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.
- 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, Léah 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