Summer is on fya! Wedding season, beach, parties, fun and all what goes around that!
I was invited this weekend to Aqaba to celebrate Paul and Rawan’s wedding. For those of you following “ cough “ follow asap my instagram and facebook profiles you had a taste of what I was living.
Your travel consultant will now give you a detailed review of the trip from A to Z that you can copy paste instead of doing the whole work; ok minus Paul and Rawan’s wedding part though I am sure they would love to celebrate again!
- How to get there:
While planning for the trip, and though I have heard the promo several times over the radio, I could not locate the operators organizing the direct flight to Aqaba. We head over Expedia, where we secured a good deal for the trip and hotel reservation: 5 nights with reasonable transit time for 510 $.
We reserved on Royal Jordanian that was operated by MEA to and fro Amman, and Rj to and fro Aqaba.
While it was a short flight, the way to Amman was more fun as we had access to entertainment. Upon arriving to Amman, we were shocked as we could not access duty-free since we are heading to Aqaba; moreover the flight was delayed one hour without announcement or explanation. On another hand, on the flight back from Amman to Beirut we were not entitled to any sort of entertainment and the only source was the grumpiness of the stewards !
- Where to stay:
The Bride had sealed deals with Double Tree Hilton and Intercontinental . We opted for the first one.
Honestly I was questioning the 5 stars rating of the hotel itself. You can check my full review here; but as a summary the service is good though sometimes slow, the stay was average and the pool is disappointing. The best parts were the welcome cookie and the breakfast buffet that we purchased for 7 JOD.
- Where to eat and what to do
Our first day was spent at Tala bay as the hotel was offering reduced entrance tickets (15 JOD instead of 25 JOD). A free shuttle with a set schedule moves nearby the hotel to the bay.
When we first arrived, it looked beautiful but we were disappointed.
Towels are offered after putting 10 JOD deposit; the towels are thin as much as they are used and so rough.
The beach area was good and clean but we opted for the pool option. There are two pool areas but both are average, the bathrooms are very dirty and so are the chairs.
We tried their lunch menu, we had:
- Steak salad: it comes served in a baked tortilla: beautiful presentation and the meat was excellent
- Shrimp salad: perfectly cooked and seasoned over a bed of rocca and baby spinach
Overall the food was ok but the portions were very tiny compared to the prices. And this applies to the pool itself; we were not tempted to come back.
After refreshing at the hotel, we had one destination in mind: Rovers return pub! I had a very lovely memory of their tasty food when I first tried them in Amman. DO check my full review on their food. I would love to have them franchise here in Lebanon as much as their food is tasty and huge portions with amazing ambiance and friendly service. Not to miss their smoked salmon platter, seafood salad and burgers among many other options.
The wedding day was finally here! A shuttle service was available to the church to attend the ceremony and at night a fit for a mermaid wedding was beautifully organized and hosted at the InterContinental Aqaba, majestic location by the sea; the evening was charming! wishing Rawane and Paul a happily ever after life!
Lazy day that started with the breakfast buffet at the hotel: freshly baked bread and pastries beside the fruits and cereals, pancakes and omelette station as well as foul, sausages and dairy products; the chef was witnessing the proper service which was great.
We tried the pool at the hotel which was very deceiving, but it was too hot to do anything outdoor. We were supposed to have a camping night at Wadi Rum, but it was cancelled so we were trying to just enjoy the area.
For lunch we had an authentic grilled chicken and rice from Bokhari restaurant: across the street from the hotel, we went on searching for it: take the stairs and leave your presumptions on the door and surrender to a local experience: juicy and tasty, a must try and for merely 5 JOD!
The evening at Martin’s lounge at the Intercontinental with a live band and a belly dancer! Entertainment done perfectly, in the end why not?!
Soaking up the sun was the main goal! How could we have refused the bride’s invitation to spend a luxurious day by the pool at the Inter! We were welcomed by fresh clean towels and a bucket of ice with four bottles of water; the guys do not joke about proper hydration!
Around four pools and Jacuzzi area, though many kids were using it! The water smells heavenly it was awkward to sniff oneself! Of course tanning is exhausting! So when hunger stroke we head to the terrace café to have a proper shaded meal.
The staff is so professional, and when the order took time to be served they offered us sinful nuts and a large green salad to make it up! We had ordered steak sandwich served in a delicious ciabatta. Worth mentioning also the friendliness of Mountasser the life guard!
But what is a vacation without gelato?! Boring! To be faithful to the traditions we tasted a fulfilling pleasureful scoops at Gelato uno.
Time flies but memories last forever engraved. It was my second time and still there are plenty of areas to explore!
Jordan is such a beautiful destination, a little bit expensive but the experience is worth it.
Allah m7ayi l nashama!
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