Four Seasons Beirut is one of the luxury hotels leading the regeneration of Beirut’s flourishing downtown district. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains, the spectacular, glass-fronted Four Season Beirut already feels like an established part of the city’s luxury, international scene.
Inside, Four Seasons Beirut has a more ornate, historic feel with a unique blend of Chinese and Arab influences.
I noticed design similarities to Four Seasons London and later found out that both hotels have been designed by the prolific Pierre-Yves Rochon.
From the moment we arrived, the hotel staff anticipated our every wish and went out of their way to make our stay memorable.
As an indulgent treat, we were upgraded on arrival from a Deluxe Sea-View Room to a Four Seasons Room with a view of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains on the seventh floor.
Our room was very spacious, 549 sq.ft. to be exact, and was designed in an elegant contemporary style in soft beige and stone shades with light wood furnishings and touches of gold.
To make it feel as homely as possible, there was a large work space, an armchair and ottoman and a vanity table.
The sumptuous king-size bed was incredibly comfy and faced a huge 37 inch LCD satellite TV with over 60 international channels – perfect for relaxing at the end of the evening.
We were given a plate of delicious baklava and large bottle of mineral on arrival and a fresh fruit bowl every day. There was also a constant supply of mineral water next to our bed and in the bathroom.
Our balcony overlooked the marina and we had excellent views along the coastline. Downtown Beirut is a luxury developement in progress and despite numerous cranes and building works nearby, there was hardly any noise at all.
On the second evening, we ordered room service and ate on the balcony while watching an impromptu firework display over the marina – just magical!
The huge bathroom felt decadent yet homely and boasted a walk-in shower, a separate bath and double sinks, all carved from marble. I loved the antique gold floral wallpaper and the plentiful L’Occitane bath products – a reference to Beirut’s French heritage. There were stacks of towels and flannels and embroidered bathrobes and slippers to lounge around in.
In between the room and the bathroom was a dressing area with double wardrobe, shelf and drawer space and an area for our cases. The walk from the bathroom to the room was so much longer than any hotel I’ve experienced that I forgot about the dressing area and kept turning the corner into the wardrobe!
Four Seasons Beirut boasts the highest rooftop pool in the city and the views from the 26th floor are really spectacular. We were shown to the pool loungers and were given towels and bottles of mineral water. Staff came round the loungers with plates of melon chunks while we soaked up the sun and dipped in the pool and jacuzzi. It felt like absolute heaven and it was difficult to tear ourselves away from the pool scene to explore the city.
At night, the rooftop pool area becomes a cool rooftop bar with cocktails, champagne and Asian tapas. Our second evening was spent on the rooftop sipping Rose Mojitos and enjoying the breath-taking views.
The dining facilities at Four Seasons Beirut are unbeatable and you can enjoy traditional Lebanese and international dishes at any of the bars or at all hours with in-room dining.
On the first evening, we enjoyed a three-course meal at The Grill Room. We feasted on the most superb Charolais steak and experience Lebanese wine for the first time.
The Boulevard, located in the lobby, has the atmosphere of a Grand Cafe and serves light snacks, cakes and coffee throughout the day. The Bar is like a bijou jewel box, designed in seductive reds with stunning tassel chandeliers. You can smoke Cuban cigars or curl up in one of the nooks and enjoy a pre- or post-dinner cocktail.
Guests also have access to the business centre, the fitness suite with sauna and steam room and can book treatments at the spa, which uses Sodashi natural skincare products.
What makes Four Seasons Beirut stand out is the immaculate service. Whenever we went to the reception or spoke to staff on the phone, they greeted me warmly by name. As I was tweeting throughout my stay, the staff anticipated our every wish and offered to make reservations for us.
The real cherry on the cake came on our last day when I tweeted to a friend that I would try to bring back some sumac (a traditional Middle Eastern spice) if I could find a market on time. A pouch was delivered to my room from the Concierge, filled with sumac! It was touching that the staff wanted to give us the best possible memories of Beirut and offered such a personal gift.
Apart from the pedestrian areas in the centre of town, Beirut isn’t particularly geared towards walking. Four Seasons Beirut help you avoid negotiating the busy roads with a complimentary limo service. I wish I’d remembered this when attempting to cross four lanes of high-speed traffic in heels…after a huge dinner…and a bottle of Champagne!
Four Seasons Beirut is an exceptional hotel that combines Middle Eastern hospitality with international comforts. It is a symbol of new Beirut and the city’s imminent return to being the Middle East’s most exciting destination.
Chérie City was a guest of Four Seasons Beirut and bmi British Midland International.
All photos by Chérie City.
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