Hotel Review: Nomads Hotel and Hostel Petra, Jordan
This January, when COVID-19 had been heard of but not experienced, I went to Jordan for a week. I was looking for winter sun but got my first snow of the winter. Despite the loess than favourable weather, I fulfilled a long-held dream by visiting Petra.
You may have heard that a single entry ticket to Petra cost anything between 60 and 90 Euro, and that Petra is the cash cow of Jordan tourism. Do not expect much from Wadi Musa, the village near the ancient site of Petra. But if you only visit Jordan on a day trip, that cost is even higher. So it definitely pays to spend at least one night in Wadi Musa.
You can certainly see the main sights of Petra in day, but the winter weather can make a hash of your sightseeing. Flashh floods are common, and it pays to keep an eye on the weather forecast. The scenery of Petra is also beautiful, and if you are sure-footed, I recommend an extra day or two to walk some of Petras trails.
Since adding Petra to my itinerary bumped up the cost, I really wanted to stay somewhere comfy and clean that would allow me to see Petra comfortably in a day, but not add to the already high cost of my Petra trip.
I finally settled on a private room at Nomads, a small independent hotel and hostel with a competitive pricing policy and offering private rooms for under 30 Euro.
Nomads is a new hotel with a bright modern interior close to Petra Visitor Centre and the entrance to ancient Petra. The building was a hotel in a previous incarnation. It’s not going to win prices for architecture. However you may see the cheesy faux-Treasury facade as quite endearing. To give it another edge in the taste battle, someone painted a mural of Jack Sparrow on its side – I mean, why not?
Location of Nomads Hotel and Hostel Petra
Nomads is not far from Petra in metres. Except it is located on a really steep hill! Forget climbing up there with luggage. Walking down to visit Petra gave my middle-aged knees a really good workout.
But worry not, there are official and inofficial taxis at the bottom of the hill to take you back. A ride anywhere in Petra/Wadi Musa should cost no more than 3JOD. Apart from the hotel, there really isn’t much around. Going tinto Wadi Musa proper involved going down a very steep hill and up a less steep hill, and going to visit the restaurants in Tourist street leaves you with one steep hill…
So, location isn’t amazing unless you are a mountain goat. But it’s quiet, and if you are really too tired to go into Wadi Musa, you can take breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
My Room at Nomads Hotel and Hostel
I arrived at lunchtime by taxi but could not yet check in. Taking advantage of the dry weather, with a less than favourtable forecast for the next few days, I put my case in the luggage room and walked to the Visitir Centre and on to ancient Petra. When I returned at sunset, my room was finally ready.
My room was a private double. It was sparingly decorated, but had everything I needed.
The bed and mattress were really comfortable.
Bed linen – super nice, four-star nice and cosy. By that I mean, real cotton, no stains and no threadbare areas. Did I care that the nightstands were piled up breeze blocks? Noo! I wanted my comfy clean bed, and I got it!
What is also important is sufficient heating in winter, and there were no worries at this hotel. Despite bitter cold and snow outside, rooms and communal areas were toasty and warm. Individual aircondition units also meant that you could regulate temperature to a certain degree.
Also note the huge TV. Perhaps not a bad idea as there really is not much going on at night in Wadi Musa. There was a kettle, enough filtered water.. tea and coffee… just enough for a comfortable sleep!
As for the bathroom, it was perfectly adequate, clean, no leaks, clean towels, hot water. For less than 30 Euro in a super touristy hotspot? I think that’s excellent value.
I met up with some fellow travellers for dinner in Wadi Musa, so I didn’t get to try the hotels dinner menu. If you do, they charge about 7 or 8JOD and include vegetarian options.
Breakfast was included in the room rate and was the only thing that was pretty terrible. When I got to the breakfast room, a sad leftover smorgasboard was waiting. I had even gotten up quite early – but not early enough! The restaurant occupies the top floor and has really nice views all round, and they started to nice it up. And I can only hope they continue to make this potentially great space a bit more welcoming by serving some decent breakfast.
I managed to find a few dregs of coffee somewhere, and there was some astonishingly good hummus and some cucumber slices. That would do – hummus for breakfast is actually quite nice and filling.
As the public bus schedule to Aqaba is somewhat mysterious and not very reliable, I spent nearly an hour in the airy lounge while waiting to be picked up. Wifi was really strong, both in the lounge and in the bedroom, and again, the lounge had snacks and soft drinks for sale as well as free drinking water. A nice place to while away an hour or two.
After a day of walking around Petra with a freshly sprained ankle, I was really glad to find great local advice from the friendly youths working in reception. They called me taxis, advised me on appropriate pricing, and booked me onto a local bus to Aqaba the next day – with hotel pick-up!
Why stay at the Nomads Hotel when visiting Petra?
IN not-exactly-value-for-money Wadi Musa, the Nomads Hotel is a fresh breath of air. Clean, close to ancient Petra, and with good staff who will give you grreat local advice and plan your onward journey. All this can be had for under 30 Euro in low season, which is a total bargain in Petra, believe me!
Other recommended hotels
If you stay in Wadi Musa, be aware that it is a steep downhill walk from the village to the Petra Visitor Centre and Entrance. Only the hotels in “Tourist Street”, immediately next to the Visitor Centre, offer that easy access to the Petra site.
If you wish to stay close to the Site of Petra in a decent hotel for under 100 Euro a night, you could try the Petra Boutique Hotel. It has ultramodern interior and panoramic views of the Visitor Centre but it books really quickly.
My friends stayed in Wadi Musa proper near the central roundabout at the Al Rashid Hotel, a homely One-star and loved it.
Want to stay somewhere really classy? Well, of you might want to consider the Petra Marriott Hotel. At much less than the Movenpick, you get a secluded location, super service and five-star rooms along with a spa and pool. The only catch – it’s a ten-minute drive from the Petra site but in stunning countryside.
Address: Touristic Street Wadi Musa, 71882, Jordan
Telephone: +962 3 215 7171
Hotel Website: https://nomads-hotel-petra.business.site
I paid 26 Euro for a budget double room (single occupancy) including breakfast but with added tax (7Euro) in January 2020 using Booking.com. I highly recommend them – I booked all my accommodation in Jordan with them. Due to Coronavirus restrictions (and an immensely increased workload), I had to cancel some trips in March, and their free cancellation option made cancelling and rescheduling trips totally easy and trouble-free.
Disclosure: This trip was entirely self funded. I will only review and recommend places that I have stayed in myself or that I have at least visited. You can trust me for the whole, unbiased truth. I have received no monetary or non-monetary rewards for linking aside from some affiliate links. In this case, this post contains some affiliate links to Booking.com. This means that I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you book through the affiliate links. More details on my affiliate link policy are here.