my choice


During the five years I'm living and travelling in Morocco, the Sahara had reveiled itself as close as M'Hamid to me. There was this call from the sand dunes and the red golden sunsets,  for some reason however,  when I went down South, the sun was hiding and big sandstorms were stopping me mentally from going all the way into the desert.

My intention was that I simply HAD to experience this part of Morocco, and after some procrastination I thought September would be the perfect month to make it all the way. And so I booked.  
The camp was way passed Merzouga and the most South into the Sahara. I was promised breathtaking views and an amazing sunrise, together with all the luxuries a luxury desert camp has to offer.
And so we finally made it to Erfoud, one stop away from our final destination. The second night in Erfoud I woke up and heard the wind. Stronger and stronger it became and early morning when I went out on the terrace the Sahara sand was like a golden filter on everything outside. 
The streets of Erfoud remembered me of desolate cities in Texas that I used to see in cowboy films and big clouds of sand were terrorising everyone outside. 
My hope on golden views on the famous dunes were fading away for every hour the wind was getting stronger and I was getting disappointed on yet another missed Sahara experience everyone else but me seemed to be able to enjoy.
Until I realised the deeper meaning with this hide and seek...
There was a reason for me to have to return, time after time again, to this amazing always changing desolate land of sand dunes...
At that point my perception changed and I enjoyed!
I enjoyed the camel ride covered in Hamid's turban.
Due to the mist of sand there was no sunset to enjoy, no red coloured sand dunes to take your breath away!   I took it as an invitation to come back once again!
I loved the night outside with a small group, making music with the sound of the wind guiding us through the night.
That same night out in our tents, the wind was stronger then ever before and the heat was unbearable.  We opened the entrance to get in some fresh air.  The next morning we were completely covered with sand and when we came outside we hardly recognised the setting from the evening before. 
The wind had thought us all a lesson. A lesson of deep respect. Respect for the power of nature , and also respect for the people running this camp as well as their battle to get the place ready for new clients every day again....


It's always nice to spot a fellow countryman, and it's even nicer seeing  them adding some added value to the city...
There are plenty of nice and fancy places to stay or spend your money in another way when you are visiting the pink city. Being a Belgian, I thought sharing my favourite Belgian addresses with you in this post. I know there are plenty more of them, and if you happen to be one of them, just drop me a line and get in touch!

5) Riad O
a stylish, riad in the Bab Doukala area.
If you want to feel at home, but with a little Moroccan twist, this is your place.

 photo credit Riad O
A real farm just outside Marrakech in the beautiful area of the lake of Lalla Takerkoust, direction of Amizmiz! Animal and kid friendly. It's my perfect day out on a hot hot day. Sun - pool - friendly owners - fantastic food and the best home-made goat cheese in Morocco!

photo credit Jnane tihihit
3)Dar Kawa
When you are design minded, book your stay at Valérie Barkowski's Dar Kawa . Valérie is a designer and besides the styling of the riad she runs various creative projects.

photo credit Dar Kawa

The new concept store of the Belgian brand in Marrakech is a must visit! Go there if you want to take the colours of Morocco home with you in timeless pieces that will brighten your wardrobe!

 photo credit Coco-Morocco

If the Medina of Marrakech is about something, then it is about surprises. Surprising for every new  old door you open, every new riad (typical Medina house) you enter. Refreshing patio's, lush inner gardens, stunning rooms and perspectives, and there for dar Touyir is my number 1 Belgian guesthouse.
But...don't let this stop you on discovering many more beautiful riads in Marrakech.

photo credit Dar Touyir 

more Belgians in Marrakech?
Martine Hillen and her brand M'H collection 
Photographers Véronique & Mark 
Mogador Home Resort,  Real Estate & Architectural services 

Are you missing someone?  Get in touch!


Going to a farm, being with animals, it brings out the kid in me! 

And that was what happened last Sunday when I was surrounded by pigs, cows, chickens, goats, doves, donkeys, horses, ducks....amongst 2 ha of pomegranates and olive trees. I felt like when I was living at the countryside in Flanders. Only, this time it was at an altitude of 1300m outside Marrakesh with in front the majestic High Atlas peaks of around 4000m. Swimming pool, a gorgeous lunch with homegrown vegetables everything biological. 
I can assure don't have to have kids to enjoy all of this. But when you do have, they feel in heaven. Especially with all the workshops going on. From mud building to henna painting and donkey rides.
if you want to know more or book: contect me HERE


I'm a little upset as I write this article because I just saw the trailer of one of these sensation seeking
programs on Belgian TV about Marrakech.
'Als je een hond wil slaan vind je altijd wel een stok' is an expression in Dutch. If you want to beat a dog you will always find something to do so.
Morocco is a different but beautiful country, and YES, people sometimes ask crazy prices and make up stories that you want to believe, but there is no one who forces you to buy nor pay nor close the deal for anything!
And if you DO end up buying, paying, regretting things, than look and go within yourself and ask yourself why you closed the deal at all!
We Belgian expats are making a short film and introduction to Marrakech the way we see it...soon in
Jackisback in Roeselare.
If you want to see another view on Marrakech and Morocco go here

So let me distract myself and you with some Belgian beauty to get in balance again :)!
Riad Safa, in the Moukef area. Now in Dutch hands and and ran as a guesthouse.
When I entered the house I felt the Belgian vibe, don't ask me why, but it is as if the mainly Flemish
architecture is based on this contemporary mix of raw and natural wood combined with subtle tones of white, black and earth colours. Mix all this with a 'no concession' attitude of the new owners and you have a place where style, comfort and relaxation are among the top priorities. I could also mention the Hammam and the massage zone at the roof. The Jacuzzi with the view over the Atlas mountains. The fantastic fish tagine and more that can be prepared for you for dinner....but GO AND DISCOVER yourself and do not let ONE be it maybe convincing tv program scare you off. WE are here to help you with whatever problem that might come your way!
Come and enjoy Morocco and Marrakech as it is. A wonderful inspiring place where you will get to know yourself a little more...
Want to buy this riad? it's on the Market at MogadorHomeResort
copyright pictures: coco-morocco

pictures taken june 2015 credits:coco-morocco 



We invite you to one of our special Spa treatments

' that was the message I got from the Royal Mansour Spa in Marrakech.


Sounds good

' I thought while getting my focus on ONE thing. Getting around the place and making lots of pictures to share with you!

I should have known....

'Some secrets are for whispering'... in other words..., the moment you enter

this magical place,

(oh YES, I still remember the magic), you become overwhelmed and under the spell...

It you like me, love design, distinguished style and service or,  just simple privacy, it is all part of the secret. There is a certain scent in the air, a certain 'je ne sais quoi' that makes you feel like "let's just enjoy and we are here to take care of you".

After I got my massage, the massage is worth a blogpost on it's own because magic happened again and I can honestly say that while I 'm not able to afford this luxury weekly, I SURE am going to book another one soon!  I went through all kinds of physical states after having a deep-tissue massage given to me by lovely Pramuk, who I want to say 'thank you' for all the great care and attention she put into it.  The result is that I feel rebalanced again! My hip problem is almost gone and this after just one treatment.


And several months later, after taking care of my body, the problems I had are gone!!!

I Love Royal Mansour!!

So sorry everyone for not having more pictures on this wonderful magical 5 star resort so well hidden inside the Medina walls, but this gives you an idea on how this place really does what it claims.

'Some secrets are for whispering'...

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Beauty and architecture, is there a difference? I guess not, and if there were then they are both running through my veins :). 
When I 'm not out there somewhere in Essaouira or Marrakech, I 'm hunting the internet and (YES, there goes my time)  ALWAYS happy for every little gem I discover.

So one day I found Kasbah Gousteau, among another Belgian pearl in the Taroudant region and I got an invitation from the owner, who is running also a guesthouse in Bruges - Belgium. It took me one year but finally, on our latest ladies tour, WE MADE IT!!!
And boy what a welcome! We were received like queens by Abdel who was speaking almost perfect Flemish (Limburgs?!).
The Kasbah, rebuilt some 6 years ago with a lot of attention for detail offers 5 rooms, a swimming pool with jacuzzi area, magnificent terraces, inner gardens and all is so beautifully styled with art collected from all over the globe! Every room was a discovery and the evening at the candle-lit terrace was a perfect ending of a perfect day!


You know I like riads with a personal stylish touch. Enthusiastic owners who go all the way in turning their Medina homes into an expression of beauty, good taste, lush innergardens and keeping up with the client's personal needs.
It was on one of my private tours, with a small group of clients, I discovered Dar BineBine. Located in the enjoyable Doukkala area of Marrakesh, Derb Jdid, Binebine offers all of this and more.
A beautiful courtyard
Passion for art
Creative little shop with creations of local artists inspired by the owner
Superb Breakfast with lots of fruit and Moroccan specialities
Great rooms beautiful decorated and the perfect mattress!

If I could give a tip for improvement (there always is)...
There is much more potential in the rooftop terrace guys! Make it a project :)


Do you love Safari style as a fashion project? Does the film 'Out of Africa" make you almost want to grasp your straw hat?

But does the thought of eco-resort and sleeping in some kind of wilderness makes you opt for: 'lets try that next year' ...

I have some good news for you, and it is called



At about 30 kilometres Southwest of Marrakech, in a beautiful desolate area surrounded by nature and not that far from

Toubkal National Park

in what once was called the « Désert Marrakchi », (the Marrakech desert). It is a place for me-time, meditation and joy. When I want to escape Marrakech for a day, that is the direction we take!

It's an area still unspoiled with no 'well known' tourist attractions but that is all you want . peace, serenity and comfort....and a million stars at night!

all pictures copyright La Pause 


Als je van luxe houdt, gecombineerd met oude patina's en diepe dramatische kleuren, dan is Riad Dar Darma in Marrakech absoluut iets voor jou.
Oude architectuur details zoals gedecoreerde houten plafonds en deuren (zouak), tadelakt, verbleekte antieke textielen, het hoort er allemaal bij!
Meng dit met gouden en messing decoratie objecten en je hebt Versace in Marokko!
Geniet en verlies je in de deatils...

For more pictures and bookings visit:  HERE
picture source: riad Dar Darma


I want to invite you to enjoy the following pictures on a Medina property for sale. Just off the main tourist road, in a small alley this house is fully equipped to become a one of a kind restaurant. The restaurant scene in Essaouira is starting to bloom and trendy spots are lifting this lay-back seaside town to a higher level when it comes to dining. So right on time this property is there to join this select group of fine culinary places.
This French owned riad is for sale and has all necessary permissions for exploitation.
If you want more info,look HERE or a visit please contact me.
Asking price: 390 000 Euro NEW Price: 315 000 Euro

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Until we meet over a minttea!
X Marlène

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Arriving in Tangier at the first day of Ramadan. That was my first contact with Morocco...And ever since, Tangier has gotten under my skin. I can't think of another place where Africa and Europe are blended in such a way that you feel you are living both worlds. I can't picture another city where the sky is more blue and the architecture more white. There is no Medina with a more breathtaking view from rooftops where evenings turn into nights and whispers go on till late late late...
Tangier is trendy, Tangier is hip, Tangier is Mediterranean, Tangier is a place where your parents don't want you to go.
So what more reason do you need to pack your bags?
Maybe some pictures on beautiful Nord Pinus? Time to book.... 
Aankomen in Tanger op de eerste dag van de Islamitische vastenperiode...dat was mijn kennismaking met Marokko. Sinds dat moment, sinds deze vakantie is Tanger onder mijn huid gekropen en kan ik me geen plek ter wereld inbeelden waar Europa en Afrika letterlijk en figuurlijk dichter bij elkaar komen, op een wijze dat je het gevoel krijgt in beide werelden te wandelen. Geen stad heeft blauwere luchten, nergens steekt de witte architectuur met diezelfde intensiteit af tegen een zee en een lucht die in elkaar versmelten. Geen Medina geeft meer spectaculaire vergezichten waar avonden in nachten overgaan en het gefluister op de daken nog lang lang lang tot diep in de nacht doorgaat.
Tanger is trendy, Tanger is hip, Tanger is Mediterraans, Tanger heeft voldoende donkere kantjes om een bezoekverbod van je ouders mee te krijgen.
Als dat geen reden is om je koffers te pakken?
misschien nog enkele foto's van het prachtige Nord Pinus hotel je overtuigen. Tijd om te boeken...


Villa Josephine in Tangier... Ik viel er als een blok voor toen ik het zag...
De sublieme locatie met adembenemende uitzichten. De grandeur van de architectuur en de Coloniale stijl van decoreren...
Gebouwd in het begin van de jaren 1900 was de villa eigendom van onder andere de Brit, Walter Burton Harris (1866/1933). Buitenland correspondent voor de Times en enfant terrible tout court, wiens levensloop en avonturen aan de grondslag lagen voor de legendarische figuur van Indiana Jones!
Het gebouw heeft zich door de jaren heen weten staande te houden als toplocatie mede dankzij de mengelmoes van Franse Mediterane charme met een subtiel parfum van 'Out of Africa"
Give me more of this please ...

Villa Josephine in Tanger... as close to my dream as I can get...
Breathtaking views, intruiging history and perfect location...what more can one want?
A perfect harmony between the architecture and the colonial charm of the interior.
Built at the beginning of the 20th century the villa seduced some inspiring men. No less then Brittisch Walter Burton Harris (1866/1933). Correspondent for the Times and 'enfant terrible' who's life and adventures inspired George Lucas to create Indiana Jones.
De building has been at the top of most wanted locations all these years thanks to the perfect mix of French Mediterenian charm and the right touch of 'Out of Africa'
Give me more of this please ...