Situated in the downtown district of Solidere is the new Campbell Gray Hotel, Le Gray Beirut, the company’s first property in Lebanon and the Middle East.
The property really is the talk of the town, as I found out on my visit. Not only does the crème de le crème of Lebanese society pop in for a drink at Bar ThreeSixty, or dinner at Indigo on the Roof – which both have views over the Mediterranean coastline, Mount Lebanon and the historical Martyrs’ Square – but even Lebanon’s president has paid a visit! During my sales calls, even other properties were commenting on Le Gray!
The property was designed in collaboration with Mary Fox Linton to create a cool, sleek, contemporary destination, different to any other in the city.
The boutique hotel has 87 rooms and suites and I was fortunate enough to stay in one of the 62 executive suites of 60 sq m which gave me a feel of coming home after a long day of business meetings.
The suite is equipped with adjustable lighting which can be set high for working at the desk or low for relaxing on the comfortable sofa or king-sized bed. There is also a drinks machine for coffee or tea and, of course, a full mini-bar.
The bathroom was ideal for female guests with a big mirror, bath and shower and there’s also free wireless internet which, as a business traveller, was ideal.
The welcome starts as soon as you leave immigration at Rafic Hariri International Airport where the first desk you see is that of Le Gray. If guests have requested airport transport, their name is up in lights and they are greeted by welcoming staff and guided to a car and driver.
The hotel is a 15-minute ride from the airport and on entering the minimalist but welcoming lobby, you are greeted by a smiling doorman, friendly front desk staff and a small elephant statue which at first appears to be made of sweeties but, on closer inspection, is an unusual and funky piece of art.
As well as the popular Indigo on the Roof and Bar ThreeSixty, there is a cigar lounge with a terrace, a pool lounge with indoor and outdoor seating and Gordon’s Café where you can enjoy food and beverages all day.
Pure Gray is Le Gray’s spa and gym. I, unfortunately, did not have the time to visit either but did have a quick look at the facilities and the gym offers state-of-the-art equipment, with personal training packages available. The spa, with six treatment rooms including a double for couples and a wet treatment room, offers Natura Bissé products exclusive to Le Gray with more than 16 different treatments. There is also a combined spa and gym membership available.
The group’s collection of hotels includes One Aldwych and Dukes in London and Carlisle Bay in Antigua and, on leaving Beirut, I heard a second property in the city may well be on the cards – a beach resort – watch this space.
by Kim Thomson
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