Just an hour from Casablanca and 20 minutes from the historic 16th century Portuguese port of El Jadida lies over 600 acres of paradise that remains largely undiscovered by golf tourists. The paradise I’m referring to is Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort. This $370 million oasis opened in 2009 and sits on a seven kilometer stretch of white sand beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.
Mazagan has won numerous awards for hospitality, including being voted Morocco’s leading spa resort, Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence, Golf Resort of the Year by the IAGTO and Africa’s leading casino resort by the World Travel Awards. French daily magazine “La Tribune” ranked Mazagan Beach as the 9th most beautiful beach in the world.
The Culinary Experience
Mazagan features plenty of dining options, with over a dozen restaurants serving up culinary delights from Morocco & Northern Africa, France, Italy, India & Asia along with seafood, sushi, pizza and much more. There’s something for everyone at Mazagan, from fine dining to casual buffet lines. Be sure not to miss dinner at Morjana, the resort’s traditional Moroccan restaurant and oriental lounge. It’s not only about the amazing food here, but the experience as a whole. There’s nothing quite like enjoying a succulent harira soup, tajine and couscous while being seduced by the intoxicating gyrations of a beautiful belly dancer.
Fitness & Spa Services
No proper resort would be complete without a place to unwind and relax, and the Spa at Mazagan is a great place to start. With 19 treatment rooms and a 1000 square foot authentic Moroccan hammam made from marble, the spa has enough space to accommodate everyone for massages, beauty treatments, intensive facials and more.
Attached to the Spa is the Mazagan fitness center which also has Pilates, Kinesis machines and free weights area. Personal trainers are available and can be booked for private sessions including Pilates, Cardio, Resistance training and yoga.
Casino & Nightlife
If nightlife is what you are after, you’ll want to check out the Alias Nightclub and Morocco’s largest casino. The Mazagan Casino features over 450 slot machines and 44 gaming tables and is open 23 hours. Guests can enjoy all the usual table games including roulette, blackjack, poker and punto banco – also known as Baccarat. The high-rollers in your group can also book a private room to enjoy blowing the mortgage and their kids’ college fund in a more private setting.
What About Golf?
Of course, the highlight of the resort for golfers is the Gary Player designed golf course that sits on three kilometers of rolling terrain along the Atlantic Ocean. The 18 hole par 72 layout measures 7530 yards from the tips (6885 meters) and is one of the longest in Morocco. The fairways are huge and undulating with dramatic elevation changes as you navigate over and between the oceanfront dunes. The environmentally friendly Platinum Paspalum grass that was used requires less irrigation and is more tolerant to the salty seaside environment than other grasses.
Mr. Player’s design encourages you to “grip it and rip it” off the tee, but you’ll have to be precise with your approach shots if you want to make birdie. Wayward shots will be punished severely and funneled towards deep greenside bunkers and swales. Hit it way offline and you may end up in the native Ice plant (Carpobrotus edulis) that grows all over the place and is virtually impossible to hit from, assuming you even find your ball.
Explore the Region!
Just minutes away from Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is the port town of El Jadida. A UNESCO World Heritige site, the town was once called Mazagan, hence the origins of the resort’s name. It’s worth a trip to visit El Jadida’s medina – the ancient fortified town enclosed by walls that houses homes, historic buildings and the colorful souks, or markets that Morocco is famous for.
Morocco’s largest city and chief port is Casablanca. Considered the economic and business center of Morocco, it is about an hour away from Mazagan. Since you’ll most likely be coming and going through Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport, you should plan some time to visit the city’s many sites, including the Hassan II Mosque – The largest in North Africa and 3rd largest in the world. The old medina is always a popular spot for tourists, as are the shopping places in Casablanca.
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber, but most people also speak French, as it is used in governmental institutions, media, mid-to-large companies and taught in school. Spanish and English are also pretty common, especially in resort areas. Click here for more information.
Morocco isn’t as far as you might think. In fact, direct flights from most cities in continental Europe take less than 4 hours and flights from New York City take less than 8. As mentioned before, Mohammed V International Airport serves as the major hub for international travel to and from Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort. Flights arrive almost daily from New York, London, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt and more. For American visitors, Royal Air Maroc offers direct flights from JFK on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and that means you can go from airport to laying by the pool in less than 9 hours. Free shuttle buses are available to transport guests to and from the resort throughout the day.
Another bonus to traveling to Morocco is the exchange rate with US dollars and the Euro. Both are traded with the Moroccan Diram about roughly 10 to 1, making a stay at Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort more affordable than you think and a great value compared to many golf resorts in the US or Europe.
Because tourism will play a large part in growing Morocco’s economy in the coming years, I can only see the experience getting better and better for foreign visitors. Nevertheless, travelers to any foreign country should always check with their consulate for any travel alerts and exercise common sense. Read up on the customs and laws before you leave. Morocco is a safe and pleasant place to visit, but visitors are always advised to travel in groups and only use reputable travel agencies and tour operators.
I spent a week in Morocco and visited Casablanca, Marrakesh, El Jadida and the capital of Rabat. At no point during the week did I ever feel uneasy or unsafe. Everyone is friendly and welcoming. The infrastructure is modern and reliable. The roads and highways are smooth and efficient, and the only time I lost a cell phone signal was in the most remote areas of the country. My purchase of a $2 Maroc Telecom SIM card for my iPhone even granted me unlimited access to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, without a data plan! Try that in the US or Europe.
Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort: By The Numbers
- 370 – Million US dollars invested in the construction of the resort and amenities
- 250 – Hectares, or about 600 acres is the total land area of the resort
- 7 – Km of beach front access on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean
- 5 – Stars, as in how the resort is rated
- 500 – Rooms and suites available for guests
- 67 – Private villas available for purchase on the property. Hurry, they’re going fast!
- 2000 – Number of people employed at least part-time by the resort
- 463 – Slot machines on the casino floor to win a big jackpot
- 44 – Gaming tables in the casino, including roulette, poker, blackjack and more
- 23 – Hours casino is open per day. They have to clean it some time!
- 2000 – Square meters of meeting space for conferences and company meetings
- 9 – Mazagan has the 9th most beautiful beach in the world according to “La Tribune”
- 90 – Km (56 miles) from Casablanca, or about 1:15 from the airport
- 18 – Splendid holes of Gary Player championship golf
- 7530 – Yards, from the tips. Bring your “A” game!