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.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Yoga and Reiki Retreat - Zamzam Riad Marrakech, Morocco

We have been really busy organising the first "Journey of Awakening Retreat" at Zamzam. On the 28 January we will be holding an exciting four day Ashtanga Yoga and Reiki Retreat in Marrakech at Zamzam.

The four days will be all inclusive, including Yoga with Aisha, Reiki with Reiki Master Rebecca Hutley from Spain, delicious and nutritional food to feed body and soul by Emma and her Zamzam chefs, a journey into the Atlas Mountains with lunch at the stunning Kasbah Toubkal and a visit to the Agafay Desert outside Marrakech to La Pause, an eco retreat where we will have a traditional Moroccan dinner under the stars! For more information on the programme and events, email Emma - zamzamriad@gmail.com


Yoga Guru, Aisha Barzaghi will be leading two yoga sessions a day to work holistically with your awakening on this retreat. Aisha now living in Marrakech and building a dedicated yoga retreat has lived and trained for 7 years in New York City and 7 years in San Franciso, and has combined a variety of styles, from Ashtanga Yoga to Power Vinyasa Yoga and pranayama (breathing technique) and meditation, to a more slower inward Yin Yoga focusing on alignment and refinement of asanas. Her teaching style focuses on prana building, building heat in the body to cleanse, release, remove and heal various aspects of the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual bodies.

Her training and experience as a bodyworker brings an acute sense of the anatomical layout of the body to the application of asana practice.

Knowing that each individual is unique in their own right, as their bodies are, to the journey and practice of yoga, being aware in each class, each lesson, the unique individuals needs to that journey and nurturing that through humour, patience and loving kindness.
Aisha currently holds classes at Kasbah Tamadot (Richard Branson's Kasbah), she is excited to be joining this holistic retreat at Zamzam.
The second major component to the "Journey of Awakening Retreat" is Rebecca Hutley who will be coming from Spain to mentor and unveil reiki on the retreat and use her healing hands. Rebecca has been a Reiki Master of Usui and Tibetan Reiki for over 10 years. Her life in that time has taken her around the world teaching, training and practicing. She has worked with MTV, taking a team of Reiki practitioners on European tour and has taken Reiki into the corporate arena. She says, ‘Reiki is a gift to the modern world reminding us that we can heal ourselves. It is a form which takes us beyond our current perceptions of the body and how it works and explains the indivisible links between the mind, emotions, body and Soul. Reiki is a practice which enables people to relax and explore aspects of themselves often hidden by their busy lives. It becomes a way of being by re-connecting us to our true self’.

All of this and more will create a powerful and exciting four days journey in and around Marrakech. The all inclusive activities will be optional and we have created free time and guides for you to discover the magic of the Medina itself. Zamzam will host The Journey of Awakening Retreat so you will get the best of both worlds - full concierge service, luxurious beds to jump into at night, heated pool and spa facilities.

If you are interested in finding out more about The Journey of Awakening Retreat - Zamzam Riad - Marrakech, please email Emma - zamzamriad@gmail.com

Come and discover what it's all about!
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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!