The third stop on my November beach hop along the Moroccan Atlantic Coast was Paradis Plage Surf and Spa Resort. Owners take pride in being the first hotel in Morocco to combine yoga and surfing—a dynamic duo since yoga prepares and repairs the body after surfing. The property invites guests to ride waves, climb camels, or salute the sun as it rises and sets. Here couples, families, friends, and solo travelers enjoy over 100 suites with terraces or balconies opening to pool or sea. Recreation varies from four area golf courses and an outdoor cinema. Located 30 minutes from Agadir and 50 minutes from an international airport connecting to European capitals via 3-hour flights, the resort is where westerners love to play.
Started by Kabbage Abbes, one of first investors in Agadir hotels, who teamed with Francois Payot, head of Rip Curl Europe, the resort is a work of art run by Abbes’ daughter, Naima, and her husband, Vincent. Furnishings were created by locals and the gorgeous green spaces and gardens are by Spanish landscaper, Sergio Castaneda Beltran.
Excited to learn more about surfing and to practice yoga, I was shown to a gorgeous oceanfront suite. At the Surf House beach bar while sipping my Flag (local beer) and waiting for a Mexican burger (rare in this region), I saw horses and camels waiting patiently on the sand while cats lounged in the sun. Later, everyone returned for the golden orange sunset. See highlights of my stay below.
In partnership with Rip Curl, legendary Australian brand, Tarik Wahbi, surf pro from Tétouan, is ranked one of Morocco’s Top Ten surfers. Manager of the surf program, he leads a team of gregarious guys who hook up guests with equipment, instruction and guides to the best waves.
Paradis Plage nurtures total wellness that fits the unique needs of each guest. Surf and Yoga packages are available for two or five days. Surf School Packages are available for 5 days—2 sessions per day.
Yoga and Spa packages range from two days (daily yoga course, a sensory hammam, and a massage) to five days (yoga course, two hammams, one body scrub, and two massages).
The resort shares with clients the secrets of Moroccan women’s beauty. All cosmetics are 100% natural Taroudant Argan oil, essential oils from Marrakech gardens, pebbles from Imi Ouaddar’s beach, facial treatments using Sous Massa prickly pip, Taliouine saffron or roses of Dades Valley.
Traditional Hammams consist of a black soap scrub, Atlas ghassoul wrap, Atlantic Coast seaweed wrap, Imouzzer honey, and spice scrub. Sensory Hammams fuse fragrances of in orange blossom and eucalyptus to relax and rejuvenate. Managing massages and other spa services is Marie France Riera.
Important Tip: Schedule spa services, especially massages, and yoga classes before you arrive or at check in because appointments and classes fill fast.
Yoga group classes, the highlight of my getaway, are offered three times daily:
8-9:15 Sunrise Yoga (for all levels)—breathing, flexibility, strength, muscle toning, body opening
11-12:15 Easy Yoga (all levels but especially great for beginners) Asanas postures and poses; precision of body alignment, rhythm, balance
5:30-7 Sunset Yoga (all levels)– detoxification, relaxing based on Vinyasa flow systems
Also available are classes in Yin Yoga Therapy (gentle practice using blocks, pillows, restorative and relaxing to relieve tension in muscles and joints, relax spine and pelvis), Aerial Yoga (hammock used for suspension), Prenatal, Power Flow (ultimate workout for athletes), and 108 Greetings. Custom sessions can be arranged by Karim Fadali.
Classes are typically held in the Yoga Shala which consists of two beach studios connected by a lotus pond and facing the sea. Groups may rent the space for private retreats as they did during my stay so guests met in an open air space (see below). Sara, our excellent German instructor, lives in Cairo. Like the best teachers, she is creative, kind, soulful, and a learner herself. She was excited about taking her first surf lesson after our yoga class. My classmates were European as well– some there with partners and others solo. We “sent love to the flies”–pests in the Taghazout region at times– but packing insect repellent might also be a good idea. The small community made it possible to meet other guests in classes and connect with them at the poolside buffets or bars later.
I left feeling refreshed and restored by the beauty of nature and yoga. I loved seeing smiles on surfers’ faces when they did what we all must do to navigate and enjoy life– conquer fear, be flexible and strong, and stand tall as we ride the waves.
Thanks to Paradis Plage for a restful retreat. As always, the opinions are my own.