They say a good holiday starts with a well-packed suitcase, but what if said holiday is a totally unique and luxurious Pilates and Photography retreat in Marrakech held at the handmade, artisanal boutique hotel – Peacock Pavilions, with an array of tantalising daily activities arranged to seriously spice up you life. From an excursion to the Souks for shopping and sightseeing, a day-trip to Essaouira (the place where Jimi Hendrix once holidayed), a Spa and Moroccan Hammam pampering package, a henna cocktail & canapé party, a movie night under-the-stars and a meal out on the town. That’s not to mention the daily morning and evening movement classes which range from Pilates, yoga and meditation to the photography workshops, cooking classes, camel ride and one-on-one assessments. All these clothing needs have left me faced with that empty-suitcase-on-the-bed moment. So, I’ve created a packing checklist which might just help me smoothly sail through this sumptuous vacation in style. Here it is:
1. Work in outfits. On past retreats its just been about bikinis and leggings lovingly stuffed into my rucksack but on this exclusive retreat, with its fanciful programme and super-chic vibe, I know an outfit plan is paramount. Over-the-knee linen dresses for shopping, boho-chic prints for beach time, maxi dresses and ponchos for evening and several pairs of Pilates pants.
2. Beauty products. I actually think I will wear a little make-up to the exciting cocktail party with henna hand-painting and who knows, I may even style my hair for the ultra modern Moroccan meal at urban restaurant and cafe Nomad which lies in the heart of the Medina. Touche Éclat, mascara and Moroccan Oil serum fit perfectly into my bag to ensure I can effortlessly float from day to night.
2. Two pairs of shoes, two cover-ups. I always travel in my trusty Superga sneakers, which I’m sure will also come in handy for mounting Camels, and then a pair of flip flops for beach trips and evening should suffice. As we’ll be dinning under starlight in a arabian-style tent delicately situated in the olive grove a boyfriend cardi and a pashmina will help to keep me cosy.
3. One nice dress. Every girl needs one nice dress in her suitcase and after a week of training my core with the skilled and highly qualified international teacher Natasja Barnard I might be eager to show-off the results.
4. Three bikinis. I always take three for a week. No doubt every morning after our movement classes and breakfast on the terrace I’ll dive into the 800-foot pool that so majestically floats between extensive pristine gardens and blue skies.
5. Sun protection. Good health extends to skincare so I’ll be protecting my precious skin from UV rays with my floppy sun hat and factor 50.
And now to the airport with a soul full of excitement ready for a week at this exotic and inspirational setting with expert teachers and attentive staff to make me feel like a true Pilates Princess.