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Public beach and hotels

by MsLena Online Now Nov 28, 2011 at 1:47 AM

I am considering booking a Thomas Cook trip to Aquba jan 7th. The main purpose of the trip is sunbathing and swimming. If we stay at one of the budget hotels not having a private beach the whole trip costs like nothing. But we also have to use the public beach, or pay to use the resorts beaches. What is the public beach like? Restaurants, sun beds, locals/tourists etc.

The hotels to choose between are Captain’s, Days Inn and Mina. Any suggestions which one to choose? I think my favorite is Captain’s, but it is hard to know from pictures.


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  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Re: Public beach and hotels

    by hawkhead Online Now Nov 28, 2011 at 2:13 AM

    I can't say I was particularly struck by any of the beaches at Aqaba but then that was not the purpose of our trip. The Marriott in the centre of Aqaba has a beach which looks okay. And the hotels next to it have the same beach, so ditto comments. I think the main swimming places are further out of the town.

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  • KakapoTheParrot's Profile Photo

    Re: Public beach and hotels

    by KakapoTheParrot Online Now Nov 28, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    As you've not had many responses (and it seems as if Hawkhead has as much sun bathing experience as me) I can offer a bit of comment...

    The public beaches in Aqaba have a reputation for being pretty grotty. Someone I know who did try to use the public beaches would I think have described them in stronger terms, but since I don't have first hand experience I will be careful what I say.

    The basic problem is that Jordan has very little coast and almost no recent history of mass market tourism. As a result, the coast adjacent to Aqaba is almost all dedicated to a port, as you'd expect. Only in recent years has there been an effort to try and capitalise on the tourist market and it's pretty difficult to retrofit a beach once you have a port.

    If the situation in Israel had been more stable in the last 10 years then I don't think Jordan would really have even tried. Not, to be honest, that Eilat struck me as a great place for a beach holiday either. I was there birdwatching (it's one of the top 5 places in the world to see bird migration and in March/April I love it) not sunbathing, but the scale of tourist development at the time was incredible.

    Regarding the weather in January. Some friends spend Christmas and New Year diving off Eilat. It was quite windy for much of the time they were there. I think their feeling was that whilst it was always sunny, it was cool enough you didn't want to be sat around for too long.

    I've just reread my posting and it sounds very negative - I don't mean to be. I loved Jordan and would spend a week in Aqaba tomorrow given the chance. If you go, take the time to travel around a bit. You'll get your sun tan anyway and hopefully you'll have as good a time as I did.

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  • MsLena's Profile Photo

    Re: Public beach and hotels

    by MsLena Online Now Jan 28, 2012 at 4:20 AM

    We chose to stay at Captain's in central Aqaba, and for us that was the perfect chose. Nice and clean hotel with a small swimming pool. Tala Bay has the beaches, but otherwise it is dead as a graveyard.

    You can't go swimming in a bikini at the beach in central Aqaba. That beach is for the locals wearing their clothes while swimming. The cost to use the beaches at Intercontinental, Mövenpick and Kempinski hotels starts at 50 JD (!), and was not an option to us. The South Beach is located between Aqaba and Tala Bay; 15 min drive and 5 JD each way. Parts of the beach are public and free, other parts are private and costs 10 JD enterence. You can wear a bikini at the public ones, and they are ok but there are no sunbeds. You can snorkel all over the beach, and there are kiosks where you can buy drinks and food. We went to a public beach our driver rekommended, and to the private Japanese Garden.

    A good driver in Aqaba is Mohammad; +962 777 400 747 We also used him to Petra, and he also does Dead Sea and Wadi Rum.

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