Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort review: a palatial gem on the Moroccan coast
Lifestyle Editor Camilla Cary-Elwes visits Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, a luxurious beachside resort with something for everyone.
In a country where photogenic Marrakesh and Fez bask in the tourist spotlight, Casablanca, despite its cinematic fame, often gets overlooked. This modern city might rank among Africa’s top five business destinations, but it has more to offer than corporate pursuits – especially when it comes to serious relaxation.
Just an hour away from the bustling streets of Casablanca, on an idyllic 7km stretch of private beach, is Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort. This sprawling complex boasts 500 rooms and suites set over 250 acres, offering a unique blend of grandeur and intimacy.
A substantial £300 million investment has been poured into Mazagan; a personal vision of the King of Morocco to transform the northwest coast into a leading tourist haven.
The project was undertaken by the firm responsible for Dubai’s renowned 1,548-room mega-hotel, Atlantis, The Palm. As you’d expect from a resort with such credentials, luxury abounds here, but unlike its glitzier cousin in the Gulf, it is delivered with elegance and restraint.
At Mazagan, attention to detail is paramount, with beautiful hidden corners of calm, thoughtfully presented food, and meticulous, friendly service. Built in the style of a Moorish palace, every turn reveals intricate zellige-tiled walkways, graceful arches, fountains and inviting courtyards. As night falls, latticed lanterns cast shadows across marble floors, and the smell of orange blossom lingers in the warm air.
Sun and sand
The beach itself is a showstopper. Miles of empty golden sands giving way to the rolling waves of the Atlantic. Fanned by gentle breezes, the year-round sunshine escapes the stifling heat that can blanket the rest of the country, subject to the whims of Saharan weather systems.
Mazagan’s trump card is offering something for everyone – young, old and all those in between.
Younger guests will be thrilled with zip lines, laser tag, bungee jumping, a climbing wall, water slides, kids’ clubs and more. Sporty types can perfect their swing on the Gary Player-designed 18-hole golf course, play tennis and pickleball, or take one of the hotel bikes for a spin. While thrill-seekers have ample opportunity to throw themselves into horse riding, quad biking, go-karting, surfing and more.
If that all seems a little too active, then ditch the adrenaline and head for the spa instead.
The wellness offering at Mazagan is exceptional. Ancient Moroccan bathing traditions meet cutting-edge beauty therapies in the 19 treatment rooms. Or be steamed, scrubbed and rubbed from top to toe in the incredible 100sqm hammam – a mosaicked temple of wellness.
With a lip-smacking 13 restaurants and bars, the only dilemma is choosing where to eat (if there’s any room after the top-notch breakfast buffet).
Seeking Ibiza-inspired vibes, beachside cocktails, and perfect plates of sushi? Head to Buddha-Bar Beach. Craving the freshest selection of local seafood? Find it at Sel de Mer. For an upscale Middle Eastern dining experience paired with live music, set your course for Bushra by Buddha-Bar.
Alternatively, keep it casual with traditional Moroccan dishes in a Berber tent on the hotel’s farm (visit by day to see goats, cows, chickens and more, as well as herbs and vegetables in the kitchen garden).
Markets and mosques
While there’s enough in the hotel compound to keep most people satisfied for the duration of their stay, don’t miss the surrounding attractions. A 15-minute drive away is El Jadida, a World Heritage Site. This former Portuguese colony is where old churches and synagogues nestle next to mosques and an ancient stone fortress.
Casablanca itself is home to the Hassan II Mosque, the largest in Africa, and truly awe-inspiring with its polished marble architecture, vast floor (complete with underfloor heating), and enormous roof that slides open on hot days. It showcases the finest Moroccan craftsmanship, with hand-carved marble from Agadir and cedarwood from the Middle Atlas.
In the bustling souk, you’ll discover a myriad of olives, pickles and exotic goods. Don’t miss the opportunity to stock up on hand-painted plates, pottery, rugs, babouche slippers and aromatic spices. Top tip: for an inexpensive hair or skin boost, this is the place to buy pure argan oil.
A stay at Mazagan is the ultimate all-in-one experience. A fly-and-flop beach retreat, activity holiday, serene spa getaway and culture trip – just a three-hour flight from the UK. Here’s looking at you, Casablanca…
Rooms from £120, mazaganbeachresort.com