Review: Mosaic City Hotel Madaba Jordan

Filed Under: Hotels

If you look at a map of Jordan, it becomes immediately apparent that the airport isn’t particularly close to the hotels of central Amman, and that most of the things you’ll want to see are South of the airport anyway.

Based on that and some recommendations from others, we decided to save Amman for the end of our trip, and instead booked our first night in the town of Madaba.


Even in the middle of the night with poor directions the drive to Madaba took less time than driving into Amman, so I think this was a good choice. Similarly, if you are planning on going to the Dead Sea, I would also consider heading there immediately versus dallying in Amman.

The GPS that came with our rental car was useless, so after a quick and accidental spin through a refugee camp we switched to Google Maps. That worked much better, and we arrived in Madaba around 2:00AM without incident.

The Mosaic City Hotel is a small family-run operation, so it was locked for the night when we arrived. An older gentleman rushed to the door as we approached, told us where to park, and helped us check in. He was welcoming and friendly, and when he started having issues with his credit card machine he sent us off to bed and said we could figure out payment in the morning. Very sweet.

The hotel in general was lightly furnished, but the hallway to the guest rooms did have some Bedouin pieces, along with some framed photos of places in Jordan.

Mosaic City Hotel lobby

We were assigned a room on the (European) first floor. In addition to a small elevator, there was an open stairwell with beautiful iron-work.

Mosaic City Hotel stairway

The common areas were sparse, but immaculately clean. The hallways were a little dark when we arrived, but the windows provided tons of light in the daytime.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

In keeping with the theme (Madaba is famous for its mosaics — more on those tomorrow), even the number panel was a mosaic.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

I had booked our room through for $55 + tax, which was the same price as booking direct. Room choices basically consist of single, double, or triple, and all rates include parking and breakfast.

We were given room 117, a “double” room in the center of the building.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The room was actually decently-sized, and immaculate. The room opened to a short hallway, with a closet and bathroom before the main room.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The woodwork was well-cared for, and the tile wasn’t gritty at all (always impressive in a desert country).

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The bed doesn’t look terribly welcoming, but the linens were of a decent quality, and were clean.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

They also had that lovely soft-yet-crisp texture that I associate with line-drying, which felt cozy. The bed was quite firm (not Japanese-firm, just Northern European-firm), which I prefer, so I slept very well until the nearby mosque started calling adhan.

I suppose it is worth noting that one of the bedside lamps didn’t work.

Across from the bed was a small desk, a cabinet with a tiny TV, and a bench for luggage.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

There was also a small mini-bar with drinks, snacks, and a pricey bottle of  local wine.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The bathroom was super basic, but functional enough.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The toilet did have a note asking guests not to put paper in the toilet, which isn’t that unusual in countries with more feeble infrastructure (but is unusual for OMAAT-reviewed hotels). Also, and this gets into potentially dangerous comment territory, but the obligatory sprayer was on the left, which was a first for me.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The shower was sorta terrible (4/10 on my Patented Shower Rating Scale), but it was functional, which is really what matters most at 2:30 in the morning.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

There were even a few shower amenities (again in a mosaic dish).

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

Breakfast started at 6AM, which seemed perfect since our first stop of the day opened at 7AM. We wanted to beat any potential crowds or tour groups, so decided to sleep for a few hours, have coffee, and head out for some sightseeing, then come back for breakfast.

This worked well, and when we came back I was able to snap some pics of the exterior.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The rooms on the front of the hotel had larger balconies, with those on the sides (like ours) being just large enough to stand on.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

Conveniently, we had a view of our car in the adjacent parking lot. 😉

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

In the daylight we also had a much better view of the entrance and lobby, which were clean, though lightly furnished.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

There was a fun mosaic, however, along with a Christmas tree!

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

The breakfast room was adjacent to the lobby, in a high-ceilinged space with large windows.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

The breakfast itself was surprisingly expansive — I was expecting much more of a Continental style, but there were hot eggs and ful medames, along with the expected breads, yogurts, fruits, meats, and cheeses. I was impressed by the variety, all things considered.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba breakfast

One thing to be aware of is that this hotel seems to be popular with tour groups. There was a large group from France at the hotel during our stay, and we mostly managed to miss each other, but if you were trying to have breakfast or check-out at the same time as a group it could be hectic.

Mosaic City Hotel Madaba

Bottom line

Overall, the Mosaic City Hotel in Madaba suited our purposes perfectly. The hotel was convenient to the airport, positioned us well for the things we wanted to see the following day, and was super clean.

That’s all I really need for a short hotel stay, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this hotel in similar circumstances. Madaba has some interesting historical sites, and is conveniently located to places like Mt. Nebo, so the town in general could be a good base for a night or two.

  1. Great looking breakfast, especially at a $55 rate. Certainly tough to beat. And as long as it’s clean and comfortable it’s perfectly suitable for short stays.
    Thanks Tiffany.

  2. I stayed in that hotel 5 years ago and remembered it to be an amazing value. Madaba and the entire country are marvelous. Driving was quite tough though but we managed to find out way with the assistance of friendly locals. Enjoy your stay!!

  3. We stayed at Mosaic City Hotel last December, also as a way-station between airport and Petra. Your assessment is spot on: basic hotel, perfectly clean and welcoming. They have friendly family-run service that larger hotels try to emulate. You did not mention the ground-floor gift shoppe and discreet bar — again, both seemingly run by family members. Encourage staying there to support such an enterprise!

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