After Beirut walking around Byblos aka Jbeil was reasonably less nerve wracking. I had booked the King George which was badly maintained and too far out so walked into the Canari de Byblos and for a few dollars more got another world. True, it's a 10-15mins walk from the souk but it's very handy for all sorts of things: cash machine out the front, shopping centre down the road with a great cafe Moka & More, Bou Khalil supermarket close by, grocery market for fresh fruit across the road and a few takeaway shops and patisseries along the way.
Breakfast was generous for room service (1 of 2 rooms booked into the hotel) and buffet was fine. Laundry service was what you expect from a 4 star plus and no problems using the phone for calls (unlike Jordan). Room was a good size with a few minor scrapes around the room but very good condition, cleaning was great - no hassle to get out if you want to sleep in and a nice bathroom. TV channels were also good for an english speaker. Staff were really good at exchanging money and the service was very friendly and helpful.
As for Jbeil itself, quite a lively place, good souk souvenir shopping, lots of bars and cafes; courtyard is lovely with a lot of variety for food from cheap to expensive plus there's a busker near the gate of the castle. Old Port has fabulous views in the evenings although restaurants are a bit expensive at this end of the town but in the town centre itself there's an amazing family style restaurant that does scrumptious shish tawook and the fruit cocktails are out of this world. Pizza Napoli around the back of the souk on the way to the Old Port is the best pizza in Lebanon - Beirutis drive up there just for pizza!!!
Visited the public beach which is way cheaper than visiting Edde Sands (USD$20 entry): LLB £3 for a sunlounger and then you can order beer, soft drinks, nargile and food brought to you. It's not really all that sandy but there's a simple little open style cafe that's good for every taste where you can sit in the shade and have fast food or full cafe style Lebanese food cheaply. They do jet ski hire and have a shower with changing room too.
Internet at the hotel was not a problem for me as I was travelling laptop free and there's an internet cafe at CD Master across from the souk which is in a small shopping arcade with a gym downstairs; a bit hard to find but cheap and helpful with good connection and printing facilities.
Had a great stay for about 8 nights at Canari de Byblos and wished I could've stayed in Jbeil for longer. Less frantic than Beirut and definitely going back for the festival next year.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of Byblos, overlooking the city and the Mediterranean sea, 50 luxurious rooms and suites with high standard international amenities at a walking distance from the city center. ... more less
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