After closing its doors on April 18, 2020, the Hotel Bristol is parting with its furniture for a good cause. It should thus be distributed via the NGO Beit el Baraka to more than 3,000 families victims of the explosion in the Port of Beirut.
A 5-star establishment, it had just been renovated between 2013 and 2015 and had never stopped working even during the Lebanese civil war.
Joseph Coubat, its manager, then indicated that the economic crisis and the fall in the occupancy rate of the establishment following the coronavirus crisis pushed the shareholders to make this delicate decision, even if he did not rule out then a possible reopening if the beautiful days return, the sale of the furniture could still this possibility.
This hotel was inaugurated in 1951 on rue Marie Curie near the business centers of the Verdun district in Beirut. The establishment had also suffered from the vagaries of Lebanese history, from the civil war to the Israeli invasion, or even witnessed the famous Bristol meetings in the 2000s where certain politicians were opposed to the Syrian presence between 2004 and 2005. Among the personalities who stayed there Prince Albert of Monaco, the last Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and his wife Soraya, the President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac, or the King of Saudi Arabia Abdallah and Jordan, the King Hussein.
Architecturally, the 6-storey, 157-room establishment was known to have been designed by a renowned French designer at the time, Jean Royère, before its multi-million dollar renovation which was completed in 2015. Following the latter, on the advice of Galal Mahmoud, the hotel will adopt a more “Lebanese” style.
It was particularly known for its oriental lounge set up by local artisans and preserved even after this renovation.