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Baalbek is like no other city in Lebanon. You approach it heart first, tiptoeing towards the rich fabric of its historical and cultural makeup. It is a city that belongs to humanity; perhaps even more than it does to the Lebanese, who are privileged to be its guardians. Baalbek—a legendary, mythical place that calls for an equally exceptional accommodation. Only L’Annexe could fit the bill.
With an infinite love for their hometown Baalbek, Ali and his wife Rima, who acquired the place in the 1980s, strive to revive Baalbek’s heritage and pounding life by opening the Annexe’s doors and sharing their passion for this forgotten city with anyone thirsty for a true voyage into Middle-Eastern culture and history.
"We skirted one of the sides of this hill of ruins, on which a multitude of graceful columns arose, gilded by the setting sun, and recalling to the mind the yellow and dull hues of the marble of the Parthenon, or of the Coliseum at Rome."
L’Annexe is a traditional Lebanese home built in the 19th century that includes five rooms and a patio. Light passes through its arched windows, filling the quarters with a golden and ochre glow. Let your eyes follow the reflections, look upwards, and you will find Baalbek’s columns standing proudly ahead. The patio combines colorful fabrics inspired by Arab motifs with the tranquility of a Greek island garden. In silent contemplation, the melange of styles becomes a microcosm of Baalbek’s roots: an encounter of peoples and civilizations, where Phoenicia meets Rome, crossing paths with Arab caravaners resting under Baalbek’s sun, whose glorious light inspired the city's Greek name, Heliopolis.
L’Annexe is a separate building to Hotel Palmyra, which is also owned by Rima and Ali. L’Annexe’s five distinctive rooms are offered exclusively through L’Hôte Libanais.
— Photographs by Paul Gorra · Words by Krystel Riachi, Reem Joudi and Orphée Haddad.