Located in Batroun, occupying the 3rd floor of an old building next to the Red Cross is a normal apartment called Zalfa Guesthouse. Owned by Jacques and his wife, the house is like any average house refurbished in the simplest of ways. There are three rooms: Love room, Cable Room and La Vie est Belle... ready to be rented on a day to day basis. Checking around the net I decided to try what this guesthouse has to offer.
Located in a busy residential area the guesthouse is an apartment located on the third floor of a building. Jacques welcomes you, makes sure that the experience starts with a glass of freshly prepared lemonade from Batroun, before showing you around the house. Three rooms each is named according to its decor, a living area and a reception that's still empty and unfinished.
Trying to book a room or the entire house, the information posted over the net was not clear. There aren't any clear images of the building, just the rooms. Social media shows the yoga classes and film productions that have taken place at the venue.
The first impression:
- Hosts are polite and welcoming.
- The apartment is located in a busy neighborhood loaded with people and kids playing on the street.
- Three floors without an elevator!
- None of the rooms is a master bedroom with its bathroom.
- I didn't know that the house was not fully furnished.
- The noise from the fridge is unbearable; an old fridge from the last century.
- Three rooms, one living space, two bathrooms, one reception area and a kitchen.
- One room with a double bed and two rooms with two beds.
- Decor is funky but clearly furnished with inexpensive materials.
- Third floor and no elevator should have been mentioned!
- The building is too old.
- The apartment's parking is being used by the neighbors so expect to park on the streets.
I'm not sure if I expected something different but the descriptions on Airbnb madeit look as the best apartment one can expect sleeping at... I was honestly deceived.
Arriving late I went straight to bed. The linen was not as soft and smooth as I expected. The bed was hard. Three rooms share two bathrooms. The sound of the fridge was annoying with no light. The rooms have no desks or bedside tables. The bathrooms do not provide shampoo.
I'm not sure if calling it a guesthouse is the appropriate terminology. A guesthouse, to me, is where you share the home with the owner and where breakfast is served in the morning by the host himself. Zalfa is more of a furnished apartment with towels and bed sheets.
Waking up at 7am was not an option. Sunlight comes from all sides pushing you out of bed. The windows have no shutters.
I'll change and improve:
- Let's not call it a guesthouse since the owner doesn't share the apartment with guests and breakfast is not served here.
- It's better not to rent out the rooms separately since they share the same bathroom. One would love to have it all at a better price.
- Shelves are needed in all bathrooms.
- More carpets are a must, which will add warmth to the house. Let's turn this design gallery into a warmer space.
- The love room bed is really hard and uncomfortable. It's kind of dangerous! Built on industrial wooden pallets one should be careful when getting out of it.
- Checking the light bulbs regularly is a necessity. The entrance and bathroom need attention.
- The house is near the highway; something has to be done to reduce vehicles and trucks noises specially at night.
- Change the Airbnb description from a poetic text to a real description so guests know what to expect.
- Add more photos of the building and its surrounding.
- Guests have the right to know that there's no elevator.
- The fridge should be changed urgently!
The hosts are exceptional, polite and welcoming... my only issue is that I did not know what to expect before arriving.
Expect to pay $65/room for the night or $190/apartment.