I THINK I overdid it on the Moroccan wine. I was sure I was in a crowded bar when I ordered my drink, but turned around and everyone had gone.
As the setting sun glowed through the skylight that crowned the atrium of the £300million Mazagan Beach Resort, the clock had just struck 7.30pm.
That’s when Muslims end their daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan, with Iftar, the first meal of an evening feast that can go on until 5am.
With live Moroccan music and dance accompanying a huge buffet at the hotel’s Mediterranean restaurant, there was a celebratory feel.
I joined the guests breaking their fast and we took our pick from local tagine, pizza, kebab, olives, fruits, vegetables and speciality breads.
The sweet-toothed were catered for too — with all manner of pastries, cakes and puddings native to Morocco.
This was just one of the resort’s 14 high-class dining spots. They also included a Moroccan restaurant (with local wines), French bistro, Berber-tent dining and, my personal favourite, a sensational seafood restaurant.
It offered the catch of the day and delivered Italian food and wine, with a sommelier on hand.
Thankfully, when it is this easy to overdo it, there are all sorts of keep-fit options to wake up to in the 5* hotel’s award-winning spa. That morning I found myself righting the wrongs (tequila shots) of the previous evening with an invigorating yoga class.
And what does every gym-goer need after a workout? A massage, of course.
And boy, was it something special. An hour of top-to-toe pampering eased those overstretched muscles, stressed joints and hungover head.
Like everything, the award-winning spa is big.
There are 19 treatment rooms, including a two-person suite, and a Moroccan Hammam, which is similar to a Turkish bath.
Here, You enjoy a steam room, followed by an exfoliating full-body scrub and massage.
I’m not going to lie, reviewing a hotel like this one is a stress-free job — but that’s because the hotel wants it to be.
The entire concept of this resort is to offer a relaxing, sun-drenched family break as an alternative to the hustle and bustle in the country’s most popular city, Marrakesh.
In fact, the Mazagan represents the King of Morocco’s personal project to turn the north-west coast into a leading tourist destination.
It is an adults’ — and kids’ — playground, with not only a nightclub on site, but also the country’s largest casino and the longest 18-hole golf course in Morocco, designed by golfing great Gary Player.
You won’t be surprised to hear that it is has been created by the firm behind Dubai’s world-famous Atlantis Hotel.
The Mazagan has a familiar Dubai-like splendour with that beautiful Arabic-Moorish style.
At the heart of the mammoth resort is a symmetrical Grand Riad courtyard and pool area encircled by its 500 rooms and suites across five floors.
The air-conditioned ensuite rooms have French balconies overlooking the Atlantic ocean on one side, pool on the other, and blend exquisite contemporary and traditional carved Moroccan decor.
The similarities to the Atlantis are striking (gorgeous mosaic tiles, stone corridors, ornate ceilings and archways) but the difference is refreshing — all the opulence without the extravagance.
Even better than that, Casablanca airport is only 90km away and less than three hours on a flight from London.
Much like the Atlantis, it is perfect for families: 80 per cent of the rooms in the hotel have a connecting door and children are catered for in ways that I’ve never before encountered.
There is an all-day Baby Club for ages three months to four years, and an all-night babysitting service.
For older children, there is an all-day Kidz Club including a swimming pool with flumes for four to 11-year-olds and a Teens Club for those aged 12 to 17, offering sports and games including karting, horse riding, camel riding, rock climbing, quad biking, trampolining and paintball.
There is even a petting farm with rabbits, donkeys and cows.
What also marks out Mazagan as a family destination is the fact that the 7km of sandy beach on its doorstep is hit with some ferocity by the crashing waves of the Atlantic.