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Le Vendôme Hotel, The Grand Dame of Luxury Hotels In Beirut

By Glenn Harris on 18th April 2017

The newest Jaguar XJ sedan pulls in the circular driveway past the water fountain and roman statues. Inside are the hotel’s newest guests who arrive by hotel transfer from the Beirut airport which is 20 minutes away. The doorman welcomes the tony couple; she a model-esque woman bedecked in baubles, a designer dress, and handbag and him in a bespoke tailored suit and fine Italian shoes.  This is Beirut and this is Le Vendome.

Le Vendôme has been a national treasure since it first opened its doors in Beirut in 1964. The hotel is known for its lavish décor, ideal location and discrete service. Since it opened 50 years ago, Le Vendome has been the hotel choice for visiting dignitaries, celebrities as well as business tycoons and local socialites.

The hotel is in the perfect location to explore Beirut.  The city is set on a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea and is filled with so much history, art, archeological treasures, and endless options for the foodie.  600 years of history influenced by the French, Middle Eastern, Christian, and Muslim faiths have created a tapestry of culture unlike any other. From the food to the music to the sites, there’s so much to do there. And let’s not forget shopping; there are many of the top luxury brands from around the world for the region’s well-to-do elite as well as many wonderful shops with local art and fashion from local designers.

The nightlife scene is also among the best in the world with international DJs providing performing at the major venues as well as many funky clubs and bars in the buzzing Mar Mikhaël neighborhood. There are lively rooftop bars, sultry lounges and dance clubs. Many travelers are flocking back to Beirut and Lebanon as it is now being rediscovered. Without any recent unrest or major conflict, it’s an excellent city to visit any time of the year. Many come in the summer for its vibrant beach scene along the coast, while others come in winter to ski the Lebanese mountains. Whatever your plans, in Beirut, Le Vendome is a good base for you to explore nearby or before the travels take you elsewhere in the country.

This hotel was inspired by a French chateau as evident in the opulent French-inspired neo-classical esthetic which is incorporated into every aspect of the hotel.  As guests walk into the lobby area, they feel as if they are walking into Beirut history as they take note of the rich wood paneling, ornate chandeliers, antiques, renaissance art pieces and furnishings replicated from the turn of the century.

The hotel sits along the Beirut corniche and each of the 73 rooms on the 12 floors of the hotel has stunning views of the Mediterranean and the city skyline.  Each room is distinct with French colonial décor, ornate furnishing and period antiques. The suites are even more lavish with a balcony overlooking the sea. The bedrooms are spacious and feature regal furnishings, complimentary mini bar and the latest technology.   It is this level of detail, in the furnishings and décor, to the service, and in the dining that you can expect at one of Lebanon’s most revered hotels.

In local circles, Le Vendome is equally as well known for their fine dining experience as the hotel itself.  Their restaurant, Stanley’s,  serves French cuisine that rivals the top restaurants in Europe. When you dine in Beirut, and in particular at Sydney’s, you will quickly understand why they call it the Paris of the East.

Sydney’s is located on the rooftop of the hotel. The curved glass window and awning allows guests to take in the full beauty of the Mediterranean Sea and the corniche below. It is a very romantic restaurant with dim lighting and romantic music setting the tone for a lovely evening.

During the day, Sydney’s is the place for a proper English high tea complete with warm scones, finger sandwiches and sweet endings.

Sydney’s is more than a fine dining restaurant. It is also a world class bar known for its vast offerings of fine Scotch malt whiskies, rare cognacs, wines and cocktail culture. Guests love the fine gentleman’s’ club type setting and often sip cognac and savor a fine Cuban cigar.

Just a five minute walk is Le Vendome’s sister hotel, the Phoenicia Hotel Beirut. This is a very large posh hotel and has been the venue for Beirut’s big events and conferences for decades. Those staying at the Le Vendome are welcomed to use the resort’s facilities including the exceptional gym, and indoor and outdoor pools. For some rest and relaxation the Phoenicia has a world class spa offering a wide selection treatments.

Le Vendome is a wonderful heritage hotel and has been at the forefront of Beirut luxury hospitality for over fifty years. The boutique hotel is a step back in time when hospitality was more than hundreds of cookie cut rooms with a blasé design and forgettable experience. This is the polar opposite with a tradition of opulence, craftsmanship, and warm and sincere service. As part of the Intercontinental chain of hotels, it’s also affords guests the level of service, facilities, and amenities that they synonymous with the brand.

Beirut is a resilient city that is again being rediscovered by international travelers. Its safety, rich and abundant culture, nightlife, and cosmopolitan setting make it a great choice for well-heeled traveler. For those same reasons, Le Vendome Beirut is a great option when exploring this fascinating city.

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