This hotel was booked for me so I had no choice: I stayed at the Petra Palace. It's nice in a standard way - a bit too nice for my taste actually, but at least near the ruins of the old city and next door to an (overpriced) internet café. The best thing about this hotel is its bar: no one sat there except the barman: a friendly man who loves to talk politics. I had a and couple of really interesting evenings there
Al-Saraya: Amman's MOST Affordable, Friendly Hotel
UPDATE: THIS HOTEL IS NOW CLOSED! Please contact Fayez at his new hotel: New Park Hotel in Amman, I'm sure the service is 5*, as well.
We stayed at this hotel for three wonderful nights. According to The Jordan Hotel Association this is a one-star hotel. I will agree, it is one star, with SEVEN-star (*******)hospitality. I am not kidding, Mr. Fayez Al-Kayyali made our entire trip with his warmth, knowledge and openness. We spent many hours drinking tea or wine, smoking cigars (my husband!) and talking about politics and travel in the area, as well as many other topics.
We enjoyed our time with Fayez at the Al-Saraya Hotel so much that on our last night in Jordan, after traveling to Syria, Israel and Petra, we took a taxi from Petra to see Fayez one last time before going to the airport. He even gave us a key to a room for a short time so we could change our clothes from touring Petra all day. For that evening, he arranged a dinner with many hotel guests and 12 of us had banquet style meal together dining on hummus, lamb, grilled vegetables, falafel, etc. We shared stories and travel tips. It was a fantastic night.
It's important that you know how genuine Fayez and all the people we encountered in Jordan are. When we return to Amman to visit other sites unseen in the area, we will definitely stay here again. There are 52 rooms in this hotel and we had a room on the third floor in the back of the hotel that was away from street noise, AM prayers and had an excellent view of King Abdallah's compound.
There is a front desk staff that is helpful and willing to mail postcards back home for you and an elevator for those too tired to take the stairs to their room. *Wake up phone call is available too. *Each floor has a sitting area for you to rest should you find that Fayez is not in his office, as I highly recommend you to pay a visit to him in his office for a cup of tea and chat. *Breakfast is available each morning, however, we rose too early each day to take advantage. Take him up on his restaurant recommendations!!! FYI: There is also a small shop across the street from the hotel to buy water, pop, chocolate, chips, etc. And a falafel stand selling bags for mere cents!
The bed was comfortable, the TV had two or three satellite channels in English. The shower was hot, soap and shampoo are provided. The bathroom has a bidet although it was not used, so I am unsure if it operates well. We were there in winter so the heating was fine. The rooms have A/C, as well.
HOTEL IS HELPFUL WITH DAYTRIP OPTIONS:
Fayez has many friends and contacts and will put a driver and good price together for you to travel to Petra or Damascus, Syria (for the day like we did) or to Jerash or even the King Hussein Bridge (like we did).
-->Airport pickup is available for 15JD. (approx. $21usd)
-->Hotel's nightly rate was 18JD w/breakfast and taxes included. (approx. $26usd)
-->The hotel also offers Internet for 1JD. (approx. $1.5usd)
He accepts cash in various currencies and will hold your bags should you need to continue touring before trotting off to the airport. And lastly, *Fayez has printed business cards with his hotel contact information in English on one side and in Arabic on the other. This comes in handy when you're out and about hailing a cab and the driver is unsure about the hotel's location. :)