Dead Sea in Jordan is a really unique place, with only 7 hotels in Sweimeh area, I was waiting for Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa to be opened for 3 years. Even thought the hotel was ready for several years, it only got opened in March 2017.
Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa Jordan review
It was my third time by the Dead Sea, but two previous times I stayed in Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort & Spa. Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa was a complete disappointment in comparison to Crowne Plaza. Even though the hotel is officially opened, there are constructions ongoing and nothing just seem to be working smoothly. Wherever you look, there are baby issues left and right.
Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa is located in Sweimeh area, approximately one hour cab drive from Amman Queen Alia International Airport. Getting a cab from the airport is quite easy, and there is a fixed price of $55 one way. The hotel is located on Dead Sea shore, next to Samarah Shopping Mall and Water Park… Yes, a freaking water park in the middle of a desert. It will annoy you with some yelling and screaming for two hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. But the rest of the time its quite silent… It’ s a desert at the end of a day.
Hotel and area
Important to note! Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa, same as all other hotels around, has a security check at the entrance. You are not allowed to bring any beverages, food or shisha (hookah). Not even duty-free alcohol. I had to argue with the guard to pass my two bottles of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Just insist hard and say you have manager’s permission. The guard will give up.
Hilton has 5 buildings: main, two sea-view building and 2 buildings behind sea-view ones. I would highly recommend booking the sea-view rooms. Otherwise the scenery is just depressing. Desert behind you, building in front of you, nothing else.
Infinity Pool is split between two levels. It has a separation between family/kids and adults areas. The adults part has a pool bar, which can get really crowded during weekends. The bar is quite tiny and I don’t understand why it was not made much bigger, as everyone is trying to escape burning sun and enjoy a drink there.
Beach Bar is located downstairs near the beach. You can order drinks and snacks to your tanning bed/cabana as well.
There are two restaurants, traditional Arabic called 1312 and Italian Bacchus, plus a rooftop bar. The Arabic restaurant is a must to visit. Read the review of Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa 1312 restaurant.
The beach is 5 minutes walk from the main area. There is supposed to be an elevator working, but it was not working my entire 16 days stay. Walking uphills from the beach to the building under 50C heat is quite tough. Especially after you’ve done Dead Sea procedures, such as swimming and mud.
Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa rooms
One of my biggest disappointments was the room. The hotel has been opened for half a year, but gives very cheap feelings, rooms look like they have been used for decades.
The most annoying part – bathroom and toilet are separated by a corridor. It is just ridiculous, you have to run between toilet and bathroom in the morning. Shower’s cover is completely useless, so each time after you take a shower, you will have a swamp in the entire bathroom. There is also not enough lighting in the bathroom, so you cannot see properly.
My favorite part! Glass wall between bathroom and living room. Good luck getting some privacy!
Beds were comfortable, but very short. Being 183cm tall, I was always sleeping with my feet hanging from the bed. There is also a tiny working table with glass top, so using computer mouse becomes a challenge.
Here’s complete menu and prices of room service provided.
Both Hilton and Crowne Plaza hotels have the same issue, hotels are equipped with massive balconies, but not a single cloth ganger. Get ready to have constantly wet swimwear.
I had a never ending “water quest”. It’s about 50C outside and you’re not allowed to bring anything from outside stores. Hilton only provides one bottle of water a day. Ridiculous, especially if it is two persons in the room. Given my Hilton Honors status, at the very least I was entitled to 2 bottles. It was my daily routine to run to the reception, ask for more water and find out the next day – it’s all forgotten.
Memory loss is a common attribute of anyone working in customer service in Jordan. Especially in Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa. They smile at you, make a note, assure it will be fixed and… Nada. Nothing happens the day after. Four times I talked to the receptionist, his manager, Hilton Honors manager and hotel director regarding water issue and nothing helped.
If there is an option of dealing with American director or Russian receptionist or Philippino waiter – go for it.
Breakfast in Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa was a bummer in comparison to Crowne Plaza. There was a basic selection of traditional Arabic dishes, surely hummus, veggies and tons of white bread and pastries. The selection was roughly a half of what Crowne Plaza offers for breakfast.
The biggest addition to the breakfast were flies. Endless amount of them. Daily, you could enjoy a fly on cheese, meat, pastry or omelet. Once again, nobody just cared. In Crowne Plaza they had fly traps, which were well maintained and changed regularly. In Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa, see the service part…
The only place I cannot complaint was Arabic restaurant 1312. The price is a little bit high compared to the nearby shopping mall, but the food was delicious. Check the full review here.
Good portion of Dead Sea visitors come here for its health benefits. The sea water and mud have positive affects on skin, joints and muscles. Dead Sea shore is very stony and salty, which makes it very unpleasant to walk on it, entering and leaving the sea. Here Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa has done a good job by importing tons of sand. It looks very nice and makes a stay by the beach much more enjoyable. Hopefully, Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa will refresh sand often, so it doesn’t get washed out.
Cabanas were much more comfortable than tanning beds. My biggest issue with tanning beds were their curved shape. It does look very nice and cute, but laying on them is very uncomfortable. The curved shape is just killing your back, if you lay on it for an hour.
Unfortunately, fancy looking pontoon located in the sea is already half broken. One side had broken handles. It was covered in “mud graffiti” and was never cleaned up. Not the smartest idea was to choose metal handles, they were burning hot during the day and impossible to use. It’s much easier to enter the sea from the beach part.
As mentioned previously, the elevator was not working. So walking back to the room was a very sweaty experience.
I cannot say that I really enjoyed my Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa experience. The hotel doesn’t look or feel fresh. The biggest disappointment was completely useless personnel, who just couldn’t solve any issue. Given the price of Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa, I’d recommend to look at Crowne Plaza or Kempinsky hotels located nearby.
I’ve covered most of the issues with Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa in this review, but also filled in a complaint to Hilton. First, I received 30 000 Hilton Honors points as a compensation. I wrote second letter, including photos of all the issues and got another 10 000 Hilton Honors points. It’s roughly a compensation for 1 night out of 16 spent in Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa.