Reena Patel Embarks on a Moroccan Equestrian Experience and More at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort
Bustling souks, tasty tagines and belly dancers capture the colourful culture of Morocco, but there’s a whole other side to it that’s interesting to explore.
A one-hour drive from the city of Casablanca welcomes you into the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage site of El Jadida, which is where visitors from around the world gather to showcase some of the finest pedigrees at the annual Salon Du Cheval horse festival.
With the King of Morocco as its patron, the Salon du Cheval is an unmissable event for equine professionals, with some 120 exhibitors and over 700 horses flocking to it each year. We marveled at the thoroughbreds on show, with an exceptionally impressive performance from Lorenzo – illustriously known as the ‘flying horseman’.
El Jadida is also home to the majestic Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, which, during every October, experiences an en masse equestrian takeover from horse jockeys and avid voyeurs alike. Here, they indulge in the hotel’s grandiosity while they take advantage of its close proximity to the Salon Du Cheval horse show.
An oasis set in the desert-dry climate, Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort lured us in with its opulent entrance to discover the gems inside. Once within what resembles the style and flair of an authentic medina, you’ll discover that size matters at Mazagan – so much so that everything is spacious and offered in abundance. The large-scale labyrinth is set over four floors and boasts eight different culinary experiences, plus a French patisserie, top-to-toe spa service with hammam and nine treatment rooms, casino, nightclub, beach-front, large swimming pool surrounded by date and palm trees, an 18-hole golf course stretching over 6,800 metres (the longest in Morocco) and, of course, a myriad of 500 rooms reflecting Arab-Moorish style. For those who want to get back in the saddle, there’s even the chance to go horse riding on the beach at Mazagan’s equestrian centre, as well as a whole host of other activities to get stuck into.
Food is served with fervour. At the resort’s Morjana Moroccan restaurant and Oriental lounge, you can dine on traditional Middle-Eastern cooking while watching a bit of belly dancing and listening to pumping Arabic music. Meanwhile, at restaurant Sel de Mere, you can sample a wide range of fresh seafood prepared on a large barbecue grill. The Market Place buffet station presents you with fresh dishes daily from around the world, with a fine spread of Lebanese flatbreads and dips. At Al Firma, you are given the chance to have an authentic meal in a traditional Berber tent with performances to liven up the evening.
Down at the spa, Moroccan oils are blended to boast nourishing massages, while mineral-rich mud infused with argan oil creates the spa’s signature experiences. There are also Carita products for those who want to adopt a western approach to their facials and skin care.
During our stay, we were also lucky to explore Casablanca – a definite must when travelling around the country’s west coast. As Morocco’s largest city and chief port, Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, which is the largest in North Africa and the third largest in the world. Shoppers will take happy respite in the massive mall while foodies can enjoy a number of great eateries and find souks filled with olives, almond pastries and much more.
With its assortment of Moroccan marvels, Mazagan puts itself firmly on the map.
Mazagan – Where and How?
The Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is located at 24000 – El Jadida (Casablanca) Morocco. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.mazaganbeachresort.com or www.visitmorocco.com, or call +212 5 2338 8000.
About Reena Patel