Encounter with Catherine and Philippe at the Sawadi Ecolodge
Our friend Ebi being on his way home, it’s now back to the two of us for the rest of the adventure. After spending a few days in the Valley of Roses (read the article), we decide to head to Skoura, where we hope to get in touch with a beekeeper working to save the endangered yellow saharan bee (read the article).
Back home before leaving, our internet research had lead us to the Sawadi Ecolodge where Catherine and Philippe, the owners, had sheltered a few yellow bees hives. We had contacted them for more informations, and are now on our way to meet them.
The story of a crazy guy
Our GPS leads us through the maze that is this designated World Heritage palm grove, and we finally make it to Sawadi’s gates where Catherine welcomes us with a quite surprised face… Let’s say that we don’t go unnoticed! When we explain who we are and why we came here, she’s visibly thrilled and offers us some tea before taking us into her paradise.
The place is stunning, with its rooms spread over four hectares where olive and fruit trees, vegetables, herbs and many many colourful flowers happily grow together. While we’re walking, Catherine explains that they arrived here twelve years ago, on a happy whim.
When a friend told her about his crazy brother, who had just bought a farm in a palm grove in the very depths of Morocco, Catherine takes Philippe to meet with this guy, she haven’t seen in forty years… « I like crazy people, they always have an interesting story » she says with a big smile.
They fall in love with the place, and keep coming regularly for two years, until that day when their friend Bernard told them he was selling the farm. « We didn’t think, and better not to for it was all but reasonable, we bought it. And it was worth it! »
« I like crazy people, they always have an interesting story. » Catherine
The Sawadi adventure
Located in the Skoura palm grove, designated World Heritage and one of the last ones to be inhabited and cultivated, Sawadi is among the many guest houses and luxurious hotels scattered among the palm trees. But Catherine and Philippe wanted something different, and it’s guided by their beliefs that they started to build the Sawadi project.
Four hectares dedicated to well-being, permaculture and the conservation of local animal breeds, all with the help of the Sawadi team, fifteen men and women all coming the palm grove and therefore living in a five kilometres range. A luxurious oasis of happiness, where plants, animals and people live in harmony.
In here, everything was designed to respect and highlight the territory, up until the garden of which the fresh products are being cooked in the restaurant. Every room was built like the old casbahs, with traditional style and materials like the pisé briques, and then decorated with the most attention. The beautiful mirror pool is lightly treated with salt, and each household product is home made from natural and biodegradable ingredients.
The result of these twelve years of work is astonishing, and won them the price of best ecolodge in Morocco in 2014! Our host is no nice, and so temping is the idea of a nice bed and a swim the pool that we give in, and gladly accept a discount on the room’s price!
Paradise for sell
Seduced by our vision and our will to get involved in a permaculture project, Catherine eventually drops that even though they are absolutely not in any hurry of doing so, they would like to find a couple of young people, ready to take over and face the challenge, to hand Sawadi to…
The place is still full of an immense potential, and we felt the will to really preserve the values that founded it. So to whomever might feel concerned, if you’re looking for a nice little paradise in the heart of Morocco, you should head to Sawadi 😉