This abandoned Holiday Inn Hotel is one of Beirut’s war landmarks. It was basically built around 1971 and 1974 and designed by both Lebanese and French architects. This hotel is a 26-story building that used to have 400 rooms for guests. It officially opened in 1974 when Beirut’s economy was booming and when Beirut was one of the most visited touristic centers of the Middle East.
The Holiday Inn was functioning perfectly for only a single year which was unfortunately until the Lebanese civil war begun in 1975. The hotel soon became considered a “war zone” in a lengthy time of conflict known as “the Battle of the Hotels” where more than 25,000 combatants/militias were fighting for control over different luxury hotels, including the Holiday Inn as well as the famous Phoenicia hotel. This battle ended up with over 1,000 deaths, where many of those who died were thrown from the top of the Holiday Inn, and 2,000 injuries.
War struck Lebanon again and the hotel became a battleground once again during the 1982 Lebanon War. Since then, the hotel has remained an abandoned building that has suffered countless bullets and explosions, while the ownership is still being fought over until today.
A Lebanese company and a Kuwaiti group both want to own the building and to rebuild it based on their own interests, so disagreement continues.
This hotel remains untouched, abandoned, empty, decades after the war, and remains a reminder to the Lebanese population about the horrors of war.