A mere 28km (17m) from the busy city center of Marrakech, Morocco, find La Pause: an off-the-grid starry sanctum in the middle of the desert with 360° views of the Agafay Hills.
This is a hotel with a mission. La Pause, i.e. 'to pause' in French, is a place to disconnect, literally and figuratively. You won't have wi-fi, cell service or any electricity here. It's desert, mountains, stars, and minimalist luxury.
La Pause is where a traveler goes to turn off their mind. As part of the effort to maintain a restful environment, guests have hardly any decisions to make during their stay, not even when it comes to dining (there are no menus provided for meals and every dish brought to the table is a surprise). There's only one place to eat, one swimming pool, and no spa. The idea is to exude effortlessness.
Candelabras and tea lights lit at night provide just the right level of illumination. While the indoors may be a bit dark at certain times during the day, the rooms stay dry and cool. Suites are spacious and romantically styled, and the beds are a heavenly place to fall into at night. Trees and cushy lounge chairs surround the no-frills pool, creating a very natural, woodsy feel.
There's no place like the desert for stargazing.
Without electricity, there's an overwhelming sense of peace. Detachment from the outside world allows for isolated relaxation. It is impossible to engage in commotion or noise. The beauty of La Pause is in its simplicity: there is no opportunity for distraction.
Hot, bright, dry desert by day and stunningly starry at night. It's pretty close to perfect.
Photos courtesy of La Pause.