Beit Al Mamlouka, Damascus
Beit Al Mamlouka was converted from a private house into a hotel over the course of 3 years by the original owner, May Mamarbachi from Aleppo. It had long been a dream of hers to restore an Old Damascene house and it opened in April 2005 - the first 'boutique' hotel in Damascus.
Reached via the ancient alleys of Damascus this pink coloured hotel has painstakingly been restored to its former glory. The hotel is built around a central courtyard (pictured) with orange trees and a fountain, and is located in Bab Touma, the Christian quarter of Damascus's old city. It has just 8 bedrooms and so early booking is recommended, particularly at peak periods. It also features an Old Bayke (stable), converted into a gallery, restaurant and bar.
The hotel dates back to the 17th century and boasts original features from the 18th century, together with a mid 16th century archway. One of the suites, Suleiman the Magnificent, contains its own fountain in the shape of a rose and an original 230 year old Christian fresco on the ceiling. The hotel is unstinting in its style and blends tradition with luxury. Each room is decorated in traditional Syrian style using local products. Brocade is used to make the curtains and the beds are fitted with Damascene quilts. Bathrooms are fitted with hand-made and painted tiles and drawings.
Pictured below: the Ibn Battuta room.