We are a couple of Moroccans who used to live in New York. Since our return to Casablanca where we live now, we try to travel around Morocco as much as we can to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of our country and appreciate the exotism and the warm hospitality of Ryads. Essaouira is one of our favorite places and we stayed there many times in various hotels and Ryads. We like especially the Ryad experience where for less than 50€, you stay in very charming and welcoming guest houses where the owners amaze you with their little attentions, their care for you as a special customer and the generous breakfasts they serve you in very beautiful terraces that have a view on the medina and the beach.
This time, as we were traveling with our 11 months old baby, and after a short stay in sofitel essaouira Mogador resort, we wanted to give to our baby a ryad experience. We decided to book for a more "upscale" ryad naively thinking that by paying much more than we used to, we will have bigger and more comfortable rooms as well as a superior service. We decided to go for Villa Maroc because of the good reputation this place has as one of the first ryad to become a guest house in Essaouira. What a great disappointment it was. This place is not only dirty, shabby and overpriced, but it is a shame for Moroccan legendary hospitality.
First of all, the premium room they gave us was very small, with very old and useless dusty furnitures. No welcoming touch in the room like a flower or a bottle of water. When you call yourself " maison de charme" it's the little gestures that make your guests feel special that makes the difference. In Villa Maroc, you only feel like a stupid client with very low expectation ready to overpay for mediocrity.
In the rooms, there are no phone connections, this is not a problem in itself but when you range yourself as an upscale guesthouse, the least you can do is to provide minimum commodities specially when your room is at the roof top and you have to go down many floor and through a labyrinth with a baby in your arm to ask for basic commodities like water or soap.
As far as breakfast is concerned, a beautifully presented breakfast with products from the region like argan oil are the least you can expect from a Ryad that positions itself as an upscale one. At Villa Maroc, you get the most basic and tasteless breakfast you can get. Coffee and milk is served in cracked up dishes, bread was chewy and not grilled, there was no honey and even though the owners have a domain in the region of Essaouira where they produce argan oil and other terroir products, they didn't have a glimpse of generosity to serve you some at breakfast which is compeletely against moroccan rules of hospitality. And last but not least, if you want eggs, you have to pay for them 20dhs ( abt 2€)for one boiled egg and 30dhs (abt 3€)for an omelet. Besides, olives that are always served for free wherever you go in Morocco are charged 2€. This is a shame! In morocco, wherever you go, hotels or ryads or other guesthouses, eggs are always included in breakfast and never ever in our life, we have been charged for olives!. In villa Maroc, not only they charge you 1350 dhs (abt 135€)for a very small and dirty room, but they serve you a very poor breakfast and make you pay for eggs and olives as an extra.
Well to sum it up, please don't waste your money in such a shameful and dirty place that doesn't reflect at all moroccan sense of hospitality. There are many small ryads out there much less expensive who will give you a true experience of moroccan hospitality.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 30, 2013
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A big number of regular guests appreciate our service's and understand the philosophy of our hotel, that we manage since 18 years.
Villa Maroc is a "Hotel de charme" located in four houses of the 18th century. We have 21 rooms - each one different in style and size - five different price-cathagorys. Decoreted with local handcrafts and antiques.
We use handmade local pottery, especially made for us. Our home made and fresh food is served by our loyal and smiling staff, working with us since nearly 20 years.
Our breakfast, served (not buffet) on the roof terrace with views over the harbor and the beach, is well known and - as you can read in other reviews - very appreciated.
We are here, every day, to make you feel home away from home.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.