The closest hotel (and easily the most luxurious) to the ancient, UNESCO world heritage site of Petra is the exotic, Arabesque Mövenpick Resort Petra.
We’ve waited a lifetime to come to Petra, but nothing prepared us for seeing it in the flesh. The majesty and magic blew us away and from the moment we set foot there to the second we left, the theme tune from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade rang in our heads. Where more perfect to set the film’s finale than in the city’s centrepiece, Al Khazneh, a real-life treasury carved into the canyon rock-face in the first century AD. As we marvelled at its ornate red-sandstone façade, we half-expected ol’ Indy himself to pitch up in hot pursuit of the Holy Grail.
And so at the end of a day exploring, we headed back to the Mövenpick Resort Petra. ‘Arabian Nights’ is the theme here and while there’s a risk of overplaying such an aesthetic, the whole place is appointed in a tasteful way. Its atrium lobby is the heart of the property and from there you can look up at the labyrinth of rooms.
Our suite at the Mövenpick Resort Petra was effortlessly comfortable – everything you’d expect from a solid mid-to-high-range Accor property (and from what we’ve seen, easily the most upscale in Petra). But the hotel’s real trump card is its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage Site – our balcony looked directly out at the Siq, the entranceway to the city. Which meant we could have a lavish breakfast in the hotel’s Al Saraya buffet restaurant and still be among the first to land that elusive ‘having the treasury to yourself’ photo, long before the coach loads arrived. And when they arrive, they arrive…
We spent our evenings either in the hotel bar, exchanging stories with other explorers, or in the roof gardens, gazing out at the desert stars.
|Perfect for||Fly into||Right on time|
|The Sophisticate||AQJ||GMT +3|
|While you’re Out There|
|Car parking is free at the hotel, so if you’re up for a road trip from Aqaba and then onwards to Amman (or vice versa), the distances aren’t far at all and you can enjoy the thrill of the open desert highway.|
Photography by Leo Morgan and courtesy of Mövenpick Resort Petra