Situated on a hillside that overlooks Douma, a village in north Lebanon, Beit Douma, with its crowned red bricks, stands tall and proud. With its doors wide open ready to accommodate you, the guesthouse boasts of a strategic location surrounded by gardens and orchards, weaving a picturesque 360 view.
Kamal Mouzawak, in partnership with renowned designer Rabih Kairouz, transformed Beit Douma to the charming guesthouse it is today. The place is an extension of the weekly Souk Al-Tayeb; a market held in Beirut, and other regions of the country, that aims to bring together farmers and productive housewives, in order to promote local produce including Lebanese organic products, food items and supplies, and traditional dishes.
Beit Douma is an addition to the list of multiple other guesthouses founded by Mouzawak, including Beit El Qamar, Beit Ammiq, and Beit Beirut. The main thing that combines all of these places is the essence of Lebanese hospitality and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle away from industrial and technological pollution.
The first thing that would catch your eye is the tiling of the floor, that is reminiscent of our ancestors’ homes, and the exquisite drawings and paintings distributed around the house.
Next thing you know you’ll be welcomed by the large table placed in the parlor, containing baskets filled with seasonal fruits and homemade sweets done by Ms. Anama, the lady in charge of the kitchen in Beit Douma.
The house itself consists of two levels, and all you’ll be seeing on both floors is green. The entrance, halls, and outdoor courtyard are all dispersed with plants and seedlings in large glass pots, adding a cheerful and fresh atmosphere.
On the first floor of the house, the large sitting room is decorated with art pieces the owner collected from his many travels, and a large library for reading-enthusiasts to pick their choice of book.
The big couch is adorned with embellished pillows, hand-made by women in villages and traditional Lebanese workshops.
The indoor courtyard area is also decorated with a collection of old Lebanese copper kitchenware and pottery.
The traditional morning breakfast will immediately draw you in as it is flawlessly arranged on the table in the indoor courtyard. Just picture this: hot tabun bread that will melt in your mouth as you compliment it with delicious locally sourced cheese, flavorful kishk, eggs with minced meat that will awaken your taste buds, in addition to sweet home-made jams and other mouth-watering items.
On the second floor, there’s another large sitting area circulated by the sleeping quarters.
Each of the bedrooms is uniquely furnished with hand-woven small carpets, embroidered covers, and crochet curtains, in addition to other small details that ooze of old Lebanese house vibes, such as accessories and paintings.
The main balcony on the second floor oversees the orchards, greenery, and a majestic panoramic view overlooking the village.
Guests can enjoy a good cup of Arabic coffee or berry juice on the balcony, overlooking either the outdoor courtyard. This courtyard might just be our favorite part of the charming bed and breakfast; at the center there’s a small pool and fountain standing against the serene and harmonious backdrop of nature.
The place has its own privacy: there are no TV sets, as the owner wanted the venue to be devoid of anything that may hinder communication between people. So instead of engaging with technology, guests can choose some of the games in the lobby for a good time with a good bunch. The concept also applies to phones, as the rooms do not have landlines in order to avoid any ringing noise. Fret not Wi-Fi is available on the premises for those who need to stay in touch with the world.
All around Beit Douma you’ll find that the gardens and orchards are stretched so far away that your eyes can’t help but get lost in the green. You can opt to chill under the tranquility of the trees, have your meal out in the peace and quiet, or even sunbath. Whatever you do, you’ll feel right at home!
In this fast paced world, simplicity and serenity are much needed every now and then. So next time you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, make your way to this Northern Lebanese hidden gem to delve into Beit Douma’s individuality, uniqueness, and traditional yet distinctive aura.