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Our Insider Interview series sees us speak to one of the team at one of the many retreats we have the privilege of working with and sending clients to. Here we speak to Tom Benzaquen of Paradis Plage, the eco surf and yoga retreat based in Taghazout, Morocco.
The biggest change in Paradis Plage over the last 11 years has been the our commitment to sustainable tourism, specifically our focus on reducing plastic usage and promoting well-being through yoga retreats. This shift towards environmentally friendly practices and wellness offerings sets the resort apart and positions us as leaders in the industry.
Yes, in addition to banning single-use plastic within the resort, Paradis Plage has implemented several other eco-friendly policies and practices to minimize its impact on the environment. One of these practices is daily beach cleans which are conducted by both our staff and guests. These beach cleans help to keep the local area clean and promote a sense of environmental responsibility among our guests.
Another important initiative is our partnership with the Surfrider Foundation, a global non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans and beaches. Through this partnership, we organize several workshops and events to educate our guests and local community members about the importance of ocean conservation and sustainable practices. We also host students from the region for educational and environmental activities, such as coastal cleanups, and educational workshops on sustainable living.
Additionally, we also have several sustainable activities such as promoting organic food in our restaurant and encouraging our guests to reduce water and energy consumption in their rooms. We also encourage our guests to reduce their carbon footprint by using public transportation or renting bicycles to move around the area. We believe that these small actions make a big difference in preserving our beautiful planet for future generations.
Paradis Plage is located in the region of Taghazout, Morocco, which is renowned for its surf culture and is surrounded by 15 world-famous waves. The resort has a partnership with Rip Curl, one of the most respected surf brands in the world, which ensures that guests have access to the best equipment and instruction. This location and partnership make Paradis Plage an ideal destination for surf enthusiasts of all skill levels looking to experience some of the best waves in the world while being surrounded by the stunning coastal setting of Morocco.
It's too difficult to choose just one! I would say Anchor Point and Boilers.
My favorite restaurant at Paradis Plage is Le Chiringuito. They are known for offering an excellent selection of fresh fish, which I personally enjoy. The restaurant's counter allows you to choose your own fish which is a privilege, and it adds an extra layer of excitement to the dining experience. The setting is perfect as well, you can enjoy a beautiful coastal view while relishing your meal.
I would recommend the Relaxing massage after a surf session at the Eco Spa. After a day of surfing, a massage can help to relax the muscles and release tension, allowing the body to recover well from the physical exertion. This will also help to prepare the body for the next day of surfing, allowing you to perform at your best.
Another treatment that I would highly recommend is the Traditional Moroccan Hammam. Hammam is a traditional Moroccan ritual that involves a full body scrub and steam. The heat and steam of the Hammam opens the pores and helps to release toxins, leaving the skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Not only it's a great physical treatment, but it's also a very traditional cultural experience and a great way to immerse yourself in the Moroccan culture.
The Yoga Shala at Paradis Plage is a special place as it is located right on the beachfront, offering an unparalleled setting for yoga practice. The shala is designed to harmonize with the natural surroundings and provide a serene and peaceful environment for yoga. The view of the ocean and the sound of the waves make it an ideal place to connect with nature and deepen your yoga practice.
Paradis Plage offers three daily yoga classes to suit different levels and interests, including Yin, Hatha, and Vinyasa. The yoga offering is led by Karsten, the resident yoga teacher who is considered one of the best in the world. He is known for his ability to create a supportive and encouraging atmosphere that allows students to deepen their practice and find their own inner balance. His classes are designed to help students connect with their bodies, minds, and surroundings, and leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and inspired.
Looking ahead, we are in a positive position as leaders in a rapidly growing industry that prioritizes both physical and mental well-being, as well as environmental sustainability. We are currently working on renovating our rooms and have plans for further development of the resort. These include expanding the children's play area and incorporating more fitness equipment. We are excited for the future and look forward to continuing to provide the best experience for our guests.
One piece of wellness advice I would like to share is to make time for self-care and self-reflection on a regular basis, as well as eating a healthy diet with as little sugar as possible and exercising daily. At Paradis Plage, we encourage our guests to take care of themselves by offering delicious and healthy dining options, as well as a variety of activities and classes to keep the body active. Our yoga, surf and fitness classes are designed to help guests develop a regular exercise routine that suits their preferences and needs. Additionally, we offer healthy meal options that are low in sugar, so you can enjoy tasty and nutritious food while you are here.
About Tom Benzaquen
Meet Tom Benzaquen, Sales and Marketing Director of Paradis Plage Surf, Yoga & Spa Resort 5*. Tom's passion for surfing, inherited from his father, led him to be instrumental in the opening of the resort in 2012 and to shape what Paradis Plage has now become - the premier Eco-Resort in Morocco that caters to the holistic well-being of both body and mind.
Growing up in Casablanca, Tom has surfed the best surf spots in Morocco and beyond, honing his skills and perfecting his craft. Tom’s favourite wave is Anchor Point located just minutes from the hotel. With a love for surfing (which he considers a way of life more than a sport) and a desire to pursue a career in the hotel industry, Tom studied at the prestigious Les Roches School of Hotel Management, where he seamlessly blended his passion with his profession.
Starting his journey in the hotel industry in the food & beverage department, Tom quickly rose through the ranks, thanks to his exceptional sense of detail, commitment to service, and ability to build relationships. It was this combination of skills that led him to the sales and marketing department, where he now oversees contracting, yield management, press relations with leading lifestyle, yoga and surfing magazines, and the overall marketing of Paradis Plage to our valued partners.
We are thrilled to have Tom as part of our Paradis Plage family, where his expertise and passion will continue to elevate the resort's offerings and guest experience.
‘Tom has previously worked in the following hotels/resorts:
Puente Romano Marbella - Spain
Royal Mansour Marrakech - Morocco
St Regis Bora Bora - French Polynesia
Mazagan Beach Resort El Jadida - Morocco
Paradis Plage Surf, Yoga and Spa Resort - Taghazout - Morocco
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