As-Salaam-Alaikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to MarrakeSh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.



Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!



Thursday, February 18, 2016

The whole Shebang - Natural product Spa Marrakech

The Spa team ahave been busy devising menus for natural Spa treatments made daily depending on your skin type and requirements.  Each face and hair pack is made daily 15 minutes before the treatment.  Today I had the most amazing anti wrinkle facial with 2 specially designed face packs, one to firm and one to hydrate.  

Clients also had hair packs applied whilst relaxing and enjoying full gommage in the hammam.  Using all locally sourced products including Argan oil and Mountain honey I think the Menus are amazing.  We are conducting trials of them over a period of time and will be feeding back to you on the results especially the hair packs with before and after shots too.


To book at the Zamzam Spa email us at zamzamriad@gmail.com




Thursday, February 11, 2016

Zamzam Riad & Spa - Holistic Retreat Centre, Marrakech Morocco

At Zamzam Riad & Spa we are the perfect venue to hold your retreat.  Cushions, yoga mats, blankets, morning raw juices are all included.  Our chef is multi dietary trainied and works closely with Emma and other nutritionists to set menu plans relevant to the retreat including a recent Paleo Retreat with yoga.

Our chef was raw trained twice by John owner of Cashew Catering in Brighton to bring you such delights as cashew cheese covered in fresh herbs and a raw chocolate torte with a nut and date base.  We can also cater to raw weddings in Morocco with our excellent team.

Ideal size of group is 12 guests and 2 teachers who stay complimentary.  If your group is bigger we do work with excellent riads close to us.  We can help you plan your retreat week adding such items as hiking in the Atlas Mountains, bike tours with our Giant Partner AXS and cooking courses.

One of our huge bonuses is the energy of this old storytellers House set in the ancient Unesco Heritage site of the Marrakech Medina.  Its excellent for looking inwards and improving practice is a serene canon.  Our Spa is a superb way to detox with the traditional hammam and a number of excellent treatments including our winner the AEOS facial.

Get in touch if you are planning or looking for a retreat centre in Marrakech or combine a longer retreat programme with our Eco Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert and on the Beach.


















For more information contact Emma - team@campadounia.com or telephone for more information on +212 661215062

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

'Desert Awakenin'g with Lou Rhodes & Lemn Sissay at Camp Adounia Sahara Desert Morocco - 1-8 April 2016

WHAT IS THE ADOUNIA AWAKENING?

The Adounia Awakening is a very special week in the Moroccan Sahara with two of Britain's most exciting and dynamic artists, Lemn Sissay MBE and Lou Rhodes from Lamb. It's a 7-day Philantrophic Adventure of self discovery that takes you on a journey from Marrakech at Zamzam Riad to Eco Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert.

You'll be lead by two shining stars, who will safely guide you in shedding the heaviness of life through self exploration and reveal something beautiful that was always there. Your own voice. A remembering of life where we all truly belong.


It's an exploration of the ancient wisdom of the culture of Morocco, fused with the creative guidance of superstars Lemn Sissay and Lou Rhodes, to expand your consciousness and support your spirit in a journey of self discovery.


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Lou Rhodes and Lemn Sissay at Camp Adounia - Sahara Desert


Your guides to Finding Freedom of Expression through words & melody in the vast expanse of the Saharan desert.

Lou Rhodes is a Mercury nominated singer-songwriter and one half of electronic genre-benders Lamb. She has released 3 critically acclaimed solo albums the first of which, Beloved One (2006), was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize. Her fourth solo album theyesandeye will be released in 2016. She has released six albums with Lamb including Backspace Unwind (2014) and regularly collaborates with other musicians, both as a songwriter and vocalist. Lou is also a published author with essays included in Scott Heim’s The First Time I Heard series and her children’s books The Phlunk and The Phlunk’s Worldwide Symphony.


Lemn Sissay MBE is the author of several books of poetry, as well as articles, records, public art, and plays. He was an official poet for the London Olympics. His Landmark Poems are installed throughout Manchester and London, in venues such as The Royal Festival Hall and The Olympic Park. Sissay is associate artist at Southbank Centre, patron of The Letterbox Club and The Reader Organisation, and inaugural trustee of World Book Night.


For enquiries or to book places on this experience call Emma +212 661215062 or email team@campadounia.com.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gypsetgirl, article on 'Restival' at Camp Adounia in November 2015




The Restival in Morocco’s stunning Sahara Desert in November is an event not to miss. Happening November 14 – 20, it’s a hybrid of a retreat, attunement with nature in a desert paradise and a chance to celebrate and connect. According to the festival organizers, “[It’s] for those who are looking for a digital detox, a break to inspire creativity, an opportunity to be in one of the most natural unspoilt places on earth.”
I’m super excited to be part of this festival’s premiere. It has the vibe of Burning Man, but better. Burning Man may be iconic, but it has grown into a huge festival with more than 70,000 attendees, hordes of motorhomes, noise, traffic and gas powered generators. It’s lost the intimacy it offered in the earlier years.
On the other hand, the setting of Restival is located in Moroccan sand dunes not far from the stunning Atlas Mountains. The activities are both thrilling and soul inspiring while the spa treatments are perfectly hedonistic. And the thought that I’ll be spending the nights in a beautiful, deluxe, bedouin style tent under the stars is a dream.
gtent
photo courtesy of www.campadounia.com
Here’s a close up look at what Caroline Jones, event founder and developer of the clothing and accessories brand Bazaar Bohemian has in store:

Adventure

gsandboard
photo courtesy of www.campadounia.com
Sandboarding is available during the week to get your adrenaline pumped. And if you think flying down steep sand dunes is too much, you’ll wish you opted for sandboarding after you take a camel ride instead. Those camels are stubborn, temperamental creatures.

Wellness

This is where Restival shines. After all, the goal is for festival goers to recharge and detox from the stress of hectic, daily life. The activities include:
  • Sunrise events 
  • Biodynamic dance
  • Kundalini and Hatha Yoga
  • Energy healing

Learning

There’s a variety of how to gatherings and workshops that inspire creativity, living simply and taking the Restival experience home and living it:
  • Creative writing workshops
  • How to juice
  • How to switch off and switch on
  • How to wear a turban and other desert chic styling tips
  • How to use essential oils

Exploration

What makes the festival most unique is its setting in Morocco. The organizers have mini-trips planned to visit nomadic tribes and enjoy the final night’s sunset at Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified city protected by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The location has been famously seen in Game of Thrones, Alexander and Gladiator.
g-ait-ben

Spa

The weather in the Sahara is unpredictable. It’s sometimes hot and sunny, other times windy and nights can be unseasonably cold. Mix this with a day of sandboarding or sand golf and a girl just needs some spa time to recharge and get the sand out of all the nooks and crannies. Restival offers a full menu of spa treatments, hammocks throughout the eco site to chillax and a very special daily Hammam.
If you’ve never heard of a Hammam, you’re missing out. It’s an Arab or Turkish bath that has been a cultural and ritualistic tradition in the Islamic world for more than a thousand years. The Hammam experience entails soaking in pools of varying temperatures from warm to hot to very cold while sipping tea. It’s a quiet, spiritual experience. The purpose, according to Islamic traditions, is to purify the body before prayer. But the health benefits are great as well. The steam and distinct temperature changes are great for your skin and circulation.
ghammam
a traditional hammam

The Nightly Grand Finale

The best close of all each night is brought to you by the universe. The festival location is in the middle of nowhere. There are more stars in the sky than empty space. To enjoy the stargazing with new and old friends, Touareg musicians play, sing and invite you to dance around the campfire.
gmusic
photo courtesy of www.campadounia.com
The Restival is a well thought out and memorable event that caters to everyone with a love for the simple, good things in life. For more info on the festival, visit the Restival website. Who’s coming?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

RESTIVAL launches as a New Creative, Nomadic Gathering in the Sahara Desert - Morocco



RESTIVAL, a visionary fusion sitting somewhere between a Retreat and a Festival, is launching this November in the Sahara Desert, Morocco. 

This utterly new experience runs from 14-20 November 2015 and invites people to find the space and creativity to re-charge and re-connect with their inner landscape, whilst sharing cultural and creative experiences with a new and modern 'tribe'. 

Founded by experiential producer, Caroline Jones, she says, “I had the desire to create an experience where people can open up, share and disconnect from the technological and societal pressures of our globalised world. Restival was grounded in repeated requests from friends in the media to create an anti-festival.”

Appealing to adventurous spirits, Restival is a space in the Sahara where individuals can find the freedom to explore and unwind, guided by some very cool contributors such as Morning Gloryville, Ripe and Ready, Seymour Space Paris and artist Boris Hoppek - amongst others. 

The programme will include a mix of art and writing workshops, music from local tribes, astronomy, story telling, morning raves, biodynamic transformational dance with Heart Core, yoga, meditation and mindfulness, creative discovery, a film night and tour to the find the nomads in the desert.   

Restival will take place at eco-lux Camp Adounia, set in the majestic dunes of the Sahara Desert. Access from Marrakech is by 4x4s winding through the Atlas mountains, via the Tizi-n-Tichka pass and the UNESCO world heritage site, the ksar of Ait Ben Haddou, descending along the Draa Valley into the desert camp.

Prices start from £1000 per person for 5 nights all-inclusive based on sharing a tent. Return flights are not included.

For all enquiries and bookings, visit www.restival.global and complete the online form.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Ecological Yoga Camp Desert Morocco and Beach Morocco

Camp Adounia is a brilliant retreat location for yoga teachers looking to bring their followers to Morocco.  Both programmes start at Zamzam Riad & Spa in Marrakech Medina.  The programmes normally start with an introduction an a hammam before heading off in landcruisers and our professional drivers to Ait Ben Haddou.  Exploring the magical kasbahs and the drive through the Atlas Mountains gives a real feeling of adventure to go with your inward exploration.  Two or 3 days at the camp in amazing sand dunes, wonderful silence and really getting away from it all is a brilliant place to practise yoga and meditation. 

Our chefs are vegetarian trained and used to special diets and juicing.  We have all mats and equipment on site and our excellent Spa Team are will you to pamper an nurture you along the way.

We can also advertise your retreats on our page www.moroccoretreats.com

team@campadounia.com for further information or call Emma to discuss 00212 661215062







Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Luxury Beach Camp - Essaouira, Morocco - Family cheap holidays

Our Beach Camp is ready and open for clients. With 2 flights a week from London Luton and just 20 minutes from Essaouira airport.  Fly in for a long weekend in the sun, with surfing, camel, treks, horseriding on the beach, fishing and even a visit to a local argan village.  Alternatively fly into Marrakech and do a summer special package with Zamzam Riad & Spa only 2 hours from the luxury beach camp.

We have our own beach for miles clean and excellent for beach walking.  The lovely staff including our resident chef are ready to cater to all dietary needs.  Dine under the stars listening to the rolling waves or our nomad musicians around a camp fire.  Fresh fish is bought daily to the camp by local fisherman and produce is bought locally.

Our eco tents are full of luxury sheets, mattresses, hammam towels and hot and cold washing facilities.  Our eco toilets are handcrafted out of wood and all toiletries are ecological as well.

Email me for more information and summer deals at Camp Adounia or phone 00212 (0) 661215062