When we feel the need for a much deserved break but don’t have the luxury (or days off) to travel, a staycation is a must. If you look on the bright side of staycations the best part is definitely the no rush to catch a plane and hassle of packing, plus the added bonus of discovering a new beautiful city in Lebanon. A smooth, fun road trip, beautiful scenery, valleys and green hills. We finally arrive to Mir Amin Palace Hotel, a 19th century landmark located in Beiteddine, 45 km south of Beirut.
We were very much impressed by the hotel’s stunning old architecture and design. Mir Amin was built by Emir Bashir II and is the remaining one of the 3 palaces built that survived. The hotel has been renovated but kept it’s charm and character and many original features were also retained. We fell in love as soon as we stepped out of the car and than into the courtyard on our way to our room. It’s a vast open courtyard, where guests can relax, sit and have some coffee or tea. Le Serail restaurant is also available serving traditional Lebanese cuisine in a warm cozy setting. During the summer, The Terrace Italian restaurant welcomes guests in the courtyard to savor genuine Italian cuisine. Garden El Mir also serves Lebanese cuisine as well as a Sunday buffet.
We stayed in an executive room, with a seating area and views overlooking the mountains. Beautiful, spacious and comfortable with modern amenities. The room was spotless and 2 complimentary bottles of water were waiting for us. Needless to say we were not disappointed.
We decided to go and explore the surrounding area, visiting Moussa Castle, Beiteddine Palace, Fakhreddine Mosque (the oldest Mosque in Mount Lebanon) and Our Lady Of The Hill Church. (Stay tuned for a more detailed post on sightseeing in Beiteddine/Deir El Qamar).
Returning to our rooms in the early evening, we were pleasantly surprised with a treat waiting for us in our room. A big bowl of fresh fruits and Arabic sweets prepared by the hotel’s very own chef. We immediately delved into the sweets and loved them, especially the crescent shaped anise cookies.
We lazed around the room and rested a bit from all the walking and sightseeing, pondering whether to order room service or go down to the restaurant for dinner. Being the couch potatoes we usually are, our initial thought was to order room service and relax, watch TV and play board games. However, due to the majority poll vote on Instagram we decided to go down to the restaurant and have dinner. Beautiful interior with glass windows that look out into the courtyard, we were starving for traditional Lebanese food.
A more detailed post of our dining experience will follow soon, but we can definitely assure you, you are in good hands and guaranteed to eat well at Mir Amin.
After a hefty, mouthwatering meal we retreated to our room. Two movies and a few scrabble games later we finally dozed off. Having stayed in several hotels, Twin rooms usually offer 2 single beds that are most of the time small and uncomfortable. We were so pleased with the size and comfort of the beds, each bed was almost the size of a double bed and the mattress and pillow were oh so comfortable. It was definitely the best sleep we’ve had in all the hotels we stayed at.
I think we can all agree that the best part of staying in a hotel has got to be the breakfast. You have the option of having breakfast down in the restaurant or have it delivered to your room. We opted for the second. Scrambled eggs on toast, Manakeesh (Zaatar, Cheese, Keshek, Selek), Labneh, Jams & Honey, Veggie plate & Olives, Cheese Plate, Bread & Toast basket with Cake and Fresh Orange Juice, Coffee & Tea. What more can one ask for after a good nights rest, we dived right in.
The word hotel makes you think of tourists and vacations, but Mir Amin is much more than that.
It’s a destination for Lebanese as well wishing to escape the city and find refuge in a quiet and serene place for a day or a weekend getaway.
Welcoming and hospitable staff, our stay was memorable and we’ll definitely visit again when the weather is warmer for another stay and of course their Sunday buffet.
05 501 315