>So, the Bean family spent last night at the Evason Ma’in Hot Springs and Spa. The place has come light years since El 3atal’s childhood when it was a collection of rather run-down and none too clean waterfalls and baths. Although, having said that, we skipped the public falls and baths opting for the hotel pool and hot spring. I had hoped to be able to write a glowing review. And, check-in aside, the first day looked promising. The facility is lovely. It’s designed to look rustic and with its branch-designed doorknobs and swings in the lobby, it achieves the look in a way that is pleasing and fun. Throughout the facility is lovely and first-class.
Sadly, the resort has the same flaw that plagues every hotel we’ve experienced in Jordan… customer service. From the 1.5 hours for extra linens to the 3 phone calls (and an accidental spotting of the housekeeping staff on the floor to make it actually happen) for towels, to the mistakes in booking at the spa, customer service was lackluster a best. The waiters are apparently not paid enough to smile at guests, and definitely don’t go out of their way (or even in their way) to get the job done to a customer’s satisfaction. On the other hand, all of the staff from abroad that we encountered (mostly Philippines, Thai, etc.) smiled, were friendly, and helpful. It saddens me to say that they need to bring in more expats for the service to live up to international standards.
Adding to the lackluster service, the “environmentally friendly” practice of turning off the air conditioning left us sweltering until it finally killed off the heat of the day… at about 2 am. The front desk clerk (okay there’s not actually a front desk, and waits to speak to the “front desk-ish” staff would be another complaint) told us that they changed the chillers and they aren’t cooling well. Ahhh, I see. Interesting excuse and not enough given the cost of a room. A bit dear for roughing it without adequate AC.
On the plus sides, the Beans LOVED the pool. At the hotel, they have two choices, the hot spring (and it IS hot) and the cold pool. The hot spring is not for kids, but the pool is lovely. It has a shelf along one side where the Beans began their playing. Eventually we got them out into the water using only their water wings for support. They spent hours and hours yesterday and today in the pool. We even ate lunch at the pool restaurant to save time. The food was OK, the prices quite steep. But the Beans loved the hotel and want to go back again (actually they just wanted to stay even longer).
The spa services were very nice and I had to laugh at the poor Filipina who was trying to go against culture and all that is held dear in Jordan to get one of the front desk staff to smile. The poor Jordanian shebab wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about. Having said that, the spa staff quickly resolved the issue created by the front desk staff at the hotel and provided the services we requested as we requested them. They were very apologetic and as friendly and helpful as could be.
All in all, I’d give the place a 3 out of 5 owing to its mediocre service. It’ll be a hard sell to get El 3atal and I to go back. While the facilities are outstanding, that’s probably not enough to make up for the poor service at that price point.
It did make me wonder about these “hotel schools” in Jordan. Are they missing the boat? Are the instructors Jordanian? Or is the battle against ingrained culture just too much to handle? Any thoughts?