After driving for 4 hours from Madaba—almost half of which was through extremely dark, winding, cliff-edge mountain roads—arriving at the Mövenpick Resort in Petra was a very welcome site. We picked the Mövenpick primarily for two reasons:
- Location: It’s right across the entrance to the ancient city of Petra. Getting your tickets to the site is literally a few steps down and no other hotel sits closer.
- Reputation:The Mövenpick name in the MENA region with its five-star classification is held with much esteem.
We knew it was no ordinary hotel when we pulled up to the gate. Unlike most of the hotels we’ve passed with their front door lobbies opening to the street, the Mövenpick Resort is gated with a couple of security personnel standing by. The Mövenpick Resort is the only five-star hotel in the vicinity of Petra (the Marriott is several miles away) and it makes a statement right at the gate.
Whilst in the car, we were greeted politely with the unspoken question of, “What’s your business here?” It may be perceived as cold by some people, but personally, I prefer my security personnel to not be extra friendly to strangers.
Once they validated our names to be guests of the hotel, however,
the demeanor changed to warm and welcoming and just like that, we were at home in Petra.
The valet took the keys and the bellhop offered to take our luggage. Since my husband and I travel very light (one small backpack each), we had nothing to give him but our smiles which he returned with a bow.
Next, we had to put our things through baggage screening much like in the airport. It’s the first time that I’ve seen one in a hotel; it was initially disconcerting for me to see such high security in a place that promotes relaxation, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that it’s being done for the safety of the resort’s guests.
MIDDLE EASTERN FLAVOUR
The lobby is stylishly decorated with flavours and textures of the Middle East—mosaic tiles, handcrafted wood, Arabic furniture, and combinations of natural stone. I’m glad they didn’t go over-the-top in the décor and kept the intricate details in the accents pieces, floor borders, ceiling, and fixtures here and there. Getting a good balance when fusing modern and traditional is always tricky but once you achieve it, it simply works.
Carefully picked accents continue to the hallways leading to the rooms and suites. My favourite is the incorporation of mashrabiya in the corridors. A mashrabiya, in its simplest definition, is a projecting window enclosed by wooden latticework. These incredible handcrafted wood window panels lined the way to our room. To fully appreciate the amount of work that goes into each, you may want to check out this video.
HOME IN PETRA
A complete opposite of the hallway outside which was cast with beautiful shadows, our room was bright, colourful, and flooded with sunlight. The punch of colours in the accent wall, curtains, pillows, sheets, and framed art are a welcome respite from the beige and brown of the desert outside. Wearing colour accents is a pillar of my travel wardrobe and it’s great to see it in the context of an elegantly decorated hotel room.
A couple of other things I loved about our room is the Dead Sea goodies we got in the bathroom toiletries, and our beautiful view from the private balcony.
AL SARAYA, AL IWAN, AL MULTAQA
Although we did not spend much time in the hotel as we spent most of our time out exploring Petra, we were glad we were able to experience three of the seven restaurant options in the property. A sumptuous breakfast buffet is offered to guests at the Al Saraya complete with offerings of hummus, lentils, falafels, and other local favourites. It is leagues better than your typical continental breakfast and offers a much-needed ‘energy charge’ before a day of hiking in Petra.
For drinks, the a popular place is the Al Mutaqa which sits at the atrium of the hotel and for most of the day is drenched in sunlight—it’s like you’re sitting outside but without the sand bits in your mimosa. And for a bit of fine dining, we opted for the opulent ambiance of Al Iwan. The vegetarian options were quite limited so we were left wanting more. Guests with no dietary restrictions will surely enjoy the offerings more. Although our taste buds were not completely satisfied, the warm and courteous service from the restaurants’ staff made our evening just as enjoyable.
If you will use your hotel in Petra simply as a place to sleep, then you might want to stay in a cheaper hotel. One night of double-occupancy at the Mövenpick Resort Petra can range from €250 to €1,000. I absolutely recommend it to those who actually have (1) time to relax in Petra and enjoy a dip in the pool under the hot desert sun and perhaps have a drink at the lounge, and (2) have the willingness to splurge on a bit of Jordanian luxury. If so, you will have a grand time and feel like Arabian royalty at the Mövenpick.Mövenpick Resort Petra Tourism Street P.O.Box 214 Petra 71810 Jordan · +962 3 215 71 11 · firstname.lastname@example.org