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“Never again...”

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InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Kfardebian
Reviewed January 30, 2012

Extremely disappointed at this hotel, so much so - I am still here and feel the need to get this off my chest.

Let me start with a positive however - the food is absolutely excellent. I have not had one bad meal here. Positives over...

The price. Admittedly, we were a last minute booking, so were thankful to get a room. We arrived at the weekend and seen how busy this hotel was. So were not really too bothered about paying a higher price. However, come Sunday the place is DEAD! And it is completely unacceptable that they would even consider charging the same rate during the week. Especially for the shoebox room we have been given.

The service - rude, very few English speakers, unhelpful, bad manners and they just don't care about what you want/need/request.

The ski slope. So excited was I to be on my first ski holiday... My first go up the slope and I had to wait 45 minutes around rude, pushing people to get onto the drag lift (as no chair lift was open - which made no sense as every other chair lift in the Mzaar resort was). When I approached one of the lift "attendants" about doing something about the organisation if the queue. He laughed, shrugged his shoulders and said "what should I do." uhhh, your job...? In addition, the entrance to the drag lift was on a downward slope meaning the huge crowd of pushing people were just crashing in and on top of each other. Including kids, who were getting hurt... Still, the attendants did not care... I eventually made it to the lift to where I noticed the attendant issuing the drag lifts had to bang to have this released. As my drag lift pulled away, he banged the pole which the lower right into my head. Leaving me knocked out, with a 3 inch bump and graze on my head. Complete disaster...

The ski lifts never seem to operate during the week and I certainly will not get on their drag lift again with the incompetent people that run it. So every day I have to walk to the main Mzaar resort, despite having booked this hotel for it's convenient location to the entry of the slope.

Everything about the leisure facilities in the hotel is inconvenient. The heated swimming pool is freezing cold, there are limited changing facilities by the pool, no lockers, the sauna is In The spa (basement of the hotel)' the jacuzzi u have to pay for...

The wi-fi? Firstly it wasn't working for the first 2 days, hotel staff didn't know or care when it would be working again. Then, when it did start to work? 5 dollars for half an hour or 35 dollars for a day. Absolute joke to be charged at such a ridiculous rate! In every 5 star establishment I've ever stayed in, this is complimentary. Oh, and it logs itself out every few minutes.

Im also injured from skiing yesterday and was pushed over the edge earlier today when a bumbling staff member told me the lobby was closed. Why? No idea... But I was sitting quietly on my ipad when i got asked to leave as it was closing. Now have to sit in my shoe box of a room. Might I add, it's 11am.

Nothing about the hotel is 5 star. The hotel itself is nice, but 4 star quality, never 5. I highly would urge people give this place a miss. There are lots of lovely self catering apartments near by which I would absolutely use next time.

Oh, and the ski slope doesn't give out maps to the slopes! And they don't really care about giving u some sort of idea how to get around. So good luck with getting round the slopes if u do come...

Not worth the money. Bad service all round. Poor facilities.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Debra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 - 211 of 242 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2012

Even if you are not checked into here, after a few hours on Mzaar's pistes, make time to relax at the bar or in one of the restaurants.
Whilst the barmen are not specifically trained in cocktails, they went to great lengths to find out how to make what I wanted, and the result was pretty good!
The breakfast buffet is a good option for a hearty breakfast before you hit the slopes.

Room Tip: The higher floors have the best view over the mountains and your balcony doesn't get snowed in!
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Captain_Condor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2012

There is no denying that this hotel has the perfect location, right at the foot of the mountain with a lift leaving from the hotel but the service leaves a lot to be desired.

On arrival we were greated by the valets who promptly empty your boot and zoom off in your car before you can even turn around! (this service is charged for daily even if they aren't moving your car!) Your bags disappear through a door and you are shown to reception which was extremely busy. We waited for at least half an hour at the desk before being seen only to be told that check-in was not until 3pm, this however didn't annoy us as much as some of the other groups of people checking in some of which had young children and were not too happy about having to wait around in the smoke filled lobby.

When we finally got to our room we were under-whelmed, a fairly average small room. The bed was two singles pushed together which meant a very uncomfortable nights sleep. There were no glasses or cups in the room when we got there and we had to phone for someone to bring them only to find out that our mini-bar had not been restocked after the previous occupants had vacated. Tiles in the bathroom were grotty with mouldy grout, this is not a hard thing to correct and certainly not expected in any hotel let alone a 5 star!!

Restaurants in the hotel are average, staff are grumpy and not too keen to approach you and offer you anything and when you do ask for something it seems like an inconvenience.

The only plus from this hotel is the spa, I had a very good neck and shoulder massage and facial apres ski, very helpful and friendly therapists, the girl who did my massage even gave me advice on stretching for my neck problems.

We want to return to, and bring friends and family to ski in Lebanon but we definitely won't be staying here again. This hotel needs to up it's game, not what I would have expected from an Intercontinental!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Broners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterCon_Mzaar, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

Dear Broners,

We are very pleased that you liked the location of InterContinental Mzaar with its direct access to the skiing slopes.
We really appreciate your comments, InterContinental Mzaar always promises the highest guest satisfaction. The Check-in at Mzaar like all other hotels is at 3h in the afternoon unless an early check-in is requested and the room sizes are upon your request, romm types vary from standard to Royal suites.
It is true that the lobby is a smoking area, however our none smoking clients can enjoy a smoke free environment in other parts of the Lobby or at Les Airelles.Your bags dissapear into the luggage area for the bell boys to carry them to your room.
InterContinental Mzaar is a five star resort with a cozy casual rather than fancy decoration.
We would like to apologize for any incomode and would love to welcome you again at InterContinental Mzaar .
For any further information feel free to send an e-mail to sales@icmzaar.com.

Best Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

Although we didn't sleep at the hotel, went to 'Le Refuge' restaurant for lunch, the restaurant wasn't crowded yet service was horrible. We had to place our order 3 times and they managed to bring the wrong dishes. Food quality/freshness is certainly not reflective of a restaurant in a 5-star hotel.

Additionally, we went to the lobby for a coffee and there was noisy construction works in the middle of the day.

Lastly, the valet parking service was chaotic. We went to pick-up our car from the valet desk and they said that we should go all the way to the 2nd floor to request the car from there.

Overall - we were very disappointed.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank ADMNG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterCon_Mzaar, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 1, 2012

Dear Aalin and Diana G,

Thank you for taking the time to write a response about InterContinental Mzaar,
We would really like to appologize for the Inconveniences you faced at our hotel, although we have never heard any complaints before concerning the Lobby Bar and Le Refuge.
We assure you that your comments will be taken into consideration, and we hope next time we will be able to offer you the InterContinental Mzaar experience.
For any further information do not hesitate to mail us ; sales@icmzaar.com.

Best Regards!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2012

make sure you are placed at the main building as the rooms are bigger; try to rent the skis and the passes from Faraya or wardi. the Refuge restaurant is very good and the pasta is great.

Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
1  Thank Salah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterCon_Mzaar, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2012

Dear Halawis,

Your review is highly apreciated, of course the rooms in the main building are more spacious since they start from the premium category.
You can also rent your skis and passes from the hotel, so you dont have to drive to Jonction or Warde.
It was a pleasure to note that you loved Le Refuge, and that you were pleased with the food quality .
We do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to our hotel so that we can provide you with the true InterContinental Mzaar experience.

Best regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2011

We visited this hotel from 23rd 25th Dec. The hotel chalet we booked had so many problems that we wish we had booked Intercontinental.

Front office (Sawsan) was very busy as it was peak – Christmas season, but we asked for info and never were given rude replies or felt hurried so they can serve the next in line guest.

The lobby was very nicely decorated with Christmas colors and ornaments. The hotel was so warm that you can walk around in your bathing suit! This is a luxury consider it was snowing outside!
The facilities were nice – a big indoor heated swimming, games arcade room for bigger kids and a smaller kids room with soft padded area for younger children. There was also a movie theater that screens latest movies but entrance is separately charged at 12,000 per person. There was a 2 or 3 lane bowling alley. Bowling and games in arcade room are all charged separately. Everything seemed well maintained.

We checked in with Tavola restaurant manager Roland (who also manages Le Refuge) and despite a busy period, he and the chefs stood by us and took time to answer my husband’s questions about the food. We decided to return the next day for the Christmas eve dinner.

On Christmas eve, there was a team hotel staff who sang carols in English and Arabic. Santa was mobbed by the full house of kids. We had an enjoyable evening indulging in their Christmas eve dinner with a spread of turkey, roast duck, roast suckling pig, salmon, and all kinds of starters, soup and delicacies. Unfortunately, we had a small incident which could have resulted in a hospital visit. The F&B manager George Z came over and profusely apologized. I thought that it was very professional that he did not excuse himself and admitted somewhere along the kitchen line, someone must have made a mistake. Too often, 5 star hotels and resorts belittle guests’ complaints or too quickly find an excuse to cover up a legitimate fault. In this case, I applaud George for doing what he did and promptly took action to prevent any more possible mishaps.

There was live singing and a pianist in the restaurant we were dining. Roland also organized a small cake with a sparkler candle on it delivered to our table – to celebrate my husband’s birthday. The cake was beyond our expectation. Our waiter, Bassam from Les Chantelles (spelling) was careful and alert, but I wish he could downplay his hints for asking for a tip - not very nice, especially from a classy restaurant. We tipped him anyway – for the good evening we had.

On Christmas day, we returned to have lunch at Tavola. It was very nice sitting by the window and watched the snow. Our kids were surprised to see Santa, Minnie and other cartoon characters visiting children from restaurants to restaurants and bringing cheer and Christmas mood as they moved to the music of live Arabic drums and flutes playing familiar tunes. Waiter Pierre and Tony were prompt and polite in serving.

There were a 2 big rental shops at the basement-2 level. We recommend using Pic Blanc – around the back, near the parking lot exit. Most items from boots, sleds, gloves etc are US$7 a day. Ask for Mohamed or Abdul who will give you a discount if you rent more gear or for consecutive days. The other ski shop owner, Mitchelle, also owns an outfit in Mzaarville chalet, near the Jonction slope. Don’t use them if you want a good rate. Full of garbage talk. Also their gear were much older and used and less selection than Pic Blanc’s.
From the ski shop area, an elevator takes you to the level where hotel guests can ski in and ski out. Too bad ski station hasn’t opened yet at that time (not enough snow).

The hotel is self-contained. Although many guests staying there used the hotel’s transport or taxi from Beirut thus are limited to spending their time only in the hotel. We ended up even ordering food to go from Tavola. Food quality was alright. The gnocci was yummy!

I happened to see an empty unit (the family suite - about USD$535+ tax per night). It was generous size, with a sofa bed and some suites has a view. Finishing seemed standard. I feel this is overpriced but I guess this is because they are the only 5 star resort in town. Bear in mind after paying for your room, everything else is extra $ plus taxes, (from movie theater, games room, food, drinks etc), also like all 5 star establishments, for a glass of wine here, you can afford a full bottle elsewhere.

We didn’t experience any service issues and contrary, was well taken care of by senior management staff. I wished I had been more opened minded about the poor reviews I read earlier that deterred my booking of this hotel. But then again, I didn’t check-in which means my experience as an in-house guest may have been different.

If you don’t mind the fat price tags you can enjoy a great time here as it has just about everything you need. There isn’t much to do except skiing but if you are a beginner skier, you can spend just so much time on the slopes, than maybe you may want a break doing something else. For a family, it is ideal especially for the convenience. The pool (if it is operating!) is a very nice option if weather is bad. We didn’t swim there but I saw lot of kids in the pool.

We would returned Faraya hopefully soon but we would consider staying here on our next visit perhaps if we can get a better rate.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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4  Thank jinshui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterCon_Mzaar, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2012

Dear "Jinshui",

Thank you for taking the time to write this complimentary review about your recent stay at the InterContinental Mzaar.
It was a pleasure to note that you were pleased with our rooms, the quality of service provided by our colleagues as well as the various features of our residence .. I am glad you had the chance to dine in La Tavola and was also pleased to note that you enjoyed our Christmas eve dinner . Your comments will surely be shared with the rest of the team and appreciated.
I do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back to our residence .

Feel free to contact us anytime; sales@icmzaar.com

Best regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2011

Never again!! This place calls itself a 5 star?? for what, indifferent attitude at the reception. Non responsive to complaints. This is the 3rd time I stay at this hotel and the 3 times were disappointing. Exapmles of the many issues we faced: 1. Pool closed for reparations, 2. Game room closed. 3. Ping Pong: We asked for ping pong rackets to play on THEIR ping pong table, we were told someone downstairs would give them to us. Once downstairs, there was no one there, we called the reception we were told someone would be right down, 15 minutes later we went back up to the reception to see what was the hold up. no one had moved. Then a waiter from the restaurant was sent with us, but of course he did not know where anything was so he was searching. Finally we got the rackets but there was no ball.

Anyway we gave up on the idea of ping pong and went back to the reception to find out why this lack of service and this bad attitude, the answer we were given is that it's low season!!!! WHAT????? what kind of 5 star gives such an answer.

Upon check out I asked for a comment card and was told they no longer have those, we have to fill them out online. I then asked for the General Manager's name and email and was given the guest relations email which honestly I didn't bother contacting.

I have to admit tho that the waiters in the restaurants were very nice and helpful...

Needless to say a chain like Intercontinental should not be categorizing this Hotel as a 5 star. Never again!!!! By the way there are many hotels nearby that are cheaper, cuter and more professional in treating their guests.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank michmoch11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InterCon_Mzaar, Public Relations Manager at InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 11, 2012

Dear "Michmoch",

We greatly appreciate you taking the time to give your opinion about our hotel and staff.

We would to apologize for the impression you had concerning our hotel , and would like you to know that we strive that every guest gets the best experience in our property.

Rest assured that the safety of our guests is our number one priority.
Feel free to contact us anytime ; sales@icmzaar.com

Best Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa

Address: Ouyoun El Simane, Kfardebian, Lebanon
Phone Number:
Location: Lebanon > Mount Lebanon Governorate > Kfardebian
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Ski-In / Ski-Out Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Kfardebian
Price Range: $157 - $402 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 140
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amid the peaks of Mount Lebanon, InterContinental Mountain Resort & Spa, Mzaar is a family-friendly getaway offering year-round recreation. Skiing, snowmobiling, climbing, hiking, biking, rafting and ATV ing join a long list of sightseeing musts such as the Fagra ruins, the Jeita Grotto, the Phoenician temple and the famed Casino du Liban. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Mzaar Mountain Hotel Kfardebian
Intercontinental Mzaar Mountain Resort And Spa
InterContinental Mzaar Mountain Resort & Spa Lebanon/Kfardebian

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