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“Perfect for a yoga surf treat”

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Villa Mandala - Yoga Retreat
Ranked #1 of 6 Aourir B&B and Inns
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Go if you like - 1) retreat - rustic, away from tourist commercialisation, and tucked on a beach in a small coastal town; 2) up to 2 yoga sessions (2 hrs + 1.5 hrs) daily - Becky and Jenn were lovely instructors and organised a very well-thought through itinerary that offered great variety while catering for various experience levels (was my first yoga experience and loved it) 3) surfing for all levels - the surf instructors were motivating and committed to our progress 4) delicious food - as a meat eater I was concerned about a week of veg, but the food was so good I found it didn't matter! 5) chilled atmosphere - you could do as much or as little as you liked, take daily massages in the afternoons if you fancied, and I loved our evening restorative yoga sessions 6) lovely villa - the moroccan decorated rooms were lovely, the villa had great open living spaces and a pool area

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank waterbornegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 - 37 of 51 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

It was such a pleasure to spend this week with everyone of our group 9lucky dip you might say) and I have to say everyone who has looked after us, the chefs, the ladies keeping the villa nice and tidy, all the surf instructors and in some cases drivers and of course Becky and Jen the yoga teachers have done an amazing job. I have worked in 5 star hospitality pretty much all my life and the attention to detail put into this retreat and the personal touches really amazed me considering this is not your posh and stuck up 5 star deluxe hotel.

Would definitely book again.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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Thank ZickyZack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I can probably write an extensive and detail review of this place but probably best to go and experience it yourself. This type of retreat is for someone who would like to have things relatively structured but allows you to have the flexibility to do other things as well. You can pretty much have a yoga and surf lesson almost every day but also can arrange to go to other cities or activities if you chose. Jen and Becky were amazing hosts and really made sure we had everything we needed from massage appointments, taxis. I really liked that there was a theme for the week in learning about each of the chakras but also focusing restorative poses after a tough day of surfing. I've been to a couple of other yoga retreats and this is definitely a top level of service compared to most. You couldn't ask for anything more from the surf instructors - really good way of teaching how to surf but also made it a lot of fun. I definitely want to go back again either next year or the year after!

Room Tip: The red room is the largest room and perfect for potentially a small family (2 adults and 2 kids...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank ckim32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

We booked Villa Mandala through Surf Maroc company. Except we couldn't check in the first day and had to sleep in Taghazout (which turned out to be a good thing later during vacation, when searching for things to do in the evening) the rest of the trip was well organized and pleasant.

Villa itself is a cosy, nice, tucked place. We booked the Red room, one of two rooms with ensuite, and enjoyed sunsets from our huge window.The best thing about Mandala is the atmosphere in the house. There can not be more than 15 people at the time and everyone share breakfast and dinner at the same table. This really brings the solidarity and good vibe inside the villa.

Food was perfect, specially the hand made pastries and sweets that were waiting for us everyday after the surf.

It's sole location is not attractive and it is kind of unpleasant walk to and from the Villa to the Banan village behind it. Specially when it's dark. Having said this, I have to emphasize that Morrocans are beautiful and kind people and that we never ever had not a slightest inconvenience.

We're definitely going back.

Room Tip: Red room with ensuite.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Mare_Genova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Stayed with SurfMaroc,s Yoga and Surf Retreat at the Villa Mandala. Wow! Yoga was great -- a good balance between dynamic and restorative -- and it was also fun, focused but not too serious that we didn't have a good laugh now and then. Sarah and Karim were great as the yoga team.

Surfing was affected by the high winds -- hard to control those -- but it was still great fun and exciting. Eunice and Red were patient and very good instructors.

The Villa itself was tremendous: nice rooms, great common areas, nice pool, walking distance to town (Aourir) and easy driving/taxi distance to Agadir and Tagazhout.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms look great but I had a mountain view room and it was fine, given the liited time sp...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank BHP_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

OK so the arrival route is not the most picturesque - this is Morocco .... not a white sand desert island. Having said that the villa is well located, has lovely staff, great food and good facilities. I was part of a 16 strong retreat group there for a week and we had a great time. Wonderful sea views especially from the yoga terrace and a great menu of activities Thanks to Jane, Hassan, Red and the rest of the team - and thanks to Brighton Pilates who organised the week - www.brightonpilates.co.uk

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank segmaniot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Surf Maroc's Villa Mandala is a nice hotel and the staff do a good job........but.

We came for a week of surfing and beach and ended up leaving 3 days early. I have been to beach destinations all over the world and I have never seen so much trash on a beach. It's really sad just how little people seem to care about the area. The beaches are covered in trash of all types (bottles, plastic, wrappers, you name it) and I had serious doubts about the cleanliness of the water while surfing. Some days it didn't smell right and I feel lucky that I didn't get sick from it. I doubt the local sewage treatment works very well at all.

The area around the villa isn't pretty either. It's all piles of construction rubble and mess. The local souk is nearby and after market day there were more mountains of trash as all the vendors simply dumped everything on the ground.

As an advanced/intermediate surfer I did like the waves and had a good time in the water. My wife was a beginner/intermediate and couldn't find any conditions in between beginner whitewater and head high outer breaks.

The staff was nice and helpful, but we were surprised that no one asked us why we were leaving early or seemed concerned at all.

Until this coastal areas cleans up it's act I wouldn't go back. It's really sad.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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11  Thank streetdogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BenSurfMaroc, Owner at Villa Mandala - Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Thanks for your review. I am glad you liked Villa Mandala and our staff here. Guest reviews help us learn and move forward, and we take all feedback very seriously.

We are all genuinely upset to learn that you did not enjoy your stay with us. Your hosts, Andrew and Fi, were surprised to learn that you had left due to your disappointment with the surrounding area.

I am sorry if we gave the impression that we did not care about your reasons for leaving. I hope you can appreciate that there is a fine line between being respecting guests' choices and being intrusive. Andrew was very much under the impression that you were leaving to explore Morocco some more. I hope your remaining three days were enjoyable.

Regarding the rubbish situation outside the villa, it is a tough issue that can present problems periodically - and is a situation that we care about passionately. Its is also a constant reminder that we are in a developing country .

It is a fact that the area urgently needs long term infrastructural investment - and large scale education - to fix the problem. Regrettably, there aren't any quick solutions. One of the main issues is the local practice of dumping of household rubbish in river beds. After heavy rain, the rubbish can get washed to the coastline. Unfortunately there had been rain before your visit, and this had made some of the beaches untidy.

I would like to reassure you that we are working hard to be part of the solution. Some of the things Surf Maroc are doing to help address this key issue include:
We pay for beach cleans in association with a local surf club.
We were the first business in our area to start recycling, and do so at all of our properties. We are also involved in a project to bring recycling stations to villages and towns in the area.
We are involved in local educations programs. Most recently, we sponsored the Tagahzout Festival aimed at raising awareness of the environment - including a surf competition for local kids, a beach-clean and talks about the environment.
We had just paid for the immediate area around Mandala to be cleaned for the riverbed to be bulldozed, and for rubbish to be collected and recycled (where possible)
We have been in many meetings with local government - stressing the state's environmental and economic importance to the local area.

As you can see, we are trying as hard as we can to address this vital issue. it is a step-by-step process of education and infrastructural investment.

We totally understand and share your concerns - and would ask you to forward your complaint to the Moroccan tourist board so they can be made aware of your hesitancy in returning if things aren't improved.

Rest assured that we are doing all we can to improve things in the area - and that hopefully you will see these improvements if you return.

Thanks again for raising this important issue with us - and please feel free to write to me in person or call if you have any other concerns or feedback.

Ben

Ben O'Hara
ben@surfmaroc.co.uk
Partner
Surf Maroc

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Additional Information about Villa Mandala - Yoga Retreat

Address: Aourir Beach, Aourir 80750, Morocco
Location: Morocco > Souss-Massa-Draa Region > Aourir
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Aourir
Number of rooms: 8
Also Known As:
Villa Mandala - Yoga Retreat Morocco/Aourir

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