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“NIce place - but out of town and many things to be improved” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Riad Baoussala

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Riad Baoussala
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Douar El Ghazoua, Essaouira 44000, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #1 of 77 Hotels in Essaouira
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
302 helpful votes 302 helpful votes
“NIce place - but out of town and many things to be improved”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We stayed here with our young family. We travelled from Marrakech and we found it difficult to find the place. My husband did tell me that it was 10 km away from Medina but you also have to travel about 3km on a bumpy road.

We arrived here and was greeted by Domnique. My husband and started laughing as she told off our taxi driver and we found it hilarious. She was very nice to us and showed us around and also told us that we can have an extra room free of charge for our stay of three nights - that was nice of her.

We had our lunch here and the food was ok. We eventually took all our dinners here because it was too far off to travel to other restaurants. The cook/chef is a really nice guy. but the food is average at the best. It was nothing great.

The kids enjoyed the place as there were so many dogs and cats! and we were glad that they kept the kids entertained and they were really cute and friendly dogs! but the dogs also gave us company while we ate and just stared at us for tit bits. I was a bit worried as our kids always had pieces of bread in their hand and you never know with animals!

the pool was too cold and we could not use it during our stay.

the local staff are very friendly - esp. Rashid and was very helpful.

The cottage we stayed in was really nice and it was cosy. The whole place is quite quaint.

Leah and Rashid and the cook are very friendly and provided us the necessary support.

Now for some negative points.
1. Location - My husband did tell me that it was outside the city and I was always a bit worried about that. As we were travelling with young children, we always came back to the hotel to take a little rest during the day before we went out again. However, it was not possible to do so in Essaouria. It costs about 10 euros one way and we would have spent 40 euros going up and down two times everyday. Dominique did help us out and offered us a lift with her cook every morning. But we had to eventually eat all our meals at the riad.

2. The hot water in the cottage was not working. It was extremely cold! It was not fixed until the next day as they had to get some parts from Marakech. Dominique was apologetic but she also said that we are in Essaouria and we need to get used to it!

3. Heaters - there was no proper heating system in place. the fire place was nice but it was a hazard with little children. we were given gas heaters. I asked them for electric heaters but was told by Dominique that the power was low in this area and therefore she cannot give us any more electric heaters and that we were in Africa! We actually have been working in Africa and we know this but still if we are paying 120 euros per night, you would expect some luxuries esp if the weather was 5 degrees! We were given gas heaters. I have used them in other countries and it is not safe at all. First, you can get poisoned by carbon monoxide and second the fire is major hazard. My mother burnt her dress and I was constantly ensuring that our kids were not getting hurt.

4. Dominique's attitude - she was extremely helpful and friendly at the begining and at times. However, she did not go out of the way to be concerned about the guests. I did not find her genuine and I just read another review which expressed the same opinion. She was unapologetic about some of the facilities and whenever we asked for something and it was not available, she always said "what can I do!" . We found that the owners of the riads in Marrakech were genuine and provided good customer service. We felt as if we were doing her a service by paying 120 euros per night :)

5. On the first night, we said that we will take our dinner at 2030 hrs as we had a late lunch at this riad at 1630. My mother went first to eat and she did not get meals. She explained to the cook but he did not understand her. Then Dominique came to our room and said that we will have to eat our food quickly as the cook wanted to go home! I found that quite annoying. Especially when the cook delayed in providing the food and the fact that you are on holiday and would expect to eat at any time you want. We were also not unreasonable as it was only 2100 hrs.

6. When we were eating our last dinner, we were asked to move to another place so that another family could take our place. The new place was cold and our children started crying and I had to go back to the room without having dinner. The warm place next to the fire was taken by Domnique and her friends as she was entertaining them for dinner!!

7. Finally, when we were leaving, no one was around. We went and said goodby to Leah and Rashid and then they came out.

Finally, I would say that it is a nice place and you can stay here if you have extra days in hand and you just want a place to relax. But if you want to see the city/medina, then I would recommend that you stay closer to the medina.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dominiquebaoussala, Gérant at Riad Baoussala, responded to this review, March 29, 2013
Dear Guests,

We are a little bit confused to read your review, we have made a meeting with the all crew to read it to them as well. They were as disappointed as us about what you have written, all of them made a lot of efforts to satisfy you, we would have wished you to be more concerned about all what our staff has done for you and your family , with all their attention and heart.

1- The location of Riad Baoussala- (in the title of your review : "out of town")
we have been in contact by email with your husband, you said he told you that we were 10 km away from the town but I think that you did not realise that it could have been far away for your own organisation with children. We are sorry for that but we never lie about the location, for us it s "plus" being in the nature, at 15 minutes away from the town, it is part of the "Baoussala's concept" and we always tell our guest in advance (by email) that we are not right in the town, exactly for this reason!
You would have prefer to be in town to be able to move easily with your children, and your husband made a reservation with us... you can't accuse us of being out of the town Especially we offered you a lift every morning with hassan our driver, he was waiting for you to go at the time you want while he has plenty of stuff to do in town...

2-The Hot water problem in the Cottage the first night
The evening of your arrival it is true, we had a technical problem with the hot water, and one more time we appologie for this inconvenient. It has been fixed the day after. You are living in Africa, you must understand better that anyonelse that this kind of technical problem in Africa can be hard to fixe in few minutes!!! Thank you for your patience regarding this point.

3- Heaters
First of all concerning this point, we need to give the reality, in January in Morocco (Essaouira) the temperature is arround 15° to 20° in the day and 8° to 12° in the night (never 5° as you wrote...)
The Marabout Cottage where you were staying with your family is 45m², in that room we provide you 2 electric heaters + 2 gas heaters + 1 fire place...when i entered myself to control your room the first morning i was thinking that i was in a Hammam!! (steam bath) . If we could have give you 6 electric heaters we would have done it, but what Dominique explained you is true, the power is not strong enough to have more than 2 electric heaters per room, we are an ecolodge, in the middle of the nature...

4- Dinners
Our guest house propose a set menu every night according to your taste. We had to prepare every night a different menu for the 3 of you, + a soup at 16h30 for your children, you never had diner all together, so we have to serve all of you separetly. we have done all of that without trouble.
The first evening, as we didn't see you coming for the supper at 21h00, Dominique decides to come to your room to tcheck with you if you were ready for the dinner
Especially when the chef finnish his working day at 22h00, You wanted to be able to have food at any time, we do our best with no limit of time for the breakfast, lunch by the pool from 13h to 16th and supper from 19h to 21h, not so many small hotel like us offer the same service for food!
Your last night, you wanted to go in town, we proposed you a baybsitter, you left the place without confirming, we had to find your phone number to call you to tcheck with you your schedule, and you finally change your mind...and wanted dinner at home!
Running an hotel in the nature need to have organisation, we only cook fresh products as well, this is why we had to know a little bit in advance.
Your last night you said that we ask you to use another place than the one in front of the fire place, YES we did, we had new guest arriving (2 french couples) and we propose them the table in friont of the fire place, it is of course the nicest table in winter, but they are only one! and you have to share, especially when you did not let us know that finaly you would have dinner at home! It were not Dominique's friend but regumar customers that 's Dominique welcomed as well as she welcoomed you.

6 - Dominique 's Attitude
You are complaining about Dominique 's attitude, but finnaly you were satisfy of the way she welcomed you, she is the owner of Baoussala, she is running this house since 12 years with her soul and heart, and she has a profound respect and dedication for her guests. She is meeting new people from all over the world everyday and she loves to share with them her love for this country and culture.
Dominique has a team of 9 people that work with her and all of us are able to assume risponsabilities on her behalf.

5-Price of the room
You look to be complaining regarding the price you paid for the Cottage (120€/night) the normal price must have been 140€ for 3 adults and free of charge for your young children. i definitly think that you where not in the right place, it is not a reason to let the bad nappys full of droppings everywhere on the floor and vomit on the carpet... Your room was disgusting...the cleaning womens where terrified to enter in your room each day, and i understand why....

To finish with i think that your husband has made an error in choosing Baoussala for your stay in Essaouira, you must have stay somewhere in town, but if you where looking for a 5 stars hotel service for 120e/night, it would have been hard to find!!!

kind regards
Léah, the manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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london
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

my partner and I would love to have our important birthdays here...its a wonderful red fort ....one that you might find in the desert...that is an antidote to the hassle of Marrakech or Essourira. Lovely staff and hosts and perfect for the three days we spent there. Our room which was the owners original dwelling ...a bit like a little cottage ....was a delight...Oh and theres a hamman and lovely pool and candlelit dinners and great food & wine and peace.....I would move there if i could.

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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

I have never stayed anywhere so soothing as Riad Baoussala. We stayed in the Sahara suite, which was not only huge, with its own sitting room, but beautifully furnished too. We were made to feel at home instantly by both Dominique and Leah. The dinners and breakfast served at the Riad were always delicious and varied. They have a board in the kitchen with that evening's menu on so you can decide if you'd like to eat there, or go into town as an alternative. The Riad is quite far from town, but Dominique and Leah always organised taxis there and back for us (or drove us in themselves if they were also heading into town). The town of Essaouira itself is beautiful and the food is great, so its well worth tearing yourself away from the Riad to visit.

The one and only negative I can think of is that the Riad is also home to some cats and dogs, which did show up at meal times, which is not ideal for everyone.

All in all, it is a wonderful place, I did not want to leave and I hope to return one day.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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St. Albans, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

We stayed at Baoussala over Christmas 2012, and Dominique and her team made sure our stay was very special and memorable- their hospitality was exceptional. Baoussala is an outstanding oasis of calm, a wonderful place to spend a few days after the hustle of Marrakech. The Riad is beautifully designed, and our room was very nice. The pool area, the sun terraces and the living area were all so nice, and the food was the best we had in Morocco. It felt like a home away from home, and we would recommend to anyone, and hope to return.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We arrived here after the bustle of Marrakech and after 2 weeks in Morocco with the inevitable hassles. We had high expectations fat reading the reviews and were not disappointed. We stayed in the Marabout cottage which is beautiful. Our boys slept together in an enormous bed with a high domed roof (so big in fact that all 4 of us slept in it one night). We has a separated bedroom. The bathroom was large with a great shower and our living room had a fireplace with wood provided and fire built each evening. Dominique is an excellent hostess and ably assisted by Leah take care of your every need. Rawhide, Hassan and all the staff are first class. Our boys (10 and 11) loved the excellent pool and all the animals. Breakfast was excellent and served whenever you like. Essaouira is 9 km away and 100dh by taxi which of course will be arranged for you. We enjoyed meeting other people which is easy in the common room and around the pool.
Our whole stay here was delightful and we were sad to leave. Thanks so much Dominique and Leah.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Arundel
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

What a magical few days we had at Baoussala. We arrived with high expectations (just look at all the reviews) but we were far from disappointed. We were instantly made to feel at home in this beautiful oasis of calm. Dominique and Leah and their team are incredibly kind and enthusiastic. It seemed that nothing was too much trouble. Rasheed, in particular, was really helpful and lifted our spirits each day when we saw him.
You could quite happily spend a few days at the Riad without feeling any desire to leave but should you want to explore there is plenty of information to hand about the local area. Dominique kindly took us to a wonderful local market where we were the only visitors not arriving by donkey. We also enjoyed our visits to the charming town of Essaouira where there are excellent (and surprisingly relaxing) shopping opportunities.
The weather was beautiful in early November. We started our mornings with yoga and Tai Chi on the roof watching the sunrise, then enjoyed the quiet pool before an excellent al fresco breakfast. You can have breakfast as late as you like. The house is beautifully designed and styled to feel elegant, comfortable and homely. It’s a friendly, sociable place but if at any time you want to be alone there are plenty of areas to sit and enjoy the gardens in silence. We loved the animals who wander around the Riad – especially the tortoises. One was as tiny as a matchbox! In the evenings you can retire to your cosy room and light a fire and it is completely silent at night.
We would highly recommend Baoussala to everyone - couples, families, friends and people travelling alone. It’s a very special place - ideal for a stress free holiday. Can’t wait to go back.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Aix en Provence
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

Expect: To be pampered by the wonderful staff that will bring you anything you need before you have even thought of it and is at the same time totally discrete; to have an abundance of nice spots to sit and relax (pool? garden? roof terrace? patio? or many others during the day, in front of the fire place in common room at night); to make friends with other travelers or to enjoy your privacy, whatever you prefer; happy kids if they are animal lovers (2 cats that love to sit in you lap, 2 dogs, many turtles inside the property, and donkeys as well as the occasional cow or dromedar outside); beautifully decorated rooms with your own fire place readily prepared every day; welcoming hostesses that will show you what to see and where to go and help with whatever you need (thanks Dominique and Leah!); very nice dinner in the evening if you prefer to stay at Bassouala; wild and beautiful beach 15 minutes drive away (along a very rocky road!); not wanting to leave.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Riad Baoussala

Address: Douar El Ghazoua, Essaouira 44000, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Essaouira
#3 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Riad Baoussala is a lovely house situated in the nature, 9 kilometers south of Essaouira, and near by the wild beaches of Sidi Kaouki. This charming hotel is composed of 3 rooms and 3 suites, all differents, comfortables and stylish, they offer a quiet and peacefull atmosphere.From the gardens to the roof terraces, the pool to the Hammam, with your family of just as a couple, the Riad Baoussala is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy a stay near Essaouira.The pool is now heated at 28° all year arround thanks to an ecologique system. We offer a free access to the Hammam and we propose scrubs and massages upon request.Dominique, Leah and their team welcome you in this uncommom place where modernity and tradition are mixed for your pleasure! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Riad Baoussala Essaouira
Riad Baoussala Hotel Essaouira

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