The key to maximising your time on a visit to Beirut is location. The Lebanese capital is undeniably the good-time spot of the Middle East, but if you’re smart with your hotel choice you can dip in and out of the madness at will. For such geographical excellence we recommend Le Gray, an institution at the heart of Beirut’s historic centre.
Even in a city where grit and grime mingles seamlessly with art deco styling and glamour, the clean lines of Le Gray make a mark. The fruits of a 2017 renovation, the hotel is a beacon to understated luxury through a minimalist cool and attentive – rather than over the top – service. But for all the lean style statements of architect Kevin Dash, the 103 rooms and suites retain a genuine warmth that other stripped back hotels often miss.
While Beirut is on your doorstep, to use Le Gray as a mere staging post for your visit would be wasteful. Take breakfast on the rooftop and survey the skyline. With stunning views of Martyrs Square and the blue domed Mohammed Al-Amin Mosque, you can plan your day before your coffee has even arrived. Take a dip in the heated pool or enjoy a treatment at the award-winning spa before heading out into the city.
Once ready, everything you need is within walking distance. Whether you’re looking for the cafes of leafy art district Gemmayzeh or the bars and restaurants of the city’s coolest spot, Mar Mikhael, the action is never really too far away.
And once you’ve sufficiently wandered the streets, there can be worse plans than to head back to the rooftop of Le Gray – ending where your day started. The city looks different at night, so grab a drink from the bar at Cherry on the Rooftop, take a seat outside, and take it all in.
From US$400 per night. campbellgrayhotels.com.