Is Lebanon ready for a new nightlife & entertainment trend?

As much as I love Beirut, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t think about my ex, Miami, all of the time.  Some of the best nights of my life were spent going to and from the endless array of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs scattered all around South Beach.

No reservations required, just pure, unadulterated fun and spontaneity… (something my life is definitely lacking here in Beirut.. you can’t do anything without a reservation!)

But there were those nights (ooohh those nightttss) when my friends and I wanted to do something a bit more..well..you know..glamorous.  So, on those occasions, we would head out to some of the more popular, posh places on South Beach..which all happen to be located inside of really luxurious hotels..a fact that all Miami locals really enjoy..

Why?  Well, it means that you get to experience the best of these 4/5 star hotels without having to pay for a night’s stay.  It also means that you have everything you want all under one roof!  Sounds great, right?  I thought so.

So tell me, why hasn’t this trend fully caught on in Lebanon yet?   You have it in Dubai, but that’s mainly because of the alcohol restrictions.  But really..I feel like there are so many hotels in Beirut, both luxurious and boutique, that aren’t tapping into this hidden potential.  As for whether there is a market for more nightlife spots in Beirut, the answer is a resounding YES!  Don’t you agree?  The places that already exist a) are always too full, b) are way past their hay day, or c) were never very popular to begin with..

I wanted to show you exactly what I’m talking about, so I did some research, and here are three of the hottest places in Miami right now..all located inside hotels..

The first is Bleau Bar, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in South Beach..

Fontainebleau Miami Beach

The Blue Bar at The Fointainebleau

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…and this is LIV nightclub, THE hottest place on the beach, also located inside The Fontainebleau Hotel.

Liv nightclub Fontainebleau Hotel

LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau Hotel

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..and this?  This is an average Friday/Saturday night at LIV..

LIV nightclub Fontainebleau Hotel

inside LIV

Here we have another example.  This is The Living Room lounge/bar at the W Hotel in South Beach..

The Living Room at the W Hotel South Beach

The Living Room at the W Hotel South Beach

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..and this is Wall nightclub also located in the W Hotel..

Wall Lounge at The W Hotel South Beach

Wall Lounge at The W Hotel South Beach

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..and this??  A typical Tuesday night at Wall..Yeah you read right..Tuesday.  Locals love going out on weekdays..it’s actually the “in” thing to do.  Weekends are reserved for tourists on South Beach..

Wall Lounge at the W Hotel South Beach

Wall Lounge in Miami

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And last but not least, we have one of my favorites..The Delano Hotel..this is the Rose Bar at the Delano Hotel..

Rose Bar at The Delano Hotel

Rose Bar at The Delano Hotel

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..and this is The Florida Room nightclub at The Delano Hotel..I know I know, at first glance it looks like something you would find on a Caribbean Cruise…but believe you me, The Florida Room hosts the hottest R&B and Hip Hop nights on South Beach right now..which also take place on Tuesdays!

The Florida Room at The Delano Hotel

The Florida Room at The Delano Hotel

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The Florida Room at The Delano

Cee-lo, Christina Milian, and Dre at The Florida Room

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Where am I going with this?  Well I went to Eau de Vie, the 11th floor restaurant at Phoenicia last night… and it reminded me so much of what I used to do with my friends in Miami.  You know, the whole “splurge on a night out at a luxurious hotel” thing..

Everything about the experience was just exceptional.  The food (order the calamari for your appetizer, the sea bass for your main, and the pain perdu AND chocolate fondant for dessert), the drinks (finally we have true mixologists in this city who know how to make delicious cocktails), and the ambiance (the panoramic views, the sexy decor, the spacious setting, and who could forget the lighting feature!)!!

And what’s more?  They even serve brunch on Sundayssss!  yesss.. I’ve been scouring the city for a brunch spot!

Eau De Vie Phoenicia Hotel

The Bar at Eau De Vie..

Eau De Vie Phoenicia Hotel

This is my favorite part of Eau De Vie..the lighting feature that spans the whole ceiling of the catwalk leading to the dining room..so glamorous.

Eau De Vie Phoenicia Hotel

Can someone say dinner party?! Our table at Eau De Vie..

My conclusion?  It looks to me like Phoenicia is ready to set a new nightlife and entertainment trend in Lebanon.  I say, bring it! And while your at it, hire more women to work as servers, hostesses, and bartenders.  They bring such elegance, glamour, and class to every setting 😉 ..oh, and finally..open up a posh nightclub!  Lebanon, Beirut, and the Beirutis are ready for this!!

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20 Comments

Filed under life in Lebanon

20 responses to “Is Lebanon ready for a new nightlife & entertainment trend?

  1. I was born ready 😉 LOOOL

  2. Yes, I had so much fun in Miami … can’t wait until they bring this concept to Beirut .. That’s all we need in Beirut to overcome Ibiza

  3. That sounds like a great idea. The ones in Dubai are awesome.

  4. 451

    I don’t agree with that. Lebanon is already copying too much from Dubai. What Beirut lacks is a more sophisticated kind of nightlife that you can find in cities like London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Budapest etc. …less mainstream more underground.

    • I understand what you’re saying completely. However, I think that the Lebanese will be able to pull it off, having more nightlife and entertainment options in large hotels that is, with a lot more class and sophistication. After all, it’s one of the many things the Lebanese are best at! I hope for both really..more mainstream..and more underground.. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Sshhhh Danielle! My goal is to open up a club in Leb with only WOMEN bartenders/servers/hostesses. I noticed that it lacked that and didn’t understand why. I’ll let your have in on this if you wanna partner up, lol!

    • I know! So different from Miami..you can’t get a job (especially on the beach) if you aren’t a gorgeous woman. But you see..it works..mainly because you can make soooo much money by working in bars/restaurants/nightclubs there. I knew some girls who used to make 100k a year! From tips alone!! I don’t know..do you think Lebanese women will ever be ok with working in the “service” industry? I think they will, as long as you pay them enough.. 😀 And of course I want to partner up! But I’m telling you from now, my name comes first on our cards, k? k. lol 😀

      • I’m okay with it! I’m a waitress here after all. Part of the reason I got along with guys so much in leb is because they weren’t used to down-to-earth girls (for the most part, not all Leb women are this way) But I was just thinking, imagine how much better a club/bar would do if there were beautiful women everywhere. Also, imagine having a VIP table in the states without a woman bringing you bottles to the table. WEIRD! Um, my name first, lol! Our names rhyme so it will be catchy. (Yes, I thought about this)

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  7. Asquared

    There are a lot of places who serve brunch on sundays, A LOT ! When I see u next time I’ll give u a big list, there is even one in HAMRA!
    AA

  8. Youssef Chaker

    so i’ve been toying since i read the post with my opinion about this.

    i do want lebanon to have the best of the best. but i also don’t necessarily want lebanon to be a copy of someplace else.

    so my question is why not let Miami be Miami and Beirut be Beirut. I definitely hate the fact that Lebanon and Beirut in particular is trying too much to be what it’s not or what some other place is.

    Maybe i’m inherently allergic to an idea that suggests copying in lebanon what is available someplace else. I guess in the context of what you’ve proposed, it probably is a good idea, but I can’t get over the fact that we’re being run over by starbucks, mcdonalds and the like.

    But regardless, what I think is a differentiator, in some sense, is the picture with Cee-lo in it. I don’t think celebs in Lebanon are accessible or hang out in many public places (i could be wrong about this). In the US, you’ve got a lot of people with money who help high class bars/clubs survive. Think about the number of football, basketball, hokey, baseball players alone that go out and party. Just the number of those who actually get in trouble for it probably exceed the total gross revenue in Lebanon from bars/clubs! (OK, slight exaggeration, moving on :P). So add those people’s families and friends. Add actors and celebs (OK, combine trouble maker athletes and the Kardashians plus one of the Hilton sisters. am i closer now?).

    So the point is in Lebanon you do not have this opportunity of brushing shoulders with a random famous person at the clubs. Or you don’t have celebs endorsing places like theses. So I feel there is less support in terms of high rolling clientele that allow for these niche places that can afford not being over crowded.

    by the way, the idea of a do-it-all-here places is not very popular in Lebanon. You don’t go to the same store to buy vitamins, medication, food, and a dresser (read Walmart). Your gym is not also your daycare. So I think to so many people, a hotel is a hotel and just that. (even if you consider the Dunes center in Verdun, the Holiday Inn, at least in my mind and the minds of the people i’ve hung out with, is separate from the shopping center)

    ok, that’s enough from me for today. comments on 2 posts! WOAH 😀

    • Let Miami and Miami and Beirut be Beirut? Are you serious? uhhh..WHY? lol

      I understand what you’re saying, you make a great point about the Lebanese celebrities not rubbing shoulders with normal “plebs..” but I think that’s mainly because the Lebanese celebrities, are..well hanging out in different places than the mainstream youth? Correct me if I’m wrong..

      But where I disagree with you is when you said that there is less support here in terms of “high rolling clientele.” Are you kidding? We’re in Lebanon..where people book their tables in Sky Bar in March for the whole summer, and where you can take out loans to pay your alcohol/bottle bill.

      And while I agree with you that do-it-all-here places are not very popular in Lebanon (yet)..you cannot compare a place like Phoenicia to Walmart or a Gym!..we’re talking about two totally different animals here! I think the concept would definitely pick up in Lebanon. A sophisticated and sexy bar, restaurant, and a nightclub, all in one place.. ?! I mean what’s not to love?

      • Youssef Chaker

        I guess what I was trying to say by “high rolling clientele” is people with enough influence to attract other people to one place just because they’re hanging out there. I mean wouldn’t everyone in NO want to hang out at the club that Lil Wayne hangs out at? Or some crazy dude in LA want to hang out at Kim’s favorite restaurant just in case she showed up? And I would hope that if someone book a table at a club for the entire summer that they’d go there, which means they’re stuck going to the same place 😛 So that leaves less opportunity for diversity. Again, I’m not saying your point is wrong. And I definitely am jaded by the other useless crap that Lebanon tries to copy. I just don’t see the Lebanese people in general to fit the Miami concept yet. It would be great though in some sense. We definitely need some latin blood in the country to straighten some things out 😛

        To be honest, I think that in the past few years some things about the country have become ‘trashy’. Maybe that’s too harsh of a word, but they’ve lost the sense of sophistication. Or at least in comparison to previous years (of course this is generalized statement and doesn’t apply to everyone). So that’s why it seems to me that it just doesn’t fit right.

        Again, it’s not the idea but the lebanese people that I see is the problem. Don’t get me wrong, I just don’t see it being implemented any time soon!

  9. Love the review, and the lead up to it with the Miami venus was exceptional =D

  10. Sam

    I agree with you on this issue, people in the country don’t really notice how mainstream and similar night clubs are until they experience other nightlife outside Lebanon. I am currently living in Montreal and I really enjoy the wide choice of nightclubs the city offers from hotel bars to ballin’ night clubs to after hours, one of my favorite actually is one that you already mentioned above in Miami; the W Lounge in the W Hotel in Montreal is the place to be.

    Also part of the clubbing experience is trying to get the bartender’s number for me at least and I’m sure I’m not the only one;) that means ordering a lot of drinks just to get her attention lol and it’s also good for business. Honestly I still don’t get why we don’t have women bartenders in Lebanon!

    On another note I’m heading to Miami mid march for WMC ’11..can’t wait!!was wondering if you could give me some tips and guides on where to go( good restaurants, sick clubs, beaches) around the south beach area cause i really want to make it a legendary trip.Thx

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