I recently stayed at the Phoenicia for two weeks. All in all, it was everything you would expect from a five-star hotel: Attentive and professional service; a big and comfortable room and bed, a luxurious lobby, and -- best of all -- a very sumptuous breakfast (everything from Lebanese dishes like hummus and mutabel to a health station featuring granola and fresh fruit and another area with a chef presiding over made-to-order eggs). The room service menu, in contrast, was a bit overpriced and mediocre -- the fatouche rather small and tired-looking.
The hotel also has an excellent spa and gym, with sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and locker attendants who hand out heated towels.
The rooms are large and tastefully decorated and it is well worth splurging on one with a sea view. At a time when tensions are heating up in Lebanon and the region, the hotel -- located right across the street from where the former prime minister was assassinated -- has very good security (all cars are swept for explosives and there is an x-ray machine at the entrance).
Such measures instill confidence.
The pool area at the Phoenicia is generally a peaceful oasis, a varied scene of familes, shisha-smoking businessmen, European women in bikinis and veiled women from oil-rich Arab states, some of them barking a bit too loudly at their nannies (one for every child). The lifeguards were excellent and attentive. My main complaint was that there were not enough chaises-longues on some days -- an annoyance when you are paying top dollar for a hotel but something that can be easily rectified. Another challenge is that the hotel is sandwiched between several other high-rises, so the sun disappears around 4 pm. Better to arrive early. Younger people seeking a more lively pool scene can check out the Riviera Hotel Pool, about a five-minute taxi ride away,
The hotel hosts weddings and cocktail parties seemingly daily and it is fun to watch the glitterati of Beirut walk in and out in their lavish gowns. The hotel is very well located for walks along the sea -- as well as nearby Hamra, the downtown area with many bars and restaurants.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel to the discerning traveler seeking escape and luxury.
Splurge on a room with a view of the sea.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your detailed review and feedback on TripAdvisor. We always strive to meet and exceed our guest expectations so we are pleased to know that your enjoyed your stay at Phoenicia.
As for the inconvenience you encountered with the room service menu, we thank you for pointing it out and we would like to assure you that the matter has been communicated with the F&B manager and taken into consideration.
We are glad you enjoyed your stay and the diversity of environment within the hotel from the spa to the gym to Amethyste pool area; especially your feel of comfort and security as we are very keen regarding our Security precautions.
Finally, we would like to apologies for what it seemed to be a chaises-longues shortage, but in real we try not to overwhelm the swimming pool area, as it might probably wane the peaceful atmosphere that you actually pointed out. However the staff is ready to accommodate any request for additional places.
Thank you again for your staying and for your time spent in writing the review. We look forward to welcoming you again at Beirut and in particular Phoenicia Hotel.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.