La Pause, Marrakech
I manage and style events for a living so I tend to look at most life events as an elaborate production too. As fortunate or unfortunate as this may be I couldn't help but look at my looming 30th birthday as life's biggest project yet. The brief was clear; the location should be abroad, somewhere exotic, hot and where I could be with all my friends... oh and there was no way I'd be turning 30 without being a Sex and the City level of fabulous.
The venue which filled the brief perfectly was La Pause in the Agafy desert in Morocco. It was Sex and the City 2. Ok friends, keep your judgments of the film aside, you can't deny the scene of the four girls strutting through the desert is fierce.
La Pause is located around 40 minutes from Marrakech and a transfer can be arranged directly from the city with any booking. Don't try to find it yourself, it's an impossible mission. The drive is unassuming and it's only when passing over a hill that the lush greenery of the oasis becomes visible. The eco retreat has been rebuilt from a ruined house discovered at the boarder of a river. It is completely tranquil, there is no phone reception and electricity comes only in the form of some solar panels to power the fridges, the distribution of the water and gas.
While the retreat offers a handful of guest houses and sleeping, nay glamping, tents which can be booked for one, two or three nights, adventurers can explore La Pause by visiting for just lunch in a private Berber tent, or dinner by the light of oil lanterns and rows and rows of candles, traditional dancers and fire breathers.
The decor is a nomadic dream. The Berber tents are beautiful and luxurious, laid with traditional furniture, embroidered cushions and handwoven rugs. The meal of vegetarian and meat tagines was provided family style and the local wine was cold and free-flowing.
There is a pool on site surrounded by olive trees and hammocks and of course the endless dramatic landscape of the vast Moroccan wilderness to explore by food, quad bike or on horseback.