Amman Travel Guide
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Though Amman, the bustling, sprawling capital of Jordan, has plenty to offer in the way of sightseeing, cafes, outdoor markets, and shops, it's never exactly dazzled in the hotel department. Sure, a few upscale options exist (Le Royal Amman, InterContinental Amman, Four Seasons Amman), but many are outdated and have difficulty attracting a younger, more discerning clientele.
But that might be about to change, with the announcement yesterday of a 280-room W Amman, set to open in 2016.
According to HotelierMiddleEast, work is scheduled to begin soon on the 36-storey, mixed-use tower. While the exact location in Amman is unknown, we're told the hotel will sit above eight levels of offices and high-end retail outlets.
Oh, and another detail? Outside of the US, W tends to get a little more adventurous with the design of their hotels (see: W Barcelona, W Shanghai The Bund, opening in 2014), and W Amman will be no exception. Paying homage to Jordan's most popular tourist attraction, the design of W Amman will in fact be inspired by the city of Petra. No easy feat, considering the ancient site dates back over 2,000 years, and was built into sheer rock face!
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Le Royal Amman, which happens to be the second-tallest building in the whole city, has been catering to the wealthy and well-to-do of Jordan's capital since it opened in 2002. From the lobby, a 3-story boutique retail outlet, 3 cinemas, and 10 restaurants provide plenty of distraction, but there's also some stuff worth seeing inside the rooms.
Like this decadent bathroom feature, found in one of the hotel's two Royal Suites.
A wedding ended in tragedy last night at the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman, Jordan when a suicide bomber believed to be linked to Al Qaeda attacked, killing at least 56 people, including the fathers of both the bride and the groom and at least one American.
Two other hotels, the Grand Hyatt Amman and Days Inn Amman, also suffered attacks. In a sick correlation, the attacks happened on November 9, a date written in the Middle East as 9/11, since the day is written before the month.
While Jordanians are stunned at the attacks by Muslims on fellow Muslims, Jordan is one of the United States' closest allies in the Middle East. According to CNN, a statement was posted on an Al Qaeda website declaring:
"After studying the targets and watching, we chose the places to carry the mission on some of the hotels, which the Jordanian dictator turned into a backyard for the enemies of faith -- the Jews and the Crusaders."
This is a sad reminder that it's still necessary to exercise caution when traveling in the Middle East, American or not.