Our seasonal vegetable gardens produce a wide variety of foods that are in the earth in the morning and on the table later in the day. We produce traditional organic food, homemade breads, natural honeys and preserves, as well as a delicious cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil that we infuse most of the time with aromatic herbs grown in our vegetable gardens such as Lavender and Rosemary. A young rose and lavender plantations has been planted and the production of organic rose and lavender waters happens every year from Mid-April to End of July.
The link between the countryside and the interiors are evident everywhere: flowers from the gardens are displayed in arrangements throughout the rooms, terraces and gardens; seasonal menus reflect vegetables and fruits that are at their finest; bathrooms stock toiletries made from plants and flowers grown on the estate; and, in winter, open fireplaces glow with timber harvested from Al Haush area.
Today Al Haush is an elegant Agro guesthouse and a working farm in Central Bekaa, but like other spots in this glorious countryside, it was first settled during the Neolithic times and was famous during the Roman times when the Bekaa valley used to be known as the granary of Rome (Grenier de Rome).
The Bekaa valley rich background from ruins to vineyards, and stunning landscape in between, the Bekaa makes one of Lebanon’s richest regions in heritage and nature. From the earliest days to date, its endless green valley has attracted all generations of farmers who have lived from its generous lands. Here, communities spread over villages made of mud houses and separated by a yard, called “haushs” in Arabic, where farmers lived with their families, cattle and their harvest.
From up north Hermel down to Rashaya in the southern part, the Bekaa is still home today to more than 18 “haushs” that have become an intrinsic part of the inhabitants’ lifestyle and identity. While all of them carry beautiful legacies, one eternalizes nostalgia, turning a family story into a daily celebration of authenticity.
When the Saab grandfather, Salim, returned from Mexico in the twenties, he found in the Bekaa the closest resemblance to a dear place he had called home for many years, Mexico. Determined to duplicate his Mexican “hacienda” in Lebanon, he bought his land in the Centre of Bekaa in 1942 where he built his farm in 1945 and planted the seeds of his memories in thousands of acres of virgin green land.
Houch el Ghanam became since then the summer residence of many Saab generations, collecting moments of a family raised with a deep love for nature, and inspired by the touch of each of its members.
The family embarked on a painstaking restoration and rejuvenation of all the buildings, gardens and surrounding acreage.
Today, Al Haush is more comfortable and productive than ever, and has become one of the most genteel country estates in Central Bekaa.
Abou Hadi, Ahmad & Kawthar - Farmers and Animal keepers
They have spent their entire life living and working in the Bekaa countryside. They are responsible for tending all Al Haush arable lands as well as Vegetable Gardens and orchard and they do so with paternal pride. Their close connection to the countryside means they also takes care of the animals on the farm.
Nezam & Alam – Property in charge
Brothers their main responsibility is to take care of the estate gardens and terraces.
Nisrine - Beekeeper and head of the Agricultural workshop
Nisrine is our resident bee expert and has a personal connection with Al Haush bee colonies. She manages the estate’s beehives and the production of our organic honeys. Nisrine’s work with the bees can be seen first-hand during one of our farm tours. Beside her life-long immersion in beekeeping, Nisrine has also developed a deep knowledge of biodynamics gardening. She grows traditional plants from heritage seeds and her work underpins the estate’s self-sufficiency. She is responsible for nurturing and transforming our aromatic plants for guests to enjoy, the pleasure she gets from her work is evident in the Al Haush marmelades, distilled waters and other “terroir” products.
Nisrine is delighted to help guests understand the natural techniques she employs to manage the vegetable gardens and in the products she produces in an old fashioned way.
She uses hand-picked vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers from Al Haush gardens. Each product is a unique work of art, that captures the essence of Al Haush in each beautifully presented product. Nisrine can often be found collecting aromatic plants and home-grown ingredients in preparation for her delicious seasonal products.
Raed & Mimi - Chefs de Cuisine
They began their professional career very young. Their artfully prepared homegrown dishes are the result of a life devoted to their culinary obsession. Before joining Al Haush Raed and Mimi developed their craft in several prestigious restaurants across Lebanon and the Middle East. Both are naturally creative chefs with an exceptional eye for detail. They selects only the freshest ingredients and works in collaboration with Al Haush gardeners on their seasonal menus.
Mohamad – Bike in charge
Our bike in charge has been a bike enthusiast from an early age. Mohamad offers guests the opportunity to discover Al Haush’s land by exploring the hidden lanes and tracks on one of our bikes from our bike station.