Amman, one of the oldest and most important cities in the Arab world, was historically cradled by seven hills, but several 20th-century growth spurts have pushed it well beyond those quaint-sounding boundaries. An almost ubiquitous palette of pale cream and white buildings that mosaic the hills is not conventionally beautiful though at night their twinkling lights are fetching. The top hotels of Jordan‘s capital city blend luxury and style to varying degrees, and often double as social hubs for the local glitterati.
The House brings outdoor space, shrubbery, a conservatory and even a rooftop pool with a sundeck to the heart of downtown Amman. The pendant lamps, restrained chandeliers and polished marble floors in the lobby elegantly enhance the upscale all-suite credentials without being showy. Accommodation is smart and sleek with a restrained palette of beige and cream on pale stripped floors, while large windows lend panoramic views across the city.
Among the most opulent hotels in the city, the Fairmont is all about modern grandeur – from the handsome black-and-white lobby to the striking, almost spidery, globe-chandelier hung from a dome-like skylight in Nur restaurant. The style and swagger gains even more vigour with the display of around 1,600 artworks, most by Jordanian artists. Commodious rooms and suites blend swanky contemporary design and luxury, especially in the exclusive Gold wing. Japanese cuisine in restaurant Tsuki and Lebanese specialities in Nur season a sophisticated cosmopolitan atmosphere.
West of the city centre, the rather ungainly exterior of Saray masks an arched courtyard and lightwell, around which rooms are arranged. A modest water feature, plants hanging from balcony-corridors, rustic masonry and decorative niches ease the somewhat spare functionality, but the straightforward rooms are comfortable enough. A restaurant has cityscape views and Middle Eastern cuisine while Fayrooz Café has music-themed decor that taps into the appeal of one of the most famous singers in the Arab world.
Located in the downtown Shmeisani commercial district, the Kempinski has a central location that embraces both business and leisure travellers. Rooms and suites are plush and modern with large panoramic windows; some even have balconies. There’s a dedicated sports bar with widescreen TVs and, somewhat unusually for a luxury hotel, Strikers Entertainment Centre features an eight-lane bowling alley, billiards and darts. An adults-only outdoor pool lounge dials up evening clubby vibes with DJ sets and smouldering shishas.
Just a few blocks south of Amman’s ‘Fifth Circle’ luxury hotel enclave, this St Regis is a sandy-brown high-rise topped with a dainty dome. In blending elegant minimalism with theatrical flourishes of art, lighting and decor, the interiors are exciting and arresting. Designer hands and eyes seemingly craft every square inch and straight line, be it a blossom chandelier with golden petals, the galloping horses mosaic at the bar or ornamental canopies above some beds. Rooms and suites feature restrained monochrome designs with saffron colour pops.
Having long outgrown the core area, open space is at a premium in Amman. Located on one of those original hills, the InterContinental has more sunny cafe terraces than most central hotels. Rooms and public areas feature interesting design touches – from quirky herringbone- and globule-patterned carpets to weird lighting and a chandelier-hung atrium. The cosmopolitan dining options range from Lebanese to Indian, Japanese and Mexican.
With a commanding hilltop presence on the city skyline, the Hyatt is distinguished by large multi-panelled windows bearing a hexagonal design. Like many upscale brands here, the design and facilities – indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, lounge bars and one of the largest ballrooms in Amman – are aimed at visitors and sophisticated locals. There’s a particularly attractive outdoor bar and cafe terrace, and the spa features Jordanian-infused Dead Sea treatments. Apart from the unique windows, interiors are slick and contemporary with few nods to Middle Eastern motifs or decor.
Opened in 2019 after a major refurbishment, the Movenpick’s skyscraper accommodates a proportionately lofty lobby with a baby grand piano framed by what look like the tallest drapes in the city. A huge ballroom underlines its role in functions and conferencing, while there’s a particularly pleasing outdoor swimming pool – unusual in the city centre – with a spacious sundeck. The sports bar and a swanky cocktail lounge with shisha terrace lend an appealing buzz, drawing city hipsters into a sophisticated cosmopolitan vibe.
When you need to watch the dinars, the Toledo is a venerable option, offering breezy rooms with views over the blue-domed King Abdullah Mosque. There’s a restaurant-cafe decked in Andalusian design, serving a mix of Western and Eastern dishes. A serviceable fitness centre has a lap pool, steam rooms, exercise machines and a hot tub; although with Al Abdali Boulevard, home to an array of stylish cafes, restaurants and shops, just two minutes’ walk away, you may prefer to use your time for more indulgent pursuits.
This five-star hotel is in the heart of the city, and provides access to all the highlighted areas surrounding it very easily. What makes this hotel a piece of art is not only its interior design, but its exterior light show beaming into the sky of Amman.
Standing sentinel on the tallest of the seven Amman hills, this Four Seasons outpost is a luxury giant in the city centre. Take advantage of the privileged location and enjoy stretching cityscapes from your room; book a deluxe executive suite for a balcony on the top floor. A Romanesque outdoor pool offers more panoramas, while an elegant collection of restaurants and bars is the place to relax once you’ve finished gawping.
The grand, white-stone façade of the Sheraton is the opening statement of a luxury hotel brimming with impressive features. Not least the enviable selection of eateries and bars, which includes al fresco Italian dining under a sail-like awning at EVOO, and drinks in a pseudo-private members’ club in the literally named The Bar. Rooms and suites are more homely, but the balconies and private terraces with cityscape views are statement enough.
Rotana Hotel is the first towered hotel in Amman, located in the “New Downtown” of the capital, Abdali Boulevard. This establishment is so unique to the city of Amman that it was ranked as the hotel with the best value.
If you are seeking a less luxurious hotel, but with benefits of location and antiquity, this hotel is your gem. The Al Qasr Metropole nestles in Shmeisani, a serene neighbourhood surrounded by all necessities such as banks, supermarkets, pharmacies, gyms, and more.
The Grand Millennium Hotel has been established in the dynamic part of Shmeisani, where restaurants, pubs, bars, liquor stores, and a long street of cafes can be found. Housing the famous Sky Lounge, this hotel will make your stay a party-filled one.