Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
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Travel Blogs from Sweimah
We spent the morning in the lovely hotel, floating on Dead Sea, taking body mud mask, and swimming in the hotel resort - a much needed relaxation after a hectic tour in Syria.
We left the hotel at mid-day, and visited Jesus' baptism site on the Jordan river - across the river is Israel. It was almost 50 degrees Celsius and we almost melted …
The difference between Israel and Jordan is like night and day. My Jordanian experience began the moment I stepped onto the Royal Jordanian A319 in Tel Aviv. Very professional airline, and very old school: all flight attendants are female but they also have a purser who is always an older man. Other than greet passengers, the purser doesn't seem to …
Today we leave the ancient city of Petra. What a magnificent place.
The high school year has ended and the final year students have received their results. Gunshots can be heard in the distance and it is simply the students celebrating their end of year results. They fire into the air, sounds spectacular, it is illegal, but noone seems too …
... obliged. But first, some food! Oh yeah...Ramadan. Luckily, our driver, Mohammed, drove us to get some delicious falafel anyway, despite being Muslim himself. He was not particularly talkative in the whole day though: when fasting, you're not allowed to drink anything either! In this hot weather, 40ºC or higher...wow.
Our first stop was the Shepherd's Field, where angels purportedly appeared to the shepherds that later visited Jesus at his ...
... where they place there arm through a hole to lay their hand on the holy stone. But like with so many places in Jerusalem, there is conflict even within this sacred site. Stewardship of different sections is bitterly divided between the Roman Catholics, the Armenian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox. This rivalry has gone on for centuries, and ever since the rule of Sultan Saladin (1174-1193) the keys to the church have been in the hands of a Muslim family, who opens it ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Sweimah
Can highly recommend this lovely hotel
We had heard so much about the new Kempinski at the Dead Sea so when we were planning our trip we just HAD to stay at the hotel. We had such a wonderful time this was a true highlight to our vacation in Jordan and can recommend this lovely hotel to anyone wanting to realx at the Dead Sea.
The room that we styed in was wonderful directly leading to one of the nine pools that the hotel has to offer and also a view of the Dead Sea - what more can one ask for when one wakes up in the morning.
The staff are very attentive, friendly and helpful. All of our expectations were met. The food in the thai restaurant and italian was absolutely fantastic and can recommend all enjoy their meals. Breakfast is served late in the morning and this is a pleasure if you're relaxing and on holiday, no rush.
It was a perfect holiday and the hotel was lovely in setting and a great overall experience that I can only recommend to all.
The hotel is absolutely nice, the arctic of the hotel did a very nice job there, but the most important in the hotel was the staff am really impressed how nice and helpful staff in the hotel specially when you check in the bell man who escort you to the room to the restaurant staff and the amazing pool staff.
I spend a week in Kempinski Hotel Dead Sea where I found that it's not enough, the weather was very good, I spend a lot of time at the Beach where MR. Jimi at the beach was taking care of me, I love a lot the experience of the Mud and the flouting at the dead sea.
Differently I will come back there.
Definitely Not a 5-Star Facility
I was extremely disappointed in this over-rated hotel. The overall appearance of the hotel itself is rather shabby, especially in comparison to its nearby competitors. But this was not a big issue, the real problem was the very poor trained staff and inadequate service.
Poolside service is practically non existent. Room service never came by to pick up service-ware, as a result our room was invaded by ants. At the Italian restaurant, food portions were ridiculously small considering the high prices.
Most irritating is the late check-in (3pm) and early check-out (12 noon). Staff were very inflexible and unwilling to go that extra step to assist or accommodate their guests needs.
In addition, the cleanliness of the hotel was lacking. Corridor floors were visibly unkept.
When we were asked about our stay, the management did not appear to be surprised by our complaints. In fact, they even stated they were getting "used to" receiving such complaints. Not proactive, and most definitely not customer service oriented.
I would not recommend this hotel because of so many issues.
Amazing hotel, just needs a bit of refinement
We stayed here at the end of an incredible holiday in Jordan. We had not really known what to expect with the country before hand but loved every aspect of it. The people are incredibly friendly and helpful and do not associate you with any deeds of your government! The sites are beyond description - Jerash, Wadi Rum, Petra, The Dead Sea were all amazing.
The resort itself is well constructed with good facilities. Over five pools were open and three restaurants. The complimentary mini-bar service was a good touch. Definitely pay a bit more if necessary for the rooms in the chalet area near the beach rather than the hotel main building which was opening later in the week we were there.
Our stay at Kempinski occurred as all the resorts in the area were preparing for the World Economic Forum. Service was excellent and on first glance the rooms seemed perfect. Perhaps we were a little fussy, but on closer inspection there were a few minor problems - the complimentary Dead Sea bath salt container in the bathroom remained unfilled, the sliding door did not lock, one of the lights did not switch on. When we mentioned this to the butler service, everything was resolved with a minimum of fuss. Also service in the restaurants was over-attentive; they were almost taking your plate away before you had finished eating! Minimal problems admittedly, however, all these things should perhaps have been sorted out before we checked-in (late in the afternoon), and certainly would not be overlooked at other resorts of this quality / price range. Perhaps it can be put down to the resort being new and the staff still finding their feet or preparations for the Economic Forum. Hopefully, these issues will be resolved and the resort should do well - it thoroughly deserves it!
Worth the splurge! Get there quick before hotel is expanded!
Brilliant place - it's only half built but Phase 2 (a huge building further up the hill) cannot even be seen or heard from the completed part of the hotel, which directly overlooks the Dead sea. We were really worried about this when we first arrived but the Phase 2 part of the hotel was completely invisible during our stay.
There are 100 rooms at the moment and they are all the 'superior' rooms which overlook the infinity pools and the dead sea. This is an AMAZING place, the staff are so friendly and helpful and you get ferried to your room by golf buggy! The superior rooms are all 'villas' spread around the complex. Paid 180JOD for two people per night, including a HUGE buffet breakfast with everything you could wish for including champagne! So it's expensive, but I think good value.
Don't go on a Friday or Saturday when I gather from someone else that it gets crowded. But it was wonderfully quiet when we stayed - you get most of the infinity pools to yourself! We stayed one night, and then had to return for a second night at the end of our holiday because we had such a great time.
Get there quick before Phase 2 is completed and hundreds more guests will be there.
Out of this World
I went there with my mother and brother and got agood deal- $ 220 for a double and $ 160 for a single. It is a truly luxurious and amazing place. The infinity pools gives the feeling that you are floating in the clouds. The dead sea itself is an experience. It is an ideal place for the whole family.
We stayed at Kempinski last month and it was great. What a place. Eight pools, beautiful rooms and restaurants, what a delight. I have more info and pictures at Bombastic Life dot com - just do a search using bombastic and you will find it!
Encore quelques petits réglages pour que l'hôtel soit vraiment idyllique
L'Ishtar Kempinski, dernier-né des hôtels de la Mer Morte côté jordanien, est vraiment superbe: les chambres-villas sont architecturalement très réussies, les piscines ponctuent intelligemment les espaces communs (l'infinity pool avec panorama sur la côte israélienne est magique, surtout au coucher du soleil), l'ensemble dégage une merveilleuse impression de sérénité et de douceur de vivre. Seul le bâtiment principal, où se situe la réception et le restaurant principal prête le flanc à la critique: un peu surdimensionné, il paraît vide (les réceptionnistes sont un peu perdus à leurs petits bureaux sous 15m de plafond) et pas très accueillant; le côté "temple d'Ishtar" fait pour tout dire assez "toc".
Les chambres sont splendides, un peu comme on rêverait son chez soi: décoration recherchée, y compris dans les détails (appliques, vases, tapis), mobilier contemporain mais pas impersonnel, très belle pierre de parement dans la salle de bain, literie exceptionnelle. A noter: le mini-bar est entièrement gratuit, et réapprovisionné tous les jours.
La restauration sur le site est de très bonne qualité, mais peut encore progresser:
- le buffet de petit déjeuner est somptueux, avec une variété et une qualité incontestables
- le buffet du dîner est bien aussi, mais un cran en-dessous de celui du Mövenpick à côté côté qualité et variété. Surtout, la salle, immense, est rapidement triste lorsqu'elle est vide. Sa décoration style "garage branché" est en complet décalage avec le style du reste de l'hôtel: discutable...
- le petit restaurant Ashur, sur le bas de la propriété, n'est pas mal (courte carte avec des plats d'inspiration méditerranéenne).
En fait, il n'y a pour l'instant pas beaucoup de choix, trois autres restaurants devant être rajoutés d'ici à la fin de l'année.
Le spa, opéré par Anantara, est impeccable de décoration et de service, à des tarifs plutôt raisonnables.
Malgré tous ces qualificatifs laudateurs, il faut bien signaler des inconvénients:
- tout d'abord, en mars 2006, d'importants travaux étaient en cours, sur la propriété (construction de la "phase II" qui va ajouter 250 chambres dans un seul bâtiment haut à l'arrière des villas, le spa définitif, des restaurants, un bowling, etc - il n'est pas sûr que tout ceci contribue à conserver son charme à l'hôtel). L'arrivée à l'hôtel est d'ailleurs déconcertante, puisque l'on traverse le chantier! Contrairement à ce qu'avait indiqué le service des réservations, les travaux ne sont pas discrets: mieux vaut être près de la plage. Pire, le Dead Sea Spa Hotel voisin est lui aussi en complète transformation, et le manège des pelleteuses et des camions-bennes n'est pas des plus plaisants. Dérangés par le bruit à notre arrivée, nous avons été immédiatement, et sans discussion, changés de chambre par le Directeur adjoint de l'hôtel en personne, qui s'est platement excusé, nous a offert deux apéritifs et a veillé sur nous pour le reste du séjour.
- l'hôtel étant très récent, il est, hors saison en tout cas, plutôt vide: cela a du bon, car on se sent en paix, mais il est vrai que, comparé au Mövenpick voisin, on manque un peu d'animation (or, l'animation, on ne la trouve pas ailleurs que dans les hôtels sur cette bande de 3km habités au milieu du désert de la Mer Morte).
- le complexe est littéralement recouvert de hauts-parleurs (tous les 10m) diffusant toute la journée une musique "lounge" (bien mixée d'ailleurs) à un volume malheureusement en général mal maîtrisé: c'est agaçant quand on veut lire tranquillement sur sa terrasse ou au bord de la piscine.
- le service n'est pas encore au point, à bien des égards: il est difficile de se faire comprendre en anglais de certains membres du "butler service", qui vous promettent de vous rappeler avec le renseignement demandé, et ne rappellent jamais. Le ménage est fait à des heures aléatoires et souvent tardives, alors pourtant qu'il y a très peu de chambres occupées. Le moins plaisant: mon épouse et moi-même devions partir le dernier jour à 04h30, pour retourner à l'aéroport Queen Alia prendre le vol Air France du matin. La veille au soir, le réceptionniste nous a fait savoir qu'il n'était pas possible de nous préparer une "breakfast box" à la place du petit déjeuner, mais que si nous souhaitions commander quoi que ce soit au room service, celui-ci était ouvert 24h/24. Franchement mesquin à 200€ la nuit! Pire, la voiturette de golf qui devait nous ramener à l'entrée où nous attendait notre transfert pour l'aéroport est arrivée 15mn en retard: on nous avait oubliés...
En résumé, un très bel endroit pour se ressourcer, mais qui a aussi une bonne marge de progression pour devenir une étape iincontournable dans la région.
This place is next to the Moevenpick Dead Sea resort and close to the Marriott Dead Sea Resort. The Kempinski is really a top destination, really 5* +. On the other side they are building the Six Senses Spa Resort. The beach of the Kempinski hotel is long, clean, very nice. The terrace overlooking the Dead Sea and the pool areas are fantastic. If you can afford it, book it !
We entered the hotel through some 60 foot wood doors, entering the lobby, I realized almost immediately that Kempinksi were setting a new level of luxury, not so far found in Jordan.
They had two large infininity pools, both had stunning views, especially at sunset or sunrise....rarely do I wake up early during a vacation, but I felt compelled to do some laps first thing to enjoy the sunrise. There is also a lagoon type pool that snakes along one side of the property. The beach is wide and long (apprx 400meters), and is the only property along the dead sea that I would say has a real beach. The rooms and bathrooms are large and appointed very well. Could do with a bit more light but still very comfortable, each room enjoys its own terrace to enjoy a bite, as well as their own sunbeds if you prefer to stay close to the room (we were always at the pool or the beach).
The service was impeccable, the Spa was fantastic and not overly pricey in my opinion, and when the main spa opens it promises to be one of a kind in the Middle East.
Although the hotel is not completely finished, we did not feel it or notice any disturbances...in fact for about $220 (incl tax) a night for the suites, highly recommend going during this soft opening before the price doubles!
My main criticism though was the food, although excellently presented, and service very good, the food itself lacked taste. Perhaps they need a bit more time to get that right, but it wont stop me from visiting again soon.