Remember a little while ago when I said you don't need an occasion for self-pampering? That Valentine’s Day or not, you can still
enjoy a little romance and self-love outside a commercial pretext?
We decided it was time for another spa session, but this time
our sanctuary lay in the pine-covered mountains of Broumana. In fact, the
weather was dreary and wintry, with rain pounding the hilly terrain and temperatures flirting with a chilly 10°C.
|The courtyard at Grand Hills Hotel in Broumana|
We arrived to the majestic Grand Hills Hotel, part of The Luxury Collection by Starwood. From the
lobby, the spa is a quick sprint across a square courtyard, and once inside, we
were greeted by a young specialist named Ghina who invited us to tea and detox
water. Formalities aside, we descended in the elevator, beholding the
painstaking detail on its floor fashioned from marble and mosaic tiles. Seconds
later, the doors slid open, and we were led to a private chamber.
|This is an elevator floor. Yup, marble tile and a mosaic to boot!|
|The private lobby outside our massage chamber|
Our room benefited from a beautiful vista of pine trees and
hence a deluge of natural light, which is perhaps the first time I’ve experienced a
massage en plein soleil. Ghina left
us a few moments to slip into bathrobes and explore the room, which houses a
brick fireplace, bathroom, shower, two external sinks, and a hot tub. We
climbed onto the massage tables as Ghina returned with her associate Fadia to
commence our Grand Duo package.
|The massage tables|
Fadia gently worked her magic on me, gliding from limb to
limb with lubricating massage oils that would leave my skin feeling as soft as a baby’s bottom. She started with my arms and hands before shifting to my
calves and feet.
Shoulders were not spared, and as expected, the muscles in
that area reflected tension, knots, and kinks which Fadia labored to iron out. She
then transitioned to my noggin, and I succumbed to her patient hands as they
rubbed the temples of my forehead and shaped the contours of my face.
50 minutes thus, and I lay totally defenseless, stripped of
my iron guard and smiling snugly at the idyllic scene outside. Ghina powered
up the hot bath before she and Fadia ushered themselves out, leaving us to
indulge in an hour of unparalleled tranquility.
Gazing out over the picturesque
landscape, we were reminded of just how majestic Lebanon’s mountainside is, and
it is this natural setting that renders Grand Hills a wonderful escape.
|Hot bath overlooking pine trees|
|The grand view from our massage room|
We showered, dressed, and headed out of the spa, but we
weren’t ready to part ways with the opulent property, which with its intricate décor
and stately furniture is a palace fit for an emperor. Learning that the pool café
was in service—well, at least the indoor section is—we made our way through
mosaic-lined corridors before arriving to a corner restaurant.
Settling in, we ordered soup to start. Roasted tomatoes
simmered to a liquid consistency and dusted with black pepper felt like the
perfect nourishment for body, mind and soul post-therapy. Thereafter, pan-seared
salmon on a bed of spinach emerged, encircled with baby potatoes and roasted
grape tomatoes. Dessert seemed iniquitous, so we abstained.
|Roasted tomato soup|
|Pan-seared salmon on a bed of spinach|
Without realizing it, four hours elapsed in the blink of an
eye at Grand Hills. The hotel seemed animated with activity, a crew filming a
reality TV show on premises as well as many guests exploiting the spa services.
It’s comforting to see one of Lebanon’s most luxurious estates awakened and
empowered once more.
|Tell me this hotel isn't a palace fit for a king!|
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