Take the route through the hills overlooking the old town of Batroun and the Mediterranean. As you go along, the scenery becomes greener and greener. Then continue on a somewhat steeper path that the asphalt has neglected to cover. A few more bumps here and there and you suddenly arrive at a little gem hidden between lush greenery, a little modest and beautiful house that lies amidst its own olive trees. It is here that Colette Kahil has chosen to build her home and surround it by fruit trees laden with lemons, almonds, olives, quinces and more.
Beit el Batroun is a bed and breakfast that opened in 2013. Colette, who welcomes you warmly as you walk in, is a reflection of her surroundings, peaceful, light, and generous. As you walk in a brilliant light bursts through the ‘liwan’ (the central room) thanks to two huge open arches on either side of the house. As you step out into the terrace, you are overwhelmed by a sense of belonging to this beauty. Catching that one second in time where you are alone with this perfect yet simple and untouched scenery is a pure pleasure. The view is stunning, blue skies linger above the trees that opens the way to the sea. Carefully restored furniture, collected over years of salvage work, adorn the house. Colette has managed to collect old tiles, windows, and iron beams and use them to build her dream home. Her bed and breakfast carries the soul of those beautiful old houses that were demolished in Beirut over the years. Although it’s newly build, you feel that this little house carries something reminiscent of the past. It’s a beautiful thing to build something and recreate a home whose elements are formed from those of buildings from the past. Those tiles, beams, and beautiful wooden windows could have vanished forever but somehow managed to find a new home, thanks to Colette’s efforts, nestled in a little village called Thoum in the heart of Batroun.
I love this place. It’s my little retreat with my husband, the one we escape to whenever we need to be alone and tucked away from the world. It reminds me of a Chinese proverb, “Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come,” and you always wake up to a singing bird at Beit el Batroun.
Because of those little endeavors of love that people have started to build around the country I#livelovelebanon and I will #fighton