I don’t pick favourites easily because I tend to like everything and everyone too gosh darned much. I don’t think it’s fair to name anything as your favourite when you haven’t truly tried everything in the world yet, you know? How are you supposed to pick a favourite when another favourite could be right around the corner?
But I can say with some small measure of certainty that my stay at Kempinski Ishtar was a high point at the Lowest Point on Earth. (Ba dum tish.)
This massive complex is basically a resort, and I’d like to warn you about how confusing the elevators are. I don’t know why, but every time I tried to get off that elevator and make my way to the Sea or the pool, I got lost in the lobby or atop a building. Seriously.
There are about one million pools onsite, hundreds of loungers, a tennis court, gift shops, and restaurants with the kind of interior design that would make the Burj Al Arab weak in the knees, and of course, beachfront access to the Dead Sea. I was so stunned by the palm trees and the stark orange buildings and the chandeliers all over the place that one afternoon I just roamed around for hours, taking it all in. When I got back to my room, I found a note on my bed saying that the cleaning lady had found some of my “valuables” laying around, and she had stashed them in the safe for me. I had to call the front desk to get my things back, which proved to be bit of an ordeal. The valuables in question turned out to be some shitty earrings and other jewelry collected from Forever 21. Bless their hearts. They thought me fancy.
And the Dead Sea? Dude. I think my expectations were a little low, because while the floating baths at Spa-Nordik were pretty amazing, it came nowhere near the Dead Sea experience. I lubed up in mud, ran down to the shore, and then raced into the water at top speed. As soon as I lifted my feet from the bottom, I buoyed to the top like a beach ball. It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had – I mean, how does such a thing even EXIST?
And then, with the sun fading just beyond the hills, I made my way to the infinity pool overlooking the Sea, and watched that whole sunset thing happen with a dozen other travellers. We all drifted to the edge of the bowl-like pool, giving the illusion that the pool itself was merging with the Dead Sea. Not a single word was spoken – we took in that fiery orb of humanity descending on another day in complete and blissful silence. It’s an image that would remain with me long after my Jordan travels were over.
Accommodations: Private rooms, including full apartments.
Price: Expensive. Not gonna lie.