BEST FOR: Great dining and yacht-watching in the marina just outside the front door
DON’T MISS: Asian fusion cuisine and cocktails by the highest rooftop pool in the city
PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room start at $310.
CONTACT: Four Seasons Beirut, 1418 Professor Wafic Sinno Ave., Minet El Hosn, Beirut, Lebanon. Phone +961-1-761-000. fourseasons.com/beirut
BACKGROUND Many guests are big fans of the hotel’s airport arrival service, which welcomes guests at the gate and ushers them through immigration to their luxury car transfer. Once in downtown Beirut, you can’t miss this impressive and iconic skyscraper on the city’s growing skyline. You will see it from near and far.
WHERE IS IT? With an exceptional location near the waterfront, this is the city’s pre-eminent luxury address and has been so for some time. The location is within walking distance to many popular bars and cafes. It’s not far from Rafic Hariri Mosque and the city’s most iconic shopping.
WHAT”S IT LIKE? Once you enter, you will find a refined atmosphere with greeters at the entrance directing visitors toward reception or the bar and lounge. In a luxury hotel there is no excuse for anything short of perfection, and the experience here comes as close as you can get in this town. The hotel’s interior décor is the handiwork of celebrated designer Pierre-Yves Rochon.
ROOMS The 230 beautifully decorated rooms and suites are refined, with soft carpeting and rich fabrics. Among the best features in most accommodations are the furnished balconies with exceptional views overlooking the downtown cityscape or the waterfront marina. Even those that look out the back of the hotel offer entertaining vistas of various neighborhoods. Nearly a quarter of the accommodations here are suites including the Presidential unit, a favorite of visiting celebrities and diplomats. Pillowtop bedding with thick duvets and a pillow menu are the perfect escape from jetlag. Expect modern perks like free wireless Internet, flat-screen cable TVs, work desks with easy-access power outlets, and bedside speaker phones and power outlets. Full-length mirrors, connecting rooms, and desks that double as dining tables with chairs come standard. Bathrooms are bright with soaking tubs and glass shower stalls stocked with L’Occitane toiletries.
FOOD AND DRINK The Grill is a celebrated favorite for its Lebanese mezze spreads and steakhouse menu, although if you’re looking for a creative mix of regional cuisine, head to the more casual Arabesque with its indoor and outdoor seating. Mezze spreads are complemented with a cigar and shisha menu. Light meals and cocktails are always available in the lobby lounge while Level 26 serves up light fare and cocktails by the rooftop pool.
MEETINGS Free wireless Internet works throughout the hotel with plenty of space to accommodate groups for meetings and events.
LEISURE The fitness center is modern with the latest equipment. The hotel boasts the city’s highest rooftop pool, but unfortunately it was closed for renovation when I was there. However the popular bar and lounge was open attracting plenty of locals for late-night entertainment. Spa services are a huge draw here, too, with eight treatment rooms, and locals stop in for beauty and massage treatments.
VERDICT Enjoy traditional Lebanese hospitality at this familiar luxury brand known for solid comfort, upscale service and security.