Despite it being mid-winter, Morocco’s Mazagan beach resort was still drenched in golden sunlight and temperatures peaked at a comfortable 26 degrees. If you’re looking to escape the reality of Britain right now, Mazagan is the perfect destination for a long weekend.
Situated off the beaten track (it’s 1 hour from Casablanca’s airport), arriving at the hotel feels like driving up to the garden of Eden; trailing through dusty sands and winding roads, you enter a luscious green complex spanning over a massive 250 hectares and bordering a 7km stretch of private beach. The first thing I was struck by is how quiet it is – a welcome change from the bustle of most Moroccan cities. You can easily wander around the sprawling grounds and not bump into another guest, yet at meal times you realise just how busy the Mazagan is. Everything is supersize here, from the generous breakfast buffets, to the never-ending corridors, and lavish spa – when we learn that it was created by the same as Dubai’s world-famous Atlantis Hotel, it came as little surprise. Built in 2009, and costing a whopping £300 million, you really feel you’re staying somewhere special.
We spent the two days sampling four of the restaurants, going to a different one for every lunch and dinner – from a rustic French meal at La Cave to a high-end experience at Sel De Mer Seafood. Despite being a vegetarian, the staff still managed to provide incredible food for me. And not just the usual chips and salad I often get given, but quinoa vegetable stacks, mushroom risotto, and fresh Caprese salad. In between meals, we toured the grounds, viewing some 6 of the 500 rooms; built in an Arabic-Moorish style, everything is cohesive and ornate. Covered in mosaic tiles, archways, and carved stone.
The charm of Mazagan is that whilst it is incredibly relaxing you’ll never be bored – we went horse-riding (my horse was a slightly wild stallion called Obama), zip-lining and quad biking. We spent time intermitting between adrenaline-boosting activities and lounging by the pool or in the spa. I had a massage that made me forget all my day-to-day life stresses, and sunk me into deep relaxation. All finished off with the most refreshing cucumber water I’ve ever tasted. If you have kids, it’s ideal too (the resort is aimed at families), there is an all-day Kidz Club, with activities like archery and forest biking. Plus a super-cute petting zoo. Basically, it’s an all-round win!
My main takeaways from staying at the Mazagan Beach Resort was that a) Moroccan wine is brilliant, and we don’t talk about this enough, b) sometimes holidays don’t need to be complicated – good food, a beautiful setting, and fun activities are truly the trifecta, c) size really does matter.