Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea

Why we love it: A grand resort with subtle style and top-notch amenities

The Highlights:
- Stylishly minimal guest rooms with balconies and deep-soaking tubs
- An infinity pool overlooking the Dead Sea
- Impeccable service from an expert staff

The Review:
There’s a tendency among high-end hotels in the Middle East to overwhelm guests with bling. The Kempinski Hotel Ishtar, the grandest of all the Dead Sea resorts, does things a little differently, impressing visitors with its architecture instead. The hotel’s Babylonian-style buildings loom large, but inside the decor is dialed back to the point of almost minimal. Walls disappear into expanses of glass, framing dramatic views over the sea, while shady balconies and sunken baths keep ostentatiousness at bay. There are plenty of pools, lagoons, and waterfalls of course, plus a private beach, a luxurious spa, and a handful of restaurants, but your first impression, as someone hands you a glass of cold hibiscus juice at check-in, is that this is a hotel that gets the details right.

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