Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Tangier Revisited

Welcome to Tangier!

Tangier, located on the Atlantic coast, is such a cool place. From the first time we went there (more about that HERE ) we just loved the vibe of this city that used to be a free-zone some decades ago and still has a mysterious and decadent ambience. After all, what is there not to love about a place that is described like this in the guide books: "Tangier served as playground for excentric millionaires, a meeting place for all kinds of spies and crooks. A place for sin and decadence."  

Hello Tangier, great to be back!

So to celebrate Per's birthday we decided to take a road trip and head back to Tangier for some food and fun. We met up with our driver and 6 hours later we arrvied in Tangier and WOW was it great to be back!

We checked into legendary luxury hotel Villa De France

 Tangier by night
Street art in Tangier
 So many cool art deco buildings in Tangier, like this legendary theatre
 This cave, called Hercule's Cave, has the shape of Africa (in reverse)
 Cool caves
For Per's birthday we were off to chic Villa Josephine, overlooking Tangier and the coast. Such a stylish place!

 Villa Josephine
 The birthday-boy is kicking off 46 in style
Cicero also enjoyed Tangier

As always when we travel it's all about food and wine. Villa Josephine had an amazing fine dining restaurant that we just loved. We were also happy to re-visit our favorite restaurant O´Saveur that was great as always. We also tried out the brilliant food of Villa De France and a new cool restaurant called Club Morocco, in the old medina of Tangier.

 The restaruant of Villa De France
 O´Saveur is always a great dining experience, we went there twice during this trip.
 The cool restaurant Club Morocco is a new favourite in Tangier.
Cicero joined us for some pet-friendly bar-hoping.
Thanks Tangier, you rock!

If you need a bit of decadence and luxury in your life, go to Tangier!

Keep Exploring!
P&P

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Sahara Desert Revisited

Welcome to the Sahara Desert!
 
Three years ago we visited the Sahara Desert and it was truly a great expereince. Back then we went to the Zagora parts of the Sahara. You can read more about that trip HERE. To reach the outskirts of the real Sahara Desert it takes at least 8-9 hours of driving, so you need at least three days to for a nice trip to the desert. The journey from Marrakech to Sahara is really beautiful and offers some really breathtaking nature experiences, and if you take it slow and spend one night in a nice kasbah hotel on the way it is really an unforgettable trip.
 
There are by the way some great luxury desert camp sites close to Marrakech in the Agfay Desert, like the Scarabeo camp, but that is in a stone desert and can not really be compared to the real Sahara sand desert.

The drive from Marrakech to the Sahara takes about 8-9 hours and offers some spectacular nature experiences.
 

It´s a good idea to stop for a night on the way to the Sahara, we checked into the stylish kasbah hotel Xaluca Dades, located half way between the Red City and the desert.
 

When we started to feel the urge to return to the Sahara Desert we decided to explore the Merzuga part of the it and once again we embarked on a scenic route from the Red City over the Atlas Mountains towards the sandy dunes of the Sahara. After a beautiful drive where we explored some amazing caves and spent a night a beautiful kasbah hotel, we finally reached our destination, the ERG Chebbi Luxury Camp, a five-star desert camp site, nestled among some stunning dunes in the middle of the desert.

 We stayed in our own private desert camp site, nestled among some impressive Sahara dunes.
 
The ERG Chebbi Luxury Camp was truly five-star offering comfortable tents with huge bathrooms and hot showers as well as excellent dining experiences, bartenders and great service all in the middle of the Sahara desert.
 
 The stylish camp site even had red carpets!
 
They lit lots of lanterns every night, to match the starry skies, which made the experience even more magical.
 
 The Sahara desert is truly spectacular.
 
 Sahara sunrise moments
 
Those Sahara dunes 

 Hello desert adventure!
 
 Exploring the Sahara on a camel is a must. We had a 2 hour ride with a Moroccan tea ceremony among the dunes.
 
We thought we pulled off the Lawrence of Arabia style rather well! Right?!
 
We spent three days exploring this beautiful part of the Sahara by camel and by foot. The striking thing in the Sahara Desert is the total silence as well as the amazing clear skies. Star gazing here at night is a mindblowing experience. It is also the perfect place for relaxing, reading books, reflecting on life and getting totally off-line. To be WiFi-free for a couple of days is actually very cleansing!
 
Those sweet Sahara sunsets
 
 Amazing nights in the desert
 
 Our tent at night
 
 Glamping - camping in style with cocktails on the dunes
 
 Exploring the Sahara is so much fun
 
Sahara is always a great experience, we will soon be back!
 
Thanks Toubkal Guide for planning such a great trip for us, it was world class! To explore the magic of the Sahara Desert in a private and five-star setting is a very unique experience that we can strongly recommend. Alongside Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazonas rainforests and the safaris in Kenya, Botswana and Namibia, this is one of our favourite nature experiences.
 
Keep Exploring!
P&P


Wednesday, 7 March 2018

A Visit to Wonderland

Living in Marrakech you get very spoiled by being constantly exposed to some of the most stunning and amazing properties in the world. Wheather it’s luxury hotels, stylish restaurants, award winning museums or private homes there is an abundance of spectacular architecture and unique interior design wherever you look. Behind the secret doors in the ancient medina lies the hidden courtyard palaces, so called Riads (read more about the art of Riad living HERE) and in the palm grove called the Palmeraie, 10 minutes outside the medina walls, you find some of the most exclusive villas on the planet (read more about the Palmeraie HERE).
 
The house that has fallen from the sky 

Some of our friends have really cool places in the Red City like Peacock Pavilions belonging to the very stylish designer Maryam Montague, Villa Shiraz that belongs to former UN tycoon Zuzu, Villa Happy that is the home of iconic super model Marisa Berenson, Riad Anayela which is the chic creation of Andrea Bury and Dar JL which is the Marrakech base of a Swedish couple.

Dar JL (photo by James Silverman)
 
And even though we are very spoiled by being constantly surrounded by beauty and creativity both in our own home and those of our friends there is one mythical and magical place that we heard so many stories about since we first arrived but never visited: Dar El Sadaka. Dar El Sadaka is the private home and creation of French artist Jean-Francois Fortou. It’s a place everyone talks about but very few have visited since it’s not open to the public. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a property that has an upside down house that appears to haven fallen from the sky, a giant's house where you feel like a midget, real-size art installations of animals everywhere not to mention some amazing luxury villas and some of the worlds finest interior design?
 
Welcome to Wonderland! 
  
Always stop and smell the flowers!
 
Just monkeying around in the livingroom
 
Amazing art installations by Jean-Francois Fourtou is integrated with the interiors in every room
 


There is always something around the corner at Dar El Sadaka
 

There is a donkey in my suite!
 
We had read about Dar El Sadaka in some interior design magazines and heard many stories about this property so we were of course thrilled to be invited to an intimate lunch with a really cool crowd and finally experience Dar El Sadaka first hand. And wow, what a magical day it was! Like stepping through a mirror and entering a creative wonderland where nothing is what it seems and your senses are constantly challenged. 
 
 Hanging out with our friend Alexa at Dar El Sadaka
 
Inside the House That Has Fallen From The Sky, where everything is upsidedown, including us
 
 Visiting the Giant's House where you feel really small
 
The stunning villa is a maze with secret gardens, courtyards, parks, terraces and of course a huge swimming pool, cinema, yoga spaces and several lounges. The interiors are spectacular where the creative art installations of Jean-Francois Fourtou blends perfectly with world class interior design. It was also a great pleasure to meet the artist Jean-Francois Fourtou himself and see his latest creation, the Nanintos (see below).


Meet the Nanitos, the latest creative expression of artist Jean-Francois Fourtou. The Nanitos are part vegetables and part humans growing in the vegetable garden of Dar El Sadaka and eventually turning into gardeners helping out on the property. How practical!
 
Dar El Sadaka is the creation and private property of Jean-Francois Fourtou and is not open for visits. It is however possible to rent the villa for private use. It’s really the perfect place for a luxury retreat or spectacular event. We are definatley going to rent this wonderland of a property and plan a spectacular party here in the future!
 
The perfect spot for a pool party

Having a pool day
 
And we’re going to let you in on a little secret. There is actually a way to visit Dar El Sadaka even if you don´t know the owners or rent the entire property for a magical party. At certain times if you book a vintage bike ride with Insiders Experience that is possible to combine it with a lunch at the Giants house at Dar El Sadaka and visit the gardens. 
 
You never know what´s around the corner in Marrakech!

Marrakech is such a magical place and we keep discovering new treasures all the time. You never know what`s around the corner. Beauty, adventure and fun is for sure always there.

With love from Wonderland
P&P