A weekend getaway in Lebanon had been on my bucket list for quite sometime. After several failed attempts of making a little trip to Tyre or Amchit happen last summer with some friends, I concluded that such a trip would not be happening anytime soon. Little did I know that a couple of months after my failed summer master plan, I would be given the opportunity to have a fantastic getaway but to a city which I never thought I'd go to for such a purpose, Tripoli, or should I say "Tro-bles". When I received a phone call about this trip, I honestly laughed at the idea, "me? Tripoli? Why would I go to Tripoli?" was my initial thought, but boy was I wrong to judge the city in that way. Before I sound like a complete ignorant Beiruti, let me take a step back and explain my initial thought process. Before this weekend, I had been to Tripoli only on two occasions. The first was in 2009, when my cousin came from a visit from Los Angeles and my mother gave her a grand tour of the country. It was a very fun day trip filled with boat rides and yummy sweets, all-in-all a very "family friendly" outing. The second time I was in Tripoli, it wasn't even a proper visit, just a transit on my way to Aleppo by bus. Oh how times have changed. When people talk about Tripoli nowadays, at least the people that I run into, it's usually not in a nice way. It's almost always about shootings and fundamentalists, and never about the lovely seaside and all the interesting things the city has to offer. Thanks to the lovely people at the Via Mina Hotel, I got to see that the reality is far from the stigma associated with Lebanon's second largest city.
My weekend trip to Tripoli didn't include the usual "tourist" spots since I had already visited them a couple of years back, and because the purpose of the trip was to relax and enjoy my time without the hassle of "we need to see this, that and that and that". Instead, I wanted to explore the Mina region where the boutique hotel was located in. The tiny alleys reminded me of those found in Europe, if it weren't for the fact that the cars had Lebanese license plates, I could have sworn that I was in Greece or Italy. The best part was that the hotel was just a couple of steps away from the corniche. There's really nothing like a walk by the beach with the sounds of the waves and seagulls to make you forget all your problems and let your mind relax. We had a fantastic lunch at Boj El Samak, the fish tasted amazing and the batata kezbara was amazing, which is located right on the beach and if you follow me on Instagram then you already saw the fantastic view.
After lunch, I headed back to my room to relax and take a bath. I finally got to use my Lush bath bombs that I had been meaning to try for ages. I even watched some Netflix in the bathtub because why the heck not! Then it was time for a little siesta in the GIGANTIC bed, aka California King sized bed. To say that I never wanted to leave the room is an understatement. I honestly wasn't planning on leaving the room until I got a call to inform me that there would be a little meeting with the group downstairs, followed by dinner. For me to even consider forgoing a delicious dinner for something is a big deal. I did end up going down to dinner and spent the rest of the night enjoying the great company of Beirutista, BreadOnButter, Le Blog De Chanty and JoesBox. We even went on a little walk after dinner to check out Tripoli's nightlife.
I honestly cannot wait to go back with some friends, and this time maybe explore the city even more to experience all that Tripoli has to offer!
A BIG thank you to the Via Mina Hotel team for having me for the weekend, it was a great pleasure to stay at your hotel.
Via Mina Hotel
Farah Antoun Street
Phone number: +961 6 222 227
Facebook: Via Mina Hotel