Planning A Trip To The Dead Sea? Read This First

After having missed two years of our annual trek to the Dead Sea, we were only too happy to contemplate finally enjoying the relaxing therapy while it’s still cool enough to avoid the sweltering heat of summer.  The question was – which hotel to choose.

Wanting to pamper ourselves after the long lockdowns of Covid, we thought of booking one of the more popular luxury hotels, but after hearing from a friend that her own trip to that very hotel, just a few weeks prior, had been met with great disappointment, due to less than clean conditions she found there, we opted for another place.

In fact, she and her husband recommended that we go to a place they’d been to before and enjoyed.  It was Milos Hotel.  They particularly liked that instead of being the traditional hi-rise hotel, it had a more intimate setting, built in the style of a small complex with clusters of rooms only steps away from the beach.  As I perused their site, the grounds and facilities definitely looked inviting and very luxurious.  So I took their advice and booked.  Once I got there, it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Other than a few inconveniences of waiting around 15 minutes for check-in and dealing with a card key that failed to open the door to the room, everything seemed to be almost flawless.  A complimentary bottle of Arak and bowl of fresh fruit welcomed us into a spacious and very clean room, and the 75 inch television almost made you feel as if you were in a theater.  Of course, as in other top-notch hotels, each guest is provided with a robe and slippers as well as bottles of water which are constantly replenished.  The oversized shower was a pleasure as were the plush and gargantuan-sized towels which are a superior quality to other hotels in which I’ve stayed.

All that was left was to judge the food and the facilities.  As we arrived on a Wednesday, there was no entertainment that night, but we were assured there would be on Thursday evening.  Dinner was okay, but breakfast was sensational with just about every selection of food you could imagine – including my old kibbutz favorite of hot cereal (dysa) – just the way I like it.

Being there those two days was a pleasure, until it wasn’t.

As we returned from the beach on Thursday late afternoon, we noticed that a large group of people had arrived, with a fair amount of them milling around the area of our room which was right off the walkway.  My first thought was – I hope they aren’t here when we’re ready to go to sleep tonight, since they were loud and very animated.

Thursday night dinner was one of the best I’ve ever had in a hotel.  I imagine that it was much more upgraded due to it being the start of the weekend crowd, but you really couldn’t have asked for a better selection or tastier cooking.

Once we finished, we were treated to the sounds of a very talented bouzouki player who managed to engage those of us who came to spend an enjoyable evening listening to Greek music with a flair.  By 10 p.m., the magical evening came to an end, and, as we walked to our room, I was relieved to discover that the loud guests were nowhere to be found – at least not until 1 a.m., when their boisterous laughter and loud talking woke me up.

I immediately went outside to let them know that it was both inconsiderate and inappropriate to be making such a racket near the rooms where, undoubtedly, most people were sleeping.  Feeling as if I made no impact on them, I called the front desk to complain, and within, perhaps, five to six minutes, they left after someone must’ve dispersed them.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to fall back to sleep right away, so my hope was that I would be able to sleep a bit later to make up for the sleep I’d lost.  No such luck!  I was awakened at 7:30 to a group of carolers singing Happy Birthday to the guest across the room from ours.  Furious at the total lack of awareness of individuals who apparently think that if they’re up, you need to be as well, I got dressed and stormed into the lobby demanding to speak to the hotel manager.  Just then, I caught a glimpse of a man in a suit and asked who he was.  The woman at the front desk told me he was the CEO, and so I told her not to bother to call the manager as I preferred to speak to him.

He, without hesitation, took me into his office and listened intently while I relayed what had happened both at night and in the morning.  I assured him that, until then, we had definitely decided to return to Milos and that everything was sheer perfection.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a large staff at any other hotel, all making sure that the grounds, facilities and rooms were kept in pristine condition at all times.  I also told him that the food was superb and that access to the beach was second to none.  However, having said all that, I told him I was leaving with a bad taste in my mouth, and that was a pity for this gem of a hotel.

What happened next was the reason I will continue to go back to this hotel.

While he explained that he, nor any of the other staff, was in a position to educate rude and thoughtless guests, he did say that the measure of a good hotel is how quickly a complaint is handled, and with that I could not argue.  He then gave me his business card and promised to compensate us on our next visit by offering their upgraded room which has a private pool.  He also invited me to have a complimentary spa treatment before leaving, of which I took advantage.

I have come to the conclusion that it’s more advantageous to book in the beginning of the week as opposed to mid-week which merges into the weekend, undoubtedly, the busiest time to come.  I also know that incidents such as this one will, invariably happen even at the best of hotels.  However, the key to being able to recommend this particular hotel to others is how well the management responded to the complaint.  In my case, they passed with flying colors, and that is why Milos will still be my gem hotel in the Dead Sea!

About the Author
A former Jerusalem elementary and middle-school principal and the granddaughter of European Jews who arrived in the US before the Holocaust. Making Aliyah in 1993, she is retired and now lives in the center of the country with her husband.