Boutique hotels: converted Dars and Riads
Where they are found, these are some of the most exciting places to stay in the region. Usually with no more than twenty rooms, these hotels assimilate beautifully with their surroundings and draw on the history of the region. Furnishings are typically local and traditional, and service is personal and friendly. They give a real feel for the cities and towns in which they are found.
Where you’ll find places like this: Morocco, Tunis (Tunisia), Damascus and Aleppo (Syria)
A featured example: Hotel Talisman, Damascus
In the heart of Old Damascus lies the Talisman Hotel, a beautiful hideaway in the Jewish quarter of the old city. Once a Jewish palace, the building was faithfully converted into a magnificent boutique hotel.
The Talisman is built around a central courtyard with a swimming pool in the middle. Attention to detail is impeccable throughout – from the lanterns on the ground to the immaculate stone and paintwork on the walls. The seventeen rooms and suites maintain this standard, with beautiful detailing and furnishings in the finest mother of pearl, every inch befitting the palace residence.
The location of the Talisman is wonderful too. Interesting local restaurants are just a short walk away, while the sights of the old city can also be reached on foot. The winding streets are best explored this way, but once one is ready to return, the comfort of coming home to the Talisman is quite exceptional.