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When we mentioned at the beginning of the year that Aman Resorts would be opening a third property in China, very few details were available other than its location in the city of Lijiang, in the western province of Yunnan, towards the border with Myanmar (Burma).
We’ve since talked about the June opening of Aman Canal Grande in Venice, and now we have a few more details on what will be called AmanDayan, as well as word on two additional properties in Vietnam and Jordan.
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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 Sure, a few upscale options exist (Le Royal Amman, InterContinental Amman, Four Seasons Amman), but many are outdated and have difficulty attracting a younger, more discerning clientele.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!
Recognized in 1994 as the country's first government-protected natural site, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is one of Jordan's most scenic, and sought-after, desert hideaways. And when it comes to lodging, you can't do much better than the Dana Guest House, located right in the heart of Dana village, overlooking Wadi Dana.
Though it's finishing up renovations that will double the number of available rooms, there are currently only nine rooms that make up the entire hotel.
Small, simple rooms with wrought-iron bed frames, a vanity, and a nightstand. But taking in the view at sunset from one of the private balconies allotted to each room has to be one of the most satisfying features about the place.
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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.
One of the higher-end hotels located in Jordan's most-visited destination, the Petra Guest House has a few key amenities that keep tourists filing back year after year: private chalets, air conditioning and, of course, proximity to the ancient site itself.
But adjacent to the lobby sits Cave Bar, which claims to be the oldest bar in the world.
Sorry Vegas, in a few years, no one will be holding their Star Trek conventions in your town anymore. No, instead they will beam themselves to the new Star Trek Theme Resort being built in Jordan.
Hotels Mag reports that construction on the $1.5 billion theme park and resort will start early next year and when it's completed in 2014 will include four hotels. Four! Details are scant on what else the project, known as the Red Sea Astrarium, will include but there is mention of a Star Trek-themed "space-flight adventure."
Also King Abdullah II is apparently a Trekkie, having made a cameo appearance on “Star Trek: Voyager” in 1995. Ahh...so that's what it's going to take to get our idea for the Battlestar Gallatica adults-only resort off the ground.
Well, we'll still keep our fingers crossed (or open Spock-style?) that the Star Trek resort actually gets built.