This must be by far my worst five star experience. Where do I start? The room was a rat hole. L iterally. It was claustrophobic. It also had a great view over the beleaguered Holiday Inn. It’s true I wanted to see the Holiday Inn during my stay in Beirut but never in a million years did I think I’d actually be forced to look at it morning, noon and night.
The morning after my arrival, I requested info on sightseeing tours, whereby I was given a prospectus of a tour company to browse and decide of a tour to go on. I was then instructed to contact the Avis office inside the hotel so they’d make all the arrangements. Which I did, only unfortunately there were no available tours for the next five days or so. No suggestion of any other companies, nothing. It was like “OK, sorry, that’s it. Do what you want now”. I was left to fend on my own. I ended up spending a couple of hours browsing the Internet, finding other tour companies, and actually made the phone calls and the arrangements myself.
During my four-night stay, toiletries in my room were not replenished once. I’m not kidding. NOT ONCE. What’s more, there was a half empty small shampoo bottle left over at the side of the bathtub from the previous guest. I decided to leave it there on purpose to see what housekeeping would do, but as I expected nobody did anything and the bottle remained there for the duration of my stay.
On the third day, I came back late in the evening only to find that the room was not done. In fact, it wasn’t “not done”: fresh towels were supplied, the dust bin was emptied but was left open in the middle of the bathroom. It was actually like someone had started doing the room, at some point they were called away, forgot to come back and finish it, and the whole thing was a huge mess.
Upon checking out, I asked reception staff to credit my “Miles & More” card, whereby the clerk spent about 10 minutes trying to convince me that that wasn’t possible, saying Intercontinental Hotels don’t do that, he could only credit points to the “Priority Club” card (the Interconti card). It was only after a lady employee came by, heard what was going on, took over and settled the whole thing. In general, staff were too self-absorbed, with a very “No, Can’t do” attitude to serve you properly.
The coup de grace came when I was departing the hotel, whereupon due to some sort of “confusion”, my suitcase was not loaded onto my taxi! Half way to where I was going, the taxi driver got a call on his mobile and then started saying “Sac. Hotel”. I went “What sac hotel?”. He kept saying “Sac. Sac”. I was like “Sac? What sac??”. “Shanta!! Shanta!!”. And then I figured, OK, there’s a problem with my suitcase. We had to go back and get it. Thank got I wasn’t on my way to the airport, or in a hurry or something.
Honestly, I couldn’t wait to get out of this hotel. Which I actually did, because when I decided to extend my stay the thought of remaining at the Phoenicia never crossed my mind. Instead I moved to the Moevenpick. And what a wise choice that was.
- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Beirut
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea with its majesty and grandeur, Phoenicia InterContinental stands proudly at the heart of Beirut, a few minutes from the city’s business and banking district, the major shopping areas and the vibrant downtown. ... more less
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