The Intercontinental Aqaba hotel is ideally located but it could certainly do with some redecorating and renovation. It remains quite a decent hotel but other 5-star hotels will soon spring up and make fierce competition.
This hotel review is a translation from the French published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
The Intercontinental Aqaba is located by the Red Sea, in the city of Aqaba, in the south of Jordan. The airport is a 20 minute drive away and the city centre, a 10 minute walk away.
Wine lovers will particularly enjoy the wine menu at the French restaurant.
The Intercontinental Aqaba is a U-shaped, rather imposing beige building by the Red Sea, which opened its doors in 2005. As you step into the lobby, you will have a direct view of the Red Sea thanks to a huge bay window. The decoration of the lobby is a little outdated and definitely too dark. In the middle of the U shape, a huge swimming pool meanders like a river in the hotel gardens. Several little bridges enable guests to go from one side of the pool to the other and a whirlpool bath has been incorporated into the pool. There is also a poolside bar in case you want a drink. The hotel offers a great number of activities, including table tennis, squash, aerobics, diving, jet-skiing, banana-tubing, canoeing, windsurfing, etc. If you are looking to relax though, why not go to the spa? A Hammam, sauna, indoor pool and whirlpool baths await you. Unless you would prefer a small massage? While you're relaxing, children will love the children's club, which is wonderfully situated, with a view both of the beach and the Red Sea. The club is also spacious and bright (which is not always the case for children's clubs). They can enjoy the television, computers and games, but also the outdoor pool which is entirely for them.
The 255 rooms are spread over 5 floors, and all of them have a balcony and broadband Internet access. The decoration is rather classical in style, with shades of beige, brown and ochre, but the contemporary bedside lamp offers an original touch (the only one). On a more practical side, the large closets enable you to make space for all the family's bits and bobs - there will be no excuse for lingering socks, t-shirts or bathing suits. All rooms are equipped with a television, a telephone, air-conditioning, a mini bar with tea and coffee-making facilities, a free bottle of water and a safe. A small balcony also gives you the opportunity to sunbathe. As for the bathrooms, they are reasonably sized and equipped with a bathtub, a hair-dryer, dressing-gowns, slippers and hospitality products. The bathrooms in the Executive suites have a separate bathtub and shower, as well as a coffee machine.
The main restaurant, The Corniche, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The meals are served as a buffet in a large and unattractive room (a few modern paintings decorate the walls). However, a good thing to know if you are there on a Friday, a barbecue is organised every Friday evening. The Corniche has a large terrace which overlooks the sea and is ideal in the summer. Otherwise, you may prefer the Lebanese restaurant (open for lunch and dinner), where seafood and grilled meat are also served. The room that guests eat in is brightly decorated with shimmering colours, different coloured mosaic tables, and a view of the sea. A terrace is available when the weather permits and it is also possible to smoke a hookah here. In contrast, lovers of French cuisine can enjoy French specialities here, but also quality Australian meat at the restaurant 'Côte d'Or'. The cellar filled with bottles from all over the world is a true delight for wine lovers. The room is cosy, the floor is carpeted and the decoration is comprised of pale shades of green and ochre. There is also a piano here. However, some guests always opt for the terrace. In the lobby, you will find the Deli Café where pizza, snacks, ice creams and desserts, as well as tea, coffee and other delicacies are served throughout the day. Last but not least, a lounge bar, the Martini, serves aperitifs and cocktails in the evening, to the sound of a piano
The beach, smaller and narrower than Tala Bay's, is equipped all the same with deckchairs and white canvas parasols. The hotel has its own private beach and one or two palm trees have grown on the beach but that's not quite enough on hot summer days. A life guard is present on the beach and the sports enthusiasts among you will be able to show off your skills on the beach volleyball court. Nibbles and drinks are available at the beach snack-bar where you can also order grilled meat and a hookah. The downside of this beach is that you have to swim next to the boats.
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