Deir al Oumara

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The original 19th-century edifice was a palace built in 1827 by an Italian architect, for Emir Bashir II’s advisor Boutros Karame.

The architecture mingled Ottoman and Florentine styles of the era, retaining the traditional courtyard (“al dar”), the refreshing octagonal fountain at its center, and the surrounding arcades behind which the offices, bedrooms, baths and other rooms were set up. The asymmetrical middle roof could be characteristic of the Ottomans, who claimed that perfect symmetry must be kept only for God’s creations.

The second floor wasn’t added until 1907, when the Marist Brothers turned the building into a boarding school, making sure the style stayed in perfect harmony with the original ground floor.

Today, the hotel’s vast rooms have been converted from both the original rooms of the palace and the former school’s classrooms. They are individually decorated and furnished in a colorful Provençal style, adding a soft touch to the ancient stones.