the history of
LEMON TREE RELAIS
Originally constructed in the late 1600s, the property underwent several expansions over the centuries to accommodate evolving family and livestock needs. Initially designed as a rural abode, the premises once sheltered small farm animals like chickens, goats, sheep, and even a mule. With industrialization and the influx of workers from villages like Zabbar to the ports, the residence grew too vast for the owners, eventually succumbing to abandonment.
In 2016, the current proprietors acquired the estate, embarking on an intricate restoration journey. While the transformation was aimed at housing six guest rooms, a kitchen with an adjoining breakfast area, and a swimming pool with a deck, every facet of the original rural architecture was meticulously preserved.
Today, the Relais showcases guest rooms adorned with modern amenities cocooned within weathered limestone walls. The ethos of the past harmoniously meets contemporary comfort and technology, allowing guests to relish the historical legacy without compromising on convenience.
Commencing in March 2016, the restoration endeavor spanned ten challenging months. After years of abandonment, the property’s walls were concealed under layers of plaster and oil-based paints.
The process commenced with a comprehensive cleanup, a prerequisite for conducting any heritage assessment. Remarkably, two wells were discovered beneath the premises – one, accessed from the current bathroom in room 2, and the other nestled beneath the garden’s pool deck. Both wells were preserved and repurposed for rainwater collection.
As blueprints were finalized, walls were meticulously stripped of decades-old plaster, and wooden beams, crucial in supporting the limestone ceiling slabs, were rehabilitated or replaced.
Local artisans were entrusted with crafting bedroom furniture, while other pieces were skillfully repurposed from existing and similar properties. Tiles, imported from Italy, were artfully laid to shape the floors and bathrooms.
The culmination you relish today is the fruit of adeptly surmounted challenges. A dedicated cohort of contractors worked hand-in-hand with the design team, ingeniously creating cozy rooms with minimal compromise to the site’s heritage.