ADOPT A DONKEY - they build the Marrakech Medina

Jarjeer mules, marrakech

article by Kate Woods

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by Kate


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After the success of our

previous post

on adopting one of the many Marrakech donkeys. We thought it was time to spend a more indeep article on this wonderful place. So I went for a visit!

A little way out of Marrakech is the

Jarjeer Mule

and Donkey Refuge. It is a wonderful place to visit run by Susan and Charles Machin. This sanctuary receives injured and abandoned mules and donkeys from all over Morocco. These lovely animals are nursed back to health and of course neutered, then spend the rest of their days in safety with food, water and warm stables. I recently spent an afternoon amongst them in their big enclosure, patting them and talking with Susan. On arrival, she promises each one that they will never again be tied up and they will be given a name. Anyone can visit and anyone can sponsor. This is such a deserving cause as there are so many animals that need our help in this country. For every riad that is built in the Marrakech Medina, a donkey was one of the team members. Often working long days with little or no food. At the end of their lives they are often pushed aside as the family is in need of a new donkey and there simply is no money to feed two.

Soon there will be a gift shop and a little cafe open at Jarjeer so I recommend everyone take a drive out to such a feelgood destination or visit their website to adopt or sponsor a donkey online!

Na het succes van ons

vorig artikel

over adoptie van een van de vele Marrakech ezels. vonden we dat het hoog tijd was om een artikel te besteden aan deze prachtige plek. Dus ging ik voor een bezoek!

Een beetje buiten Marrakech, richting het reservoir van Takkerkoust, bevindt zich

Jarjeer Mule and Donkey Refuge

. Het is een prachtige plek om te bezoeken, gerund door Susan en Charles Machin. Dit toevluchtsoord ontvangt gewonde en verlaten muilezels en ezels uit heel Marokko. Deze mooie dieren worden verpleegd, gevoed en natuurlijk gecastreerd om dan de rest van hun dagen door te brengen in de veiligheid en de aanwezigheid van voedsel, water en zuivere stallen. Ik bracht onlangs een middag met hen door in hun grote behuizing, ging met hun om en praatte met Susan. Bij aankomst, belooft ze aan ieder dier dat ze nooit meer zullen worden gelaten, of vastgebonden en ze krijgen een naam.

Iedereen kan Jarjeer bezoeken en iedereen kan sponsoren. Dit is zo'n een geweldig initiatief in Marrakech waar we zo ontzettend trots op zijn! Er zijn ontzettend veel dieren die onze hulp nodig hebben in dit land. Voor elke riad die is gebouwd in de medina van Marrakech, was een ezel één van de teamleden. Vaak werken ze lange dagen met weinig of geen eten. Aan het eind van hun leven worden ze vaak verdrongen als de familie behoefte heeft aan een nieuwe ezel. Er is gewoon geen geld om een tweede ezel te voeden.

Binnenkort zal er een cadeauwinkel en een klein cafe worden geopend bij Jarjeer! Een mooie uitstap waar tourtjes door de omgeving met als gids een ezel ingepland staan! Ik raad iedereen aan deze feelgood bestemming te bezoeken of via hun website een ezeltje online te adopteren of sponseren!

don't forget

Tommy's blog

, Tommy is well...kind of the Social Media wonder Donkey ;). Keeping you posted on what's happening in donkey land that we all love sooooo much!

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Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira

Hammam or Hamam?

It was Weekend, I felt stressed and in need of some pampering. Living in Morocco the answer is very simple. Let's go


! Being in Essaouira, as in most places in this country, the choice was


that simple as the offer on hammams in all different kind of styles and price ranges is huge.

My choice was Hammam and Spa Azur. All my friends had been there and it would give me a fair level in comparing it with the newest relax and detox place in town, Cocooning.

Het was weekend, ik voelde dat mijn rug wel een ontstress moment nodig had en bovendien keek ik wel uit naar een verwenmomentje. Als je in Marokko woont is het antwoord dan heel simpel. Op naar de Hammam! Ik was in Essaouira en net zoals in de meeste Marokkaanse steden, is de keuze dan weer niet simpel daar het aanbod in alle prijsklassen en luxe niveaus overweldigend is.
Mijn keuze viel op Hammam en Spa Azur. Al mijn vrienden waren er al geweest en de mede-eigenaar Jack is een vriend. Het zou meteen een goede vergelijkingsbasis zijn met het nieuwste verwen adres, Cocooning.
Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira
Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira - bath



are among the top 5 and after having visited them both,

with Hammam and ayurvedic massage in Cocooning.

Hammam and back massage in Azur.

Here are my results!


Both are very stylish and as a former architect, I would say that Azur is a little more intimate while as Cocooning is airy and zen.



Very friendly and professional staff that is well trained and meets all your needs.

Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira - relax spacemassage room in hammam

Hammam room:


I just LOVE the hammam space in Azur.

black tadelakt

black zelliges

beautiful copper lamps


nice echo from the waterdrops coming from the ceiling.

candles .....

Hammam treatment:

Both were excellent!


Both therapists were very good.

The Ayurvedic massage was at first deep and a little painful while working on the legs but  ended calm and relaxing. Definitely, I recommend!

The back massage was fantastic! This girl has been unstressing some backs I can tell you!!!

Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira - relax space
Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira - relax space

After treatment:

At Azur spa, I got the best tea blend I ever had in Morocco! Mixed together in house. The relaxing corner by the fireplace is luxurious and glam. It was very calm and one could unwind fully. There were just some people there wich made it a great experience.

Cocooning has a stylish sleek relax area with soft music and nice perfumes. However, I did not like the fact that a loud group came in and that it was heard all over the place. It took away a big part of the relaxing vibe. The staff should be more attentive to this.

Hammam Spa Azur Essaouira - fountain in Hammam

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MARRAKECH - Shopping tour for hot days

With temperatures above 43 degrees C. being usual in July and August you might want to bring in a healthy dose of 'pool', 'lazy nothing' and 'people watching' in your stay in Marrakech this summer!

My program for two American ladies coming from a

yoga retreat in Essaouira

and in an urge for some last minute shopping and relaxing by the pool in the beautiful

La Mamounia

where they are staying...

Met temperaturen die op een dag gemiddeld niet onder de 43 graden gaan in juli en augustus is het aangeraden om de nodige porties 'zwembad', 'niksen' en 'luiweg mensen begapen' in het plan in te lassen!

Mijn shopping tour voor twee Amerikaanse dames die na een yoga retreatje in Essaouira nog even de portemoné willen laten wapperen in de Medina van Marrakech en die laatste 'must haves' ook willen combineren met luieren aan de pool van La Mamounia...Je betaalt er tenslotte voor hé!

Best hours to be active

before 11 a.m.

after 6-7 p.m.


After Arrival around 11.30 a.m.  check in at the hotel and take a taxi to DAR BACHA.

Enter the Medina (8) along the palace and passing

hotel Palais Donab


There are a hand full of nice shops in this street and some old Foundouks ( the former hotels for the tradesman in the early days, now turned into shops, tourist office etc… (in the film

Hideous Kinky

you can see the spirit of these foundouks as it used to be in the sixties)

Walk all the way to (6) the restaurant

le Jardin

where it should be a little fresher to sit and have lunch in a lush garden. (it's a very small entrence but it is stunningly beautiful inside)A must visit while there anyway: ;) ;) 

Noria Ayron

has her concept store inside the patio on the first floor.

After Lunch take a walk (just around the corner) to the best placeupcoming street in the Marrakech Medina with creative design and clothing (7)

You can find the concept store of


Morocco ( one of the designers is often there on Saturdays, when not in Ibiza promoting his new store). In this street, you'll find several new brands and do visit the corner shop of

Sarah Maj

opposite. An Italian designer that I can highly recommend.

Still feelng fresh enough after this? Ask for the directions to


(don't mix it up with CAFE DES EPICES!!)

Terrace des épices offers on two floors lovely design , not cheap and not all 100% original but a lot of goodies for real shopaholics at one place. The rooftop has a nice terrace for a drink or lunch but on hot days I think it's not a good option.

Go back to Dar Bacha and take a taxi back to the hotel to enjoy the afternoon by the pool.


meaning tea cookies goodies and the best things La Mamounia has to offer you ladies ;) 


At about 6.30 p.m.

Take a taxi to DAR BACHA again and this time, walk to (4)

Le Jardin Secret


If it's calm, ask if the owner is around if you want to have a first-hand guidance! He might just do that!

Le Jardin secret closes at 8 p.m. and that is just the right time to cross the street to

Café Arabe

(3) to have a drink at the rooftop.

I do not suggest you have dinner there as I do not like it.

Dinner options:



- be sure to makereservations before


El Fenn

- be sure to makereservations before

Both would be best booked some days in advance….

From El Fenn, it's easy (along the outside of the Medina wall) to go to

place Jemaa el Fnaa

(2) to soak up the nightlife with a stroll and a coffee

From there take a taxi back to the hotel.

Sunday morning - if you manage, get up early and be around 8 at

Jardin Majorel

. It is THE BEST TIME to visit Majorel gardens before going to the airport. 

It would take you one hour or max 1,5 hour to visit.

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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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