The developers of the Le Jardin de Fleur resorts on the north Moroccan coastline are the first to admit that certain buyers have allowed the tricky economic times to jangle their nerves and give them cold feet. ‘Did I make the right decision?’ ‘Should I pull out?’ These people are invited to take the short flight by private plane across from Spain to check on the resorts’ progress and make an informed decision. To date, none have pulled out, but plenty have signed up for more. We’ll explain why…
The logistics of putting together a 7 million m² resort from scratch are quite phenomenal, especially when there are three 18-hole golf courses to be seeded, six luxury hotels to construct and a 1,000 plus berth marina to craft on the waterfront. Early activity on site appears slow, dusty, unattractive and intangible, but several years on and this Plan Azur project is shaping up quite nicely.
Returning from one of their regular familiarization trips last month, Andy Welland, GEM Estates’ MD, and Samuel Mond, Morocco Expert, were pleasantly surprised at the transformation that had occurred in just a few short months since their last site visit. Samuel comments, “Progress is felt as soon as you touch down at Oujda Airport. Construction is underway for the new terminal, control tower and runway, meanwhile, the link road that slashes transfer times from the airport to Le Jardin de Fleur by almost a half, to 25 minutes, is now open to traffic. Upon arrival at the resort the dominant colour for the first time was not brown, but green. Certainly the first of the 18-hole courses is lush, fully seeded and as a golfer, I was itching to play it, and the sea views from the fairways are spectacular.”
Samuel continues, “The seafront was a hive of activity but this time not from construction workers but holidaymakers spreading out their towels, swimming in the water, which is incidentally a lot warmer than that of the Spanish Costas, and even kite-surfing or riding the waves on a pedalo. The marina extension was well underway but already had quite a number of boats at anchor, several waterfront restaurants were open for business and the fashion boutiques already putting up their signage. There was a real resort atmosphere beginning to take shape.”
Turning to the residential resorts themselves, a furnished Le Jardin de Fleur showflat was available for inspection complete with German-design kitchen with Siemens appliances and superb quality fabrics and detailing in evidence. Thoroughfares were tarmacced and accented with attractively planted central reservations already being lovingly maintained. Neighbouring Saïdia town’s facelift was near complete with renovated façades and a brand new promenade and, being holiday season, it was bustling with local and international tourists.
In short, a lot had been achieved in a relatively short space of time and the vision for this flagship megaresort was being realized according to plan. Over the coming weeks we’re expecting news on several other hotel operators putting their name to individual Le Jardin de Fleur communities, alongside the already announced Radisson participation, and things will shift up another gear… as will prices.