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Where to Stay in Amman
With a population exceeding three million, Amman is huge, densely packed and constantly swelling into its surrounding suburbs. The explosive growth that took Amman from a village of a few thousand in the 1940s to the current metropolis of millions is largely due to a steady influx of Palestinian refugees, and the rapid construction required to accommodate them did not always follow a logical pattern. As a result, borders between individual neighborhoods are much more ambiguous in Amman than in many other major cities, and the urban landscape is a fairly jumbled blend of businesses, hotels, residences and even ancient ruins. Cheap hotel deals in Jordan can be found in virtually all areas of the city, as can more expensive accommodations.
That said, there is a striking difference between Amman’s east and west sides; East Amman is more conservative and traditional, and is home to the largest share of the refugee population. Hotels there tend to be less modern, but still with high standards. West Amman is noticeably more modern, liberal and Westernized, and is where you’re more likely to find rooms with international luxury hoteliers.
Amman Hotel Tips
The five star luxury hotels you’ll find in Amman rival those in all but the most decadent vacation destinations. Many of these properties are operated by Middle Eastern hoteliers, but there are a few Western hotel chains in the mix, as well.
Options in the mid-range category can be found all over the city, with rates, amenities and standards of quality that are very similar to what you’d find in the U.S. Some of these hotels are specifically tailored for families and tourists.
If you need to travel on a tight budget and are looking for discount accommodations, you’re also in luck. The cheapest hotels in Amman are actually much cheaper than the average budget hotels in the U.S., allowing you to experience Jordan for next to nothing as long as you don’t mind smaller, simpler rooms and modest amenities.
Amman Hotel Recommendations
Amman’s array of luxury hotels is almost overwhelming, so if you expect to splurge, set aside plenty of time to compare rooms and features. You could try the Le Royal Amman, with its elegant and cavernous health and beauty spa, for a relaxing stay you’ll surely remember. A whopping 13 restaurants, bars and lounges operate on-site, and three swimming pools help round out one of the city’s most comprehensive lists of amenities. If you prefer more classic styling, the palatial Four Seasons Amman presents some of Amman’s best views and the impeccable level of service that is synonymous with the Four Seasons brand.
The Landmark Amman Hotel is an excellent compromise between cost and quality; it’s more affordable than the five star hotels, but it still offers a dramatically lit pool area, a modern fitness center, tennis courts and a variety of restaurants. Two levels of standard rooms and three levels of luxury suites are available.
In the budget category, the Palace Hotel is highly regarded for its cleanliness and the size of its rooms. Bathrooms are shared among guests in the smaller rooms, but private baths are included in all two and three-bed units. The Palace Hotel is just a five-minute walk from the Roman Theater, one of Amman’s most iconic sites.
Getting around in Amman can be an intimidating prospect; the streets are a winding, confusing, hilly maze, virtually all signage is in Arabic only and the light rail line remains a work in progress. However, if these conditions intimidate you, Jordan’s fleet of taxi drivers will be happy to do the hard work for you. Plus, riding in a taxi is one of the best ways to get a good look at the city as you travel.
Many taxi drivers in Amman speak enough English to make communication possible, even if you don’t speak a word of Arabic. However, you shouldn’t count on this, so it’s helpful to ask a bilingual staff member at your hotel to write down your destination and return addresses in Arabic before you attempt to hail a cab. All drivers are required to use the meter, and metered rates are comparable to those throughout the U.S.
If you’re familiar with the city or are otherwise up to the challenge of driving, you can rent a vehicle at any of several car rental agencies at the airport following your flight to Amman. Keep in mind that parking in the city is notoriously difficult, and most spots on major streets are metered.