Text description provided by the architects. Nestled between the mountains of Batroun and its sea, Carl Gerges Architects’ latest hospitality project is a haven of sandy tones, rich textures, and lush greenery, inspired by Mediterranean landscapes and tales. “Capo” is a boutique hotel and resort, architecturally reminiscent of a Roman amphitheater, using classical symmetry and intricate detailing to deliver a sense of balance across the property, whilst paying homage to the land’s history. Laid out in five descending levels, ultimately leading up to the shore of Batroun’s sparkling sea, the main protagonist is omnipresent, glorious at every turn.
The resort’s dramatic entrance is lined with statuesque cacti and swaying white canopies that lead the way into the main outdoor space where a cushioned majlis surrounds a central firepit. At night, guests are invited to stargaze near a longitudinal pool filled with water lilies, which creates a sense of tranquility and frames the glimmering view. This dialogue with the sea and the sky is intentionally kept unhindered throughout the property as a means to connect with Phoenicians who were master sailors and expert celestial navigators on this very shore.
From afar, the architecture resembles a sailing boat: the symbolism is not lost on Capo, aptly named “Captain”- invoking ancient Lebanese civilizations in one of the world’s oldest ports – and creating an open dialogue between our ancestors, the stars, the sea, and the present moment.
Reminiscent of a glamorous Lebanon of the ’70s, the multi-level pools are a meeting point for an eclectic local scene: their unusual shapes follow the land’s natural topography, creating unique outlines that summon the coastline. The pool’s rough sandy finish cleverly mimics the sea’s color at any point of the day, creating an infinity feel.
Capo is constructed almost entirely using a unique mix of beach sand and cement, reflecting warm golden hues off the shoreline, from which the resort seems to emerge. From afar, the hotel suites blend with the landscape. Upon closer inspection, the interiors are sleek, monochromatic, and understated with a clean finish, the colossal sliding doors invite expansive sea views inside. The bathroom features a carefully planted private courtyard, giving the shower an immersive open-air experience. Each room has its private pool and terrace, allowing guests to relax in their private little oasis while still being in the presence of the sea.
The vegetation across the property animates the scenery: delicate plants such as reeds, grasses, and evergreen cabbage palms sway and chime with the wind – while sculptural cacti, agave, and olive trees stand suspended in a moment of stillness. The meticulously tended gardens visually connect the different spaces, transforming the place into a botanical sanctuary.