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The hotel manager, Nadim Zoghbi, trailed off as he showed us to a duplex suite at Deir al-Oumara, a recently restored 19th-century Ottoman-era villa.For centuries, the Chouf was home to Ottoman authorities who covered towns like Deir al-Qamar and Beiteddine in palaces, trading centers and other imperial structures. Construction on this early 19th-century mansion began around three years ago and was aimed at reopening the space as a boutique hotel. At some point during one of the school's turnovers, the property fell into the hands of the Greek-Melkite Diocese of Saida and Deir al-Qamar, which together with local engineer Mounzer Fouad Ephrem al-Boustani and two of his friends decided in 2011 to rehabilitate Deir al-Oumara into a hotel with a $1.5 million investment.In line with Ottoman-style architecture typical of the early 19th century, the sandstone-colored building was structured around a central courtyard lined by two floors of arched corridors leading to private rooms. Sixteen hotel suites now occupy the classrooms surrounding the courtyard.
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