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Villa Mandarine, Rabat Morocco

Written by: Tony Korologos | Saturday, February 25th, 2017
Categories: GolfGolf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourReviewsTravel
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On my recent trip to Morocco I had the opportunity to stay at some truly special and unique places, and I’m excited to share those places and experiences.  Today’s review/share is of the Villa Mandarine, in Rabat Morocco.

Location

Before I cover the Villa itself, let’s get some geography information.  Rabat is the capitol of Morocco.  It is located on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, about one hour northeast of Casablanca.

The city’s population is roughly 580,000. I’ll cover nearby attractions and activities later.

Villa Mandarine Overview

Villa Mandarine is a small, secluded oasis minutes from all the action in Rabat.  It’s practically in a residential area, hidden behind a wall around the edge of the property, which is traditional in much Moroccan architecture.

The Grounds

Inside the grounds is a practical rain forest of vegetation, immaculately maintained.  The three-acre estate features 700 orange trees and tons of flowers.

Small trails wind around and lead to sitting areas, sculptures, activities, and of course the villas themselves.

The Villas

There are 31 villas and 5 suites at Villa Mandarine. Each villa has a large main room, entry, large bathroom and fantastic terrace overlooking the grounds.

The quarters are very warm and welcoming, as are the hotel lobby, restaurants, and bar.  The luxury rooms are so inviting and relaxing, it’s hard to decide whether to stay in or venture out to the terrace, or the grounds to soak in the mellow vibe.

If you can’t relax here, there’s probably no hope for you.

Amenities

Along with the beautiful and serene gardens, guests can lounge at the swimming pool and hot tub.

If you fancy a game of ping pong, you’re covered. I had a great match with fellow golf blogger and golf buddy John Duval, from IntoTheGrain.com.

Food & Beverage

The restaurant at Villa Mandarine is fantastic.  I enjoyed several meals there, featuring traditional moroccan dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There are selections for every possible palette, including a kids menu.  Lunch out on the terrace was particularly great, between the excellent food and the fabulous environment.

Villa Mandarine’s bar/lounge is great.  Every possible drink is served and the atmosphere is very warm and inviting.  I could kick myself… well I have actually been kicking myself, for not enjoying some of the Cuban cigars there.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

There is some fantastic golf nearby, at Dar Es Salaam Golf Club.  Dar Es Salaam is an award winning Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design, lined with mature trees and featuring some tremendous golf holes.

In the city of Rabat one can find fantastic shopping and dining at the Medina. Be sure to rock the Kasbah. For sightseeing I recommend visiting the historic Hasaan Tower, and the Mausoleum of Mohammad V. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Palace.

Mausoleum of Mohammad V, Rabat Morocco

Mausoleum of Mohammad V, Rabat Morocco

Last but not least, Rabat is on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Visit the beaches and you’ll see why Morocco is a well known secret haven for surfing huge waves.

Conclusion

A visit to Morocco should be on everyone’s bucket list. The sights, tastes, sounds, golf, and experiences will be remembered and cherished for a lifetime. Villa Mandarine fits right into that formula, providing a tremendous, welcoming, and comfortable home base.


Review: Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Morocco

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, December 13th, 2016
Categories: Golf For WomenGolf LifeGolf LifestyleHOG World TourLifeReviewsTravel
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On my recent golf trip to Morocco I had the fabulous opportunity to stay at the 5-Star Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in El Jadida, Morocco. Mazagan Beach & Golf is a very large resort with hotel, casino, spa, huge pool, beach on the Atlantic Ocean, and a Gary Player design golf course.

Mazagan Location

Location Location Location

What a tremendous location Mazagan Beach & Golf occupies. It’s basically and oceanside paradise lined with palm trees. The huge grounds are immaculately maintained and full of fantastic designs and creative landscapes.

The resort’s architecture reflects traditional Moroccan traditions but still has a modern and clean look and feel.

Accommodations

Below notice the open door?  That’s my room.

My room, lower right

Below is the view from inside the room, looking out to the pool area.

Nice patio

Turning around from the view out to the pool, this is the room.

The room…

Bath/Shower


Food and Beverage

My group enjoyed some traditional Moroccan food in the MORJANA Restaurant. The Lebanese/Moroccan food and Moroccan wine was fantastic.

Lamb, chicken, beef kebobs

Triangles with filo dough on the outside. Inside is either meat or cheese

The restaurant featured a musician playing a stringed instrument I’m not familiar with. Looked like a bouzouki but it wasn’t. Then after that we were treated to a belly dancer who was fantastic.

John (GolfBlogger.com) enjoys the show

John (above) enjoyed watching the belly dancer, but yours truly was the one she picked to dance. Never before have such awful dance moves (mine, not the belly dancer’s) been on display in the content of Africa. I guarantee it.

Spa

I had NO idea how many knots I had in my back.  It was a great thing that I was able to get a massage while at Mazagan.  The masseuse was incredible.  She found, and resolved knots in places I didn’t know existed.  It really helped out my endurance and flexibility for the rest of the golf trip.

While working out some knots the masseuse, who spoke nearly zero english asked, “you work on computer?”  She could tell. I responded, “world famous golf blogger. If I’m not on the golf course I’m at the computer penning Blogitzer Prize winning golf blog posts.”  Actually, I just said yes.

Casino

I did not test my luck at the casino, though I did take a quick look in. Very nice. My bank account thanked me for my self-control.

Golf

I’ll be posting a review of the Gary Player designed Mazagan Golf Club soon. The course runs along Mazagan beach. Huge breakers crash in on the shore. Huge. Now I know why some friends of mine take the trip to Morocco to surf.

The course is very fun to play, and not so difficult that it demoralizes you.

Final Thoughts

Think outside of North America.

Casablanca, Morocco is a 6.5 hour flight from JFK Airport in New York. From there it’s not a long drive to Mazagan. Rather than traveling in the USA or to Mexico for your next golf trip, you could be in fabulous Morocco enjoying a 5-Star resort, great food, beach, surfing, gaming, lodging, and golf at Mazagan.


HOG World Tour Visits Morocco’s Assoufid Golf Club

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
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The fourth and final golf course on the HOG World Tour trip to Morocco was the #1 course in Morocco (World Golf Awards), Assoufid Golf Club. Assoufid is a desert style course with some great elevation changes and creative architecture.

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Target golf, anyone?

Assoufid is located a short drive southwest of Marrakesh, a city of about 1.5 million (map below).

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

If you’ve played golf in Palm Springs, you’ll feel at home at Assoufid. There are distinct takeoff and landing areas, with desert between. Holes are lined with palm trees and olive trees.

Assoufid Golf Club, Morocco

Unfortunately our group’s round there was rained out, hard. We got as far as the approach shot on the 10th hole when it was too heavy to plod on. Sorry to my Scottish friends about that.

I even left my golf ball in the fairway on #10. I need to go back and find it soon.

Stay tuned for a full review of Assoufid, and more posts on Morocco.


Holiday Golf Gift Guide

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, November 25th, 2016
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf ApparelGolf For WomenGolf GearGolf Lifestyle
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Custom Golf Belt from NXT18

nxt18golf_ute_belt_02

One of the coolest gifts ever, a custom milled belt buckle from NXT golf. Put your company logo, favorite team, or custom graphic on the aluminum buckle.

Product Review | Buy via special discount link

Kentwool Socks

Such a great color...

Destined to be in every golf Christmas gift guide I ever write is Kentwool socks. Kentwool are the best socks on the planet. Period.

Product Review | Visit Kentwool.com and use the code “Utes” for a discount

Bushnell Neo iON Golf GPS Rangefinder Watch

Bushnell Neo iON GPS Rangefinder Watch Father's Day Golf Gift
With this golf GPS watch, the golfer on your shopping list will always have solid yardages to the front, center, and back of the green.

Product Review | Buy One

Vegas Golf VIP Edition

vegas-golf-vip

This is a very fun game for your golf group. Chips in the set represent events like birdies, bunkers and such. Collect the good ones and try not to collect the bad ones!

Product Review | Buy Now

myCharge HubMax Portable Charger

HubMax in action, charging my phone and a Golf Buddy GPS

This is a fantastic portable charger to help the golfer on your Christmas list keep his GPS, phone, and other devices charged up while on the go.

Product Review | Buy One

Puma D Vent Golf Polo

Puma_D_Vent_Golf_Polo

This is a very stylish and extremely comfortable golf polo from Puma.

Product Review | Buy One

Bobby Jones Donegal Cable Mock Sweater

Bobby_Jones_Donegal_Cable_Mock

90% merino wool and 10% cashmere. 100% comfort and 100% style.  Yes, that equals 300%.  Fantastic sweater.

Product Review | Website

 


HOG World Tour Visits Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco

Written by: Tony Korologos | Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
Categories: GolfGolf Course ArchitectureGolf CoursesGolf For WomenGolf LifestyleHOG World TourTravel
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I’m still traveling and I had a small problem with my brand new MacBook Pro. The power cable plug broke. That and non-existent or extremely slow internet access has made it tough for me to post from the tour. I’ll be catching up for a while.

The HOG World Tour made it’s first golf stop in the African continent at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco.

Royal Golf Dar Essalam Rabat, Morocco

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
Rabat, Morocco

Royal Golf Dar Es Salam is a Robert Trent Jones, Sr. design. “RTJ” is one of the all-time greats of golf architecture.
royal_golf_dar_essalam
Above are rocks which could be found in places on the course.  They had some kind of crazy erosion, producing perfect holes.
royal_golf_dar_essalam_02
Below is a map to show you just were Royal Golf Dar Es Salam is.  Stay tuned for a more in-depth review and more photos!
royal_golf_dar_essalam_map


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