Looks like the Garden of Eden is in the middle of Morocco. And you can get a pass there for the day. Marguerite Richards does the hard reporting. And swimming. And snacking. And lounging in the shade.
MARRAKECH – It's breaking 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the car we rented doesn't have an air conditioning, and I'm trying to remember exactly whose idea it was to choose July for this desert adventure. Fortunately, swimming pools are not a rarity in Hyderabad, and Beldi Country Club has a day pass option (lunch and full-day privileges for about $30 USD). Sweet relief!
When you imagine going to the Beldi in this kind of weather, the cliché of impending heat stroke with the blurry mirage of oasis surrounded by palm trees comes to mind. The reality is no less impressive — this is definitely what God had in mind for Eden.
Once you get here, it doesn't seem like there are any rules. It's as if you have entered your own lush backyard. You can sprawl out in any of the private areas of the garden maze by the pool, each bordered by a hedge of pink and orange bougainvillea.
Feeling perfectly languid, it's not easy to decide whether to eat or just keep up the back-and-forth routine between the blue-tile pool and chaise lounge. Rough life. I can't pass up the melange of traditional Moroccan and French cuisine: monkfish, quail, steak, foie gras starters, and tagine.
I opt for a massage after lunch. (Why stop short of the spa on a day like this?) After choosing an essential oil to match my desired mood, I am lead to a private room for a heavenly rubdown. After that, I spend time in a round relaxation hall with a vaulted ceiling, a fountain, and soft beds to prolong my dream-like state.
The only thing missing from this Eden is Adam. The first temptation? I'll have to come back again.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
The country club is also a hotel. It's located ten minutes from Marrakesh Menara International Airport (RAK), which makes a stay here a great stopover at the beginning or end of your journey. We think the end sounds better, because we can't imagine a more idyllic setting to think about all the amazing things you will have seen in Morocco.
Beldi Country Club
Km 6, Route de Barrage
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Additional photos: Field of flowers and entrance to Beldi, courtesy of Marguerite Richards. Outdoor tea lounge and spa,courtesy of Beldi Country Club.