CHECK OTHER REVIEWS FOR THIS PLACE:
Cooking at Phoenicia: In the Kitchen with Chef Frank Page and the Team
Breakfast at Amethyste: Cooking with Chefs Frank & Rabih
Sitting on the sofa after an hour of intense Indian massage, enjoying the sunset from my room up on the 12th floor, I laid back cherishing the moment, to share with you a long yet beautiful day of enjoyment at The Phoenicia Intercontinental Beirut. Invited alongside four journalists coming all the way from London, I stayed for the night to discover what the hotel has to offer...
Been here, done that like almost anyone in Lebanon. Who hasn’t been to Cafe Mondo or to the lobby of this iconic hotel standing still at Beirut’s waterfront entrance for as long as we could remember? I’ve seen photos in black and white when the sea used to reach the hotel walls probably half a century ago, a landmark where many got married, millions resided, and thousands closed business deals.
I like it here, one of Lebanon’s most generous breakfasts I’ve visited several times already, the famous Amethyst pool and sunset bar, the superb view from the fine-dining restaurant called “Eau de Vie” and the famous ballroom where the country’s most celebrated weddings are organized.
You’re welcomed by the valet, a majordomo takes over, the security checks before taking the stairs up to the reception. Everyone smiles, the vibes are positive and fresh... I was upgraded to a deluxe room with sea view, and yes, that’s a great room indeed. I’ll tell you an honest secret; I’m really not sure if they do this for everyone cause I feel special when at The Phoenicia. I’m pampered like a king, enjoy the smiles of people around me, the waiters, the management, and staff... that attention followed me to the Spa today where Malek made me feel at home, and Sally gave me one hell of a good Indian massage that boosted me for a year!
Let’s rewind to this morning... breakfast at Mosaic is served every morning and hosts a handful of live stations all freshly refilled. Eggs, salads, foul, manakish, croissants and fruits among many others. What I like here is the staff, a welcoming and professional staff, the high ceiling, the light coming from all sides and of course the view. Hundreds of food choices which will fill your plate with any item you might crave.
After breakfast, we took a tour around downtown Beirut, the mosque, church and old buildings showing foreign journalists the history of ancient Beirut. Even though I reside thirty minutes from Beirut, I never ceased to fall in love with this city every time I visit it like a tourist. Walking around Beirut, breathing Beirut, feeling Beirut puts me in a good mood relaxing all my senses. Sitting on this couch up on the 12th floor for the last hour or so, watching the sun disappear and Zaytunay bay wears its night robe, I wished time stopped for a minute.
Check out the gallery below for photos of the presidential suite, the royal suite, and apartments.
A vast and warm room, a breathtaking view, a relaxing bed, a refreshing bathroom loaded with amenities, a working desk and small sitting area, it feels like home away from home. That view makes all the difference; it makes you fall in love with Lebanon no matter what!
During my stay at The Phoenicia, I had the chance to meet the Kitchen brigade. Chef Franck Page and his team have taken the traditional cuisine of the hotel to another level adding a touch of fusion and modernism to it. Welcomed at Eau de Vie we’ve tasted Lebanese food, and the same versions prepared the fine-dining way; innovative and enjoyable, I spent a pleasant time in the kitchen.
A relaxing stay, an enjoyable experience... great food and a welcome staff, the iconic Phoenicia still represents Lebanon's hospitality know-how.