Despite its name, there’s nothing morbid about the Dead Sea – the planet’s lowest-lying body of water at 434 metres below sea level. Millions flock here to bathe in its healing mineral waters and experience the sensation of floating on water, without so much as having to wiggle a toe to stay buoyant. As a matter of fact, this body of salty water doesn’t even qualify as a ‘sea’, rather a landlocked lake, bordered by Jordan and Israel, which is gradually shrinking. Be sure to pay a visit before it disappears completely, and stay at one of these top-rated hotels to soak up this natural wonder for more than just a few hours.
Make an entrance at this traditionally-styled Jordanian resort, with a grand palm tree-fringed driveway and glamourous marble-floored lobby to welcome you inside. Explore a little further and you’ll find multiple pools, restaurants, a luxury spa, even a ballroom and amphitheatre. And that’s just in the hotel. Close by there are several attractions including the lofty heights of Mount Nebo and the stunning sandstone canyons within the Mujib Reserve.
Natural stone detailing and lush oasis-like gardens help this resort-style hotel blend into its natural surroundings. During your stay, you can eat your way around nine restaurants, no less, and pamper yourself at the spa on a daily basis. There’s a sleek infinity pool too; the stuff of Instagram dreams, you could say, with the blue wash of the still and salty Dead Sea beyond.
It’s all about the million dollar view at this very regal resort. Think slick sun terraces and dreamy swimming pools with a Dead Sea backdrop, and plush rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows so that you can take it all in from inside too. Book a table on the restaurant terrace to savour the scene – perhaps after a lazy afternoon of spa-pampering or floating on the famously saline waves.
Grab yourself a map to navigate this vast resort and enjoy the meze of things on offer. Three restaurants promise to take your taste buds on a trip, with everything from Italian to contemporary Middle Eastern cuisine on offer. These are complemented by three bars, with happy hours and a resident DJ to keep the holiday vibes alive before bedtime. Direct access to the Dead Sea beachfront is a real perk, but you’ll likely struggle to walk past one of two infinity pools without nipping in for a dip.
Push the boat out and plump for this slick skyrise to soak up the swanky surroundings. A smart monochrome theme runs throughout the St. Regis – think elegant marble floors in the lobby and black-and-white bedroom headboards in your room. The on-site restaurants are every bit as chic – and adhere to the typically polished standards of any Marriott hotel. French fare, Spanish tapas, hearty Italian and Californian cuisine are all on the collective menu.
Blue and white hues wash through this private villa, giving a beachy, ocean-fresh feel. Perched on a hill on the outskirts of Jerash – around 50 minutes by car to the Dead Sea – it boasts mesmerising views of the forested Dibbeen Nature Reserve. Soak up the panorama from your own pool and sun-drenched terrace. There’s room for a small family or group of friends, with three bedrooms, a spacious lounge and a fully-equipped kitchen for making sumptuous home-cooked meals.
There aren’t many spa resorts which could lay claim to their own natural waterfall, but this one can. Framed by dramatic mountainous terrain, the resort has its own hot spring that’s filled by a mineral-rich water cascading over the rocks. Another magical experience comes in the form of the Olive restaurant, which serves traditional Bedouin food to guests sitting at candlelit tables set among olive trees overlooking the springs. The chic and minimalist bedroom interiors ensure that Zen element is always present during your stay.
Whatever you do, don’t forget your swimwear if you’re staying at this hotel. Not only is there nowhere to hide in the Dead Sea, but you’ll have four swimming pools at your disposal before you’ve even set foot out of the hotel grounds. After taking a dip – perhaps in all five options available – sun yourself on the beach or head to the spa for a blissful massage. You could even go for a full-on mud body wrap – a skin-beautifying treatment owing to all the unique minerals dredged from the saltiest of seas.