Our adventure in Jordan began just outside of Amman as we picked up our rental car at Queen Alia International Airport. Upon arrival it took some time to get our tourist visa and pick up our rental car, so our 230pm arrival turned into a 4pm departure. Unfortunately, we had about a 90 minute drive to the Dead Sea and we had to experience the 415pm sunset from a dirt road somewhere in Jordan. The sun was a massive fire ball and we were sad that we didn’t get to experience the sunset over the Dead Sea as I’m sure it would have been pretty impressive.
The road from the airport to the Dead Sea it not the best. It cuts through towns, is poorly lit, is often one car width and includes several switch backs in mountain ranges. Eventually though, we made our way to the Marriott Dead Sea and were delighted and impressed with the hotel.
The hotel was pretty quiet in November and we wished that we had opted for the cheapest room versus getting room with a balcony to the pool as we really were not going to have much lounging time after all. The food options were pretty limited but we opted for food at the Italian restaurant versus the large buffet dinner in the main building. Overall, the food was not bad, but not exceptional and after a long journey and little sleep, we decided to head to bed early. The property was pretty quiet overall on this night so we didn’t feel as though we were missing much.
The next day, we made our way to breakfast and encountered several people in robes, heading down to the shoreline. We were impressed by their dedication as the sun was not yet hitting the water and there was still a chill in the air. We decided we would enjoy breakfast first and wait for it to warm up (the weather forecast still called for 80 degrees in late November).
Despite dinner being just ok, our breakfast at the Marriott was impressive. The buffet selections were plentiful and we were able to get a great table outside to enjoy the view of the property and weather.
After breakfast, we made our way to the water’s edge and decided to see what the fuss was about. The beach at the Marriott is fairly small, but there are a handful of chairs, towels and places to experience the Dead Sea mineral-rich mud. I was pleasantly surprised by how warm the water was as well. However, the beach is extremely rocky and hard on feet. We didn’t notice until leaving that the hotel provides water shoes for you (big miss) or we would have been in and out of the water several more times.
Wading in the warm water, I quickly realized how buoyant you truly are. It’s such a strange feeling to be surrounded by water and not have any possible chance of drowning. It feels like you constantly have a floatation device on. I put my legs straight down in the water with toes pointed at the ground and still was only chest deep in. You can kick up your feet with ease, as if laying in a lounge chair. You can read a book in the water with little no effort to maintain your float. It’s pretty remarkable.
The Dead Sea mud is also known to leave skin feeling silky smooth and that it does! We covered ourselves in mud and left it on for 10-15 minutes to dry. Then went back in the water to rinse. It definitely leaves skin soft and silky but in reality, I didn’t experience a ton of benefits from the mud other than it was just simply fun to cover my skin and face with it for the photo op.
Unfortunately, our time at the Dead Sea Marriott was short, but we did have a fun and relaxing experience. After our quick jump in the water, we retreated to our room to rinse off and headed out to start our four hour journey to Wadi Rum. We didn’t want to make the mistake of missing sunset or driving in the dark again. I would have loved to explore the area and the other area hotels (the Movenpick looks phenomenal) and check out the neighboring beaches, but we just didn’t allot enough time. I would definitely have stayed another night given the opportunity to do so again. I could also see adding this to the END of a trip to Jordan and getting some much needed R & R after hiking through Petra.
Our drive to Wadi Rum, however, was still very rewarding. This was really the first time we were seeing Jordan in the daylight and we were surprised and delighted to see camels just casually along the sides of the roads, both owned and wild camels. We saw farmers tending to their goats and sheep. People just going about every-day life in Jordan. Our favorite part of the journey, however, was the beautiful and surreal scenery along the Dead Sea Highway. We had seen in it photos, but in several places the white dirt and landscape marry the salt water and form these beautiful turquoise rings that disappear into the deep blue water.