Nabil, the hotel manager, beams with pride on our tour of the hotel’s flora and fauna. His enthusiasm is infectious - he has known and loved this area since he was a boy when he would spend summers here and picnic with friends across the lagoon on fresh tomatoes and fish. His love and respect for the lagoon is shared with the team, all of whom are right behind the initiatives. Take plastic, the non-biodegradable pollution that is the plight of our oceans; the coastline here is striking in its lack of litter - and we would know - my husband and I walked for miles over its idyllic golden sands!
How do they combat it? After all, they have the crashing waves of the Atlantic with its cargo of waste to contend with, as well as the area’s droves of tourists in summer (it has gained a reputation as the St Tropez of Morocco). Each Monday, hotel staff litter pick across the lagoon, stopping for a picnic midway (because fighting plastic is thirsty work!). Then in January, when the hotel closes, a full clean-up initiative takes place. Warning signs with fines for dropping litter are placed throughout the resort. Nabil’s 2020 plan? Rent out kayaks to guests in exchange for a bag of collected rubbish, in lieu of payment.
Unfortunately, plastic recycling is in its infancy in the area (and regardless, it’s often ineffective here in the UK too). Instead, the hotel focus on upcycling: the greenhouse is full of water bottles refashioned into plant pots to grow seedlings and add to the 30 species of palm in the gardens.