On our fourth and final full day in Jordan we took our aching bodies to the Dead Sea for some rest and relaxation.
To our surprise and delight the 3 hour drive along the Kings Highway was absolutely spectacular, cutting through the mountains before rising high up over the Wadi Mujib canyon and then diving back down to sea level to the plains of the shrinking Dead Sea. As we made our final approach, we stopped to have a look at how the salt crystalizes like white paint around the bottom of the cliff faces.
Arriving at the Kempinski Hotel, the insanely friendly front desk staff informed us that we'd been upgraded from our standard room to a villa! :) I'm going to dedicate a full post to my top holiday hacks fairly soon, but just to give you a teaser - the Kempinski falls firmly into the “treat” category of hotels, however it’s eye-poppingly high rack-rate room prices can be dodged fairly easily thanks to sites such as booking.com and expedia. Surfing between the two, taking advantage of their “free cancellation” offers and keeping an eye on promotions right up until check-in, can reward you (as it did us) with a great value stay.
Service is everything at the Kempinski and the staff really leave no stone unturned to ensure that your stay in an enjoyable one. The various bars scattered around the vast grounds are lively and serve excellent food and drinks and if you don't fancy walking, you can be transported there in one of the resorts golf carts. If sitting back and soaking up the sun rays is what you're after, there's no fewer than 6 swimming pools to stretch out next to but the circular infinity pool in the centre of the resort is the jewel in the hotel’s sparkling crown.
Of course no one can come do the Dead Sea and not get give floating a try - and I can tell you it's one of the most bizarre feelings in the world! The salt content of the water is such that you can lie back in the sea without burning a single calorie - aside from those you use up laughing! Apparently, to reap all the benefits from the minerals in the Dead Sea water, you must first smother yourself head to toe in Dead Sea mud, let it dry on your skin and then return to the sea to rinse it all off - cue fit of giggles #1.
Not going to lie, floating is pretty awesome. But If you really want a good dose of belly laughs, give breaststroke a try... It's basically impossible to get your feet under and not end up looking like an overexcited flapping seal! We emerged full of smiles and smooth as babies bottoms.
After the marine excitement I was all too ready to get back to my deckchair. Hubby however was still keen for more stress relief and signed himself up for a massage at the spa. The impressive facilities offer a range of luxurious (and pricey) treatments which include use of an exclusive floatation pool, chill out lounge, sauna and steam room. for those really looking for some pampering. While the Mr indulged (spot the anomoly in this situation!) the sun started a game of hide and seek behind a thick band of cloud, so I took myself off around the hotel grounds to explore….
The architecture is impressive (to say the least) and extensive - I just about made it back to my lounger in time to watch one final Jordanian sunset over the mountains of Israel in the distance.
As the sunlight faded we made our way back to our villa to change for dinner, through the twinkling trees and beautifully lit pools.
The property boasts four fabulous dinner restaurants and we chose to dine "al fresco" at the Italian which I think would take some beating. Ibrahim, our server, was outstanding and the food was some of the best I’ve eaten. Ever. I honestly did not think one of my top ten must haves for Jordan would be the homemade gnocchi at the Kempinski but it is seriously THAT GOOD!
And so our time in Jordan had come to an end. It was an incredible 5 days and I would recommend the trip to anyone.
We rounded out the journey with a final culinary delight in the form of fast food falafel at the airport. Whatever you do, do not pass through the Queen Alia airport in Amman without a portion of this treat! We spent our last 4 dinars on this bad boy and savored every bite!
Jordan stole our hearts and I really hope I get the chance to go back one day. In the meantime we'll have to make do with this little recap: