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Travel talk: Six reasons to plan your getaway to Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Jordan

Travel talk: Six reasons to plan your getaway to Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Jordan

The holidays are right around the corner after all...

Text: Meeran Mekkaoui


Image: Supplied
Image: Mohammad Darwesh

Experience authentic Jordanian hospitality and an epicurean journey when you book a stay at Jordan's new Luxury Collection hotel...

A journey to Jordan is never a bad idea, especially if you're living in the Middle East. Just over a three-hour plane ride to the country's capital from Dubai, you can experience true Arabian hospitality, breathtaking views and see one of the seven wonders of the world whilst you're there. 

Need more convincing? Here's why Jordan's new hotel offering is the place to stay this holiday season... 

Location 

If you're looking to unwind by sandy beaches and an expansive granite mountain range, Aqaba is the place to go.

Situated on the coastline of the red sea, Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel under the Marriott umbrella, has recently opened its doors to an oasis of relaxation and authentic luxury within Aqaba's bustling city centre where you'll find endless streets of souks and Jordanian eateries. And whilst the hotel itself is pretty to look at, its prime location seals the deal. 

Sleep

The Al Manara hotel marks The Luxury Collection's debut hotel in Jordan and they couldn't have entered the market in a better way. Having only opened its doors to visitors this summer, the hotel has already become a must-stay destination.

Upon arrival, you're welcomed with the hotel's signature coffee or cocktail in the main lobby (with views of the royal palace just adjacent to Al Manara).

When it comes to the rooms, there are over 200 to choose from including 38 suites, two villas and four exquisite suites – each with 180-degree views of the ocean. Plus, each room in the hotel is different from a DNA and design perspective. 

The rooms are bright and airy (you can expect the sun rays bouncing off the sea to glisten through your windows) whilst the Arabian-esque decor and wooden accents add the perfect contrast. Plus, the marble bathroom offers both a bathtub and a separate shower, all stocked with Byredo amenities. 

Relax

If you can pry yourself away from your room, Al Manara offers its guests the ultimate R&R with its spa and pool offerings. 

The hotel's Heavenly Spa is tucked underneath the hotel's main lobby where a beautiful candle-lit staircase takes you into a sanctuary of relaxation. With an array of services and treatments (such as Ayurvedic treatments, Balinese massage or facials) by professionals flown in from all over the world , you're really spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the right one (or two) treatments. 

Then, you can truly unwind by soaking up the sun at the hotel's beautiful infinity pool, which looks out towards the red sea — a truly breathtaking experience you need to experience. 

Food

The hotel is home to two impressive restaurants: The Taybeh Al Manara restaurant and Kubba Levantine. 

The man responsible for all of the gastronomical specialities of the hotel, Executive Chef Roman Gernoth, has brought his expertise from Germany, Spain, Greece, Seychelles and the Maldives to Aqaba, to develop and refine the hotel's culinary offerings. 

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Taybeh Al Manara, brings together the unique flavours of the Mediterranean to a dining space that is elegant and Instagram-worthy thanks to the beautiful seaside views it has as its backdrop.

On the other hand, Kubba Levantine offers Levantine specialities (including mezze and mixed grill) in an outdoor setting with an elegant atmosphere and open, bespoke terrace. 

Also, the hotel offers a distinctive epicurean journey exclusively to its guests, whereby Chef Roman will curate an intimate dinner with an indigenous setup and local ingredients. Plus, a traditional Jordanian dish, Zarb, will be cooked in an underground oven (a hole in the ground that is filled with flaming hot coals), and it includes a mixture of meat like lamb and chicken, rice, onions and carrots.

See

Al Manara not only offers its guests a luxury experience at its hotel but it extends its hospitality to the city of Petra as well (because, why go to Jordan if you can't see one of the seven wonders of the world?). 

It's just a two-hour scenic drive to the rose-red city where you're embraced by ancient history and beautiful rock formations once you've arrived in the country's most valuable treasure. Considered to be one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, the picturesque city serves up some serious Instagram-worthy backdrops from any angle you're at. 

Once you've taken your snaps at Petra (it takes about a full day to visit all 15 sites), there's an opportunity to seize even more Jordanian hospitality by dining with the locals. 

Welcoming guests to their home residence, a Jordanian family prepares delectable dishes including a local favourite ‘Maglooba’ (meaning upside down), in a traditional Diwan setting.

If you're a foodie, right after lunch you'll have a chance to get insight into Petra's local life with an eco-experience at Jarba Farm. The land is where locals grow a variety of fresh produce and you can savour some of the spoils during your visit. Fresh mint tea has never tasted better...

Experience

Another must-visit stop is at Wadi Rum. 

A protected desert wilderness in southern Jordan, Wadi Rum offers a slew of luxury camps for those looking to spend a night under the stars. And trust us when we say it's worth it. 

One such camp is the luxury Memories Aicha Camp where you're welcomed by Bedouins and locals, who once again showcase impeccable hospitality. 

From day to night, you're constantly surrounded by Wadi Rum's natural beauty as you walk through historical, geographical and cultural heritage sites, and when you're ready for lunch, you can experience epicurean authenticity in the middle of a Bedouin camp cooked by Jordanian Bedouin women.

They're known for cooking traditional Jordanian dishes including the traditional Mansaf dish which features tender meat layered with paper-thin flatbread, rice, and garnished with toasted nuts. 

After spending the afternoon at one of the most famous deserts in the world, you can witness the transition of colours in the sky as experts from the Memories Aicha Camp guide you to a key spot in the desert where you'll be able to see a myriad of stars fill the sky. 

For more information or to book your stay at Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel, visit Marriott.com

Now, take a look at which Netflix original series in Arabic is being filmed in Jordan

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