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Published on : Saturday, March 26, 2016
Whether it’s a case of both partners being out on the fairways together or one being an avid golfer and the other preferring to relax and be pampered, there’s a wide range of accommodation options on or nearby golf courses that hit just the right note, from small and cosy boutique riad hotels tucked in the centre of ancient medinas to the opulent comfort of five-star resorts. What’s more, most have their own spa. So you can choose from soothing post-game massages to indulgent skin and beauty treatments.
Morocco’s spas are where it lords it over other golf destinations, not forgetting the ladies, too. Hammams, or bathhouses, are an intrinsic part of Moroccan culture and life. You can find traditional ones throughout the country, including in many spas. Hotels by the coast often also have thalassotherapy centres, using seawater for their pools and seawater and seaweed in therapies.
But what truly makes Morocco special for spa lovers is its wonder oil – argan. Made from the nuts of trees endemic only to Morocco and grown in the region around Agadir and Essaouira, argan is an essential oil now widely used by leading global cosmetic companies in beauty and healthcare products, thanks to its anti-ageing and health-giving properties.
Among spas where argan oil-based treatments are offered is the thalasso centre at the Atlantic Palace Hotel in Agadir, which owns the nearby 27-hole Golf de l’Ocean complex. The spa’s Berber Massage features two therapists using wooden logs made from argan trees as well as locally-produced argan oil.
The all-inclusive Robinson Club Agadir has a WellFit-Spa programme that uses high-quality, local argan oil in all its treatments. Therapies include a Golfers’ Experience massage package of three daily treatments specially adapted for golfers after a hard day on the fairways and greens. A choice of Time Out for Two treatments can be had in its couples treatment room: a Moroccan Oriental Massage Experience with a honey argan oil full-body massage, an Aromatic Oriental Ceremony, and an exfoliating body-wrap called the Aroma Pampering Treatment. The resort also organises a four-course dinner for couples on a romantic, private terrace once a week.
The Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa uses argan products in the amenity kits of its guest rooms and in treatments in its 1,000-square-metre spa and beauty salon. In addition, it offers specific spa treatments for golfers playing on its on-site Gary Player course, with a second one now partially open. The resort also encourages couples to play golf together, with an incentive deal for golf buggies, while non-playing guests whose other halves are enjoying a round can take advantage of packages that include spa treatments, yoga lessons or Pilates sessions.
There is plenty of romantic allure for couples staying at the Sofitel Mogador, too. It has a terrace where they can watch the sun sink into the Atlantic Ocean every evening and each of its contemporary rooms has an ocean view through floor-to-ceiling windows. The nearby city of Essaouira, a bohemian hippy destination in the 1960s when it attracted the likes of musicians Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens, still retains a laid-back, artistic atmosphere and offers lots of cosy restaurants and bars where couples can enjoy intimate evenings.
In Marrakech, Palmeraie Resorts’ Palm Fitness & Spa overlooks the resort’s Robert Trent Jones golf course and includes hammams, Turkish baths, treatment rooms and cabins just for couples in a setting with two hotels, two residences and villas in a verdant palm grove. While at the U Spa at the Hotel & Ryads Barrière Le Naoura, 50% of the treatments use argan oil, including for men’s and women’s facial care treatments, massages and body scrubs. For golfers, the spa’s Le Soin du Golfeur treatment involves 15 minutes of stretches with a coach followed by a relaxing 50-minute massage. The Royal Palm Marrakech has a Spa by Clarins featuring two double massage suites.
The Atlas Golf Marrakech complex has two heated pools, one indoors and one outdoors, and offers a choice of packages combining golf on its nine-hole course, lunch on its terrace overlooking the course or in its indoor restaurant and use of its spa. Its top treatments include 18 holes of golf, lunch, a hammam steam bath and a 90-minute scrub and massage. Other packages offer nine holes with lunch and one body care treatment or spa pool access, or a spa treatment or pool pass and lunch but without golf.’
A 90-minute massage for golfers is also available, together with other massages, facial and body care treatments, and manicures. Products used include Moroccan argan oil and prickly pear pips. Special offers in its restaurant include one for Valentine’s Day, with seating in a romantic setting.