Sunlight hits the glass facades and washes over the yellows and blues, copper and wood, carpets and curtains, tickling them under the high, painted ceiling. Soft footsteps along the corridor and Jamil appears at the door of the living room, ready for a new day full of people and stories.
He walks out to his flowering balconies, overlooking the streets of the heritage, central neighbourhood of Tabaris, Achrafieh, which have witnessed a century of Beirut’s history, of times gone by and yet to come. Surrounded by landmark towers and cuddled among the city’s oldest and most prominent districts, Dar Al Achrafieh mirrors and echoes Beirut’s musics, colours, and aromas, faithful to history and yet welcoming of change and diversity.
The guests wake to the scents of fresh zaatar, to the soft rattle of the coffeepot on the fire, the bubbling of flower tea, and the warmth of their cozy blue room. Breakfast with Jamil, over local cheeses, jams, and manakish, fragranced by golden olive oil and mint, is more than just a lovely, authentic meal brightened by sunlight.
Breakfast with Jamil is a journey across Lebanon’s mountains and coasts, a handful of ideas of places to visit, a tale of how Dar Al Achrafieh came to be discovered by L’Hôte Libanais, and the story of Jamil himself, who followed his passion of designing oriental draperies and clothing, colouring them with his autumn leaves and mushrooms, zigzags and ripples, roses and orchids. And in between laughter and smiles, breakfast with Jamil will take you back through the years, full of guests who have visited and have never forgotten.
Being L’Hôte Libanais’ first, handpicked Bed and Breakfast,Dar Al Achrafieh has hosted tourists from all around the world, who have brought their stories and left with more stories to tell, of a dancing, friendly city, culminating with diversity and warmth, where they found a home away from home. Jamil keeps their postcards and kind, nostalgic words, and goes through them every once in a while.
“Just spoke of our trip to Beirut today. Fond memories creep up all the time and you are part of it, all the best to you Jamil, from Jeanette.” He reads out loud to his new guests, as the sun sets in the distance, disappearing slowly among the cluster of towers, casting pale oranges and reds in every corner of Dar Al Achrafieh.
“If you’ve never visited Beirut before, some people do find it a difficult city to get to grips with, but Jamil would help you find your feet in no time at all”, wrote Sean on TripAdvisor.
The guests are ready to head out, for a walk in Gemmayze and then dinner in Hamra, imagining what the Chouf Mountains will look like tomorrow and what a Cedar forest scents of. With Jamil’s words escorting them at every step and Lebanon to unravel ahead, they already know that bits and pieces of this journey will remain with them forever.