It doesn’t come as a surprise that Aley District is called the old Beirut. Luxurious houses, souks, and important hotels were once a magnet that attracts tourists and locals as well.
In the middle of the city, stands the old and beautiful Aley Grand Hotel built in 1926 and left, unfortunately, to decay.
Aley Grand Hotel is also known as Gebeily Hotel. It is located just off the main freeway sitting on a hilltop overlooking the old resort of Aley, known as ‘3arousit al masayef’ meaning ‘bride of the summers’. It’s a popular destination for visitors from Beirut and tourists from neighboring countries.
The hotel was constructed by the famous Italian architect Bindo Manham who also designed the Maghen Avraham Synagogue of Beirut in the Renaissance era.
It was the first place to host the incredible Egyptian artist “Oum Kalthoum” outside of her motherland.
The place is totally abandoned except for a part of its ground floor where a family is living.
The building consists of a ground floor and two stories. A beautiful large garden surrounds the main entrance that leads to an elevator and two set of stairs.
Aley Grand Hotel is a very popular location for movies and music videos shooting. It is the place where Adham Nabulsi shot the video of his famous romantic song ‘Meshta2‘.
Weirdly enough, years after the civil war, the owner transformed a section of the hotel into a school. The school colored walls and setting are still present to this day.
In a creative initiative, young Lebanese artist Karl Sfeir took pictures of the amazing place to a whole different level: