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CHAMPION OF THE DAY
Phoenicia Hotel opens
again for the fourth time
Owners receive presidential insignia
The five-star InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut, which is managed by Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, has reopened after closing for two years following the August 2020 Port Explosion.
“We have reopened the Phoenician Tower consisting of 193 rooms and suites in addition to banquet rooms and restaurants,” said Manrique Rodriguez, General Manager of Phoenicia Hotel.
The owners of the hotel Mazen and Marwan Salha were bestowed, on the occasion, the National Order of the Cedar-Officer Grade by the Prime Minister on behalf of the President of the Republic. The Salha brothers own the hotel through Société des Grands Hotels du Liban (SGHL).
Mazen Salha, Chairman of SGHL, said: "We aim to complete the refurbishment of the remaining part of the hotel, the Roman Tower, by the second quarter of next year. After two difficult years, our immediate plans are to communicate to the market that we are back, open for business. The hospitality market is still not optimistic, but we believe we will see gradual improvement in the short to medium term." The Roman Tower, which was built in 1968, is made up of 253 rooms.
The remaining tower, Phoenicia Residence, consisting of 35 luxury apartments was reopened with limited services last July.
Phoenicia Hotel has started to receive compensations from insurance companies for the damages caused by the port blast. It has recently been paid two large installments.
“We have started receiving many requests for room reservation and for events like weddings, engagement parties, and corporate events,” Rodriguez said. Most of their foreign guests are Arabs from countries like Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, and Jordan. The other guests are mainly from Europe.
Rodriguez said: “I anticipate an occupancy rate of 50-60 percent by October and November. I expect the hotel to be fully booked in the last ten days of December. A global marketing campaign has been launched to promote the hotel. This campaign taps the resources and the network of Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts.” He said they are also very active on social media and continue to always offer different packages to their customers.
Phoenicia Hotel still has around 250 of its former workers and has hired 60 to 70 new employees. When it was closed, it continued to pay part of the salaries and benefits to a large percentage of its workforce.
The iconic hotel launched its operations in 1961. It was heavily damaged during the Civil War and closed for nearly 25 years. It reopened in 2000 following a $100 million renovation project. The hotel was damaged again in 2005 by the blast that killed late PM Rafik Hariri and 21 others. It was closed again as a result of the Port Explosion.
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Oct 06, 2022
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