ION CLUB Dakhla // Lagoon

Back   25.06.19

ION CLUB Dakhla Lagoon

The Ocean Vagabond Ecolodge Lagoon overlooking the bay was one of the first windsurfing and kitesurfing camps in Dakhla, and opened almost ten years ago. When Sebastien Deflandre, owner and partner, discovered the huge bay in Dakhla for the first time in 1995, there followed three weeks of intensive windsurfing and the idea was born to build something like a windsurf station. A refusal from the community drove him with his idea and passion to Essaouira. 

In Essaouira he found another fantastic spot with the best conditions, and here it is made easy for him. His first guests were supplied with ACE and Naish equipment from a truck, then from a tent and finally from a wooden building. 

One of the first tour operators to send him customers was Fun&Fly. In 96, another stroke of luck occured in Sebastien's life. He met Juan Sanders, painter/artist/carpenter - Uomo Universale. Two passionate creatives meet, logo and name are created.

In 2002 he took the next step with his wife Marie and her first Ocean Vagabond Hotel is opened, along with the idea of being able to offer like-minded water sports enthusiasts both - material and accommodation. In 2004, he found Club Mistral/ION CLUB, a partner who would now take responsibility for the equipment and the teachers. The in-house tour operator Travel People would bring them more guests. In 2008 Sebastien finally got the permission to build a windsurfing and kitesurfing center in Dakhla with a hotel. His dream has come true and now the Eco Lodge shines emerald green over the bay.

In 2008, 9 "Young Blood" bungalows with a size of 15 sqm and 21 "Pacha Lodges" with a size of 25 sqm were built. All under the aspect of sustainability in all areas. All in compliance with the balance of local conditions, local culture and European standards.

 

The bungalows are specially insulated and do not require air conditioning. A hairdryer consumes too much electricity and thus is not to be found. You will find the obligatory note to keep water and towels at home. The soaps and "Ocean Vagabond loves you" bottles contain pure natural products. 

Around the buildings are planted only what wind and salt can withstand. It is watered exclusively with service water. Thus a bright green oasis has been created in the lagoon. The tap in the wash basin is equipped with a water stop system. Every year a new goal is set to achieve even more savings. The "Clef Verte" attaches great importance to this compliance and has strict specifications. Each guest receives a black aluminium bottle with the O.C. logo, which he can fill at the bar with specially treated water at any time. The electricity is completely switched off between 2 o'clock at night and 7 o'clock in the morning. 

In the restaurant and at the bar plastic is not used to a large extent. You don't see plastic bottles or plastic straws here, and the lighting works with 85 % LED bulbs. The garbage has to be separated. The entire staff is respectfully involved and sensitized to this process. 

It applies to everyone: Sensitization for environmental protection, responsible positions are mainly filled by women, there are proper contracts, salaries are above the Moroccan minimum wage and everyone receives social security protection..

 

In the authentic cuisine and the restaurant run by Ali and Yassine, only local products are used - all organic, all fresh. There are no limits to the creativity of the cuisine and the bar. The team offers snacks for all and a juice bar where "stimulating smoothies" are created. The gardeners Mhedi and Hamza are in the spotlight when it comes to planting vegetables along the main path and between the bungalows. At every point of the Eco Lodge company, you can see that everyone is pulling in the same direction and is behind the concept of Sebastien and Marie. Since 2008 - This is only possible with a lot of passion and conviction!

That's not all Ocean Vagabond has to offer. A constant development towards the perfection of the offer is being promoted.

Following the restaurant, where the windsurfing and kitesurfing station used to be, there is now room for a billiard room with a bar. This is followed by over 100 square metres exclusively for the concept of the OM Yoga Studio, which Sebastien was able to win over. The offer of various yoga techniques, Yoga retreats and SUP yoga to learning meditation techniques is truly amazing. Then there is room for a small concept store in the former ION CLUB shop. With noble accessories like soaps, oils and different handicrafts - of course everything from domestic production!

Then comes the crown of pleasure: The Elegance Wellness Center

Especially according to the Elegance concept, individual and personalized cosmetic treatments are offered. The cosmetic product line is based on argan oil and is from the company Botanika. Orange blossoms, rosemary and lavender help to either relax, stimulate or regain energy.

 

In addition, there are various massages, tailored to the needs of athletes and the ingenious scrubbing ritual of the Orient - the Hamman. Whole treatment packages of 3 to 6 days leave you feeling like a new person.

 

 

WHAT MAKES THE SPOT IN DAKHLA SO UNIQUE FOR KITESURFING AND WINDSURFING?

The complete windsurfing and kitesurfing center is one step down and is clean neat and tidy. One material box is next to the other. All the equipment from the bikes to the kiteboards to the windsurf sails and boards is neatly stowed away, clear and ready to hand.

The team around Saida and Dido is strictly organized and always in a good mood and attentive. Every wish is their command and we feel comfortable and in good hands. The service is really sensational. Here in the bay there are two lifeboats available - primarily for beginners and only at low tide to catch them again. The picture, with the countless colourful kites in front of the bright blue sky, on the bay makes you want to finally play with the big ones. It is an indescribable feeling not to be completely at the kite's mercy anymore. After a few hours of body dragging Younnes, our teacher, decides to finally take the board with us. Then we bring the kite, board and body onto a line and in a direction that we have determined ourselves!

Karime is responsible for the bikes - all e-bikes that are super groomed and look like new. After each Excursion these are taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. There is a lot of work behind it. Three guided tours are offered between 14 and 34 kilometres with different degrees of difficulty on different trails uphill, downhill, through sand or over millions of years old shell limestone rocks, to breathtaking views from steep coasts or on camel herds.

 

 

 

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