I always like to be a positive as possible. So I will start with those first.
A friend and I planned a spur of the moment trip to Beirut and we balked at the mega bucks charged by the likes of the four Seasons et al. Having stayed in a Radisson recently, I decided to give it a chance again.
In the plus column, the hotel's location is fabulous, in the in Al Meisseyah area of Beirut, walking distance to the Corniche and the fabulous downtown.
Also, the staff are on the whole helpful and charming. The rates are also excellent for the location. While the TV channel selection is limited, business rooms have a DVD player as well as a comfy couch.
The tiny but cosy business lounge is staffed by one of the most cheerful hotel staff members I have come across. Nothing was a problem for her and she was quick to offer a drink or food.
The security and bell staff were helpful to the point of dealing with Beirut's assertive taxi drivers on my behalf and on several occasions, they organized for hotel cars to come and pick me up to ensure I was OK
The bar staff were also attentive and charming and kudos to managers Nancy and Fawaz who were very helpful and responsive.
By the way, the hotel's indoor pool is just stunning...check it out if you can.
On the negative side, I encountered a couple of problems with the hotel. One, my friend and I travelled separately and her airport transfer didn't materialize. That could have been confusion on both sides but instead the reservations agent chose to argue the toss which I found a little annoying.
Meanwhile, when I checked in I was shown to my "business class"room, which was situated at the far end of the seventh floor. Dark and dare I say a little dank, the "terrace" was practically unusable. Meanwhile, the bathroom, oh the bathroom. A strange set up, the bath and toilet were separate to the vanity set up. After a long day traveling, I went to run a bath and discovered the bathtub base was coated in brown dirt.
To their credit after my phone call, management acted fast, and a big thank you to Fawaz one of the managers, who swiftly moved me to a another, more spacious room which appeased me. I even got a fruit basket.
The food at the hotel, aside from the plentiful breakfast buffet, was well below average. My friend ordered a biryani, had it delivered warm around the edges, stone cold in the center. She asked for it to be reheated, same thing. She sent it back suggesting they needed a new microwave. Other attempts at food were as unsuccessful, including below average nachos and burgers.
The hotel also has issues with air-conditioning. The public areas are hot to the pint of uncomfortable and I had to ask for the aircon in my room to be made cooler. Not sure they actually responded to that.
Also, like others in the chain, they have those lights in public areas that turn on only when they sense someone is there. Which is fine for the environment but I was regularly wandering around in the dark corridors, not so pleasant for a single woman.
Honestly, aside from the food and the issue with my first room, regardless of my subjective personal experience and experienced a few glitches, if you are after a decent business hotel in a great location, this is worth a thought.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Radisson BLU Martinez Hotel is located in the city center, a few minutes walking from all the city attractions. The business district is nearby as is the lively Hamra area. Ideally located close to Lebanon's historical sites of natural beauty and 10 km from Beirut International airport. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Martinez Hotel, Beirut Hotel Beirut
- Radisson Beirut
- Beirut Radisson