Short on time and want to live the desert experience in Morocco ? If you don't have the 8 hours it takes to travel by land to the dunes of Erg Chebbi, or the budget to afford a small plane flight into the dunes, you have Agafay desert, just 45 minutes drive from Marrakech. Well, the truth is that Agafay desert is not really a desert. It's a startling revelation, as one is surrounded by nothing but biscuit-coloured waves of rock that stretch as far as the eye can see; an isolated palm tree flapping its fronds and a couple of camels grazing peacefully add to the illusion. La Pause is a rustic retreat where you can both get back to nature and keep your comfort intact. And what better example than the wood burning stoves that stand guard keeping the chilly air of those winter nights away from the open fronted rooms ? There is no electricity and scarcely any mobile reception. But perhaps snoozing, stargazing and staring into space are not your thing. Well, worry not. Camel riding, buggy racing, Arab caligraphy, massages or a cooking class can all be arranged. The rooms are built using traditional pisé (adobe and straw mix) and the stylish lodges are sublimely illuminated by candles and oil lamps. You will find a sumptous bed, a strong shower, low sofas, rugs and cushions, plus fireplaces and a patio sun-lounger for morning mint teas. Alternatively, stay in a spacious white canvas tent, with foam mattresses and open-air showers. Local wine and beer are available on site. Best visited from September to June.