Interestingly enough, despite being a city based on the sea front, you generally have to travel a little to get to a beach whilst staying in Beirut. So for this entry I’ve decided to also include the pools of various hotels within the city to you still have a choice of places to sunbathe even if you don’t feel like travelling. I’ve also given them a rating based on my experience!
Lazy B Beach Club, Jiyeh 4/5
Lazy B is in the Jiyeh area (where there are many beach clubs and hotels) which is about half an hour driving south of Beirut. This will set you back around $26, which really isn’t too bad if you’re splitting it between a few of you. You can get an uber there, however I’d strongly recommend downloading the Allo Taxis app to get yourself a taxi back to Beirut as Uber doesn’t operate in the Jiyeh area! Also just to note – I’d strongly recommend calling up any beach resort before you go, just to check they are open and to make a reservation, you don’t want to travel all that way only to find them fully booked!!
I wanted to give Lazy B a high rating as it really is a great resort. It’s huge and theres a lot on offer, it’s not just a beach (as seen below) they have many different areas where you can relax besides the beach including hammocks, an infinity pool and a family area.
The beach itself isn’t that big but we went late September time and for the Lebanese the summer is already over and so it really wasn’t busy at this time of year. Entry is around $20 and I strongly recommend taking your own towel as you will be charged around $18 to rent one which is a lot. The pricing is really the only thing stopping me from giving Lazy B a higher rating, as once you factor in all the different costs it becomes quite an expensive day just to sit on the beach – and that isn’t including any drinks.
Pangaea Beach Resort, Jiyeh – 3/5
Pangaea beach resort is also in Jiyeh, so you can expect the same travel costs. Pangaea is more expensive at $30 entrance fees (expect to pay extra for towel), however the beach is huge. I really liked this resort for this factor, especially as there was virtually no one else on the beach with us. However, I’m not sure if it was just because of the time of year (early October) but we felt pretty neglected, it was really difficult to get a hold of any staff and the resort was pretty much closed and the pool was not available for us to use.
Orchid Beach Resort, Batroun 4/5
Travelling in the opposite direction, Orchid Beach Resort is around half an hour driving North of Beirut, costing around the same price in a taxi as if you were travelling to one of the more southern beaches. I really enjoyed the Orchid resort as it was a really relaxed atmosphere, they have an amazing infinity pool and great good. Keep in mind that it is pretty pricey with entrance fees at around $30 dollars but I think it’s definitely worth a visit at least once. Batroun itself is also a lovely area and exploring the old town is great fun so it could even be worth spending a couple of days here if you wanted a little break from busy Beirut. The only disappointment with the resort is that most of the time you can’t actually go in the sea due to the rocks, so if you’re looking for a sandy beach this isn’t the one for you!
Sporting Club, Beirut – 4/5
If you fancy a dip in the sea a bit closer to the city centre you can always go to sporting club. It’s less luxurious than the other beach resorts I’ve rated here, and prices range from around $30 on the weekends but rates are cheaper throughout the week. There’s no sandy beach here but rather you sunbathe on the rock, and if you do decide to go into the sea, its very deep and there’s no shallow area! You should also be careful of the water here as it gets pretty polluted, hence why people usually recommend that you travel North or South of the city to cleaner waters. They also have pools at the club you can use, and various water sport activities to get involved in – I strongly recommend hiring a kayak and going over to Raouche rocks, a particularly beautiful trip at sunset!
Hotel Albergo, Beirut – 4/5
If you want something central but more luxurious and exclusive, I firstly recommend Hotel Albergo, Beirut. So much thought has gone into the design of this hotel, and the interior is filled with ornaments from across the globe. The hotel pool is secluded and small but with amazing views of the city and sea, and so I definitely recommend for a break from the bustling city below. It’s a small boutique hotel and pretty pricey – it may also be worth looking into as somewhere to stay if you want something upmarket, however I found the inside of the hotel to be pretty dark.
Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut – 2/5
The second luxurious pool on my list is the Four Seasons Hotel, located very near Zaitunay Bay (shown further down). As you can see, the pool area has amazing views all over Beirut and surrounding sea, which is really quite breathtaking. They also have a bar on this level which I would really recommend having a drink at, particularly at sunset. However, in terms of the actual pool, I really wouldn’t recommend this. The pool itself is very small and the pool and jacuzzi are both covered by shade for majority of the time so you can forget getting in a good sunbathing session. It’s also extremely expensive and isn’t worth going unless you are actually staying in the hotel and therefore get it included with the room. Spend your money elsewhere!
Zaitunay Bay, Beirut 3/5
Down the road from the Four Seasons Hotel is Zaitunay Bay, a lovely high end area on the marina, with a promenade along the coast and a cluster of restaurants with a view of the water and boats, as shown below. There are also a host of pools here which are open during the summer months, however I’m reluctant to recommend them due to the lack of privacy as a constant herd of tourists and locals walk past all throughout the day and night.
I’d much sooner recommend taking a stroll to the bay to have dinner or an evening drink as it’s a beautiful area, particularly at sunset.
Le Gray, Beirut – 3/5
On the other side of town, located in Downtown Beirut is Le Gray hotel, with multiple rooftop bars and a rooftop infinity pool with views all over the city. Le Gray is a pretty expensive hotel, however, in all honesty this came as a surprise to me as the interior reminded me more of an Ibis hotel. Still pleasant but a definite cheapness to it. So for this reason I wouldn’t really recommend staying here, but its definitely worth at least going for an evening drink and seeing the beautiful views.