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January 14, 2010updated Feb 08, 2013

Four Seasons Beirut Now Open

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Beirut, Lebanon – Predicted by many to be one of the “it” destinations in 2010, Beirut lures travelers with its shopping, dining and nightlife scenes juxtaposed with 5,000 years of culture and history. Further heralding the city’s renaissance, the newest Four Seasons Hotel has opened its doors and welcomed its first guests.

Unabashedly modern, Four Seasons soars skyward above city and sea at the edge of the Mediterranean. After ten years in planning and five years under construction, the hotel opens as a gleaming statement of intent for the whole country: Come experience warm, genuine Lebanese hospitality. The newest Four Seasons has filtered this hospitality down to its purest form, with over 300 local recruits amplifying the warm welcome found on the streets outside.

Inviting interiors are inspired by local traditions, from the Lebanese artwork, carved screens and gilded calligraphy of the lobby to the buzzing Boulevard lounge that tempts visitors with the rich aromas of a European café and sofas designed for hours of conversation. Large terraces are standard in all 230 guest rooms and suites. The Spa, a cool statement in white marble and gold mosaics, has a suede-panelled couple’s suite with private terrace and whirlpool. And the rooftop pool—a glittering 26th-floor oasis with 360-degree views—towers above the raucous cityscape like a suspended haven of tranquility.

A crack team of concierges holds the key to the sum of 5,000 years of cultural creativity—insider access to fashion shows and art exhibitions as well as the city’s never-ending program of concerts and festivals. Elsewhere, religious architecture, Phoenician ruins, beach-side bars and world-leading nightclubs are served up against the sublime backdrop of the Lebanon Mountains in areas that range from the achingly modern to the gritty and pock-marked.

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