I booked this hotel as it was the same location of the wedding that brought me to Beirut. It's attached to a shopping center and near many business locations. As I do, a short bullet list will give you the gist and more description will follow:
-Very charming and welcoming customer service.
-Quiet at night
-Technical difficulties due to power outages (they might need a better generator or transfer switch).
-DISCLAIMER: I didn't complain enough (I have no doubt they would have fixed my problems if I spoke up)
-Windows that open to let in fresh air (That's really nice!)
-I expected a bit more for the price I paid
Arriving at the hotel (the lobby of which looks like a storefront in a shopping centre), I was greeted with warmth and recognition. They had retained all of my details of my reservation (made through their corporate website) and all went smoothly. Any further encounter with the staff of the hotel, concierge, laundry, housekeeping and room service, were of the same vein. Everyone treated me as a family guest rather than a customer. I don't know if it's a Lebanon thing but each staff member I encountered took a bit of time to relate as a person. I frequently felt as if I was staying with friends or family rather than a hotel.
I heard that, in order to sleep in Beirut, one needs to bring earplugs. I left in a hurry and neglected to bring mine (I usually travel with them). As it turns out, I didn't need them very much. I spent much of my time out and about until the wee hours of the morning, frequently going to bed at 4 or 5 am (I'll be working night shifts when I get home from this trip so this is "part of the plan"). Even so, I was not awakened by noises inside or outside the hotel. I slept very well. For a hotel, that means a lot.
Sections of Beirut often lose power. This happened several times during my stay (& about 8 times during the wedding I attended) and the power to my room would go out for a bit. This wasn't a problem in itself except that when the power came back ON, the television, which faces the bed, would come on completely, as if I had turned it on myself.
I don't watch television and to be woken up after only 2-3 hours of sleep by a bright shining and blaring television is not at all pleasant. Furthermore, no matter what I set my thermostat to, it would blow arctic air out of the vent. I could set the thermo to 27C and a few hours later I'd be chattering my teeth and the room would read at 16C. I guessed that it was a consequence of all the power spikes that happen every day.
Now, let me explain my DISCLAIMER: I didn't contact the front desk or anyone about these problems. Honestly, for me, they were not enough of a nuisance to invest the time to get them fixed. the weather was mild enough to allow me to shut off the AC from time to time and, as a shift worker in emergency response for 20 years, I'm used to having my sleep interrupted. However, based on my interactions with the rest of the staff, I felt they would have sorted my problems out right away. In fact, on my first night, I couldn't turn OFF the television. I called the desk and a technician was at my door in less than 5 minutes.
I love fresh air. It was often lovely to open my room window and get a fresh breeze and hear the waves crashing in the distance. Hermetically sealed hotels always give me the creeps.
I booked this hotel without really shopping around. I chose it because: 1. It was where the wedding was held, 2. I was a rewards cardholder and 3. I was too busy/lazy/preoccupied to do any research. Though I'm not completely dissatisfied overall, my friends who came for the same wedding got similar experiences at other hotels for much less money. Thinking back to my stays in other countries at other Holiday Inns, I've paid a bit less in more expensive countries for the same hotel.
This is a fine hotel with a couple good restaurants and a LOVELY bar/lounge. It's also in a part of Beirut that is relatively quiet, even on the weekends. It's a bit on the pricey end of the price vs. value scale for a solo or vacation traveler but the hospitality and service I found here makes all the difference.
A non-smoking room really is a non-smoking room.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 19, 2012
Dear Michael C,
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Greetings from Holiday Inn Beirut-Dunes!
Thank you for you recent stay at the Holiday Inn Beirut-Dunes hotel and for taking the time to post this review and share your experience on TripAdvisor.
Congratulations to the couple who got married and we sincerely hope it was a great wedding.
The Holiday Inn Beirut-Dunes management is glad having such great team members who are enthusiastic about work so they can meet all your expectations.
We are delighted to know that you enjoyed a good night sleep, though, we apologize for the inconvenience that took place with lose of power and the thermostat. We would have wanted for you to contact us in order to fix these problems to make it a more pleasant stay for you in our hotel.
It is a great pleasure knowing that you enjoyed the Escapade restaurant and the VIP Lounge in our property.
We look forward to welcome you back soon to Holiday Inn Beirut-Dunes.
In the mean time, stay connected with us on daily basis trough twitter@HIBeirutDunes and trough our Facebook page: fb.me/HolidayInnBeirutDunes
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.