Scott Armstrong travels to the Dead Sea in Jordan for Benchmark to discover what this landmark has to offer.
Have you ever seen three suns set at once? It may sound like science fiction but there is a place on earth where you can witness this breathtaking spectacle.
For travel to the Dead Sea in Jordan and here, surrounded by total luxury, you can soak up a sight that will linger long in the memory.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea resort is a sprawling, impressive uber-luxurious resort that has one very special jewel in its crown and that is a perfectly-positioned infinity pool, looking out to the Dead Sea and the mountains beyond.
Your strategically chosen spot by the pool allows you to sit mesmerised as the sun sets, reflected in the vast lake and then again in the infinity pool before you.
The effect is stunning, you sit perhaps for an hour just drinking in the scene. Blues and oranges darken as the sun creeps down behind the mountains, turning their bright sandstone to black in the failing light.
No visit to Jordan would be complete without a visit to the Dead Sea.
The lowest point on earth, this natural phenomenon has been drawing tourists for centuries who flock to this highly-salinated lake for the health benefits, or just to float without having to swim in the salty water.
How would this miracle of nature be perfectly summed up? Well if a 13-year-old thinks it’s pretty cool (remembering it’s not youtube) then high praise indeed.
A dip in the waters is a memorable experience, once you get the hang of floating, rather than trying to swim, remember to take your newspaper for the traditional reading in the water facebook/instagram moment.
Perhaps what strikes you the most about this resort is the peace, possessing a quiet that allows you to remove yourself from the constant slog of the modern world.
It’s huge Resense spa will also help you do that. One of the biggest in the Middle East, it offers a menu of massages and treatments designed to bring your body back to life and soothe the spirit.
You can even dip in the Dead Sea inside the spa if you not brave enough (or its too cold) to try outside.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea Resort is arguably the perfect way to complete any journey to Jordan.
For example hikers travelling and staying in the astonishingly beautiful archeological wonder that is Petra should note it is three to four hours drive to and from the airport , whereas the Dead Sea is maybe an hour maximum.
So it is convenient to have such luxury in the tail-end of your trip, removing a layer of stress when you are homeward bound. More than that though it is a great way to relax those aching limbs after all the walking you will have done in Petra.
The Ishtar Superior Room comes with free wifi, a stunning bathroom, and a private sitting area looking out across the lazy river pools and out to the vast lake and the mountains beyond.
Anyone who has visited Jordan before will remember the hospitality from their visit, and despite the ills around its borders, time and troubles have not dimmed the invitation, the smiles and the welcome.
For those travelling with family rest assured that safety and security are paramount in Jordan, just like the UAE, and it is a country that genuinely deserves to be on your travel map.
This month, March, marks the beginning of Jordan’s tourist season and it is well worth making the trip sooner rather than later. While not as hot as Oman in summer, climbing Petra’s peaks can be a challenge in the hotter months.
The Dead Sea isn’t just a place, it’s an experience and one which leaves you curiously refreshed and wanting to go back into the world with a smile on your face.
Driving in Jordan can be a perilous affair for the uninitiated. To start with sat nav can be notoriously unreliable and you can find yourself slogging up a mountain pass in a hire car not suited to the peaks.
Also, even with Sat Nav, turnoffs can be deceptive or downright hidden adding to the normal layer of stress while navigating an unfamiliar city or country.
And while the King’s Highway is pretty much ok, many of the roads, especially the one out to Petra, is in shocking conditions. Pot holes galore which can lead to accidents if one isn’t paying 120 per cent attention.
Lastly, the police are always on the look out for victims of their speed traps and don’t expect the leeway you might get in Oman.
Solution? Book a driver, without a shadow of a doubt you’ll enjoy your experience so much more. They know where they are going, they are safe and they know where the speed traps are.
I booked with http://www.trip2jordan.com and got the excellent Abu Rami. Great English, safe driver and always on time, he really took stress out of equation. The company has a long history of day trips and tours in Jordan and will help you put together your itinerary if you need. While I sourced hotels myself, they can even take care of that for you.