Poolside, Phoenicia Hotel, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 (0)1 369 110 ext: 2180
Website: Not supplied
Style: Hotel bar
Price guide: High-end
A forest of white columns and lush palms fringe this absolutely stunning poolside lounge, with views over the megayachts and boats at the marina below. Soft draperies, swinging double beds lined with soft cushions, a big screen showing movies over the pool and an absolutely lovely retro-colonial feel impress.
Someone has put some serious thought into the spirits selection here, too: there are 30 rums and 35 tequilas, and even Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal, while the cocktail list is tailored for poolside drinking and there are flavoured shisha pipes too.
Yet we visited on a quiet night and were bewildered by the sloppiness of the service in a high-end bar at a five-star hotel. Tables were left uncleared for half an hour at a time; a tweaked Margarita ordered from the menu took at least twenty minutes to arrive swimming in chipped ice; ashtrays were unemptied.
Still, you don't need to be a guest to come here for drinks and use of the fabulous pool during the day (it closes at 7, while the bar shuts at midnight). By night, or during winter months, Whiskey Mist (an offshoot of the London club which migrates up the coast to Byblos during the summer) might be a better bet.