Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa: Bottom Line Review

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Last Spring, my wife and I were able to take a lovely two-week road-trip in Jordan during Ramadan. After traipsing around the country, we wanted to spend a couple of days relaxing by the Dead Sea, famous for high salinity that makes folks incredible buoyant (and can sting freshly-shaven faces, FYI). We found good rates at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and, armed with a couple of $250 resort credits from the Hilton Aspire Card, decided to give the place a look-see.

a balcony with chairs and a view of the ocean

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Bottom Line Review

The Hilton Dead Sea Resort is the rare hotel that’s actually greater than the sum of its parts (helped out immensely by the richly atmospheric Dead Sea area). Outside of the views, nothing is particularly stellar, but there’s enough positives to make it a nice place to while a way a couple of days. Awards are often a poor value, but elite members are effectively given breakfast and dinner to go along with complimentary mud treatments and room upgrades. That, combined with frequently low cash prices, can make the property an excellent value.  Thumb’s Up

  • Price: During our dates, awards were pricing around 50,000 pts/night, while cash prices were ~$110/night. We still had two Hilton Aspire $250 resort credits to burn, so we booked three nights at cash rates and then split the check between the two cards with credits on them at checkout. The two credits completely covered all of our lodging, food, drinks and even some laundry…and we had about $20 left over.
  • Value: Using points, it’s usually a poor value. I rarely saw an award night that priced out much above 0.3 cents per point and it’s sometimes under that. Cash prices can be very good as an elite member, often as low as $90-110/night. Since this includes breakfast, heavy evening hors d-oeuvres and mud treatments, it makes for a pretty affordable all-inclusive-ish stay.
  • Location: Located in Sweimeh, on the northeast corner of the Dead Sea. It’s about 25 minutes from the King Hussein border crossing into Israel, 20 minutes from the Christ Baptismal Site and 45-50 minutes from Amman. Like quite a bit of the Dead Sea, there’s not a ton of food options nearby, although this is walking distance from a mall that has a few restaurants on offer.
  • Room: We booked a classic room with one king and were proactively upgraded to a 345sq ft King Deluxe Room with a balcony and a sea view. The room itself was just ok, feeling more like a Florida Doubletree or Hampton Inn than a “resort and spa.” The highlight was undoubtedly the balcony, where we enjoyed morning coffee, sunsets and evening nightcaps. The first night, the bugs ate us up. After that, we were smart and sprayed up when we went out after dusk.
  • Parking: Complimentary self-parking. Valet parking is 2 JOD/night (~$3). In practice, it’s faster to walk the the 30-40 feet to the self-parking lot than wait for the valet to bring the car around.
  • Resort/Destination Fee: None.
  • Internet: Good towards the center of the resort, sketchier the further you get out towards the edges.
  • Service: Oddly variable. Some folks were warm and efficient, ready to help as needed. Others were oddly dismissive. We watched a couple of front desk agents completely ignore guests waiting for help, another almost bit a guest’s head off for asking about towels. It should be noted that this very well may be due to fasting during Ramadan, so I don’t want to draw any large conclusions from it. This was also the only hotel we visited in Jordan that made us leave alcohol that we had brought for our room in our car. Our bags were x-rayed every place we stayed, but here they made us remove the booze, saying that we could order anything we wanted from the bar (they did let us keep a couple of beers).
  • Turndown service: Nightly.
  • Dining:
    • 1312: Dinner-only, Middle Eastern/Jordanian restaurant with nightly, live music. This is where the Diamond “snacks” service is and it also has a decent selection of Lebanese wines and Shisha. The majority of the seating is outside around the water features. Nice sunset and evening hang-out spot. Open daily 4pm-12am.
    • Bacchus: Lunch and dinner-only Italian restaurant located behind the “adult” pool. Probably the least appealing of the dining options from a view perspective. Open daily from 1pm-10:30pm.
    • Spectrum: All-day, buffet restaurant located on the lower ground floor. This serves as the breakfast restaurant in the morning and then transitions to lunch and dinner service. There is a nice balcony that overlooks the property and the Dead Sea. Open daily, 7am-11pm.
    • Sky Lounge: Rooftop bar with panoramic views of the Dead Sea and the surrounding mountains. Supposedly has a DJ most nights. We were unable to visit, as the lounge was closed during Ramadan. Open daily from 8pm-late.
    • VUE: Coffee and sweets counter located on the lobby level. The views from the seating areas are terrific. Seemed to have irregular hours when we were there (perhaps due to Ramadan).
    • Infinity: Pool bar with both cocktail and swim-up service. Note that this is also closed during Ramadan. Open for drinks and snacks daily from 9:00am-7pm.
  • Spa: The primary feature of the “spa” is the complimentary (for guests) Dead Sea mud treatments at the beach. You’re covered in mud with a bit of a massage, you let the mud dry and then you wash it off in the Dead Sea. You can also get good-value massages on the beach or at the pool.
  • Fitness Room: Located next to the club lounge on the lower ground floor. For a resort of this size, it’s pretty small and heavily-weighted (pun!) towards cardio equipment. It would be hard to get a full resistance workout in.
  • Hilton Diamond Benefits: 
    • Room Upgrade: We booked a standard room and were upgraded to a ~344 sq ft King Deluxe Room with a sea-view balcony.
    • Free Breakfast: Breakfast buffet served daily at Spectrum Restaurant. It’s a fairly extensive spread, with a mixture of Middle Eastern, Asian and Western options. Includes made-to-order egg dishes and a huge variety of pastries, as well as espresso drinks.
    • Club Lounge: There is a club lounge and during our stay it was open, but not serviced with any food or beverage options. Instead, the hotel served elite members an evening, three-course “snacks” menu at restaurant 1312. This included hot and cold mezze along with a massive fruit plate for dessert. The food was pretty good and was easily enough for dinner.
    • Late Checkout: Upon asking the night before we left, we were given a 2pm checkout.
    • Welcome Amenity: Two packages of (rather tasty) dates were waiting for us in the room.
  • Would I stay again?  Yes, but probably not on a points stay due to the high relative cost of awards. As an elite member on a cash stay, it’s can be a very good value.

Pros

  • Marvelous Dead Sea views from almost the entire property
  • Evening complimentary “snacks” menu makes this almost full board for Diamond members
  • Private beach with complimentary mud baths
  • Good elite recognition
  • Breakfast is fairly extensive with a variety of options

Cons

  • Rooms are uninspiring (with the exception of the sea view balconies)
  • Uneven service
  • Subpar fitness area
  • Very strict about bringing your own alcohol to your room
  • Balconies can be fairly buggy at night
  • There’s a lot of relatively forward cats at 1312 at night. If you don’t like them, this could be irritating.

Image Gallery

Hilton Dead Sea King Deluxe Room with Sea View

a hallway with white walls and a tile floor a closet with a blue suitcase and a white door a room with a bed and a television a room with a television and a table and chair

a tray with a coffee pot and coffee cups and other items
In-room coffee service

a bathroom with a shower and sink

a room with a bed and a glass door

a patio with chairs and a view of the water
We loved hanging out on the balcony, but ended up getting chomped on a bit by the bugs after sunset.
a path leading to a beach
View from balcony

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Restaurants

1312 (elite “snacks”)

a glass wall with numbers on it a group of tables and chairs outside a patio with chairs and tables

a menu with different types of food
The complimentary Diamond “snacks” menu. Each person got a choice of one hot and cold mezze and a massive fruit plate.

a table with food and drinks

a table with plates of food and a candle
Happy hour spread for two
a plate of fruit on a table
Happy Hour Dessert. We were never able to finish the full fruit plate.
a cat lying on a chair
There’s a whole colony of cats that come to hang out at 1312 at night to try and get scraps from diners. We thought they were cute, but they could be annoying for some.
a table and chairs with a lit candle on it
1312 seating with resident cat

Spectrum (breakfast)

a restaurant with tables and chairs
Indoor dining room at Spectrum

a room with tables and chairs a table with food on it a buffet with food on the counter a buffet with many bowls of food

Bacchus

a lounge chairs outside of a hotel

a restaurant with a bar and a bench

VUE

a counter with glass cases and other objects on it
The hours for Vue seemed to be inconsistent while we were there
a room with chairs and a table
Lobby/coffee bar seating
a couches on a balcony overlooking a body of water
View from lobby/coffee bar couches

Sky Lounge

a glass wall with a sign on it
This is as close as we got to the rooftop lounge (it was closed because of Ramadan)
Bar
(Image courtesy of Hilton)

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Beach Area

a view of a beach and a body of water from a hill a beach with sand and water a beach with chairs and umbrella a group of people on a beach a beach with chairs and a body of water

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Pools

a pool and a body of water a pool with a view of the water a pool with a stone ledge and a stone ball on the side

a swimming pool with palm trees and a building with a body of water
(Image courtesy of Hilton)
a pool with water and umbrellas
Kids Pool (Image courtesy of Hilton)

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Club Lounge

a kitchen with a sink and a microwave
While we were there the club lounge was open, but had no food or beverage.

a room with tables and chairs a room with a table and chairs a couches and chairs in a room with a view of the ocean a room with couches and tables

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Common Areas

a building with lights on top and cars parked in front of it
Self-parking lot

a large potted plant in a pool of water a large room with a large fountain and a large window

Hilton Dead Sea Resort Fitness Area

a gym with exercise equipment

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