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Beirut's historic Le Bristol Hotel is celebrating its reopening after a massive two-year renovation.Mahmoud's relationship with the hotel goes back years – he frequented its cafe with his father in the 1960s, and stayed there as a guest in the early days of the 1975-90 Civil War.Celebrated French decorator Jean de Royere was originally involved in the furnishing the hotel, Mahmoud said.Some of the hotel's most famous rooms have been kept entirely intact, including its parquet-floored and aptly named Golden Room, and its Damascene Ajami salon. Le Bristol now features three distinct styles of bedroom, with the decor referencing the hotel's history. To cater to the hotel's business clientele, a second, modern style provides a more conventional option, with muted tones. Mahmoud said the intent was to create an environment that would remain attractive to Le Bristol's current clientele, but would also offer new customers the conveniences they expect from a contemporary hotel.The kitchens and food service have long been important to Le Bristol, explained general manager Nazira al-Atrache.
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