Le Gray Hotel In Beirut: A Jewel In Solidere

BY Rebecca Anne Proctor / Mar 15 2017 / 17:15 PM

Head to Beirut, a dynamic city where the worlds of fashion, history and art unite, via one of Emirates’ daily flights and stay at the renowned Le Gray hotel, where you can appreciate an impressive collection of Middle Eastern art

Le Gray Hotel In Beirut: A Jewel In Solidere
An art-filled room at Le Gray in Beirut

Since its opening in 2009 in Solidere, the heart of modern Beirut, Le Gray has been vital in reestablishing the city as a weekend getaway destination. The five-star hotel over looks Martyrs’ Square that was razed from 1975 to 1990 by the civil war. Now restore, the neighbourhood offers a lively scene of posh restaurants and bars set along Beirut’s ancient streets.

Art and culture has been at the forefront of the hotel’s identity. As soon as you enter the lobby you’ll come into view with several delicate works by Syrian artist Safwan Dahoul and a colourful elephant sculpture by Nadim Karam. After you check-in, peer around the corner and you’ll get a whiff of the lively and convivial ambiance at Gordon’s Café, a corner café on the ground floor set up in a brasserie-style where you can order a coffee, read a newspaper and watch as magnificently dressed Lebanese pass by. Here vibrant, expressionist paintings by Middle Eastern, Cuban and French artists from the hotel’s collection of 500 paintings accentuate the space as they also do throughout the hotel and in each room.

Vibrant artworks by Middle Eastern and Cuban artists can be found throughout Le Gray

The creation of Gordon Campbell Gray, best known for One Aldwych and Dukes in London, and Carlisle Bay in Antigua, the hotel was designed by Gray’s long-time collaborator Mary Fox Linton, who has infused the hotel with a style that is at once contemporary and comfortable. There are, however, traditional details that harken back to the heritage of Lebanon. These include the cedar fretwork on the bedroom ceilings and the mosaics on the bathroom floors recalling similar ancient tiled works that can be seen in Beirut’s National Museum.

A hotel that serves the needs of vacation seekers and business travellers alike, Le Gray will soon be equipped to offer more with an extension project that will include business and events facilities, a new lobby lounge, an exhibition venue and 16 new guestrooms. Set with a completion date of April 2017, the project is being overseen by interior desiner Galal Mahmoud in close collaboration with Gordon Campbell Gray.

Part of the hotel’s new extension project

Among the highlights is the extended lobby area underneath the atrium and its new Lobby Lounge, which will provide a welcoming space where guests can unwind after a long journey with family and friends or do work. There will also be a new pedestrian entrance that will welcome guests into the new space directly from Weygand Street.

The new facilities include The Boardroom, a dramatic 20-people meeting business venue; The Muse Room, a multi-function venue for business meetings and social gatherings; The Screening Room, a 52-seat mini cinema fitted out with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and comfortable seating; The Atrium, an exhibition and art venue at the heart of the central atrium and The Grand Salon, a 400sqm banquet facility with a stunning, dazzling LED light ceiling.

Vibrant artworks by Middle Eastern and Cuban artists can be found throughout Le Gray

In terms of accommodation, the hotel will now feature 103 spacious rooms and suites, with two Presidential Suites sharing the fifth floor offering generous private terraces on which to enjoy riveting views of the city. Additional amenities include the hotel’s popular rooftop restaurant, Indigo on the Roof, the PureGray Spa, as well as a state-of-the-art gym.

Upon completion, Le Gray will be the only hotel to offer such a wealth of facilities. Now, with the Beirut art scene hopping all year-round and with such events like the Beirut Art Fair and Beirut Design Week, new museums such as the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA) set to open in 2020, Le Gray provides a much-needed sanctuary in the heart of the city. Here is where art and culture merge with contemporary surroundings and the beauty and heritage of Lebanon. 

Deluxe room from Dhs1,304. Campbellgrayhotels.com

Fly there… on Emirates. The airline offers three daily flights to the cosmopolitan city of Beirut. While in Beirut, be sure to explore the medieval architecture of Tripoli, the Roman ruins of Baalbek, a variety of ski resorts, the country’s beautiful beaches and a host of art galleries, design boutiques and chic restaurants. For more information, visit Emirates.com.