HOTEL INSIDER: THE ST. REGIS AMMAN, JORDAN
The St. Regis Amman is the newest addition to the hotel scene in Jordan. Until then, the only comparable luxury hotel had been The Four Seasons, located in the same, affluent Abdoun location at Circle Five.
The St. Regis was opened in June 2019, however only partially. The top floors, the spa, and some restaurants were still not ready for guests in August 2019. According to the management, everything is expected to be fully open by the end of 2019. Inshallah, as they say in the Arabic world.
The hotel is elegantly designed and is characterized by understated luxury rather than over-the-top opulence.
THE ST. REGIS SUITE
The 62 square meter (667 square feet) St. Regis Suite is decorated in a muted palette of bright white and pastels, bespoke diamond patterns and touches of white lacquer. The rooms have a balcony and offer a spectacular view of the Amman skyline.
The hotel is new and it had its challenges from reports of labor abuse during construction. As a result, sloppy workmanship is showing at times. During our stay five weeks after the hotel opened, we witnessed leaks as well as loose handle bars and locks.
The housekeeping had tough time keeping up with the demands of the brand and rooms were not cleaned fast enough. There was no turndown service and the newspaper was never delivered even though we had requested it. The challenges of opening a new hotel were clearly visible everywhere.
The in-room Nespresso machine was a nice touch, something that some other St. Regis hotels have skipped because of their focus on their butler service.
The luxurious marble bathroom features a separate bath tub and a shower.
DINING at the St. Regis Amman
Only one restaurant was open in August 2019 - the Spanish Mercado Andaluz - also serving breakfast. The breakfast was fairly simple and lacked the wow-factor and attention to detail we have witnessed in other St. Regis hotels. The waiters focus more on making sure that the guests know their names and mention them on TripAdvisor, than on doing their job.
The St. Regis Bar is open and run well with excellent bar food choices. It is inspired by the famous King Cole Bar in New York where the legendary world-renowned Bloody Mary cocktail was born in 1934. The St. Regis Bar has created their own version of the cocktail which they serve in local pottery.
SERVICE at the St. Regis Amman
Unfortunately, it is the service that is lacking in this hotel. The staff has not been trained well enough to represent the brand, known for its sophistication and attention to detail. The staff is lacking confidence, at the same time appearing overly eager to please. The lack of experience is showing everywhere from housekeeping to the concierge service.
The St. Regis Amman Limo Service
The staff is clearly under pressure to sell the hotel's limousine service (mostly Mercedes cars). The hotel has outsourced this service and pays for the rental cars and drivers, no matter whether the guests use them or not. Per management, not many guests use the limos. The drop off to the city center costs 20+ JD, over 10 times the price of a taxi. The airport pick up/drop off is 90 JD ($140), three times the price of similar level car and service if ordered from a tour company, and four times the price of a taxi. The price to go to Petra for a day is 500 JD ($700), five times the price quoted by a similar service from a tour company. There are no taxis in front of the hotel and the staff discourages guests from using local taxis, pushing their own limo transfers.
The problems with the inexperienced staff reflect poorly on the management rather than the employees themselves. Clearly, they have not been trained well enough to represent the renowned luxury brand. Hopefully, as they gain experience, St. Regis Amman will be the top hotel to stay in Jordan.