The Dead Sea (which is really a lake) sits on the western edge of Jordan, with Israel and the West Bank across the water. The skin enhancing properties of the water and mud are known world wide, and the spa resorts along its edge offer a range of treatments to visitors wishing to enjoy some pamper time.
Where to stay at the Dead Sea
When planning our trip we were excited to visit the Dead Sea and get that obligatory floating photo (the salt content is eight times higher than the ocean and makes the water incredibly buoyant), but when we saw the price of the accommodation we almost dropped it from our itinerary.
Most of the options on the Jordan side are at the northern end of the Dead Sea, clustered in an area called Sowayma, about an hour’s drive from the Queen Alia Airport. There are a few luxury options including a Hilton, a Movenpick, and a Marriott. I am sure they are all wonderful places to stay and great if you are looking for a real treat, but for two nights it was nearly 2,000JD and not feasible for us. You can do a day trip from Amman, but we had been looking forward to relaxing there at the end of our trip.
After some digging, we found the Samarah Resort, which is nestled between the Marriott and the Hilton. We paid 500JD for a three bed two bath apartment with stunning sea views and a good kitchen. Obviously it didn’t have the luxury of its neighbours, and some of the furniture on the terrace was a little run down. There is no spa, but you can go to any of the places nearby and access their spas as a day guest. We had planned to do this but in the end didn’t bother. The resort has loads of pools, a jacuzzi, a private beach next to the Dead Sea with plenty of mud to cover yourself with, and that was more than enough to keep us entertained while we were there.
Our host could not have been more accommodating, and gave us an extensive tour on arrival. When I booked the website implied a card payment would be taken beforehand, but actually we needed to bring cash. Our host kindly drove us to the ATM but if you get it out in advance you’ll make life easier.
At over 400m below sea level, the Dead Sea’s shores are the lowest point on earth. This means that to get to the Dead Sea itself you can expect a walk down from your accommodation. They will have put stairs or meandering pathways to make it easier, but don’t expect the usual beach on your doorstep situation. Our resort had a private areas on the shoreline with toilets, showers, beach beds, umbrella shades and Dead Sea mud.
Remember to put vaseline on any cuts and grazes before you get in (unless you enjoy burning pains). Falling back into the sea and expecting to go under but instead floating on the surface is such a surreal experience.
There is security at the entrance of the resort, so you’ll need your passport to hand and let them know in advance of any drivers coming to pick you up. Book your stay at the Samarah here and use code 05007AEC to get A$25 off.
Where to eat at the Dead Sea
We asked about breakfast in advance, and our host did a full shop for us before we got there. There was bread, pasta, fruit, yoghurt, cheese, vegetables and more. This turned out to be especially useful as the onsite resort cafe shuts at 6pm, and the local mall is dated, almost eerily quiet, and has limited food options. We went to the Irish Pub there out of necessity more than desire, and had an average meal with pub grub including nachos and fish and chips. You can dine at the other resorts but they are expensive, so if you’re arriving after 6pm I’d recommend writing a shopping list before you go and asking for the food to be there ready for you to cook.
The Dead Sea was the final stop on our journey through Jordan! Click here to read about the rest of it if you haven’t already.
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