FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Beirut: Step Lively

by Sharon King Hoge

May 1, 2018
May 2018

ON THE LONGEST STAIRWAY in the Middle East, 129 steps and 18 landings separate two of the most colorful neighborhoods in Lebanon’s cosmopolitan capital city. The historic St. Nicholas staircase links Beirut’s trendy Gemmayze district upward to Sursock, the fancy avenue lined with grand mansions and elegant high rises of the past and present gentry. Both areas still show signs of the devastating effects of the civil war that raged 1975–1990, but structures decorated with arched windows, ornamental ironwork and ornate cornices witness a lively lifestyle dating from the era when this city was called the Paris of the Middle East.

The stairway landing is tucked off Gourand Road, one of the city’s liveliest streets (locals just call it Main Street), lined with boutiques, cafés and clubs. Storefront restaurants offer fresh croissants, sushi, pasta, sandwiches, pizza slices and hamburgers. A few doorways to the west of the steps, the longtime local favorite café, Le Chef, offers daily fresh specials of homemade food “like my grandmother’s kitchen.” After dark, clients comfortably sipping cocktails and local Beirut beer while engrossed in their laptops populate the street’s cozy clubs and dimly lit pubs.

Halfway up the steps, the Grand Meshmosh café provides a hangout for visitors sampling turnip and fennel soup, eggplant moussaka and slices of dense carrot cake. Farther along, My Luxury Outlet sells elegant shoes, bags, luggage and other leather goods by Longchamp, Lancel and Fratelli Rossetti at steeply discounted prices.

Port of Beirut

Port of Beirut © THINK DESIGN MANAGE | DREAMSTIME.COM

Signs at the top of the steps designate the district “Caractere Traditionnel,” and directly across the street is the former Maison Tarazi, dating from 1908. It sits a few doors down from the three-story 1912 villa of aristocratic art collector Nicholas Sursock, converted to a notable museum highlighting regional and contemporary art. Lights blaze from its stained glass windows at night, and Sursock’s book- and memento-lined study and ornate Oriental Arab Room ringed with divans convey a sense of the grand lifestyle that once prevailed here.

Storefront shops sell high-end art and antiques and the exquisite mini-mosaic rings and brooches of jeweler Nada Le Cavalier. Around the corner at the far end of the street, the grand old theater of the Metropolis Cinema screens first-run American and international films.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Feb 23, 2024

The Radical: A New Boutique Hotel, Opens in Asheville, North Carolina’s, River Arts District

Once an abandoned 1923 constructed warehouse in Asheville, North Carolina, it took a creative group of designers, artists, musicians, chefs and business folks to transform a neglected, 100-year-old structure into one of Asheville’s most interesting and daring hotel projects.

Exclusive Savings: Cruise Along the Danube River with Global Traveler

Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler

February 2024
Feb 23, 2024

Pickle Up: Get in on America’s Fastest Growing Sport

Early on, pickleball had something to do with pickles. Pickles the dog, that is. In one story, the game was named for a family dog that ran off with the ball between sets.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

Hôtel Norman Opens Near the Top of Champs Elysées

Located a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe, Olivier Bertrand recently opened Hôtel Norman for those looking to explore the city.

A New Perspective on Incentive Travel

Incentive travel has long been a way for organizations to drive sales and reward employees with opulent trips to exotic destinations. Today it encompasses even more.

Daily
Feb 23, 2024

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco Completes Renovations

JW Marriott Hotel Mexico City Polanco recently completed renovations of its entrances, lobby, culinary concepts and meeting space. This marks the final stage of the renovation, which began in 2021 with the revitalization of its 269 guestrooms and 45 suites.

Daily
Feb 21, 2024

Make Alberta, Canada, Your Next Wellness Getaway

Rich in mountains, prairies, forests and hot springs, Alberta, Canada, takes nature and wellness travel to a whole new level. Combine the beauty of this western Canadian province with relaxation and you’re in for a treat.

The Argosaronic Islands Are Calling

The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.

eFlyer Reviews
Feb 21, 2024

Amantaka Review

You know what you’re going to get at an Aman hotel, and also you don’t. Expect peerless service, obsessive attention to detail, architectural elegance worthy of a fashion magazine, a holistic approach to wellness and astounding levels of comfort. But each property is also intimately connected to its setting, and that’s where the surprises lie. For instance, finding yourself on your knees on a sidewalk in Luang Prabang handing out sticky rice to Buddhist monks at 5:30 a.m. isn’t something we expected.