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.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
March 29, 2013
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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.
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...
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!!!
Léah, the manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.