Le Royal Hotel, Amman, Jordan ****

Q: What is it? A: A five-star hotel with 247 rooms and 13 restaurants and 3 cinemas perched on a hilltop in the beautiful city of Amman. The architect’s vision: To re-create the Tower of Babel.

Amman by night. This is what it looks like from the 14th floor of the Le Royal Hotel.

Amman by night. This is what it looks like from the 14th floor of the Le Royal Hotel.

Staying at the Le Royal means staying in a 34-storey tower with a rather spacious interior design (picture shot from the lobby floor).

Staying at the Le Royal means staying in a 34-storey tower with a rather spacious interior design (picture shot from the lobby floor).

What nice surprise, especially when arriving at 02:45 in the morning: No rooms available – but luckily there were suites. Executive suites.

What a nice surprise, especially when arriving at 02:45 in the morning: No rooms available – but luckily there were suites. Executive suites.

Amman by day. This is what it looks like from the 14th floor of the Le Royal Hotel.

Amman by day. This is what it looks like from the 14th floor of the Le Royal Hotel.

I picked this hotel for a reason:
It’s easy to find. Driving from the Queen Alia International Airport in your rental car with no decent maps, and a GPS that only showed the major highways and the border with Syria, could have turned into an unwanted adventure. But the 34-storey Le Royal Hotel is so highly visible, perching on a hilltop along the always busy Zahran street, that you need to suffer from a severe vision disorder to miss it.

Checking in means being checked first.
This is no news to those who have travelled in the Middle East. Security is rather tight around the hotels. You can expect that your car will be searched for explosives and your bags and yourself will be scanned airport security style. This is legio in Cairo as well as in Amman and Wadi Musa. And I guess it’s only logical when vacationing in a country that borders Israel, Syria and Iraq.

On arrival there were no rooms.
But there were suites. And the friendly staff at the front desk were happy to hand the keys out to these gigantic rooms. And speaking of friendly – there were nothing but smiles despite the crazy hour we arrived at (02:45). In fact, service staff from quite a few countries could learn a thing or two from the Jordanians. You are being treated like royalty wherever you go.

This is a big hotel.
247 rooms, 34 suites. 13 restaurant or bars. The spa and beauty center 7,000 square meters. Two indoor swimming pools and one outdoor pool. The largest ballroom in Amman. Three story shopping mall with 35 luxury goods retail outlets and 3 cinemas. Phew! But with size comes a few drawbacks; despite the good intentions of the staff, it lacks personality and flagging down a waiter at breakfast is quite hard. But all in all it’s a pretty nice hotel experience and if you are going to start your trip in Jordan, you could without a doubt do much, much worse.

Le Royal Hotel – Amman
Zahran Street, 3rd Circle, Jabal Amman
P.O.Box, 52, Amman 11118 Jordan
Tel:+962 (6) 460 3000

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