“ Address: Charkiah Road, Broumana, Broumana, Lebanon / Tel: +961 4 868 888 „
Lebanon is a small but amazing country; it's full of cosmopolitan restaurants, sophisticated hotels and resorts to suit all budgets and all tastes so any tourist won't find any problem finding a right hotel to stay in.
My husband and I felt we needed some 'together' time, so we decided to spend the weekend in Grand Hills Hotel and Spa. It's one of the most beautiful and well known hotels in the country, not only because it's five stars or the amazing interior and exterior design, it's mainly because of its location, location, location!
== Grand Hills Hotel and Spa, Broummana ==
=== Location of the hotel ===
The name of the hotel confirms its location. Grand Hills Hotel and Spa is located in a small and historic village of Broummana. Broummana might be a village but it's not an ordinary one. It's one of the most visited places by tourists. The name of the village originates from Armenian name "Rammana" which means the God of Air, Storm and Thunder. It was believed that the God Rammana had chosen this particular area to have his house so it was originally called Beit Roumana but the name changed over the years and became Brummana.
The village is visited by thousands of tourists from different nationalities because of the its shopping centres, hotels , bars, spas and leisure places not to forget the cool climate in summer days. The village is located on the top of the hills surrounded by pine forest. The view from there is breath-taking as you can see Beirut city and the sea.
== The hotel ==
Getting there is so easy, Broummana is only 18 Km away from Beirut on the eastern side of Beirut which is about 25-30 minutes driving. As for transportation, you can take your own car, take a taxi or use public transport at very cheap prices but in my opinion I prefer taking a taxi and save myself a lot of time wasting. As I said before, it's not too difficult to get there but bear in mind that this area is in the mountains so you will get higher and higher. The way to the hotel was interesting, It had gorgeous scenes, the nature there was so astonishingly impressive but the road are a bit narrow and there were not enough sign posts. This is why I suggested taking a taxi as you can easily get lost.
Broummana considered to be a resort area so it was crowded with hotels, night clubs and other attractions.
After 25 minutes we reached our desired destination. The hotel was massive and eye catching because the building special design and size.
The hotel itself is situated 750 metres above sea level which allows you to view the sea and the golden beach along with breath taking scenes of mountains and evergreen green forests.
The building itself is rather unique as it mostly consists of brick work which tends to give it that ancient but sophisticated look. Grand Hills Village Hotel and Spa involves an impressive 80,000 square meters of space for the hotel and its restaurants, retail area, and furnished apartments set across an enormous area of land which measures at around 35,000 square meters.
The hotel is a five star hotel and it has 118 rooms in total with 52 residential rooms that are splendidly furnished with high quality furniture.
It's not a surprise that Grand Hills Hotel is a record holder of the Guinness World Record for the largest suite in the world. When you see the hotel you will get what I mean.
== Arrival ==
On arrival, there was a well-dressed porter who was waiting for us on the entrance. He greeted us in French and English and opened the car doors for us, then opened the hotel doors. When we got in, another man took the car keys and parked it for us in "valet car park". I liked the royalty treatment there; everyone was very polite and well dressed.
We walked in the entrance with someone carrying our luggage to the reception desk to check in, confirming our names and reservation details. The staff were extremely polite and cheerful all the time. They gave us two "magnetic keys" for our room. When we finished talking with the receptionist, the porter carried our bags to our room. Our room was on the sixth floor so we took the lift to get to our room. There was a very long corridor leading to our room. The Soft music was played throughout the corridor, mirrors, and paintings were hung on the wooden panelled walls.
== My personal ranking for the staff and the reception 10/10 ==
== My first impression ==
In terms of first impression, I was so impressed with nearly everything. The building was stunning, the staff were extremely helpful and I like the way the hotel was furnished elegantly. There were several lobbies all furnished very elegantly, it looked stylish and cosy with oil paintings, stained glass , ornaments, huge chandeliers and several fireplaces which gave the hotel that "homey" look.
There are outdoor activities if the weather is warm enough. There are huge swimming pools, the gardens were all decorated with some gorgeous water fountains, traditional trees and playing area for the kids (that's in summer).As for winter there are indoor playing areas for the kids and indoor swimming pool.
Everything was spotless; the hotel staff were constantly cleaning and polishing the furniture. The hotel was pretty spacious and I thought I needed the whole day to investigate the place.
== My first impression 10/10 ==
== Our room ==
We opened the door using our magnetic key which looked like a credit card; you need to use the magnetic key to lighten the room. I found it cool so you won't misplace your card!
The room was very tidy and clean, it was spacious and well furnished. The bed was MASSIVE and looked relaxing. There was extra bedding and quilts if you want. There was central heating so we could adjust the temperature as we wished. There were good sized dressing rooms with a mirror and fitted lights. There were enough storage cabinets for our clothes and other items. In fact they were 2 big cabinets with mirrors and fitted lights. A desk with comfortable chair and desk lamp was there as well.
As for the bathroom, you will not be disappointed. It is a luxurious bathroom with all your essential toiletries and more. The bathroom was spacious and it was very clean. That even includes the toilet seat and the bath tub which were sanitised so taking a shower or a relaxing bath with a complimentary bottle of Champaign or any other drink you prefer. This would be the ideal ending for your day but if you are in a hurry you can have a quick shower which is even nicer. That is with power shower and instant hot water you can't go wrong!
There are plenty of clean towels and behind the bathroom door a couple of bathrobes ready to use.
We were a bit tired so we had a little nap before dinner, the bed was so comfy and the pillows were extra soft however I missed my old pillow at home!
As we were prepared to have dinner, my husband waited for me to get dressed so while he was waiting he watched TV and surfed the internet. Wi Fi service is available for the cost of $7 per hour or $50 per night.
There was a mini bar which was filled with all kinds of different drinks, soft and alcoholic, the bill of using any of the contents will be added to the final bill.
== A little surprise waiting for us ==
In our room and behind the curtains there was a nice surprise; a balcony with chairs and small round tables so you can have your breakfast or morning coffee or a quiet dinner watching sunset view behind the mountains. Now how romantic is that? We were on the sixth floor so we had the best view from our room. There were some breath-taking scenes, the high mountains surrounding the hotel looked amazing, the green forest trees, waterfalls and the capital City Beirut which was lit up with the nightlights and bordered by golden beaches
The room was brilliant however, I have a couple of things that were a little disappointing. The illumination system wasn't so good. The lights were so dim in the room but it was well illuminated in the dressing room and bathroom.
'''My personal ranking for the room: I can give the room 9/10'''
== Catering ==
There are so many restaurants to choose, some indoor and other outdoor, we went to an indoor winter restaurant " Al Fayez" When we arrived to the restaurant the waiter, who was dressed in a folkloric clothes ,took us to our table and gave us the menu to look at. There was a colourful menu to choose from international food from all over the world and the Lebanese traditional food. We both did go for the traditional Lebanese food, you can't go wrong with Lebanese food. We had a starter or appetisers which they call it "maza" it was very colourful and appealing and it was generously distributed over 6-8 different dishes. There was Baba Gannouj "barbequed aubergines" with tahini, chick peas, tabbouleh, kibbeh "mined meat with Bulgur wheat "and many other more.
As for the main course my husband went for a mixed grilled meats, shish kebab, shish taouk "marinated chicken" and grilled lamb meat along with its own special salads and pickles. I went for something more "homey" I chose some tasty Lebanese homemade selections of vegetables stew and their famous Lebanese dish Moloukhia served with white rice and Lebanese bread.
There are entertaining programs in each and every restaurant. We first heard some smooth music. Then a magician came and entertained us with some fun tricks then another two hours of entertaining live shows
The waiters were very fast and quick to serve us.
The prices are on the expensive side but the portions are very generous and worth it in my opinion. The caterings were fabulous, clean cutleries and dishes and as for drinks, we had a long list of drinks from soft drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic drinks, I went for some fruit juice while my husband is a fizzy drink champ
The restaurants are opened until midnight
== Breakfast ==
There is one big room for breakfast for the hotel guests. The room is massive and there are round and long tables. The service is open buffet so we helped our self. We were spoiled for choices, cooked and cold. I really didn't know what to choose. You can see all kinds of cheeses, pastries, cooked meat, wafer thin cold meat, sausage, cooked eggs, omelettes and some strange looking eggs! If you are a pastry lover like me, you can't get enough from freshly baked croissants, French bread, a variety of cakes, brioche and many more. Don't forget Lebanese traditional breakfast, Kishk, foul medamis (fava beans) manakish and sojouk. I went for cheese and some croissants while my husband went for meat again, well he is a male after all and can't get enough meat. There are cereal bars and cereals for kids served with milk. As for drinks you can drink coffee, Turkish, instant or espresso. Fruits juice, milk and tea are served too.
Again the service were superb and the food was excellent, I had nothing to complain about.
The breakfast is served from 7 am till 11.30 am
If you are shy or don't like to have breakfast with others you can simply ask for your breakfast to be brought up to your room at extra charge of course.
== Bars ==
The "BAR 1" is a roof-top lounge and restaurant; it's located on the 6th floor with amazing views. You can enjoy a tasty cuisine while listening to the soft music until midnight then it gets a bit louder where disco and live DJs broadcast music live. It's definitely not for you if you are not a person who likes noisy night. We didn't go there simply because my husband is not the type of party guy!
Open daily from 15:00 p.m. until midnight
== Check in/Check out ==
Check out was quickly done, you can check in/out from 14:00 hours until 22:00 hours while you must check out by 14.00 hours.
== Room prices ==
The prices are from $446.00 per night excluding the VAT which is 10% and 16% room service. No deposit will be charged.
== Booking and cancellation ==
For faster and convenient booking you can always book via the internet. You can also book in person or by calling them on their phone number. Cancellation can be done online too, there is no cancellation fee IF you cancelled 2 days before arrival.
== Hotel facilities ==
To sum up the service
The front desk service is available all day and night, air conditioning and heating is available in the whole hotel. There are several seasonal bars and restaurants to choose from. There are lifts and stairs with special facilities for any disabled hotel guest. Greenish out garden, free newspapers, non-Smoking areas, Shops and souvenir shops and for those who like a bit of outside scenery there are hotel terraces with appropriate furnishing along.
== Leisure ==
There are lots of fun and activities to suit everyone's taste so you won't get bored there! There is a Billiards room, a fitness centre, a games room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spa & wellness centre with Jacuzzi, massage service, sauna, solarium squash and many other services.
== A special service from the hotel ==
The Grand Hills Hotel also offers travel services between the hotel and Beirut city centre that will take about 30 minutes or a bit more and it's a complimentary service from the hotel 4 times a day so if you want to explore the city don't miss this opportunity.
== My final opinion ==
I'm more than happy to recommend this hotel for you. It's a real five star hotel with great service and lots of activities to keep you busy. The room is clean and tidy and the view is astonishing. The food is great; there is a high level of entertainment. There are spacious lobbies and evergreen vegetation and fascinating terraces I would love to come again in the near future and I'm more than happy to give it 9.5/10.
For more information about their other services and facilities, booking and other services please visit their website, it's an easy to navigate the website in English.
== Grand Hills Hotel and Spa address ==
Al Charkiah Road Broumana, Lebanon
Tel 00961 (0) 4 868 888
Fax 00961 (0) 4 868 777
Thank you for reading.