April 7, 2002
Thus, a three night stay at the Radisson Hotel was arranged. Although I was disappointed in missing out on a unique desert adventure and sleeping under the stars, Hotel Boy was delighted with the modern facilities, and perfectly content to sit in the air-conditioned room watching Israeli television. Ho hum...
The Radisson is a large hotel situated on the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern end of King's Boulevard amid a string of similar hotels that line the shore. Each has its own strip of sandy beach, frequently mostly by the locals. There are 244 standard rooms and 7 suites ranging in price from $90-130 US double occupancy. A breakfast buffet, included in the price of the room, offers yogurt, humus, olives, salads, scrambled eggs, meat and juice.
The hotel restaurant, located on the main floor, overlooks a large terrace and pool. The terrace provides the backdrop for approximately fifty small tables used for dining in the evening where a buffet of traditional Arabian fare is served outdoors. We ate there each night enjoying varying selections of chicken, lamb, beef and rice dishes. One night during dinner, we were comically entertained by a guy on electric keyboards and a woman who hummed a lot, apparently unfamiliar words to bad American tunes such as "Feelings." Why do hotels insist on entertaining us with our own embarrassing songs? We heard "Feelings" in numerous hotels throughout Egypt and Jordan, despite the fact that we were often the only Americans present in the company of Arabians, Germans and British. Travelers want to hear local music!
Near the hotel lobby, a small gift shop sells snacks, maps and souvenirs. When we arrived, we hadn't had a chance to change our money yet, but friendly shop keeper Georgette waved away our Egyptian and American currency and insisted that we take snacks free of charge. She was pleasant to talk to, and helpful with advice about things to do in the area. Such genuine friendliness was an impressive introduction to the land of Jordanians, and a welcome contrast to what we had experienced in Egypt, where all deeds no matter how insignificant had purse strings attached.
Rooms were comfortable, and exactly what my Hotel Boy needed after a week in the Sinai desert. Service was friendly, food was good, and the location ideal. We were within walking distance of several local shops where we purchased books, woven handbags, shirts and dresses. Within driving distance is the Royal Diving Centre (JD3 for taxi from hotel) where scuba diving and snorkeling trips can be arranged.
From journal Honeymoon in Aqaba