After my Jordan Trail hike from Dana to Petra, I was very much looking forward to a break in Aqaba. As I am heavy into the Hilton and IHG loyalty programs, I settled on the InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba). I spent three nights to fully recover from a physical and mentally straining hike – and that worked out pretty well. So here’s my review of the InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba).
The InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba)
The InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) is one of the several hotels with a private beach along the Gulf of Aqaba (the most notable others being the Kempinski and the Movenpick). The elegant hotel offers 255 rooms, of which quite some have with balconies overlooking the 200-m², lagoon-style pool and the Red Sea (and the private beach). The pool area of this Intercontinental resort features artistic fountains surrounded with palm trees. There are also a host of water sports available, including snorkeling and scuba diving among the amazing Red Sea coral.
Location of InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 8/10
InterContinental Aqaba is a 10 minutes’ walk to Aqaba city center – which makes it actually quite a good base to explore the city of Aqaba. The fact that the Intercontinental and adjacent hotels each have private beaches, unfortunately, make it impossible to stroll the beach to the city center.
Convenient is also the fact the hotel is just a 15-minute drive from King Hussein International Airport, connecting you with other parts of the world (with or without a transfer in Amman). The hotel offers a free transfer to the airport (I am only not 100% sure if that is only the case for flights operated by Royal Jordanian).
Location quality is also dependent on your other plans in Jordan. It is possible to do day trips from Aqaba to Petra or Wadi Rum, but you could also consider spending the night there.
Rooms at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 8/10
Rooms are what you would expect from an Intercontinental Resort – spacious and fitted with floor-to-ceiling windows, some directly facing the sea. Rooms are not super new, but definitely not dated or old. There is a minibar and coffeemaker for in-room drinks, and a satellite TV.
It never ceases to surprise me by the way how many pillows are placed in American-style hotels/resorts.
Service at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 9/10
All staff was super friendly and capable. Staff remembered needs and preferences, was super speedy in requests and was always willing to help out.
I did encounter any issues or irregularities while at the hotel.
There was a free shuttle service to Aqaba airport – as said before, I am only not 100% sure if that is only the case for flights operated by Royal Jordanian.
Getting stuff done at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 5/10
Getting work done is a bit of a challenge. The lobby is fine to have a few drinks or wait for friends or family to arrive, but to get some work done … it is rather suboptimal. No real work spots or nice tables to sit on and a lack of power outlets make it a bit challenging to get your late night or early morning getting-things-done-game going strong.
There is a cafe (Deli Cafe) with also two desktop computers and a printer, but also here – limited power outlets. At desktop computers drinking is not allowed (I worked there a couple of times – only once I could drink my tea in front of the computer).
Relaxing at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 8/10
As it’s a resort, one of the key features is the chunks of chillness and relaxness 🙂
Spa and fitness. The hotel’s spa features hot tubs, a steam room, and a wellness center offering an extensive menu of facial and body treatments. There is also a gym with plenty of cardio machines. I had one signature InterContinental massage (70 JOD for an hour) and that was certainly one of the best massages I ever had – it probably wasn’t easy for the masseuse either because, after four days on the Jordan Trail, my legs and neck were a total mess.
Pool. There’s a 200-m², lagoon-style pool for those who do not want to dive into the Red Sea directly. The pool area of this Intercontinental resort features artistic fountains surrounded with palm trees. What I liked most about the pool is that it was sort-of compartmentalised, meaning that the pool was divided in several mini pools. This made sure that you could move to another pool if one pool was getting to busy. Plenty of lifeguards and other staff available as well. There are also a host of water sports available, including snorkeling and scuba diving among the amazing Red Sea coral.
Breakfast at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 8/10
Over the years, I have developed a clear preference for a-la-carte style breakfasts. Mostly because there is less food waste, the quality is usually higher and I prefer the atmosphere of a-la-carte style breakfasts usually over the pushy queueing you will usually find at buffet-style restaurants.
So, even though InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) has a really good buffet-style breakfast, my points pretty much stay the same. But accepting this – the buffet is amazing. Fruits, vegetables, meat, cheeses and local foods in close to 10 varieties, a special omelet station where you could order your custom omelet – all very well executed.
My stay at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba) 8/10
Overall, I really really enjoyed my stay at the resort – it is a great place to relax. Staff is extremely friendly and service-minded. However, the resort lacks a bit of character/authentic vibe I love so much about properties like the Kimpton De Witt, 1898 The Post or my favorite Indigo hotels.
In total, I have stayed 3 nights at InterContinental Aqaba (Resort Aqaba). I paid two nights with points (25.000 points at IHG) and one night in euros (approximately 140 euros). Because of my Spire Ambassador status at IHG, I was upgraded to a King Deluxe room with a panoramic view, which was just perfect.