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Nestled in the heart of Beirut and facing Martyrs Square is an hotel which has been known for the past years to be one of the country's best. Hotel Le Gray is where I come for a rich breakfast at Indigo, a coffee and cake with a view at Gordon's when I have a meeting; and a cigar with friends at the lounge.
For the first time, I decided to spend the night and experience this luxurious hotel and what its rooms/suites have to offer. Staying in room 511, the hotel's best, I had the chance to enjoy Beirut in a different and special way.
Metallic walls carved with handmade flowers, a signature art piece occupying the lobby's entrance, a long sofa and three receptionist. Check in and take the elevator to your room.
I checked in at 6pm and was welcomed by a gentle and smiley team down at the lobby, while a member of staff made sure to take care of my luggage. A quick email, a phone number and here I was ready to be accompanied to my room. Located on the fifth floor, room 511 is the hotel's best - at least in my opinion - offering a view on the Downtown area and Martyr's Square from the long balcony connecting the room to its bathroom. It is the hotel's only bathroom with a balcony.
A beautiful room offers a king size bed, a working desk, two sofas, a flat screen television and a reception table. The bar, fridge and coffee machine are located behind the bed next to the big bathroom.
Le Gray's hotel rooms have many decorative signatures including the ceiling made of wooden stripes, the windows, several artwork to decorate the rooms as well as their huge bathrooms, which has both a shower and bathtub.
Let's go into the details. Bed is rolled down, slippers are placed on every side of the bed, a bottle of water on every side table and a bedtime story to discover Lebanon before going to sleep; "Lebanon, a Heritage Story".
Seven long hours of sleep and I was ready to kick start a new day! Rise and shine Beirut... I opened the balcony's door to feel the air of my favorite city. Some people walking, others driving like crazy, honking here and there, the open view of the sea, the port serving the country with merchandise... It's true that the city hustles and bustles with life.
With three windows and all the natural light coming in from all side, this room is indeed one of the country's favorite and trendiest. A working desk with an international box of electrical plugs next to it, a television you can move and turn around, a really large and super relaxing bed, that round glass table you can have a meal all set around a simple and classy decor.
I forgot to mention the welcome bites. A bucket of ice, three glasses, three choices of fresh juices and three plates of bites. Four pieces of chocolate presented like jewels, four bites of salmon and cold cuts that look like mini bagels and four colorful macarons. Indeed, you feel pampered...
At ten I was ready to hit breakfast. Served on the roof at Indigo, breakfast is where I come every other month to enjoy their delicious eggs Benedict and a selection of freshly prepared creations from the four corners of the world. Set in the heart of the city, you enjoy breakfast with a view on the terrace of this unique hotel.
The journey started at the buffet; a bowl of nuts and fruit compote with yogurt on the side and a plate of cold cuts and salmon with mustard and toasted pain de mie. A glass of freshly squeezed carrots with pineapple and ginger followed while I prepared myself to welcome two poached eggs on a bed of smoked salmon and a robe of sauce Hollandaise.
Today was my day, I was enjoying every single second of it.
Great food as always, three reviews posted about this breakfast already so why not create something new and innovative. Who said Knefeh should only be enjoyed with sugar syrup. Knefeh and with it I asked for apricot coulis and another of raspberries. A warm Knefeh drizzled with rich and intense fruit coulis... you'll have to taste it to understand!
Taking Knefeh to another level, fruit coulis creates a marriage between east and west.
That same night, after a long day in Beirut, I headed up to the room to be welcomed by a prepared bed, dimmed lights and more food on the table. Other than the bagels, chocolate and macarons, a plate of cheese and olives and another of karabeej, Turkish delights... I was so tired that I slept like a baby.
Let's take a minute to talk about the bathroom. A huge bathroom is as big as a tourist room in Paris. A bathtub, a shower with a strong pressured water, two sinks, a mosaic floor and all the necessary amenities you may desire. A vanity kit, shower cap, shoe mitt, mending kit, sanitary bag, creams, shampoo, locally produced olive oil soap, a bottle of mineral water and a scale. You can even watch television while relaxing in the bathtub.
The next morning, on a beautiful Sunday morning I felt like having a cleansing drink. At Indigo for breakfast, a selection of fresh fruits are mixed creatively to provide a tasty outcome while adding value to your body. Mix anything, melon and carrots, strawberry and ginger, carrots and pineapple or any other combination of your choice.
The Things I liked:
- Internet is free and super fast! That privilege alone will make me want to come back
- The first piece of pressing is free of charge
- The bed is relaxing and bed linens are soft and fresh
- The bathroom water pressure is strong and enjoyable
- That security company handling the valet service! A five stars hotel is handled by an untrained personnel? Dramatic!
A weekend at Le Gray is like none other... where professionalism meets positive Beirut vibes. I didn't want the weekend to end. I was happy, enjoying Beirut like a tourist, no car, no traffic but only my camera to immortalize every corner of this magnificent city. In the very center of Lebanon's heart is an hotel I used to like... but now I love!