Moevenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
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TravelPod Member ReviewsMoevenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
at first we were not even going to come to Aqaba as we had heard it was not of interest, we ended staying two nights, a beautiful hotel and a city that is quite restful after a week of cultural delight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Moevenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
Just misses top rating
Recently spent two nights here. Very impressive looking hotel with grand public areas and an attached private apartment complex. But it just misses being a true luxury hotel, the attention to detail is missing everywhere and inexperience is evident which comes as a great surprise being Swiss owned, a nation famous for its hotelier skills.
There is an extensive selection of eating options, Portofino, the Italian restaurant being quite good. The Red Sea Grill looked very inviting too by the beach but was small and filled very quickley. Buffets also a big part of the catering scene here, only sampled the breakfast buffet which was also good.
Hotel grounds are sprawling and there are three swimming pools, two of which are nicely landscaped but all had limited sunbathing areas. Might be a little hectic in high season but it was relatively quiet during our stay. The hotel has its own small private beach which is not particularly picturesque or with very nice sand. Sun loungers are packed in tighly, high season must be a trial here too.
Our room was large and when the hotel first opened must have looked very chic. It is now a little tired and looked like it had had a hard life. However, the beds are comfortable and all the amenities are there and the bathrooms are luxurious but again tired. House keeping is poor, hardly anything is replenished and it would get very tiring having to keep asking for fresh toiletries, tea and coffee refills and even towels every day if spending a longer period here. But then Aqaba is not very prepossessing and spending a holiday just here would be difficult to justify. Eilat, across the border in Israel not three miles away looked a lot more lively and inviting.
This hotel made our trip fantastic! Great rooms, great service, superb views...The pools were incredible. We woke up at 6am and went for a swim in the ocean watching the sun rise - we had the whole beach to ourselves - incredible! The breakfast is worth spending several hours enjoying. The staff and management are also great! Highly recommended!
I stayed at the hotel over New Year & they put on the most amazing buffet and provided great entertainment. Although the hotel is not directly on the beach it can be reached via a bridge which houses the hotel shops, swimming pool, gym etc. The beach is small but fine for relaxing on for a few days. The room was spacous and clean and the staff were very helpful and friendly. The food was great especially in the Italian restaurant - the beach side fish restaurant was closed in the winter. A great hotel & I would definately stay there again if visiting Aquaba.
Had a lovely time at the Movenpick 5 star hotel in Aqaba early May. Can't fault it at all. The staff were welcoming and friendly, the hotel was very clean, and had every facility one would want. Would definitely go there again.
I spent a week at this hotel early in 2006, and it was an excellent experience all round. I travel a lot for both work and pleasure and have stayed in many of the supposed 'best' hotels in the world, but this was right up there with the very best - for £60 per room including breakfast.
It has all the hallmarks of a top drawer business. The manager was ubiquitous - continuously canvassing feedback from guests and looking for ways of improving things. The service was not just flawless but extremely friendly and welcoming, beyond the call of duty. The pride that people take in their work is evident from the attention to detail in every part of the hotel. The breakfast buffet was excellent (as you would expect from a Movenpick), and so varied and substantial to carry most people through till dinner -a real benefit if you want to pack a full day's action into a visit to Petra or Wadi Rum.
The beach and pool are absolutely spotless, well maintained and were never too busy during our stay. I could go on, but hopefully you get the picture. This is the sort of hotel which spoils you rotten but discreetly without you really noticing, so going home is a real downer!
While I'm at it, I would also strongly recommend the Romero restaurant at the Yacht Club, about a ten minute walk from the hotel - excellent food and service.
Apart from a lovely Winter climate and a pleasant beach, the proximity and easy access to Petra and Wadi Rum (both of which are very easily done independently and a couple of hours in a taxi) make Aqaba a really good choice for a week's Winter break. If you've been to any of the Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea and felt a bit jaded by surly service, charmless restaurants and bars and overcrowded pools and beaches, give Jordan a chance.
Loved the Movenpick an excellent hotel
The General Manager Ian, and his staff, go out of their way to make your stay memorable. Ian is very much a hands on manager and the team spirit in the hotel is obvious. Nothing is too much trouble.
Bar prices are very competitive and so are the prices for room service and leisure facilites/services e.g £ 5.50 for a 30 minute massage. The food is excellent and plenty of choice and the service very attentive. The rooms are typical hotel style but the beds are very comfortable and the room staff arrange your towels into interesting displays.
The Jordanian Air Force often put on a flying display over the hotel on a Friday during breakfast so watch out for that.
If you stay any where else in Aquaba you are missing a treat
Great holiday in Aqaba
We have just spent a relaxing week at the Movenpic, Aqaba. With the pool at 29°C and the sea 22°C we had a real beach holiday. It was warm & sunny every day & except for Friday when the hotel filled up with Jordanians down from Amman for the weekend, the hotel & beach were very quiet. The staff where without excpetion kind, polite & friendly. The rooms were comfortable & had everything that was needed. Room service was rapid & efficient. Not all the restaurants were open as it was still officially the winter season; but for a change one evening we wandered down to the Inter Continental, where we tested the Lebanese restaurant (good). At the Movenpic there is a good café on the beach providing salads & snacks for lunch. There was the usual buffet restaurant & a good Italian. Standards of cleanliness are good for the Middle East. We had one of the most relaxing weeks holiday we have ever had. We had a car & chauffeur to take us to Petra one day. Do not miss the opportunity to make this trip. There are no words to describe this breath taking site. Everyone we met was kindness itself.
Just one warning, walking around in the evening in Aqaba was impossible; our 18 year old daughter although correctly dressed attracted far too much attention to make it comfortable. We will return without her to do our sightseeing.
Okay, but not really 5 star
We stayed here Feb 06 for a little winter sunshine! Good points:
- Hotel is well located on the seafront (one of the few hotels that has it's own 'beach')
- Good standard of accommodation. Comfortable, but not always clean to the standard of a 5 star hotel.
- Buffet food - very expensive (15 dinars each) but lots of choice and good quality.
- The General Manager is around most evenings, and is a nice guy - very helpful.
- The staff did not exactly bend over backwards to be helpful. We were annoyed to have to upgrade our room (at an extra $20 a night) just so we could have a double bed. When we asked to switch back to a standard room a few days later as we didn't feel we actually got anything extra for this $20, we were repeatedly told 'come back tomorrow'. This extra $20 a night did not even entitle us to a free bottle of drinkable water in our room. The hotel told us the water from the tap was drinkable, but our rep advised us not to drink it.
- Housekeeping wasn't brilliant. It was 3 days after I wrote 'clean me' in the dust by the TV before my message was removed, some days our room hadn't even been serviced when we got back at 5pm.
- Food and drink was VERY expensive. A standard beer in the hotel bar was about 4 dinars, but you could buy a can in the duty free shop just outside the hotel for 0.50 dinars. Go figure.
- There are some nice pools - but unfortunately, all but one of them were closed because it was winter. The pools and beach are accessible via a long bridge across the main road from the hotel. It's a LONG walk if you're at the opposite end of the hotel, as we were. The remaining pool was often full of groups of young men splashing each other, which is a bit offputting to a woman so I didn't go in all holiday!
Our stay here was okay - we wanted a cheap deal, and that's what we got - but we probably wouldn't go back here again. However, it's fine for a week and probably the best hotel at the current time in the town centre.
I booked a package holiday to the Movenpick to get some winter sun and to take the opportunity to go to Petra and Wadi Rum.
The Movenpick seems to be by far the best hotel in Aqaba. Certainly the facilities are excellent with three restaurants, two bars, two cafes, a fully equiped gym (with instructors on hand to help out if necessary), saunas, jacuzzis, three pools (one heated), and a private beach. It was all kept spotlessly clean and tidy.
Food was varied, resonably priced and of good quality. The Italian restaurant on the lobby floor demands particular note as I had a couple of meals there, both of which were amongst the best Italian food I have had (with apologies for the fact that I have yet to go to Italy!). There are plenty of places to eat in town with good Lebanese, fish and Italian restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotel.
I have praise for all the staff I encountered during my stay who were polite, obliging and spoke good, if not excellent English (this always makes me feel guilty for not being able to speak any Arabic!). Politeness in return from me, even when sorting out an error with my bill, appeared to be appreciated by the staff rather than the confrontational approach I saw adopted in a number of cases which resulted in the complainant being dealt with less sympathetically.
There has been a downturn in tourist numbers in Jordan and, as a result, the hotel was only half full during my stay. This did have a beneficial result in that there was plenty of space round the pool and on the beach.
Aqaba itself is unremarkable. There is a small museum and Ottoman fort and a reasonably good, walkthrough guide of the old city (called Ayla) which, conveniently, was right next to the Movenpick. The most noticeable landmark in the city was a huge flag pole and flag outside the fort. Jordan has a national penchant for such flags with another sited in the capital, Amman. The one in Aqaba seems to be an ostentatious bit of territorial marking being easily visible over the borders in Israel and Egypt!
Overall, I can thoroughly recommend the Movenpick in Aqaba, and from what I have heard about the other two Movenpick in Jordan I will be back to try those two as well!
Very good holiday
My family and I had a great holiday at the Movenpick in Aqaba in October 2004. We went on a package deal organised by a UK travel company. The hotel itself is very impressive in all it's public rooms. We were warned that the staff and public may be bad tempered because it was Ramadan but this was not the case, they were all charming and helpful, well nearly all, some of the front desk people were a bit up themselves but they were the only ones. It was strange at first that all the chambermaids were men as were nearly all the staff. We went with half board and found the food to be really good. Breakfast was an extensive buffet, my 13 year old daughter certainly liked the cakes which, like the bread, were made on the on site bakery! In the evenings we ate at the outdoor buffet. There was plenty of choive for all three courses and they made a special point of preparing Ramadan desserts as an extra. There was not a french fry in sight, so if you just want European/American food don't go, although there was a pasta dish every night for the unadventurous.
We bought bottled water (varying prices from outside the hotel, we think they madeup any old price when they saw a tourist!) but I cleaned my teeth using hotel tap water and none of us had any problems.
The gym is a bit small but well equipped, the aerobics was off because of Ramadan. The pools were very clean, but cold as they are heated by the sun! (of which there was plent), the beach was ok, small and unexciting and the view was mainly ships going into the harbour and Egypt across the bay (amazingly close). You need to go to The Royal diving club for reefs .. ask at front desk and they'll direct you towards the mini bus... If you love snorkelling all day there would be fine, otherwise a couple of hours should do it)
The first night we took our teenage daughters out of the hotel for a wander and did not adequately cover them up and the local men all stared which they found pretty uncomfortable, one guy even leaned out of a car and took a photo. I would recommend covering shoulders and legs to the knee and definitely no bosom on show! No matter how much they cover up, wstern women will get looked at but after the first time we decided it was not threatening. The Jordanian men (you won't come in contact with women) were all charming, helpful and keen to practice their English.
The scenery is bleak on land, underwater is like a giant tropical fish pond so definitely go snorkelling.
We did a trip to Petra which was brilliant, a bit busy in the morning but we got photos without any tourists in the afternoon once the cruise ships had gone.
Also worth visiting is Wadi Rum, the scenery is spectacular and the sand is pinky brown. We loved driving along in the knackered old jeeps, you'll be sitting at the back in the open air so don't wah your hair first!.
We heard good reviews on food outside the hotel, reasonably priced and good varaiety available. We ventured to the English pub, not for the hideous theme but to go up the tower to enjoy the best view of Aqaba and the strongest G&T I have ever tasted! Where else would you go that the locals would unlock the tower (in the centre behind Macdonalds) for you!
TripAdvisor Reviews Moevenpick Resort & Residences Aqaba
Travel Blogs from Aqaba
By 0800 the ship had completed its trip up the Gulf of Aqaba arriving at the Port of Aqaba, Jordan. Aqaba is Jordan's winter resort on the Red Sea, once a fishing village it is now becoming a tourist resort. During the First World War Aqaba was headquarters of Prince Feisal who assisted by Lawrence of Arabia drove the Turks from this part of the world. Our day started at 0540, not bad bearing in mind the clock went back last ...
... Lawarence of Arabia was filmed in Wadi Rum area in 1960s.
I found it very peaceful and relaxing walking around this giant desert oasis I was just glad it was winter with temp being a perfect 77F (24C) in summer the Bendouin say the temps are in 120F(50C) range in the midday. Once the sun goes down in the desert so does the ...
... mountains. The climb up the rocks was really nice, but the spring was a little less to be desired. From there we went hiking through a cave to see carvings on the walls. We also stopped off at a sand dune. It was blast to climb up it (which I was already in pain from yesterday's trek through Petra) and we ran down. We had such a nice time. From there we stopped to look at some more cave drawings. Then on through another ...
... Wadi Rum, which is essentially a rocky dessert to a sandy one. This was a dessert straight from the movies, deep sand, some cactus, a few rocks and really no sign of life in sight. The 4x4 raced through the sand and we took some pics before getting bored of the monotonous dessert and starting the drive back.
It seemed like an eternity before we got to out hotel. And even before that we got our first view of the Dead Sea. Actually its closer to a ...
... was wet, and probably had small lakes so it was well populated. As the desert dried out the people became more nomadic, adopting behaviour and dress like today's Bedouin. The practise of petroglyphs was continued into the Nabatean era (they also built temples here) who, as a literate society, added simple writing to their carvings.
We found the carvings along the corner of a mountain, on the side of the rock. Steve walked up to the top of the hill while I watched the ants ...