Merging Mind and Body in Morocco
All New Wellness Retreats from Sunny Side Up
By Libby Austin
As wellness travel continues to surge in popularity, the focus of conventional wellness trips is going beyond the traditional and exploring new boundaries and horizons. Travel company Sunny Side Up is the first outfitter to focus on wellness retreats in beautiful Morocco – offering spiritual, physical and mental journeys that go beyond the ordinary to uncover the extraordinary. By bringing together world-class yoga teachers with transformative cultural experiences, Sunny Side Up caters to a growing audience of wellness travelers that seek more than just yoga in their retreats and look for discovery and exploration.
Launched in February of 2018, Sunny Side Up crafts their wellness retreats based on a curated immersion into Moroccan culture. Whether it’s a boutique jazz festival in Tangiers or an artist-led graffiti workshop in Marrakech, the trips unveil the vibrant life and cultural fabric of Morocco through a different lens, while also allowing travelers to deepen and strengthen their yoga practice and disciplines. The team behind Sunny Side Up has been building a foundational network in Morocco since 2007 and has since developed a genuine friendship and understanding of the local community, fostering relationships with on-the-ground creative forces that offer unique access to many hidden and lesser-known experiences.
Based in London, co-founders Nisma Benani and Charaf El Mansouri created Sunny Side Up to offer an authentic and purely wholesome way to experience Morocco. Nisma is a wellness warrior and certified yoga teacher and Charaf is passionate about culture – a combination which lends itself to a harmonious synergy of wellness and culture in all their trips.
Supported by some of the most revered wellness teachers in London, from Michael James Wong to Mona Lisa Godfrey and others, Sunny Side Up has just announced their lineup of wellness retreats starting in September of 2018 through May of 2019. Their 2018-2019 schedule includes:
Jazz x Yoga with Christian Coelho
(September 19th – 23rd, 2018, Tangiers)
Joining from Rio de Janeiro, Christian Coelho will be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the mystical town of Tangiers, its intimate jazz festival and its historic medina. Prepare for an unforgettable experience where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. Includes 4 nights at Le Mirage hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Tangiers Int’l Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Tanjazz Festival, an immersive media tour in Old-Town, a night out in the Casbah, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (including wine), and 3 lunches.
Sufi Gnawa x Yoga with Christian Coelho
(September 25th – 29th, 2018, Essaouira)
Brazil-based Christian Coelho will then be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the stunning Riad Baoussala on the outskirts of Essaouira, an ancient port town and home of the spiritual sufi Gnawa music. Includes 4 nights at Riad Baoussala, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Essaouira Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, hike down to a desert beach on the Atlantic Ocean, Tour of Historic Essaouira, Intro to Sufi-based Gnawa Music, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (including wine), and 3 lunches.
Art x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey
(November 17th – 21st, 2018, Marrakech)
Deepen your practice with Mona Lisa Godfrey in the magical city of Marrakech, one of Africa’s most creative cultural hubs. Meet some of the most creative local minds, practice yoga in beautiful settings, and unwind in the beautiful setting of the boutique hotel, The Source. Includes 4 nights at La Source Hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, meet the creatives leading the Marrakech art scene, Pottery Workshop with Bouchra Boudoua, exclusive immersion into a private artist residence, 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners (including wine), and 3 lunches.
Hiking x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey
(November 21st – 25th, 2018, Atlas Mountains)
From the breathtaking heights and sights of the Kasbah Bab Ourika, join Sunny Side Up for this very special yoga adventure led by Mona Lisa Godfrey to the heart of Morocco’s ancient Berber culture for an inspiring 4 nights of yoga, hiking, and meditation. Includes 4 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, 2 hikes through the Atlas Mountains, Hammam and massage, camel ride, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners (including wine), and 3 lunches.
Meditation & Yoga with Michael James Wong
(May 26th – June 2nd, 2019, Marrakech & Atlas Mountains)
Join Michael James Wong in the magic of Morocco for a cultural adventure and an escape into the unknown. Start the journey with an immersion into the vibrant sights and sounds in the ancient city of Marrakech. With daily yoga classes & meditation, dive deep into the experience and have a great time doing it. Includes 5 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, 2 nights in a Marrakech Riad, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Atlas Mountain hike, Marrakech Medina hustle challenge, wholesome Moroccan cooking class, 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, and 6 lunches.
And while you are doing something good for yourself, you’ll be doing good for others. In an effort to give back to the local community, Sunny Side Up has partnered with Education for All (EFA) to help combat illiteracy with Moroccan women. In Morocco, 84% of women living in rural areas are illiterate. Very few girls from rural communities in Morocco get the opportunity of continuing their education after primary school. Every trip Sunny Side Up hosts funds one year of housing and education support for a girl from the Atlas Mountains. Through their partnership with Education for All (EFA), Sunny Side Up is able to provide a safe space, food and room and board close to schools, as well as tutor support to ensure all girls are able to complete their education.
In addition to offering set group wellness retreats, Sunny Side Up also can organize private trips and retreats for travelers who want a truly personalized travel experience. From family getaway on the Atlantic Coast to a bachelor party in Marrakech, Sunny Side Up can curate a custom-tailored trip showcasing the incredible experiences Morocco has to offer with their vast network of cultural opportunities. From beautiful boutique hotels, off-the-beaten-path experiences, authentic human interactions, inspiring cuisine, and transformative experiences, Sunny Side Up can create the perfect yoga wellness retreat for yoga enthusiasts worldwide.