Perfect for those seeking a nature-filled getaway, La Datcha was built by the late Nazih Henry Chehade 12 years ago. The villa is now a stunning guesthouse run by Nazih’s wife, Lina, and their daughter Sarah. We learn more.
Tell us about La Datcha’s location.
The villa is surrounded by 10 hectares of agricultural land, where you’ll find poultry, apples, cherries, blackberries, figs, grapes and peaches. Many more fruit trees have also been planted. Nazih visited the place quite often to get away from the crowds, traffic and noise. He’d rather get into his car for a 90-minute road trip from Beirut in order to enjoy the sound of cicadas, a clear sky full of stars and a fresh climate.
Halfway between Laqlouq and Akoura, it is a perfect year-round destination. It takes just seven minutes by car to get to Laqlouq’s ski resort and the white winter makes it an ideal spot for cheese and wine by the chimney. Akoura is also very close, just 10 minutes away. Caving, hiking, visiting the lakes and tasting authentic Lebanese food has been a new trend for adventurers and tourists; which I believe is a strong asset.
What inspired you to open La Datcha?
2014 marked a sad year for our family as Nazih passed away. The house stayed empty for a few years until our mother, Lina, decided to breathe new life into it. Having completed degrees at Glion Institute of Higher Education and Chicago Booth, my sister Nour and I decided to combine our knowledge in hospitality and business to honor our father, as he was a source of inspiration to the both of us. La Datcha was created in his memory and we then turned it into a bed and breakfast.
What’s special about the property?
La Datcha has three rooms on the first floor, with en-suite bathrooms offering full privacy, and each room accommodates four guests. The kitchen, living room, dining table and fireplace are located on the ground floor, where guests can enjoy the beautiful views. It is great for independent travelers, couples and families.
We also host private events from time to time, particularly during the summer.
What’s the meaning behind the name?
Nazih’s Orthodox heritage led him to use this Russian word dacha, which means second or seasonal home.
Are there any plans to expand?
The future holds a lot of possibility, but life has also shown us the uncertainty. For this reason, our focus is to improve and perhaps one day turn it into a boutique hotel.
Text: Maghie Ghali