Beirut’s Riviera upgrades to add swish new premium floor

The Riviera Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon recently completed a major upgrade which included a special floor with 23 premium rooms and suites including the Riviera Suite and Premium suite, the Premium Lounge and a private reception. TTN spoke to director of sales and marketing Rita Aprat Faddoul to find out about the facilities...

How much did the rooms upgrade cost?
We have renovated the rooms and corridors which cost millions of dollars to upgrade the image and the presence of Riviera in the market.

Is this the end of the latest round of refurbishments including the pool area etc which were done in the last few years?
This is phase two of the renovation plan after the beach lounge renovation which was done back in 2008, we then worked on the rooms and corridors in the same process and have just finished the last floor, since we are renovating on a floor by floor basis. The lobby, the restaurants and the ballrooms will also be renovated in the same style.

How was business in 2010 and how are bookings looking for 2011?
2010 was a great year for Lebanon tourism, 2011 is starting low but I am sure it will pick up in the coming months and we are looking forward to a great summer.

Is tourism being affected by the negative international press or are people continuing to visit Lebanon regardless?
I can say that tourism is affected by the press, but the people who want to come to Lebanon for business mainly are still visiting the country. As for tourism it’s a bit slower than expected but hopefully things will improve.

What is the main target market for the Riviera?
The Riviera is a mixture between business and leisure since we have both business facilities as well the beach area and we are open eight months a year.

What are the hotel’s plans for the future?
The Riviera is always looking forward with new plans, a full events schedule is prepared for this year starting with the beach opening in April and fashion shows, concerts and beach parties in addition to private parties and weddings.