire resort practically to ourselves. We spent an entire day on the beach and floating in the sea and saw only three other guests. We also enjoyed a 'mud massage' right on the beach for alot less than the hotel spa charged. The hotel is very close to Bethany, Mt. Nebo and the Dead Sea Panorama Centre. I think the only negative would be that we stayed on a half-board basis and the dinner selections alotted to us were not that great. The regular menu looked wonderful, but when they found out that we were half-board, they swapped it out for a much smaller, less appealing menu. But, all in all, I would return in a heart beat and stay longer.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Family_Traveller0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2009

When entering the hotel we were first being redirected to the right side of the lobby to go through a security area, which most hotels in Amman have, such as the Marriott, Intercontinental, and Crowne Plaza, but it is usually located outside the lobby, which is a much better option. Unfortunately, it took away the charm and grandeur of the beautiful entrance that has a view on the Dead Sea.

We stayed in a nice villa with a terrace close to the beach facing the Dead Sea. Beautiful location! The villa was fully equipped, carved in nice natural local stones, and the minibar was completely complimentary (first time this happened to me!). The only improvement that can be done when it comes to the room is finding a way to get rid of the little ants that are crawling around the bathtub (sprays didn't help).

There is a lovely Italian restaurant that serves sheesha right in front of a pool with a view on the Dead Sea. The food and the service are great! The breakfast area however is quite poor. Most of the newspapers at the entrance are in Russian, there was only 1 English newspaper (and forget about other languages). There is a nice selection of breads and fruit, but the hot food is horrible, and the service is even worse. When ordering an omelet, it not only takes them 30 minutes to prepare it, but you also have to pick it up yourself.

What completely surprised me is that the hotel allows their male employees to give a mud massage to women on the beach. This would never happen in any other country in the Middle East, and I think it is extremely disrespectful towards women, especially if you are aware of the cultural background in these countries!

I didn't like the atmosphere in the hotel at all, probably because the majority of the tourists were Russians (90%). It made me feel quite uncomfortable. I wanted to enjoy the weekend, away from Amman, at a quiet and romantic resort, which was almost impossible with this loud and overwhelming group. I was very happy we had this nice, open and quiet villa with terrace!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tdeprez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2009

I stayed at the Kempinski on my way back to Amman from a very dusty couple of days in Petra.
I had an absolutely lovely room in a quiet beautiful hotel.
Very reasonable prices for room service (I was traveling alone) and free internet.
I spent the day at the spa and enjoyed every minute of it. The facial was alright but the Dead Sea body wrap + massage (though expensive) was fabulous.
I plan to go back for a few days at the spa

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank Annick9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Kempinski in January. We only stayed one night but wished we could have stayed longer. Our room was wonderful, a great view of the Dead Sea, pool and Israel. The bathroom was huge. The minibar was complimentary. We only had breakfast there. We practically had a waiter to ourselves. The food was delicious. Orders were taken for omlettes which was then brought to your table. Fresh squeezed juice was instantly refilled. The grounds, lobby, pools were beautiful. Make sure you bring watershoes when you go for a float in the Dead Sea. The shoreline is very rocky and hard on your feet. We have travelled extensively around the world and this is the best hotel we have ever stayed in.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank BandLToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2009

This is one of the finest places we have ever enjoyed. Everything is outstanding... facilities, service, food... everything. The staff is well-trained, warm, helpful. They have thought of everything to make our stay enjoyable. Everything... from cool towels and free drinks at the pool to complimentary items in the mini-bar. Our kids want to come here again... as soon as possible.

Stayed: July 2008
Thank ExpatPro93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 On the Beach Hotel in Sweimah
#1 Business Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Spa Hotel in Sweimah
#2 Luxury Hotel in Sweimah
Price Range: $176 - $348 (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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