CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
The Social Restaurant: Socialize While Eating Tasty and Creative Food
The Smallville Hotel: An Urban Lifestyle Design Hotel In Badaro
I've been to almost all the high-end hotels to tryout their breakfast. It was time to try out one of the more local hotels, SmallVille, that have been enjoying some buzz for being one of Lebanon’s trendiest hotels… The hotel in Badaro may not be related to any international chains but it is definitely one of the simplest and more attractive hotels in town.
In the heart of Badaro, just a few meters before reaching the National Museum, a tall modern building to the left stands tall amidst the area’s old buildings. The Smallville, the latest hotel to open in Beirut mixes luxury, simplicity and style in its urban design created to impress. The philosophy behind the birth of the Smallville hotel was to create a fun, engaging and memorable destination where stylish urbanites can congregate to relax, eat, drink, socialise, visit and live.
Look up and see a beautifully unique vintage chandelier. Look to your left and see a reception area where behind it stands a LED board with messages scrolling in red and to your right an interesting bar stands, before walking into the seating area where large sofa ooze comfort – along with the coffee tables covered with interesting details and books. I was impressed. I started walking around appreciating all the little architectural details constituting Smallville.
The last time I was here, I remember eating a good burger that left me impressed. Since then, I heard that the chef left and the menu has changed. I don't know what happened to the burger or anything else on the menu - at least not yet. But of course I will soon.
The Social’s design is interesting, innovative and diverse. I chose to sit at the restaurant, a cube hosting eight rectangular tables is created by long strips of yellow plexiglass making the space look cozy yet vast at the same time. I would access the restaurant from the lobby if I were you because the hotel’s architecture is worth having a look at.
The architectural notes:
- A tall building with character, which looks like a regular apartment building is not to be underestimated
- A glass automatic door opens facing three elevators and a reception to the left
- A carpet, at the entrance, is changed depending on the time of day: “Good Morning”, “Good afternoon”…
- A high ceiling at the entrance with a red carpet welcomes you proceeding the three elevators. Look up and see a vintage piece of design – a huge chandelier taken from the Meryland Hotel
- To the right a large and long lobby starting by a bar and ending by the Social cube restaurant
- Two yellow and one red carpet decorate the floor
- Three black sofas, one following the other fill the space with enough relaxing corners
- Six design chairs built of wood slices and brown leather are my favorite pieces of design
- I loved the idea of the cube. I call it the cube, because it looks like one, filling a space inside the hotel. Instead of having a restaurant in the heart of a Hotel’s lobby, this innovative design idea made them gain an additional area
- A long dessert buffet offers a wide choice of delicacies all day long. It’s worth trying: All you can eat for 20,000L.L/person
- Above the buffet, a LED screen displays messages and offers
With all the quirky and surreal design elements, this property is not just another hotel, but a hotel with a heart and soul and a project borne out of a love and its love story with Beirut seen through quirky and surreal eyes.
I came in for breakfast one day... and to start with breakfast at the SmallVille is...
I put three dots, as I don't have an answer for that since no one approached my table. As a first impression, you can't but notice the staff’s behavior. They need much more training... they seemed timid and unconfident.
Anyway, after asking around, I understood that breakfast in here is at $30, including an open buffet as well as eggs from the kitchen. They do have pancakes and waffles but I'm not sure if those are part of the deal or not. I sort of understood that the coffee was free, but not the cappuccino and other specialty drinks. It wasn’t clear to me…
“The Social” is fun and relaxed. With a red circular bar, lobby restaurant, Café Trottoir and outdoor hidden garden with its own exterior kitchen, wood burning oven, giant screen where film aficionados can attend outdoor screenings bringing the experience to life.
It was 10:54 am, breakfast was to be closed in 5 minutes, when I asked for some eggs, the kitchen staff could not prepare them as they were closing. So eggs and pancakes were not part of the deal today. But they were kind enough to deduct the price. They charged me $20 instead of $30 since I couldn't enjoy a full breakfast.
The choices at the buffet are wide and good value for money: Bread, cereals and dried fruits, a cheese platter, labneh, mini pastry bites, different muffins, freshly cut fruits, fool mdammas, cold cuts and good quality croissants and mini manakish. I was satisfied by the taste and quality of ingredients and wished again to have the opportunity to try the kitchen's full dishes, which would reveal the professionalism of the place.
I enjoyed the food, quality of ingredients as well as the freshly squeezed carrot juice.
This review may not be complete… it is to highlight a place where you can have an enjoyable breakfast in Beirut, in a beautiful setup, sitting inside or on the sidewalk to enjoy the vibes of the neighborhood that seems to be booming in many ways, Badaro.