I was looking for a spa vacation package and I stumbled upon this great 5 day spa package by Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea. I booked the package online, worked out the schedule for my 11 spa treatments with the spa team and booked airport pickup & day excursions with the travel desk - the entire process worked like a breeze. I got the visa on arrival for 10JOD.
Movenpick is a beautiful Arabian Village resort with a lovely beach (yeah, you can really float in dead sea and read magazine :)). The Deluxe room was very spacious & comfortable.
The food at the resort was sinful! The Arabian Wrap at 'The Village Cafe' was to die for. Their main restaurant Al Saraya serves multi-cuisine buffet for breakfast, lunch & dinner. It's hard not to overeat. Plus you can have movenpick ice cream for FREE any time of the day!
Then there was the whole Zara Spa experience which was unreal. I loved almost all the treatments: Thalgo Facial, Hot & Cold Stone Massage, Sea Salt Scrub & Relaxing Mud Wraps, Oriental Massage, Swedish Massage, Pedicure, Manicure, Hydrobath Therapy, Aroma Therapy Massage...
I had set aside full day for shopping in Amman and I was sorely disappointed. The two malls I visited, Mecca Mall & Abdoun Mall didn't have much to offer in terms of variety & quality of women's apparel, shoes & accessories. BTW, there were hardly any people in the mall on a Sunday - agreed it's a working day for them, but still malls are supposed to be buzzing with shoppers! There's a lot to see and do in Amman, so i intend to go back for more (soon I hope!). The dining experience at the hilltop Kan Zaman Castle Restaurant was nice.
I went on a day trip to Petra, the ancient city known for it's rock cut architecture. The site is 17kms across. That means you can easily spend couple of days exploring it. It makes for a good trekking excursion. The walk thru' the gorge (Siq) & the amphitheater cut into the hillside was awe-inspiring. Again I need to go back for a longer visit. The right way to enjoy Petra is to go on the night tour that happens every Monday, Wednesday & Thursday from 8:30pm-10:00pm. And then spend the next day exploring the site. There's Movenpick Hotel in Petra too. The traditional Jordanian food at the "Magic Restaurant" is not to be missed!
There are two access routes to Petra from Dead Sea. One is the desert highway which takes about ~3.5hrs each way ,and the other is the Dana Nature Reserve route that takes about ~5hrs onward and ~3.5 hrs or so return. The Dana Nature Reserve route is incredibly scenic. You have to see it to believe it.
Last but not the least, Ma'in Spa, thermal mineral springs. It's about an hour's drive from Dead Sea. Again the route is very scenic with some breath taking views of the lush green mountains & Dead Sea. Three waterfalls were open to public. Apparently there are others that are reserved for Spa guests only. The water was deliciously hot, for a cold winter day!
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and I can't wait to go back for more!