A review of the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea in Jordan during the trip, The Great Eastern Summer.
- Expansive property and amazing pools.
- Located right on the shores of the Dead Sea.
- Professional and friendly staff.
- Varied selection of fine dining options.
The Dead Sea is a salt lake at Earth’s lowest land elevation. It has been an important point throughout history and even was a place of refuge for King David.
At almost 10 times saltier than the sea, the water is not suitable for life, but the salt and minerals are world famous as healing and rejuvenating ingredients.
On the Jordan side, there are several large resorts bordering the lake with new ones in development, but the Kempinski has maintained its reputation of being one of the most luxurious and highly rated of the area.
Driving from Petra, we arrived in the afternoon and after a brief security check we were welcomed into the gates.
Parking in the free lot we went into the first building which happened to be the main building. Even though we were staying at the resort area, we still managed to check-in at the main building.
On check-in we met with Jareer, Director of Marketing, and Sebastien, the GM. They warmly welcomed us and gave us an introduction of the property. Sebastien suggested we continue our conversation over dinner. We were then given a comprehensive tour of the property after stopping by the room.
We stayed in a Ishtar Deluxe Room in the resort area. Entering the room, is the main bedroom with a twin setup. A designer orange chair is attached to the wall in the entrance. The beds face a flat screen TV and a desk/table with a welcome plate of fresh fruit, a bottle of wine, bottles of water, and a coffee machine. A welcome letter stood on the side table of the chair along with a box of snacks. The complementary minibar was located under the table.
The large ceiling to floor windows lead to the private terrace overlooking the pool.
The bathroom is on the right after entering and consisted of all the necessities including a sink, shower, separate bathtub, toilet, and bidet. The Trinity amenities made with Dead Sea minerals was an exciting local touch.
Continuing the tour, we explored the two main buildings of the hotel, though a third caters to the private Royal Villas.
The main building holds restaurants, meeting rooms, and hotel rooms.
The Village area is composed of rooms and suites, with closer access to the Dead Sea. The main pools, restaurants and bars are also located here. With a total of nine swimming pools in the resort, swimming and relaxing by the pool is a popular activity with guests. There are also other activities such as tennis.
The private beach combined with the mud treatments and expert instruction on how to give yourself a mud mask is one of the main draws of the hotel. Float in the sea and cover yourself with the world famous Dead Sea mud.
A highlight of the property is the massive spa. This Anantara Spa is the largest in the Middle East at 10,000 sq m. It has twenty treatment rooms, six outdoor treatment areas, and private spa pools.
We experienced a Dead Sea Hammam Ritual. The treatment was the most luxurious spa treatment I ever experienced, lasting over 75 minutes and involving several stages.
To start, the body is relaxed with a lavender soap, then exfoliated with a Dead Sea salt infused loofah, and finally a scrub and massage with mud taken straight from the Dead Sea. After the moist mud is washed off, a lavender lotion is applied to the body. Between each stage is a wash and steam bath, so the ritual is in effect several separate treatments blended together for an ultimate papering.
The resort is not lacking in cuisine options either. The Obelisk Restaurant is the main restaurant for the village breakfast buffet with an international offering but also specializing on local delicacies. Both the Akkad Pool Grill and the Ashur Pizza & Grill Restaurant offer great poolside dining.
Sebastien hosted our dinner at The Codes Restaurant, a Thai fusion restaurant with an authentic chef. We enjoyed the evening views over the Dead Sea while conversing over a number of topics ranging from how safe Jordan really was and world events. For my meal choice, I tried the cinnamon themed 3 course set which was certainly an exotic take on traditional Thai dishes.
Service at the resort is proactive and professional. From the reception to the checkout, everyone we dealt with was a true pleasure. When an employee is proud of their workplace, it shows through their attitude.
The Kempinski leads the way with the most exclusive and luxurious of the resorts. The beachfront location and amazing pools help shape the beautiful property, while the staff complete the picture with personalized service. The landmark spa, restaurants and facilities insure that the property accommodates every desire.
Another of my favorite hotels for 2014, the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea will continue to impress the discerning travelers. I highly recommend a stay for any vacationers searching for the ultimate getaway.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
Address: Dead Sea Road, P.O. Box 941806, Amman 11194, Jordan
Telephone: +962 5 356 8888