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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Beit Al Mamlouka Hotel, Damascus

On a recent tour of old Damascus, I happened to visit the “Beit Al Mamlouka” hotel, located in the heart of Old Damascus, Bab Touma. The hotel dates back to the 17th century and combines a mixture of Mamlouk and Ottoman influence.
“Al Mamlouka” in Arabic means “the possessed”.

The Liwan(Inner Patio)& Fountain

The hotel was previously a home to a Syrian family and was in a very bad shape. It’s current owner undertook the daunting task of restoring it to it’s previous glory, maintaining all of the house’s original design, and turned it to a 9 bedroom hotel.

There are 5 hotels such as this in Aleppo, but this is the only one of its kind in Damascus.

Each hotel room has a unique design as well as it’s own special name such as the “Suleiman the Magnificant” suite, the “ Antar&Abla” room, and the “Abu Firas Al Hamadani” restaurant and bar.
Suite Ibn Sina - living room&Suite Baybars - Bedroom

The Terrace& Abu Firas Al Hamadani restaurant

What I liked most about this hotel were the little touches displayed here and there and the attention to detail, such as the verses of poems written on the wall above the bar, the well in the courtyard, and the beautifully decorated ceilings.

Beautiful wooden ceiling, Poem verses by Hafez Al Shirazi located above the bar

Decorated ceiling of the Baybars suite, well in the courtyard(Ared Diyar)

I also learned a few interesting facts about old Arabic houses. Here are some:

-Apparently, people in old times used to turn on the Bahra(fountain) when they were discussing something private or of importance to drown out their voices so that no one could hear what they were actually saying.

-People in old times used to heat using charcoal stoves, and this emitted high levels of carbon dioxide, that’s why most rooms in Arabic houses had one wall built and layered in a special way with wood and other materials then covered with whitewash to absorb these toxic fumes.

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what a wonderful hotel,
ae haa, we just need this kind of work to restore our beautiful city and promote it internationally.

I tried to enlarge the photos but it took me to flicker. do i have to register to save the photos??

damn those are sweeeeeeet. it is like some kind of awesome

Great hotel..
I am tempted not to sleep at my home next visit.

What a beauty! Would like to visit Syria soon! Hey I've watched Kingdom of Heaven already. Really good. - nour

Amr: I've changed the photos settings so now you can get a larger view without having to register with Flickr.

Nurhan: I agree with you!

Sinan: I also felt like spending a few nights there.

Nour: I saw Kingdom of Heaven too :)
You're welcome to Syria anytime :D

Very beautiful Hotel, I wasn't aware of it.
I must visit it soon.

Hey Dina,
This is awesome….
I think renovating these old houses and transforming them into hotels or restaurants is the best think that has ever happened to our gorgeous old cities. (It is an Aleppine innovation BTW).
They are mushrooming here in Aleppo, and they are one of the reasons behind awarding Aleppo this prestigious award.
I have been to all of them; the food is also delicious…
(p.s. I will be making a post about them in the upcoming days. Stay tuned!)

Great, very beautuful, dina, did u take those pic urself???

Baher: You should really go see it, it's great.

Rami: I totally agree with you. I have read your post on the award and I think that's great. I will be looking forward to reading your post.

Ghalia: Yes I did take them myself.

AMAZING..every time you visit Syria you find out new and wonderful things, such a rich history. Do you know the Baron Hotel in Aleppo..

Looks great! Thanks for the info Dina.

Is it this house near Hammam Al-Bakri that is painted pink from the outside?

Great post Dina :)
Loved the pics, and loved the info even more, specifically the carbon dioxide bit

Wow, like Sinan said, I'd love to stay at least one night at this gorgeous hotel if not Yallah the meeting we're going to have when I'm in Syria meeting, is going to be at this place. Hehehe...

Nice job, Dina... Great pictures. Thanks for bringing this hotel to out attention...

Steliano: Thanks for dropping by:)I left you a comment on your blog about Baron Hotel...I haven't been there personally but would love to someday...

Ayman: you're welcome :) Yes it is the one facing Hammam Al-Bakri...

Omar: Thanks.Glad you liked it ;) I also liked the bit about carbon dioxide.

Sara: Thank you Sara and you're welcome :) Inshallah we'll see you soon...

It makes me want to stay over a day or so in it eventhough I have my home in Damascus, still it would be a nice vaccation!

What a beautiful place. I too would really like to stay there one day.. Having lived abroad for almost 3 years now, i have come to appreciate more our art and wealth of culture. Great post Dina and lovely pictures.

Catherine: Thank you for dropping by:) I also felt like doing that.

Ally: I'm glad you liked it :)

Gr8 place, the pics are wonderful u're an artist :)

Great pictures. Looks like a fantastic place I hope your stay there was fun.
Thanks for sharing.

Shop Girl: Thank you :) You're very kind.

Odd: You're welcome. Thanks for dropping by :)

its all wows every picture is so beautiful......nice Blog. will comeback again :)

Mirzaghalib: Thank you for dropping by :)

THe post is beautiful, it makes u wanna visit! I am Egyptian, never visited Syria, but had Syrian friends though. I would love to come visit some time. I also liked the bit of info you added at the end of th post..

Dalulla: Thank you very much for dropping by. I'm glad you liked the post. You are most welcome to visit Syria :)

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