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I realized today that the last review about Middle East Airlines' famous cedar class lounge dates from four years ago, when I started NGNO and used to travel for my dental lectures. Now that many things have changed and improved, it was time to review it again.
I say famous because it's our main lounge, a place many love to access, located on the first floor of Beirut's Hariri International Airport. It's also one of the world's biggest, with a space covering more than 3,000 square meters all for Skyteam travelers.
You are asked for your boarding pass before moving into the main atrium, a large empty space dividing the lounge into two separate areas. A sculpture in the middle makes the space look trendy, adding design and style. Pick a complementary newspaper and continue. To the left is a large space with sofas of which some can host one traveler and others a complete family. The lounge has also opened a spa area for some relaxation before taking off.
Up front is the smoking area, one of the few available in the airport, located on the right side, it has a private salon with leather sofas.
After years, the food has finally changed. It was all about croissants stuffed with Labneh, pizza and mini bites, a fruit basket and desserts displayed on two stations. Abdelrahman Hallab used to offer oriental sweets. It has now changed to one main display with different offerings depending on the time of day. Is it exceptional? Maybe not, but it's surely better than the choices you had before.
- A collaboration with the Ministry of Culture shows off archaeological masterpieces throughout the lounge.
- An updated business center with a series of computers.
- Espresso, cappuccino and a fresh American coffee machine.
- Samsung charging stations.
Plastic cups with Labneh, cheese and a lettuce, cheese cake, fruit salad and a white cream decorated with a pink grapefruit. Three choices of cereals, two cupcakes, white chocolate biscuits and apple viennoiseries. A tower of fruits, a plate of cheese and some sablés. Under the hot section are manakish and croissants. Yes, that's it. With that they added some fresh juices, strawberry, mango, guava and pineapple. In the drinks fridge, Badoit and Activia yogurt have made it in the shelves.
Traveling from Beirut in Business class on any of the Skyteam Alliance airlines, now you know what to expect.