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“Warm, helpful owner and staff, excellent budget accommodation”
Review of Talal Hotel

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Talal Hotel
Ranked #6 of 47 Beirut B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Hard to know what to make of that last review, titled "Bad Experience". It seems fake, because the one "fact" he mentions is simply not true. There are private rooms available with bathroom attached, and there are rooms available with shared bathroom. All rooms without their own bathroom have a shared bathroom on the same floor, shared by a maximum of six guests. (In other words, it's simply not the case that you have to knock on a private room to share that room's bathroom! ridiculous) The showers work well, and I experienced plenty of hot water.
I agree completely with the other recent review, by Lorraine S. I reserved only two nights from the U.S. After one night, I could tell that I would want to stay longer. The owner accommodated me generously. My first room was a private one, for $40, with bathroom, on the 3rd floor. As other writers have observed, the 3rd floor is the most quiet. My second room was another private one with bathroom, which the owner let me have for less than the advertised price, because he was going out of his way to keep me happy. Because it was down a short hall from reception, there was more noise; but once around 10:30 p.m. I asked the staff to turn down the TV, and they instantly did. Then when I told the owner that I'd be around for another few nights, and I didn't mind a room with a shared bath, I was given a room for $30 on the second floor, with a large common room. Because of exuberant late-night conversation in that room among young guests, the owner (without my asking) invited them to continue their conversation in a large area in the basement of the building--which they did without complaint. As Lorraine S. says, this place attracts a wide variety of very interesting people, ranging from 20-somethings to 60-somethings. I met folks from Canada, France, Australia, Sri Lanka, Germany, Spain. The owner introduced me to a friend of his who became my driver and guide for several days. The staff is hard-working and friendly, even charming. .. . I had the same experience as Lorraine S., in that after a few days I was a friend more than a boarder, and I really felt sad to leave them after 9 days. . . Oh, and the internet is the speediest I've found in just about any hotel or motel at any price in the U.S.

Room Tip: As others have said, 3rd floor is quietest. But the owner, who lives on-site, does not tolerate lou...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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4  Thank LosAngelesTraveler89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 - 91 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 26 February 2012

This Hostel is really terrible, rooms were dirty, depressing and they smell bad. the room didn't have a bathroom, i had to knock on the other room and ask them to use the bathroom, i couldn't even take a shower there! internet connection was horrible.
AVOID staying there during the weekends, as you won't be able to sleep during the night, there's a famous club downstairs which plays very loud techno music all night.

Room Tip: Choose a room with a bathroom, otherwise, you won't be able to use any bathroom at all.
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  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank anas_assad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2012

Hotel Talal MADE our month in Lebanon - we found the staff helpful, friendly and interesting - they gave us great advice, made us feel welcome, and we left feeling more like friends that customers. We spent many an evening playing chess with them, drinking tea and discussing Beirut and its history - nights and conversations that have been the highlight of our year-long trip of travel. We also felt that the hotel attracts an interesting bunch of travellers - we made a lot of friends and met people who drop by every time they are in Beirut just to catch up with the family who own the hotel.

It is certainly true that the hotel itself is not fancy- it's a budget backpacker place and my first impression was not too good (probably because I was hot and bothered as it had taken me an hour to find the hotel)....however, the facilities (while they didn't look too shiny) all worked well - good showers, good kitchen, and comfy beds. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lorraine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2012

We stayed here twice in November; once for 7 nights and once for 2 nights in the double room with private bathroom near the reception area. We had an issue with our organised pick up at the airport. We waited 40 minutes for the driver after our flight cleared immigration but we couldn't find him and ended up getting a taxi to the hotel (watch out for the drivers there, they'll try and charge you up to USD40 for the 10 minute drive to town). The manager at the hotel claimed he was there so we either were waiting in the wrong spot or just missed him. Of course it was a bit of a deal for the manager but we just assumed they weren't coming.

Our stay was fine when there were other guests at the hotel but on the quieter nights (Monday and Tuesday), there was a fair congregation of staff and friends smoking and watching TV very loudly in the reception area until the wee hours of the night. We had ear plugs, which I would highly recommend because you also have the nightclub downstairs which pounds on a Friday/Saturday night. Other than the noise and the numerous staff and or friends who hung out in the reception area, we really enjoyed our stay at Talal's.

The location is great if you're after the restaurant and bar scene and it's within close walking distance to Charles Helou station for buses heading up north and shared taxis across to Syria. The room was basic but clean and we always had hot water (unlike all the other places we stayed at in Lebanon). The room was thoroughly cleaned and the sheets were changed every time we requested so. Given the cost of accommodation in Lebanon in general, and Beirut in particular, you won't get a better deal price wise than at Talal's. There aren't any hostels, or none that we came across anyway and most hotels are USD50 plus, even with an off season discount.

The free wi-fi was a bit on and off while we were there and we had particular problems using gmail. Most of the other guests were experiencing similar problems. The hostel does offer reasonably priced beer and other non-alcoholic drinks in its fridge and there is a balcony to enjoy a cold beer in the evenings. Just make sure you ring ahead to confirm the booking or your bed may be given away.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank clare_nz_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

I stayed here with some friends in November 2011... the staff and the service was terrible. Nothing much to say... the beds are not confortable... and is somehow not clean.

One of the staff kissed me in the neck when i was in the kitchen...and this was very very creepy.

In the middle of the night the owner kicked at the doors and shouted very loud disturbing and waking everyone! Just because he wanted to wake up a Libyan guy that arrived the day before... and he was closed himself in the room.

The owner threatened us to kick us out of the hotel in the middle of the night...he was very rude and weird....he even smelled at our plates after we had dinner and had washing them.

I absolutly dont recommend this Hotel for anyone, specially not for girls!!!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Mariejolie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

My friend and I stayed here last April for three nights. We knew it was not a fancy hotel, and could put up with the general state of things (blasting night club music next door, not super comfy beds).

I would like to warn you, however, of the staff. Fortunately, my friend and I had no personal experience with this, but two of the girls who were staying in the room adjacent told us they had woken up to one of the staff sitting at the food of their beds staring at them! And one of the girls said he woke her up with a hand massage. Furthermore, the owner is a bit...grumpy, and it's not always clear if he's joking or not. He's fairly bitter about the fact that he spends most of his waking (and some of his sleeping) hours here.

That being said, my friend and I thankfully had no such encounters, and it's hard to find such a cheap place in Beirut. For us, it was worth it so we could spend more money on the delicious cuisine, but if you can spring for a cleaner place with safer staff, I would do so..

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Anonymous F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2011

I stayed at this hostel for 5 days. The friendly staff really made my stay at the Talal Hotel enjoyable. The hotel is located in a great location close to downtown and just a 3 minute walk to Gemmayze (the only downside is you have to cross a highway to get there).

The rooms aren't fancy and quite basic but they are cheap. I always had hot water showers and the bathrooms were clean. There aren't many budget / backpacker options in Beirut so you can't really be picky, but the staff is really nice and will do their best to accomodate you. They also do laundry. Female dorms available. It's probably best to use their airport transfer as it would be difficult to find the hostel on your own, addresses are not often used in Beirut.

Room Tip: Rooms on the 1st (reception) floor tend to be noisier as it's closer to the common area. Request...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank nycgirl918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Talal Hotel

Address: Ave Charles Helou | Gemmayzeh, Beirut, Lebanon
Region: Lebanon > Beirut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 47 B&Bs / Inns in Beirut
Price Range: £12 - £30 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Talal Hotel 1*
Number of rooms: 20
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