IT'S THE KIND OF SILENCE YOU GET DURING A BLACKOUT, naturally, as La Pause chooses not to run on electricity. Sparsely luxurious, the retreat comprises traditional mud-and-straw lodges set on secluded mounds and slopes. A Berber tent cluster provides common areas for lounging and dining, with arid landscape views interrupted only by a Jerome Leyre sculpture.
Just over an hour's drive from the busy Medina, La Pause requires some bumpy-riding through parched, roadless and barren land, where local villages are said to have been driven out by lack of water. The complex is lush though, built around an oasis of palm and olive trees. The gardens grow grapes and such urban staples as rocket and alfalfa, which come with your meal.
Entertainment and activities of a very wide variety can be arranged, including donkey polo, rally car racing, calligraphy and meditation workshops, fire-eating and fantasia horse shows, among others. We opted to lounge and dine, as one can never have too much tagine or over-sprawl in a sun-dappled shade. The Agafay desert, just gazing at it, is quite phenomenal too.
It's trendy, and not a new trend at that, but I find it artful nonetheless to extract elegance out of what is otherwise rugged. Nourished by a little river, the only source of life for miles, La Pause embodies "less is more" and proves itself an unconventional escape from traditional luxuries.
La Pause, Agafay desert, Morocoo. lapause-marrakech.com Photos by Lady San Pedro and Jaime Sese.
DESERT PAUSE IS THE THIRD IN A SERIES OF ESSAYS ABOUT MARRAKECH.
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