Note: This post was written in 2014.
After spending a few days in Amman we went to Madaba. We had a booked a car from our hotel in Madaba to drive us there from Amman. We waited about 45 minutes before Richard, the driver who picked us up from the airport, convinced us that the other driver wasn’t coming and he took us instead.
The Mariam Hotel was 40 JOD ($57) a night. The room was clean and comfortable.
Breakfast was included with our stay, and was served on the floor above us. Starting at about 1 AM every night we could hear them moving chairs and tables around for a few hours. The breakfast was ok, but after the delicious Jordanian-style breakfasts at the Pasha Hotel in Amman, this felt a little lacking. (Especially when one of the pancakes I tried to eat bested me at cutting it.)
The morning staff (a woman) was very pleasant and helpful. The man that worked the afternoon/evening shift was totally rude and not helpful. I’m sure he deals with plenty of obnoxious tourists, but we gave him no cause to act that way to us.
The Mariam Hotel also has a restaurant so we decided to try it the first night. It was incredibly disappointing. The food was all American items like hamburgers and french fries, and it took quite awhile to get our food. They brought it in from outside (we think the only kitchen was in the breakfast area in a completely different part of the hotel), and my friend joked that it tasted exactly how he expected McDonald’s in Jordan to taste.
We decided to eat only breakfast at the hotel, and were not disappointed with this decision. We found a little falafel shop with ever-changing prices that was ridiculously cheap and delicious nonetheless. In fact, all the shops had super cheap food, and it was all amazing.
Hint: don’t get the weird pickle-ish things that they always want to add to your sandwiches. They don’t taste anything like any pickle you’ve ever had, and that’s not a good thing.
I don’t think it’s possible to find anything but mind-blowing sweets in Jordan.
We mostly ate in our hotel rooms for the trip because people smoke heavily everywhere, there are few places to actually sit down, and we were terrified of getting food poisoning. The added bonus was that we could take pictures of our food without looking like crazy people.