La Guava Resort welcomes guests to a glittering gala evening
More than 650 guests converged at La Guava Resort in Beirut, lending their presence to the much-anticipated global launch of Le Hoyo Rio Seco. Resplendent in Hoyo livery, the venue opened its doors to guests upon presentation of a mobile digital pass, something of a first within the cigar industry and a feature that lent proceedings a frisson of exclusivity.
Upon arrival, guests were welcomed through an archway decorated with banners and illuminated with dramatic laser lights; a chilled flute of Laurent-Perrier was presented to them as they made their entrance.
The first cigars of the evening, the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure Especial, Epicure No.2 and Petit Robusto were savoured, with attendees gathering around the pool area for cocktails as the history of Cuban cigar cultivation and Hoyo De Monterrey played out on large outdoor screens.
Strains of violin music by Lebanese virtuoso Hanine coaxed raw emotion from the crowd, an exquisite performance that lent the evening a magical air.
As floating lanterns danced on the surface of the water, illuminating the brand’s logo, Mohamad Zeidan of Phoenicia Group gave the opening address, welcoming guests. Leopoldo Cintra Gonzalez and Luis Sanchez Harguindey of Habanos SA conveyed their warmest welcome before the Le Hoyo Rio Seco was finally revealed by Walid Saleh. He recounted the story of Le Hoyo Rio Seco and the innovative launching of the cigar, before guests watched in astonishment as fireworks spelled out the name of the cigar against the inky black sky.
The Le Hoyo Rio Seco cigar is the latest in the Le Hoyo series, which has been a traditional part of the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. In the past, the Le Hoyo range consisted primarily of narrow gauge cigars until, in 2014, the Le Hoyo line was expanded to include thicker gauge cigars.
As flying sky lanterns lit up the night sky, remote-controlled drones carried cigar boxes through the air, while boats sped through the water delivering boxes of Le Hoyo Rio Seco to delighted guests.
A fine dinner was then served, with live cooking stations and a buffet of international cuisine amongst the delectable offerings. As guests feasted, the strains of exuberant live Cuban music filled the air.
Among the guests of the night were the Habanos World Challenge participants, who earlier that day had competed for a chance to represent Lebanon in the Habanos World Challenge in Havana in 2019. The winner was announced by Leopoldo Cintra, Mohamed Zeidan and Walid Saleh, who revealed the winning team Tio Tanios, comprising Kassem Chmaysani and Elie Habib. They are destined to represent Lebanon in Cuba at the event.
The evening drew to a close with music once again from Hanine, the Chehade brothers and the Cuban band, with guests gifted a special lighter made by Siglo for Le Hoyo Rio Seco cigar, a once-in-a-lifetime gift to commemorate a once-in-a-lifetime evening.