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“Worst Service, cannot be an intercon chain”
Review of Phoenicia Hotel

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Phoenicia Hotel
Ranked #3 of 117 Hotels in Beirut
Certificate of Excellence
Dubai
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Worst Service, cannot be an intercon chain”
Reviewed June 26, 2009

i have visited intercon hotels in Jeddah, Egypt, Australia, Singapore, and most of their other hotels such as crown and holiday inn. I can safely say, and definitely if intercon service managers make a surprise visit there, that by far it is the worst service hotel in the chain, i am so disappointed because I’m an intercon fan and fiercely argue with anyone if they comment negatively. the reason is that every intercon hotel i have stayed in have treated me as an old friend coming back and making me feel warm with a big smile on my face. When you arrive to Phoenicia expect to be treated like someone whose coming to a train station, buying a ticket, and then shiped to your carriage. The reception greeted me like some cranky government worker who wouldnt care less if i like it or not. i had the nerves to give him my gold membership and oh boy i had nerves. He took it, looked at it, shakes his head and said '"OK, and so ...what do you need..What for .." no joking this was the reply. I had to explain to him that please consider the membership for an upgrade and input the number (although i had already called in advance to inform them and got the same response). So to be on the safe side i gave it again and he had to input it as obviously it wasn’t. As you all guessed, yes no upgrade to club, no upgrade to high floors, not even the usual greeting card in the room. Sadly the room had a box TV which annoys me in 5 star hotels who are too cheap to upgrade their technology. Internet connection, forget it. It is expensive with the slowest connection in the middle east. A cold reception for a cold stay. My entire stay felt like im in some institutional apartment block, no one greets you or smiles. I guess the hotel was in fact, and as some on commented earlier, made for rich wealthy Arabs who come here for certain "pleasures" and honest , respectable people are just not welcomed. I love intercon and will continue to belive it, i just dont trust the people running Phoenicia. They’re bringing in the dollars but blemishing the beautiful intercon name.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sam24Dubai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
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English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2009

Although I generally enjoyed my room at the Phoenicia I was very disappointed by the service at the hotel.
First of all, it seems that the hotel business is entirely geared toward Gulf tourists. Front desk and concierge service as a result towards a European was poor, presumably because the tips are assumed to be lower (?). They seemed like they couldn't be bothered to do anything.
The hotel is very busy for those of you looking for peace and quiet and/or a "service-oriented" hotel stay at a smaller hotel like the Albergo or even the Commodore.
The hotel lobby and restaurants are filled with an intolerable amount of cigarette and cigar (!) smoke. For those of you coming from Europe it is a bit suffocating at times. The hotel could do a better job at ventilation in the common areas. I've done my share of traveling but this was particularly bad. Even my pillows smelled of cigarette smoke in a non-smoking room.
BEWARE when asking for a taxi from the bellhops. I asked several times for non-hotel taxis and each time was brought to unofficial taxis who then claimed to be hotel taxis and charged the hotel rate. Presumably they are paying the bellhops a commission. Unacceptable for a five-star hotel. After the second time I confronted them and was all but threatened for saying anything...
Internet prices are ridiculous at $30+/day.
Never again.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank paestum70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
114 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2009

Checked out of the Radisson (see my review) and moved into the Inter Con. Everything is 5 stars about this hotel, from service, the rooms, the bed, TV, bars, bathroom and restaurants. It also is the social hub of all of Beirut. I highly recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PDX16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
814 reviews
113 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 382 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2009

The hotel is located right near the sea with great views all around. When in the room you think you could be anywhere in Europe, as you have all the mod coms and lots of TV channel not to get bored. However when downstairs you really get a flavor of the place - lots of functions, gatherings with 'les locales' throwing you jealous looks and inspecting you from up to down, ha ha. Be prepared to see hundreds of people jogging early in the morning near the sea, in their traditional clothing - this put a huge smile on my face.

If you are the adventurous type you can go in the mountains towards Broumana or further east towards the Syrian border if in mood for some snow or north. For great shopping, Hamra street has some nice stuff or go towards Kaslik, where the night life really is.

  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TERRAvelista
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level Contributor
35 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2009

This is one of those whinging reviews that risks turning into a diatribe and tends to be rated as 'unhelpful'. But please bear with me. Overall the Intercontinental Phoenicia is a good if rather expensive hotel, with many good facilities and eating options, but I had two bad service experiences that left me determined not to return (indeed, I've since slid back to the Movenpick). I've rated it three out of five - it would have merited a four on most criteria, except for the terrible service.

The somewhat maddening (but fascinating) nature of Beirut is reflected in its hotels. Probably the city's most luxurious, the ICH Phoenicia has most of the five star facilities you'd hope for - a pool, gym, spa, good choice of restaurants, thick carpets, delicious fresh bakery products at breakfast. But the (first) room I stayed in, one of the lowest level ones, was very small and had a view of the still-derelict Holiday Inn and the a construction site next door.

First customer service problem: despite booking well in advance, confirming and re-confirming the need for a non-smoking room (of which there are two floors in the hotel), and arriving promptly I was allocated a smoking room. This is a bit of a no-go for me given the lengths to which I'd gone to organise it. After prolonged discussion with the front desk I was promised (note, promised) that I would be moved to a non-smoking room next day. At 8am I called Instant Service and told the reception desk that I was packed and ready to move. When returning at 9pm I discovered nothing had been done. A lengthy conversation with the manager got nowhere - he didn't believe the promise that had been made, and gave all sorts of useless excuses - until I exclaimed that shame had been brought on this hotel, yes, a strong word but one that I really felt. I was then moved to a room that at least had opening windows. although on checkout the bill included items taken from the minibar by the first occupant who clearly didn't like the room either and had also moved! Throughout the whole affair the one excellent piece of service came from a French hospitality graduate who took expressed what I felt was genuine concern. Rant one over.

Rant two: taxi booked the previous night for a trip to the airport in the morning. And reconfirmed with concierge. And still not arrived 45 minutes later than when due. Finally the hotel provided a limousine service, but it was mightily close to not making my flight. Which would have meant another night in the Phoenicia. Which would not have been good.

So, I care not whether you think my rants helpful or unhelpful, but that was my disappointing experience with this hotel. Your experience may vary. But I didn't go back on subsequent trips to the city, and that may be all you need to know.

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank getdown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, NC USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2009

I stayed here for three nights in December. It is a very nice hotel and in the middle of it all. The room that I was in was small for US standards but very nice. You can walk from the hotel to the shopping areas. However the Hotel provide a shuttle but I never took it. The Hotel is always busy and many people from the Gulf countries come here on vacation. I loved the spa and the indoor swimming pool. It is not a cheap Hotel but it is worth it.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank krayan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2009

We arrived at the InterCon Phoenicia after staying a few nights in the InterCon Mzaar (ski hotel). After being disappointed at the one in Mzaar, I was very impressed with the Phoenicia. It is big, grand and has a wonderful city vibe. The lobby is always busy, but it adds to the experience. The rooms are rather small, but they are stylish and pleasant to stay in. The bathroom was nice (L'Occitane toiletries), although the shower head was oddly placed. The fruit basket and box of Lebanese sweets are a nice touch, and we found ordering room service was quick and easy.

We were most impressed by the breakfast buffet. It's HUGE- and it has almost everything you could want (both western and Lebanese breakfasts). We loved the fresh fruit and juices, and the bread being baked as you walk in is a special touch.

We found the staff to be friendly, helpful and accommodating.

The only thing that we found to be disappointing was the hotel taxi service. It seems that the taxis don't run on the meter, and we were shocked when the taxi asked for $15 to take us less than a mile from the hotel (we were with a baby, and it was raining outside). When we asked the concierge, they said that this fare is normal because it's "the Phoenicia". Apparently if we had hailed a taxi away from the hotel, we would have paid $4, although the return taxi also asked for $15 to take us back to the hotel after dinner.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank IstanbulExpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phoenicia Hotel

Property: Phoenicia Hotel
Address: PO Box 11, Minet El Hosn, Beirut 846, Lebanon
Phone Number:
Location: Lebanon > Beirut
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Beirut
#3 Luxury Hotel in Beirut
#3 Romantic Hotel in Beirut
#4 Family Hotel in Beirut
#6 Business Hotel in Beirut
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Phoenicia Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 446
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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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Beirut

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