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.



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.

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!