Review: W Amman

Our Egyptair flight from Cairo to Amman landed at around 7pm local time, and from there it was a quick hop through immigration (where our visa fees were waived thanks to the Jordan Passes we had purchased) and then into an Uber to bring us to the W Amman, which would serve as our base in the Jordanian capital for the next two nights.

I didn’t spend too much time deliberating over where to stay in Amman, because the W jumped out to me as a natural choice. As a relatively new hotel, it looked much more appealing than the Marriott Amman; furthermore, summertime is low season in the Middle East, so the discounted nightly rates were very reasonable, and I ended up making my reservation for 90 JD ($170) per night, which I thought was much better value than redeeming 35,000 Bonvoy points for the Category 5 property.

 

The W is located within the Abdali Boulevard shopping complex, a short walk away from the popular Abdali Mall and a 20-minute drive from the airport. The area is definitely one of Amman’s newest and most modern neighbourhoods, and the W is part of a cluster of buildings that towers high up over the rest of the sprawling city. The signature W symbol was visible in the skyline as we made our way to the hotel.

W hotels are known for their extravagant and attention-grabbing decor, and that was immediately evident by unmistakeable W sign by the entrance.

W Amman – Exterior

W Amman – Exterior

W Amman – Exterior

W Amman – Exterior

Security is taken very seriously at this hotel: your car must be canvassed by the security staff before it can approach the hotel’s driveway, and guests must pass through a security checkpoint before entering the hotel building itself. 

The hotel’s lobby is actually on the 6th floor, so upon entering at ground level, you must first take the elevator up to the lobby level. To get to the elevators, you walk through “the Canyon”, a reinterpretation of Jordan’s most famous scenic attraction, the ruins of Petra, in the style of W Hotels’s quirky and modern geometric design. 

W Amman – The Canyon

W Amman – The Canyon

W Amman – The Canyon

W Amman – The Canyon

I gotta admit, this was a pretty special way to combine the identities of both the W brand and the location in the capital of Jordan, reminding guests of exactly where they were every time they were coming and going. 

After the Canyon, take the first set of elevators…

W Amman – Elevators

W Amman – Elevators

…up to the 6th floor, where you’ll find the Living Room, which represents the hotel’s central lobby lounge. There were no other guests around when we arrived, so we were immediately helped by the check-in associate.

W Amman – Living Room

W Amman – Living Room

W Amman – Living Room ornaments

W Amman – Living Room ornaments

As a Titanium Elite member within Marriott Bonvoy, I had requested a suite upgrade via the chat app beforehand, and was happy to be informed that we had indeed been upgrade to a Cool Corner Suite, one of the hotel’s junior suite types. Since we’d only be spending a quick two nights at this hotel, I didn’t feel the need to push for a higher suite type. 

W Amman – Check-in desk

W Amman – Check-in desk

The associate also let us know that we could enjoy daily breakfast at Mesh, the hotel’s restaurant.

Furthermore, the W Amman is one of the few Ws around the world with a lounge for elite members (known as the WIP Lounge), but it happened to be closed for Ramadan. Instead, we could treat ourselves to a complimentary Happy Hour in the Living Room, which would consist of a few rounds of food and drinks, between 6pm and 8pm every evening.

It was already past 8pm by the time we arrived, so we headed straight up to our rooms. A second set of elevators takes you from the 6th floor up to the guest rooms, and we had been assigned Room 2508 on the 25th floor.

The only W I had stayed at before was the W Suzhou, where I remember the hallways being exceedingly dark as part of the W “style”. That’s not the case here at the Amman location, where they’ve instead gone for a high-contrast colour palette of black, white, and a bright colours.

W Amman – Hallway

W Amman – Hallway

W Amman – Room 2508

W Amman – Room 2508

The Cool Corner Suite turned out to be pretty cool indeed – certainly in the sense that it was quite a departure from any hotel room I’ve stayed at in the past. But then again, this is the W, where you should pretty much always expect the unexpected. 

As soon as you enter the suite, you’re greeted by a wall decorated in graphics of Arabic coffee being poured out of different colourful vessels, which instantly brought a smile to my face.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite decor

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite decor

The rest of the suite opens up as you turn to the right. 

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

The sitting area is nestled in the corner here, consisting of an L-shaped couch, a coffee table, and the television shoe-horned onto the wall here, facing the shorter side of the “L” and making for a slightly awkward viewing experience.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite living area

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite living area

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite living area

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite living area

Opposite the sitting area, a funky-shaped countertop snakes its way into the room, accompanied by two high-top seats. This countertop serves both work and play, since it’s ostensibly supposed to look like a bar, but there’s also no desk in the room, so I ended up having to get my work done from this surface.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite countertop

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite countertop

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite countertop

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite countertop

Further towards the back of the room is the king-sized bed, which was adorned with a pillow with a desert adventure design on it. The bed was too soft for my liking, though still gave us two nights of decent-quality sleep.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite king bed

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite king bed

A second television was mounted diagonally on the wall facing the bed, and a single-person armchair provided some additional sitting room. 

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bedroom

Sometimes I find the W’s design choices to be questionable, but I was a huge fan of the light fixtures here in the bedroom, especially the two bedside lamps and this standalone lamp in the corner. 

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite lighting

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite lighting

The hotel had left us a rather hilarious welcome treat – a semi-spherical piece of hard candy with a hammer by the side. “Let’s Get Crack’n”, the note said, and Jessy and I had lots of fun smashing the candy into smithereens.

W Amman – Welcome amenity

W Amman – Welcome amenity

W Amman – Let’s Get Crack'n

W Amman – Let’s Get Crack'n

Also near the countertop was the minibar (or the “W Mixbar”) and the usual coffee and tea equipment.

Here at the W, you can always count on the random labels scattered around to train you to do stuff you would’ve done anyway, like “Drink Up” from a bottle of water – I mean, what else would you do?

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite pantry

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite pantry

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite snacks

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite snacks

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite coffee & tea set

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite coffee & tea set

Proceeding past the foyer takes us towards the walk-in closet and bathroom. In true W style, there’s no real separation between the two spaces – they just kind of blend into each other, with the wooden floors of the closet simply giving way to the polished tiles of the bathroom without so much as a divider in-between.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite closet and bathroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite closet and bathroom

The highlight of the bathroom is no doubt the extremely oversized bathtub, which looked very impressive at first, but was actually rather gimmicky to use because it took forever to fill up with water. 

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathroom

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathtub

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathtub

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathtub

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite bathtub

Meanwhile, the open-concept shower is immediately adjacent to the bathtub, making the whole space effectively one giant wet room, which is always fun. 

A little further away from the bathing facilities are the double sinks and a small vanity table. Meanwhile, the toilet and bidet are situated on the opposite side of the bathroom, near the entryway from the walk-in closet.

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite sinks

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite sinks

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite vanity

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite vanity

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite toilet

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite toilet

The views from our suite weren’t too much to speak of, although you could get a real sense of the sprawling size of Amman city proper. We were directly facing one of the other tall buildings here at Abdali Boulevard, though, which blocked the views somewhat. 

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite views

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite views

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite in the daytime

W Amman – Cool Corner Suite in the daytime

Overall, our Cool Corner Suite was pretty much exactly what I had expected from the W Amman. Everything came in funky colours and was arranged at odd angles, but at least it did seem to fit together into a coherent, if a little wacky, identity.

I spent the evening getting some work done, and then we woke up early the next morning so we could head out to the Amman Citadel, followed by the Dead Sea. First, it was time to grab some breakfast at Mesh, the hotel restaurant that’s also located on the sixth floor.

W Amman – Mesh restaurant

W Amman – Mesh restaurant

W Amman – Mesh restaurant

W Amman – Mesh restaurant

W Amman – Breakfast spread

W Amman – Breakfast spread

W Hotels have a reputation for outstanding breakfast buffets, and the Amman breakfast did not disappoint. In addition to the expansive buffet spread, there were several live cooking stations as well.

W Amman – Omelette station

W Amman – Omelette station

I loved the presentation of the buffet, which showcased the breakfast items in so many different ways: hot plates, bowls, stovetops, buckets, ice racks, glass displays, etc.

The breakfast featured a nice mix of Asian and Middle Eastern dishes, such as stir-fried noodles, congee, halva (tahini fudge), and om ali (Egyptian bread pudding)…

…alongside many Western favourites as well, like scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and breakfast pastries.

Chefs will prepare eggs and omelettes to your liking, which the wait staff will then bring to your seat. 

W Amman – Freshly prepared omelettes

W Amman – Freshly prepared omelettes

Speaking of the wait staff, I did note that the majority of staff here at the hotel (including almost everyone working the breakfast shift) was of East or Southeast Asian descent, presumably migrant workers looking for better pay in the Middle East. The girl taking care of us was very friendly, asking us what we wanted to do in Amman and helping us with our plans for the day.

After heading out to the Amman Citadel and the Dead Sea, we returned to the hotel in the afternoon, exhausted from the gruelling heat – after all, the lower on Earth you go, the hotter it gets, and it doesn’t get any lower than the Dead Sea! 

Naturally, we retreated to the pool as soon as we got back to the W. The pool is located on the 8th floor, featuring a handful of cabanas running along the length of the pool, with some more lounge chairs scattered around it.

W Amman – Outdoor pool

W Amman – Outdoor pool

W Amman – Outdoor pool

W Amman – Outdoor pool

We took up a spot in one of the cabanas, and a pool attendant was quickly on hand to provide us with towels and bottled water. It was a nice place to unwind after a long day, although we did notice that the furniture around the cabanas wasn’t especially high-quality, since the pillows would come loose pretty easily and get blown away in the wind. 

Next to the pool is a bar (which was closed for Ramadan), along with a plethora of chairs and bean bags as outdoor seating options. 

W Amman – Outdoor patio

W Amman – Outdoor patio

W Amman – Outdoor patio

W Amman – Outdoor patio

W Amman – Pool bar

W Amman – Pool bar

The terrace takes you down to the 7th and 6th floors, where you can enter the hotel and find yourself back in the Living Room.

After relaxing in our room for a little while, Jessy and I headed back downstairs to partake in Happy Hour food and drinks. We were told we could take up a spot anywhere in the common areas in the 6th or 7th floors.

The Living Room is in fact quite architecturally impressive: it’s a lofted two-storey space, with a separate structure rising from the middle of the room and containing further seating options within it. A staircase leads you upwards, into this structure, and towards all sorts of nooks and crannies for quiet conversation.

W Amman – Woobar

W Amman – Woobar

W Amman – Living Room seating area

W Amman – Living Room seating area

W Amman – Living Room seating area

W Amman – Living Room seating area

The hotel’s WooBar (the name given to all bars at W Hotels) is located in the Living Room on the sixth floor, whereas another smaller bar is nestled deep within the building-within-a-building up on the 7th floor, and Jessy and I took a seat in one of the booths next to it.

W Amman – Building-within-a-building seating

W Amman – Building-within-a-building seating

W Amman – 7th floor bar

W Amman – 7th floor bar

W Amman – Happy Hour ticket

W Amman – Happy Hour ticket

On the plus side, we were each allowed to order unlimited alcoholic beverages, and we’d also get a meze platter as an appetizer and our choice of main course. We had a few glasses of white wine, and ordered the pasta and the cheese steak sandwich.

W Amman – Happy Hour wine

W Amman – Happy Hour wine

The quality of the food was pretty good, and I thought it was a generous way for the hotel to take care of its elite members, since I don’t believe W Hotels are obligated to provide elites with lounge access or Happy Hour benefits.

W Amman – Happy Hour meze platter

W Amman – Happy Hour meze platter

W Amman – Happy Hour steak sandwich

W Amman – Happy Hour steak sandwich

W Amman – Happy Hour pasta

W Amman – Happy Hour pasta

Nevertheless, the only disappointing thing was how exceedingly slow the service was – it took over 15 minutes for our Happy Hour order to be taken, and another further 20 minutes or so before they were delivered, even though the staff kept shuffling back and forth right in front of us. 

Finally, I intended to work out at the hotel gym that evening, only to find that it was closed for renovations. As I later found out when corresponding with the hotel management, they were in fact offering hotel guests a complimentary taxi to the nearby Sheraton Amman to use their gym instead, but I think I would’ve found that too inconvenient for a quick workout anyway. 

W Amman – FIT gym

W Amman – FIT gym

W Amman – FIT under renovation

W Amman – FIT under renovation

We checked out of the hotel bright and early the next morning, catching a five-minute Uber ride down the road to the JETT bus station, from which our 6:30am bus to Petra would be departing. 


Conclusion

The W brand may often be guilty of prioritizing style over substance, but I do find that I find their hotels very enjoyable and tend to have lots of fun when staying with them. That’s largely the conclusion I came away with from the Amman property – the oversized bathtub looked cool but was impractical to use, as was the jagged countertop that also served as a desk – however, the hotel also impressed me with its breakfast spread, outdoor pool, and generous treatment of elite members. 

All things considered, I saw enough out of this stay that I’d probably still choose the W if I’m ever in Amman again, although there’s a good chance that the newly-opened St. Regis Amman might catch my eye as well.