Beirut’s Four Seasons is growing younger
Calling all chic Beirutis: the Four Seasons invites you to drop in this summer for poolside lounging, all-natural spa treatments and sunset cocktails that will make you want to stay forever.
The hotel has already wowed international travelers – this writer included – and now it’s your turn. Back in March, I tested the facilities and services and can happily report that everything, from the guestrooms to the spa treatments, from the traditional Lebanese breakfast to dinner in the Grill Room – truly earns its five-star rating.
The hotel’s crowning glory, however, is its rooftop deck that would merit 10 stars if such a rating existed. Soaring 26 stories above Beirut, “The Roof” boasts a panoramic view that encompasses the city, the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Stand up there at twilight, and you feel as if you’re floating in the sky. You won’t even need alcohol to feel a buzz, although if you wish to indulge in a cocktail or a chilled glass of white wine, go right ahead. For those who prefer a more natural high, there are fresh-fruit smoothies and Asian-inspired salads and satays.
A DJ keeps the mood laid-back from 7:30pm until the wee hours, and if you should find yourself too happy and relaxed at 2am to make the trip home, you can always try to check into one of the 230 guestrooms and suites. The Four Seasons is one of those properties that works around the clock to accommodate its visitors’ needs, so go ahead and book a room if one is available. You won’t regret it, especially if you secure a chamber with a view of the Big Blue, for nothing compares to waking up in the morning to the wide turquoise expanse of the Mediterranean.
Step out onto your private balcony, and greet the day wearing nothing but your fluffy Four Seasons bathrobe – the opaque glass walls on either side of your comfortably furnished balcony will protect your privacy from other guests (although perhaps not from the fishermen out at sea!).
Back inside, you can take your time getting ready for the day in your plush guestroom with its soothing cream, gold and black interior décor by Pierre-Yves Rochon, who also designed Joël Robuchon restaurants in Paris, Hong Kong and London, as well as a host of other Four Seasons properties. Every A-level amenity is provided, from flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi and iPod docks in the living quarters, to deep marble bathtubs and glass-walled showers in the expansive bathrooms. The rooms are so quiet and well-stocked, in fact, that you might be tempted to have breakfast in, but don’t do it – because you would miss the hotel’s fantastic Lebanese breakfast in the Grill Room.
I am still dreaming of the Grill Room’s fresh-baked mini manakish, local cheeses, creamy labneh and fresh-squeezed orange juice: what could be a better accompaniment to the morning paper than a Lebanese breakfast done just right? Did you just say French pastries? The hotel has those, too. In fact, the Grill Room’s breakfast buffet is so vast, you might find yourself needing a bit of morning exercise after your repas. But before you hit the beach – or The Roof’s swimming pool – be sure to stop in at the Four Seasons Spa for a bit of pre-swimsuit primping.
The spa features a host of treatments based on all-natural Australian Sodashi products. Opt for a detoxifying marine body wrap, a soothing mint therapy for the feet, a gentle facial or exfoliation with green tea salt – whichever treatment you choose, you’re sure to emerge feeling rejuvenated.
Rejuvenation: that’s exactly what a five-star hotel should deliver. And the Four Seasons Beirut does, on each of its 26 stories.
For reservations, tel. 01.761.000, www.fourseasons.com/beirut
By Julie Ann Getzlaff