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“Beirut - WOW! Le Gray - one of the best hospitality experiences ever!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Le Gray Beirut

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Le Gray Beirut
Ranked #1 of 117 Hotels in Beirut
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Beirut - WOW! Le Gray - one of the best hospitality experiences ever!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2010

On a very short notice my partner and I decided to get away to recharge our batteries and booked a week to Beirut.

Getting There::
We flew to Beirut ZRH to CDG and then BEY. We flew Air France and MEA to Beirut. Warning when you fly Air France (City Jet) from ZRH to CDG you land at 2G at CDG which is in the middle of nowhere and you must wait for a bus to take you to the main part of the airport. Depending on traffic this can take 10 to 20 minutes plus waiting time. Recommend to avoid CDG and fly direct from GV (3HRS & 30 minutes). MEA was good, very friendly, young staff. A full lunch is offered on the outbound flight and full breakfast on return flight.- nothing special. MEA does offer individual TV screens with a selection of movies, games, and TV shows in English and French. Please note leg room is not as much as on Swiss.

Arrival:
We hold Swiss and UK passports and contrary to the Lonely Planet and the Government websites you do NOT need VISA! It use to be you received one on arrival for $20 but this has been removed. Security and Passport was relatively quick and easy. There are cash machines outside arrivals and upstairs at departure including Bank which is open 7 days a week. Note you can not take more than 300,000 LLR at one time. TAXIS....they will ask for $45 to take you from the Airport to the City. Do NOT PAY THIS! We were told ahead of time to pay $20-25. It took us 4 or 5 taxis drivers to get this price.

TRAFFIC:
Be prepared for the ride of your life. Not for the faint hearted!

LE GRAY:
One of the best experiences I have encountered traveling around the world!!! The staff was really fantastic! From the moment we arrived they were looking after us like VIP.

Checkin
Welcoming, friendly, quick and efficient. Lisa the concierge came over while we were checking in and introduced herself. This was great because we had no time to prepare for this trip and hate to admit it but we knew nothing about Beirut nor Lebanon. Receptionist escorted us to our room and explained the room

Highlights of hotel:

1. Executive King
Very very spacious. Can not find fault with guest rooms. Fantastic view, 2 small balconies, nice walk in closet, Swiss coffee machine, bathroom was great and spacious. Free Wifi throughout the hotel, comp newspaper, comp water, fresh flowers and fruit in room, EU adaptors built in.

2. Rooftop pool. Not the biggest pool but one of the most spectacular rooftop pools I have seen with great views. They have around 12 sunchairs and the sun disappeared (to the otherside of the building) around 1530 hrs when we were visiting in late March but they say in summer the sun will be out till 1700hrs. Great views over city and ocean only the sound of Beirut's traffic takes away from the beauty.

3. Cigar Bar on the 6th floor...Paradise-a real oasis one could almost forget you are in the middle of Beirut. Beautifully landscaped roof top indoor and outdoor Cigar bar.

4. Restaurants: beautiful looking restaurant on 6th floor next to Cigar bar - never ate there and upscale cafe on the lobby level. Good service and very nice food.

5. Gym & Spa: One of the best hotel gyms I have seen. Staff very helpful. Personal trainers on site. Spa seemed busy. Had quick tour - relaxation room, sauna, and 5 treatment rooms.

6. Staff: Lisa, Andre Firas (head concierge) were ABSOLUTELY GREAT and really made out visit to Beirut. They got us into the best restaurants, bars as well as planned our day trips. They were brilliant!!

What we did not realise is the Beirut is a place for restaurant lovers and nightlife! Here are some of our favorite places we visited during our stay in Beirut:

Restaurants: first things first. if you arrive before 2130 you will be the only one in the restaurants. Make booking for 2130.

Abdel Wahab: traditional Lebonese food (Damascus Road - 10 minute walk from hotel)

Le Parilla: Argentina Steak house. Live pianist everynight. great service great food. One of our favorites! (10 minute walk from hotel)

La Piazza: Authentic italian two story restaurant very open. They have live Opera music twice a week. The guy is really good and make the entire experience!! Damascus road - 10 minute walk from hotel.

La Bodeguit del Medio: Cuban restaurant and bar. Always busy next to La Piazza. We only drank there so cant tell you how the food is.

Maki: Very authentic and great Sushi and Maki!!! Cold and chic inside but when it fills up it becomes warmer and more inviting. You go more for the food.

Centrale: Grech cuisine in extraordinary architecture. Near La Parilla restaurant. ten minute walk from hotel.

Margarita: small simple italian pizzeria with one of the best pizzas we have ever tasted!!! Great hostess and friendly service. Quick and simple. Located on Gemmayzeh 10 minute walk from hotel.

Bars:
Music Hall: One of a kind, fantastic evening. be prepared for a long evening and lots of alcohol. Ten minute walk form hotel in what looks like an old theatre. Tables, red velvet seating for 6 to 8 people, upper level more tables and bar. All in all I would say around 500 to 700 people inside. $55 per head charge. Which means if there are two of you - you can have 3 drinks each or two bottles of wine or champagne of bottle of your favorite spirit and mixers. Ever 20 minutes a new and different live music acts comes on from Opera, to traditional Lebanese music, cuban, current pop, 80s music, and jazz. Starts at 10am and goes till 4am. By 1am everyone was standing and dancing. Very posh crowd, well dressed, age of guests ranging form 30s to 60s.

Pacifico: colonial house turned into gastro dining and bar. On quite side street. Seating inside and outside. stylish crowd but comfortable surroundings.

Felix: The ultimate who's who bar, chic, uber trendy, stylish, great people watching bar. small. Just look at the cars parked outside and that will give you a clue to the people inside.

Element: trendy small restaurant and bar with huge screen playing recent concerts. Indoor and outdoor seating. big bar area nice people

Gemmayzeh Street has millions of small restaurants bars all small holding no more than 20 people each. A sure bet for a nice evening. These restaurants on this street do not take reservations. ten minute walk away from hotel.

Places to visit: The central business district. Once destroyed during the war has recently been completely rebuilt. Around the corner from the hotel 2 minute walk. Lots of exclusive luxury shopping ( you name it...Jimmy Choo, LV, Prado, DG, Stella McCarthy and and and! Plus restaurants! comes to life in the evening. They even have a Zara, Massino Dutti and H & M.

The Corniche

Pigeons rocks

Beach Clubs


Outside of Beirut: Have the hotel get you a driver for the day for $150 (includes driver, petrol, and car)

Baalbek (1hr and 30 minutes drive)
Zahle (vineyards) (45 minute drive)
Byblos (pretty harbour village with Souk) 30-40 minutes from Beirut)
Lady Lebonon (great view of Beirut)
Eddi Sands for beach experience next to Byblos.

Other hotels:
Four Seasons: big, new tall high rise hotel on Corniche. More expensive than Le Gray. Very contemporary

Two Intercontinental Hotels near Four Seasons. Intercontis are old building but redone inside. Very classic and traditional very rich in decor. Phoenica is very big and Le Vendome is a boutique hotel but very old and ugly from oustdie and not great view.

Prefer Le Gray (87 rooms) and will return! Staff, location, service, comfort and services make it a world class hotel.

We felt completely safe walking around the hotel at any time of the day. Note there are Lebanese Army men on every corner (just about) with guns.

Beirut was like one big catwalk. Beautiful peopled and with a lot of style! They really dress up. Sometimes one could forget you were in the Middle East, parts of the city look very similar to Paris. But then you hear the mosques and see some of the buildings left from the war with bullet holes.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheTraveller65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
belgium
Level Contributor
100 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 409 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2010

Central and lively location in Solidere and close to the pretty Gemmayze quarter.

Modern and stylish decoration. Large rooms and bathrooms, beautifully decorated and very comfortable: coffee machine with fresh grains instead of pods, tea bags from Kusmi, Ren toiletries, TV above the bath, bath- and bedlinen from Porthault.

Service is superb, especially from the staff at the reception, who really go out of their way to please the guests.

Food at the Cafe is good and very expensive by local standards. Breakfast is not a buffet, which I prefer, but a la carte. Quality is good, though (excellent fruit bread), and the setting is very pleasant.

A few negatives: most rooms face the square or a busy street and there is some noise despite the double glazing (the alternative is a room in the side street facing the Virgin store but the view is bad and there is still the loud and long call for prayers from the mosque at night), the rooftop pool is oddly shaped and unfit for laps, the fitness room is in the basement instead of on a high floor with a view.

The hotel is very smoker friendly: only one non smoking floor out of six, no space for non smokers in the Cafe, smoking allowed during breakfast. Although smoking in Lebanon is pervasive, there is a debate about introducing a partial smoking ban and I had expected better from a modern European luxury hotel.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank topsmed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
amman
Level Contributor
132 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2010

Very nice and warm hotel. Very kind staff and creative management and excellent location. Rooms are large and spacious with all facilities available. Food is delicious and rate though found expensive by some yet it is worth it. Only deficiency is the TV and satellite programs which are limited while the gym is small but well equipped.
This is one of my best hotels.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dureid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wolverhampton
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2010

great hotel right in the middle of town. great limousine service to / from the airport (even in the middle of the night). very attentive staff. rooms are huge and very luxurious. air con works a treat, and very quiet.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WolverhamptonBessie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 January 2010

Really nice looking hotel - very funky and modern and quite a good location BUT the street traffic noise is dreadful -there doesnt seem to be any double glazing on the windows. Staff generally very nice and helpful.....The top bar with the fab views was very expensive....$14US for a Pepsi....way way too much....

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SallyNSW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LeGrayBeirut, General Manager at Le Gray Beirut, responded to this review, 1 October 2011
Dear SallyNSW,

Greetings from Le Gray !

Thank you for staying with us in January 2010 and for posting your comments on Trip Advisor. I just wanted to report back to you on the two main issues you mentioned back then.

With regards to the noise caused by the traffic, I confirmed to you that we had double glaze windows. After consulting with accousctic experts, it was recommended to change the window seals to block off the noise from the street. I am happy to report that all window seals of our rooms and suites were replaced with a drastic improvement in noise reduction as a result. We did not register any single complaint in the last year since this has been done.

As fas as the price of the beverages is concerned, all prices were reviewed so that they are now competitive with any free standing bar in Beirut.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Christophe Hazebrouck
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2010

Was in Beirut for a wedding and stayed in the hotel as we always enjoyed the sister hotel in London. The hotel had only opened a matter of weeks and work was still being carried out to some parts of the hotel so we were aware in advance of this.
Bedrooms large, with good quiet a/c, a great bed & a spacious bathroom.Service was very efficient and we used room service, laundry ,Spa etc and found it very friendly & professional.
Dining in the rooftop restaurant was excellent with a very wide choice of food and an extensive wine list. Really enjoyed the cigar lounge where I think it is the only country you can still smoke inside public buildings.
Because it was November weather was cool but the pool on the roof was a great place to have a light breakfast or morning coffee.I could imagine it being well used in the summer months.The location is brilliant being in the real centre of Beirut and the bars had a real buzz about them.
Loved the art in the building and the fantastic, friendly, professional staff.

Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank dundrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 January 2010

Finally an hotel away from the madding crowds and yet in the thick of it.

Checking in was a breeze and then you take those glass lifts operated only with your room keycard to take you to the innards of the elegant building.

The room are very spacious and designed with a modern Soho look flanked with two small balconies.

You are not going to trip onto all the guest at this hotel which is a blessing compared with "see me see you" of other hotels. And yet the name of the hotel itself, in a city like Beirut, seems to be the buzz address to be staying in.

Room service is fast and efficient and what is not available on the menu is made to magically appear. I missed trying the Pool but I think it would be a nice place in hotter month to sip a glass of bubbly in this infinity pool.

The official Lobby is not open yet as well as shops..etc and I was fortunate not to see any nannies and kids running around.

All in all, t'was a very nice stay.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Al0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Le Gray Beirut

Property: Le Gray Beirut
Address: Martyrs' Square | Central Beirut District, Beirut 20113312, Lebanon
Phone Number:
Region: Lebanon > Beirut
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Beirut
#1 Spa Hotel in Beirut
#4 Romantic Hotel in Beirut
#14 Business Hotel in Beirut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:5 star — Le Gray Beirut 5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Gray, one of the finest five-star hotels in Beirut, is made up of 87 contemporary rooms and suites spread out over four floors. Many of the rooms can be interconnected for those travelling together. The architecture by Australian Kevin Dash ensures all rooms and suites are soaked in Mediterranean sun, while the central floor-to-ceiling, glass-topped atrium means the building is filled with light from the inside out. The contemporary, clutter-free interior design is by Mary Fox Linton in close collaboration with creator, Gordon Campbell Gray. The palette includes pastel shades of blue, sage green or lilac, with dark grey tile and mosaic bathrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Gray Beirut Hotel Beirut

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