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The older residences of Beirut are often evoked with nostalgia, their ochre and green succumbing to concrete facades in an ever-changing cityscape. There remain, however, few hidden pearls scattered across Beirut, awaiting to be discovered. Enter Zanzoun. Walking into its garden is an encounter with the Beirut of the past: the quietude of an unexpected courtyard, stairs that reveal a jewel so delicately restored, it appears that light itself seeks refuge behind its archways.
"While the scenery resembles that of Italy, the climate of Beirut is seldom oppressively hot. Much rain falls in winter, but the crocus, cyclamen, and other flowers thrive at that season, and palms are frequently seen in the neighbouring gardens."
Zeina is in love with the Orient, living her life between the Nile’s riverbanks and the Mediterranean’s shores. In her Beirut residence, she celebrates the Levant with carefully chosen decorations, every detail and material coming together in perfect harmony. In Arabic, the name ‘Zeina’ refers to ornaments or beauty, and ‘Zanzoun’ is its affectionate derivative. By choosing it as the name of her home, Zeina is inviting guests to engage with the Orient she loves: mysterious yet giving for those who can grasp it.
It is an imaginary encounter. Ingres, Delacroix, Gericault, Rubens: on the one hand real, on the other hand mythic, the Orient these painters’ brushstrokes drew and immortalised is also an homage to this region. Its sensuality, colours, and artisanal talent; this Orient comes to life at Zanzoun’s like tales narrated by a story-teller. You float between dream and reality, so much so that anyone hearing about your time at Zanzoun and its three hidden rooms in Mar Mikhael will struggle to believe its magic. Let the mystery continue… in the Orient, stories often go unfinished.
Book your room at Zanzoun: enter your check-in and check-out dates under the ‘Book Now’ button, then let us guide you.
Beirut’s history and soul are inextricably linked to the sea, so it’s only natural to have your L’Hôte Libanais guesthouse experience extend along the Mediterranean shores. From April to October, our clients in Beirut can enjoy preferential access to Lazy B, our favorite beach escape 30 minutes away from the capital. · Details available on request.
— Zanzoun photographs: Paul Gorra
Words: Reem Joudi and Orphée Haddad