BEIRUT: With summer finally upon us and public beaches sadly few and far between in Lebanon, those in search of sand and sea may prefer to spend their free days, and even nights, at one of the country’s many beach clubs.
The Daily Star profiles some of the coastline’s best to save you precious sun time. Pack your sunscreen and head to the beach early to make the most of your weekend.
Riviera Beach Lounge, Beirut
If you’re based in the capital and can’t face the thought of being stuck in traffic just to get to the beach, consider Riviera. Even though it doesn’t have a “beach” in the sense of sand and sea access, there are plenty of pools to choose from.
At the main pool, you don’t even have to get out of the cool water when you’re in need of refreshment, just swim over to the in-water bar. If you’re with the kids, the Little Riviera section has a family-friendly pool, and a kids menu in the restaurant.
For some extra privacy hire a Bungalow, which comes with your own private Jacuzzi, or if you have friends in town, perhaps The San Torini Lounge, overlooking the sea, which features a Jacuzzi that fits 12, and your own private butler.
For those dedicated sun-worshippers, hire a Turning Sun Bed which follows the movements of the sun.
For non-members, adult weekday entrance is LL30,000 and weekend entrance is LL40,000.
Riviera Hotel, Paris Avenue, Beirut. 01-373-210.
Edde Sands, Jbeil
With sprawling green lawns, a vast terraced pool split over three levels, and a gorgeous stretch of sandy beach, Edde Sands is one of the original and best of Lebanon’s private beaches.
There are also several restaurants and bars to choose from, a VIP pool, and two kids pools. Or if you’re looking for an adrenaline rush try jet-skiing or parachuting, relaxing afterward with a massage at the tropical spa, or lying back in a beachside bungalow.
Edde Sands often holds live evening performances and concerts, and also throws raucous pool parties. Extend your stay at the boutique hotel on site.
For non-members, adult weekday entrance is LL25,000 and weekend entrance is LL33,000.
Edde Sands Resort, Jbeil, before the town. 09-546-666.
Lazy B, Jiyyeh
Lazy B prides itself on living up to its name. In its own words, the resort is, “Only for nature lovers seeking, relaxation, serenity and peace.”
With a cute little bay and shaded beach cabanas at no extra cost, Lazy B is the place for ultimate relaxation.
The two pools, including one brand new art deco style oval pool, are adult only, if the family beach area is a bit rowdy for you, and there are several snack and bar areas. The expansive lawn areas are dotted with plenty of shaded spots, and a little pier juts over the sea.
And if you really can’t justify abandoning work commitments for an entire day, there is free Wi-Fi access across the board, so tap out a few emails under the shade of a beach hut.
Adult weekday entrance is LL30,000 and weekend LL35,000.
Lazy B, follow signs for Sidon for 30 km along airport road, turn right at Jiyyeh and follow signage. 70-950-010.
St. George, Beirut
Underneath the now-abandoned St. George Hotel, an iconic pre-Civil War venue, this club by the marina is perhaps a little more low-key than the Riviera. If you have a day off work midweek, St. George is your answer for some immediate sun.
With only one pool, it’s not as spacious as some of the other beach clubs, but it has everything you need.
For non-members, adult weekday entrance is LL25,000 and weekend entrance is LL30,000.
St. George Yacht Club, Ain al-Mreisseh, next to the Phonecia hotel on the Corniche, Beirut. 03-958-379.
With what claims to be the longest private beach in the country, at around 1 km long, Laguava, set in a guava plantation, is the club to come to if you really want to feel like you’re on holiday.
There is also one adult pool and one family pool, a bar, a seafood restaurant and a grill bar. If you’re feeling adventurous you can also try scuba diving, waterskiing or simply a banana boat.
The 10 bungalows are a step up from beach huts: each comes with room service, a private garden and a jacuzzi, so if you can’t face the highway back home after a day in the sun, extend your stay at this idyllic location.
For non-members, adult weekday entrance is LL27,000 and weekend entrance is LL33,000.
Laguava Resort, Rmeileh, Rmeileh Exit, near Jiyyeh. 03-141-411.