Located on the Hotelâ€™s 26th floor by the rooftop pool, with wraparound views of Beirutâ€™s downtown skyline, mountains and the Mediterranean Sea stretching under a canopy of stars, the modish urban tapas lounge offers the perfect perch from which to enjoy sundowners and balmy summer evenings to the tune of the seasonâ€™s hottest club tunes. [RagMag]
I went to the Roof last week after having won a competition with RagMag for free drinks and tapas. Standing almost 120 meters above sea level, The Roof is the highest rooftop in Lebanon (if I am not mistaken) with a breathtaking view of Beirut. It directly overlooks the Zaytounay Bay and St.Georges Marina as well as Biel and its surrounding. It’s one of those places where you sit down, have a drink, enjoy the unique view and just relax for an hour or two.
The Roof is on top of the building on the left
Just like I said and to sum it up, the Roof is a great place to have drinks in the afternoon and gaze over the sea and city. I asked the manager if they hold parties there and he told it’s a lounge not a party place but there’s a DJ every day from Tuesday to Sunday from 7pm till 1am. I have no idea about the prices as I wasn’t handed a menu but I can imagine it will be relatively expensive, say 15$ a cocktail or more.
This weekend I was visiting Lebanon and felt like renting a convertible since I read the weather was going to be great. After calling a few different rental agencies I decided to rent a car from Avis Lebanon for two reasons and those two reasons are actually why they’re going to be my favorite car rental agency from now on.
The first reason is the fact I was able to book a car with Avis using their website’s live chat. I was actually going to call them but then saw the “Live Help” button and figured would give it a shot out of curiosity. I honestly wasn’t expecting the button to work but I ended up chatting to a person called Pamela and when I asked her if it was possible to book a car with live chat to my surprise she said yes. I thought that was very cool and convenient.
The second reason I liked them is because it turns out I can get a 30% discount on their cars using my American Express credit card. That obviously makes things more affordable and instead of paying $100 for my car I ended up paying $70.
It was a cool experience and loved the live chat option but I did have one issue which I already mentioned to them and that is the fact they put a $2,000 hold on my credit card. I thought that amount was too much since with other rental agencies I’ve used, the amount is usually around $500. Maybe it’s because it was my first time renting with them but still, overall it was a good experience.
It’s the month of May and Lebanese traditionally go to pay Our Lady of Harissa a visit during that period. Even if you are not religious, you can also go up and enjoy the breath-taking view from the shrine and its surrounding. If you don’t feel like driving, you can take the Teleferique. Gino tells you all about it.
Harissa is one of my favorite places in Lebanon along with the Cedars and Saydit el Nourieh in Chekka Hamat.
I’ve been to Qobayat (or Kobayat) few times now, but I’ve never been to the Graneroverde Auberge which is located at the far end of the village. If you want to get out of the city for a weekend and just relax, that’s the perfect place to go!
“Aside from the major environmental and social benefits, it would also be incredibly iconic,” he says. “Just imagine: The world’s first rooftop garden city. [CNN] “
It’s good to see that Beirut’s hanging gardens have made it to the CNN website, maybe this will incite few Lebanese or NGOs outside to finance the project.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.5-4 million, which is honestly nothing compared to the benefits offered by this initiative. Given this fact, I don’t understand why none of our Lebanese billionaires has agreed to finance the project yet.
I think Wassim Melki, the architect behind this idea, should meet with Beirut’s municipality and key political figures and businessmen in Beirut, and not just rely on NGOs for the moment. There are a lot of parties that will be interested in financing such an initiative for their own sake and for the people’s sake.
I drove next to this garden for years without once entering it. It’s small and a bit dirty but beautiful. For some reason, both statues in the garden are beheaded (not sure if they were always like that).
The Saint Nicolas Garden is located on Avenue Charles Malek in the Tabaris neighborhood of the Achrafieh District, one of Beirut’s largest districts. The garden that opened in 1964 was designed by the Lebanese architect, Ferdinand Dagher. The area of the garden is 22,000 square metres (240,000 sq ft). The garden, which faces the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Nicolas, was also named in honor of Saint Nicolas. [Wiki]
I think the municipality of Achrafieh should work on improving the garden and adding few benches. It doesn’t cost much and the street is full of financial institutions and companies that wouldn’t mind throwing a buck or two on a public garden.
Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) has come up with a list of top 10 places to celebrate Easter, with Lebanon ranked 3rd. Here’s what they say about Lebanon:
Visitors will notice the ornately decorated streets, shops and restaurants filled with all things Easter from bunnies to chocolate, painted eggs and even live baby chicks in some places. Good Friday is marked by mass. Easter Sunday is a huge celebration where absolutely everyone goes to church. After taking communion, the 40-day fast comprising a strictly vegan diet, is broken with a feast featuring lamb and lots of egg breaking. Get your hands on the delicious Easter sweets called Maamoul. These are little cookies made with a mixture of semolina and butter then stuffed with either dates or ground sugared nuts and dusted with icing sugar. [Source]
They sure are right about Maamoul. If you are interested in knowing how to make Maamoul, check out this awesome post at the Food Blog.
Full rankings are a follows:
1 â€“ Argentina
2 â€“ Greece
3 â€“ Lebanon
4 â€“ Scotland
5 â€“ Spain
6 â€“ Sweden
7 â€“ France
8 â€“ Germany
9 â€“ United States
10 â€“ Canada
Sawfar is one of the most beautiful areas you pass by on your way to Zahle or the Beqaa and in Lebanon as a whole. The village consists of old Lebanese houses and a stunning green scenery. The Corniche is one of its most beautiful roads with trees, villas and old Lebanese houses on each side of the road.
You can also find in Sawfar the Donna Maria Sursock’s residence that was built by her husband Alfred in 1909. The Villa looks a little like a small fairy tale castle and is interesting because of its decorative elements in cast cement, a novelty at the time. [Link]
The 70 meter (230 ft) high bridge, near the mountain resort town of Sofar on the mountainous road linking Beirut and Damascus, was hit several times during the first days of the war but on July 21 a 200-metre-long section was completely destroyed as it was bombarded continuously. Ironically, the Americans paid for its reconstruction.
Also and as you can see from the picture, snow is everywhere. I don’t remember the last winter where we had that much snow.
I finally got around to putting together this video I shot last week when I was in Lebanon. I rented a snowmobile up in Mzaar near the ski slopes from a company called Highland Club. It costs $100 for an hour but they have better deals on longer journeys. For example they can take you from Faraya to the Cedars and back for around $400. Thatâ€™s a 3 hour trip each way and comes to around $65 an hour. If youâ€™re interested in taking out a snowmobile you can call them on +9613860867 if you want to do the Arz trip or just head up near the slopes and stop by any of the snow mobile places there. [Vimeo]
Anyway, I finally visited Zaitunay bay on Monday night and I loved the place. As you can see from the picture above, It’s a very nice place to take a walk and enjoy a fine dinner. I didn’t try any of the restaurants there yet but you can read about them [Here].
Not all restaurants are open yet. The ones that caught my attention are Croc Magnon, a steak house opened by the same people behind Brgr Co, St. Elmo’s which is a seaside brasserie, Salmontini a seafood restaurant, and Classic Burger Joint which was pretty packed.
During winter time, I don’t think many people will be walking on the Zaitunay bay as it’s getting very cold, however in summer time the bay promises to be packed at all time. The wooden dock is relatively small right now but there are plans to extend it as you can see [Here].
On a last note, ladies going in high heels will have a hard time walking on the wooden dock.