The prestigious hotel beach resort Eddésands received some harsh backlash for its Facebook post that wrote:
“Enough confinement! Distancing is enough! Florida is opening its beaches with 25,000 infected by the [coronavirus]. It’s high time for Lebanon’s [government] to start the process of ending confinement while keeping safe distancing and other cautious behaviors. EddéSands is preparing to open.”
Seen as irresponsible, the post stirred controversy on Sunday night. The critics were relentless in their comments as they vocalized their disapproval to the thought of Eddésands reopening during the coronavirus.
The fact is, the post wasn’t worded properly and people misunderstood that the resort plans on opening regardless.
In response to the comments and to settle the mob, Eddésands made a clarification to the original post, stating that they don’t intend to open until the government allows it.
“We’re not open! We won’t open until an official de-confinement is declared, with the safeguards adopted by the competent authorities!”
Eddésands Hotel & Wellness Resort
Since the owner of Eddésands has always spoken publicly about the must of quarantining and social distancing, and his businesses in Byblos were among the first to close down for that purpose, The961 contacted him to better understand his hotel’s point of view.
Roger Eddé, who is a lawyer, a businessman, and a politician, told us, “I have been adamant in my social media and mainstream media interventions warning about the risks of a pandemic, ahead of everyone in Lebanon! I have, in every media intervention, called for #StayHome and [social] distancing!”
He stated that the hotel resort is completely closed, apart from a hotel near Eddésands (and operated by them) that was offered exclusively to be used by doctors and hospital staff, free of charge.
Eddésands was also proactive in the precautions it took, ahead of most. They closed all their restaurants, pubs, and boutiques in the Old Souk of Byblos-Jbeil before being asked by the government.
“We personally are respecting confinement with full discipline,” he asserted.
However, as he explained, some countries are considering the option of reopening despite the virus. Proactive countries are already thinking of ways to go back to normal in a safe way.
For example, since a vaccine may not be available for another year, the French Prime Minister Phillipe explained the inevitably of de-confinement.
Eddé believes Lebanon should do the same forward-thinking, granted the proper safety measurements are taken. Reopening is an inevitable route that the world will begin to take as it adapts to the new normal.
So, as the world considers reopening, the hotel made clear that it’s important to start thinking of what to do if it reopens, “considering that, in the hospitality business, [it] can’t proceed as usual, unless a vaccine is available! That may be at least for the 2021 summertime season!”
Mr. Eddé thinks that it’s likely that the Lebanese government will follow in the footsteps of what is done worldwide, especially in Europe and in America.
If the government decides to reopen the hospitality business in the country, then “we need to prepare the resort for the summer, in a different way that takes into consideration the safety of our personnel and clients,” he stated.
Life after the COVID-19 cannot be like it was before the pandemic. He asserted that precautions will be taken. Testing kits will be imported from overseas to use on the hotel’s staff and clients. Testing will take place daily. Safe distance will be respected both indoors and outdoors.
“There’s a huge decision-making process that needs to be available for a safe opening that, at the same time, to fully reassure our distinguished and sophisticated clientele.”
“I resent the anti-business left-leaning “USUAL SUSPECTS” crusade to destroy what’s left standing, and struggling to survive, as we’re trying to do as entrepreneurs investing in corrupt Lebanon!” He said.
“I have not made a penny from Eddé Sands and I have funded fully the project and its annual losses, in millions of dollars! All that I wanted is to create a destination in the hospitality business, outside of Beirut, in my place of birth! I did it! And I will keep fighting for making my dreams possible!”
He concludes, “In the meantime, I will keep developing projects worldwide, where I made my success story, without neglecting politically my country and my Byblos!”
Get the latest news and updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Lebanon along with a live monitor of cases in Lebanon as well as resources and information to help you guide the outbreak on our dedicated coronavirus page.