Le Gray, Beirut, Lebanon
THE HOTEL: Le Gray, located on Beirut's Martyr's Square, opened in 2009 as the flagship hotel of the CampbellGray collection. The hotel recently completed an extension project that includes updates to its business and events facilities, a new lobby lounge, an exhibition venue and 16 new guestrooms, bringing the total to 103.
THE CHECK-IN: While the lobby is small, it is serene and features modern art pieces. The concierge unburdened me of my luggage and I was ushered to an armchair in front of the reception desk where the friendly receptionist initiated a quick and simple check-in.
THE ROOM: The Executive Suite featured high ceilings and the room’s elegant design cleverly divided each element of the open plan space: a comfy king size bed; a lounge area sitting opposite a desk with several power points and a wall-mounted plasma screen. The marble bathroom, closet and mini-bar were concealed behind the bed-head wall leaving the room uncluttered and neat. Daily presentations of fruit and sweets appeared in the room in the early afternoon. A cosy balcony looked out onto Weygand Street with glimpses of the sea. The room connected modern design with touches of old Beirut.
THE FACILITIES: The infinity pool at the top of the hotel resembles a melting iceberg and commands views of Martyr's Square. By night the space is turned into Cherry on the Roof Top, an al-fresco bar. On the same floor, but on the other side of the atrium, Indigo on the Roof is a sophisticated restaurant, where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. The Cigar lounge and access to BarThreeSixty are also on the sixth floor. B1, the new business and events floor, includes The Grand Salon, a 400m2 banquet facility and the Screening Room, a 52-seat mini cinema. B2 is home to the PureGray Spa, as well as a state-of-the-art gym.
THE VERDICT: The staff are attentive yet not overbearing, the beds are comfortable and the facilities meet all the demands of a luxury traveller. Had the new lobby lounge not been in existence, this would have formed my only criticism. Design and innovation will continue to bring new audiences to the hotel and should consolidate its position as a leading luxury hotel in Beirut.
THE DETAILS: Rooms at Le Gray start at $355 (£251) +10% VAT per night in a Deluxe Room. T: +961 1962 828. See campbellgrayhotels.com
Reviewed by Ramy Salameh (2017)