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“Far and away the best accommodation we found in Morocco” 5 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
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Far and away the best accommodation we found in Morocco”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

Make sure you print off the directions map if you choose to stay here as there are no signs pointing you towards the rough, bone-shuddering 3km track that leads to Riad Baoussala. Once you reach this isolated haven of tranquility, you will feel instantly relaxed. Arriving after a long drive from Marrakech airport on an unusually cloudy and drizzly day we were shown to the delightful Oasis room, tucked away in a quiet corner of the compound. Having stayed in riads previously, the Oasis room had the benefit for us of being set away from the central courtyard where breakfasts are served.

The following morning we met the owner, Dominique, the epitome of efficient Gallic hospitality, who effortlessly makes you feel part of her extended family. Baoussala is the organic evolution of 12 years’ labour of love, sympathetic to its remote environment but with all the necessary comforts you might need.

What might have initially appeared as minor annoyances, e.g., wi-fi connectivity is poor by the pool and in the room, turn out to be positives, forcing you to unwind and disconnect from the outside world.

Breakfasts are simple Moroccan fare, available wherever you choose to eat, from 8 until late morning. A lunch menu is available, with enough variety. Dinners must be reserved in the mornings, and can be adapted to individual tastes – we ate in three nights out of four. On our last night we dined on a delightful courgette soup, and lamb cooked in aubergine in Dominique’s rustic kitchen, accompanied by Gingko, her Labrador, as well as Bob the cat.

Dominique, Leah, Rashid and the rest of the team looked after us well, there if we needed them but never intrusive.

If you go to Sidi Kaouki, I suggest avoiding the shortcut track if using a rental car – the road is rougher than the track from Ghazoua and single file for most of its length.

Riad Baoussala was far and away the best, most hospitable of three of our stops in Morocco.

Room Tip: Pick the Oasis room for two people (three at a push?), tucked away in a quiet corner of the compound
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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454 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Heidelberg, Germany
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

My wife and I stayed here mid-way through our Moroccan holiday. We had a little trouble finding the place initially as it's not sign-posted from the main road but that only amounted to 10 minutes delay.

Baoussala is a sprawling, calming and beautiful place to stay. Our days were filled with highlights: delicious and extended breakfasts, conversations with staff and guests, enjoying the pool and sun loungers, trying the spa facilities, watching the sun go down from the roof terrace, candlelit dinners in the courtyard, giggling at Bob’s (one of the two household cats) hunting expeditions.

The staff are uniformly excellent – all extremely friendly and we felt spoiled for the whole of our visit. Food is also fantastic. I’m usually reluctant to eat in the same place twice on holiday but it was so lovely, easy and great value that we ate in on four out of five evenings. The dips and olives with sun-downers were also something we looked forward to each evening.
It is useful to have a car as the cost of taxiing will soon mount up if you want to do plenty of day trips. We tried kite surfing lessons near Essaouira, surfing and stand up paddle boarding – all based on advice from the staff and had a great time.

Thank you Baoussala!

p.s. Please be wary of speed traps on your way from Marrakech... we were caught out by a suspiciously temporary and hilariously close cluster of reduced speed signs.

Room Tip: We were very happy with the blue room. It is spacious and comfortable - plenty of lounging opportuni...
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sunny Bournemouth
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely beautiful house and gardens in which to unwind and recharge your soul. Dominique has created a wonderful environment which allows guests to feel at home and cared for whatever their needs.

We were collected by the taxi arranged for us and met by Leah and Rachid at the house, as it was dark the candles were lit and the house looked magical. We were shown to our room and greeted with mint tea. On arrival we were tired after two days in Marrakech, we said we wanted to do nothing and were actually left to do nothing but enjoy the peace and rest. All the while we fully understood that we could explore and if we needed anything we just needed to ask. We had asked for the evening meal and enjoyed the first of many delicious meals. A rare treat for us was the care to provide gluten free options including making gluten free flat bread from the flour that Dominique had asked us to bring.

After the first Zen day we planned a few activities and Leah arranged everything for us. The whole team have a very calming effect on guests and adapt to their needs. It is clear that Dominique treats her staff well everyone is happy and nothing is too much trouble.

A huge thank you to all of you, we will return

Christine, Alex & Ella

Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los angeles
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013

After 5 days fighting off the touts in Fez Medina followed by 5 days of long car drives from Marrakesh to Erg Chebbi and back, I really just wanted to do nothing and relax for a few days. Riad Baoussala provided me with the peace and tranquility that I desperately needed. I enjoyed 3 perfect days of rest and relaxation in this gorgeous riad. The staff, especially Leah, was wonderful. Food was ridiculously tasty. I had such good sleep during my stay at Riad Baoussala.

I had lost my wallet while at Fez so I was low on cash and did not have a credit card. Leah was so sweet and just told me to pay when I returned to the US. Incredible!!!

Thank you everyone for your kindness. I hope to visit again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

This place is PERFECT. In all of the chaos and craziness of Morocco when you walk you step on to this property you feel like you have reached paradise. Peaceful, quiet, beautiful gardens, stunning pool area with lounge chairs and a hammock and gorgeos eco rooms, with a real southwest america feel. Every detail about this place has been thought about with care and pride. The owners are very friendly. The only downside was that I did not book to stay here longer, next time for sure. Come here, without hesitation and you will be more than happy you did. Escape the chaos and find this little oasis of calm. Not to mention, a dash of hipness with a outdoor cinema as well. Stargaze, lounge by the pool, get a hamman. Just dont leave.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parksville, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2013

Baoussala feels like a sanctuary for people, animals and plants, and it was our favorite place to stay during our 3-week trip to Morocco. We stayed for 5 nights after an amazing 5-day desert trek from Marrakesh to Merzouga. It is like a home away from home. The photos on their website are understated. When we arrived, it felt like walking into a beautiful calm oasis, and we immediately felt connected with this beautiful Riad and with the staff. You feel connected, but there is so much privacy. The pathways through the desert gardens invite you to a multitude of comfortably furnished outdoor patios, and the huge roof top terrace has many different places to relax. Beautiful negative edge pool. You can eat at any time of day anywhere on the property – around the pool, up on the roof-top terrace, or in the beautiful courtyard of the Riad. The food at Baoussala is delicious, it was also the best food we had in Morocco. In the mornings, we were always offered eggs along with various accoutrements including freshly baked bread that had the consistency of a Parisian rugged baguette. We enjoyed their food so much, that we ate out only once in Essaouira, even although there are restaurants that we had planned to go to. We just didn’t want to leave this place! Dominique has that French culinary and artistic flair. She emanates casual class, and has a great sense of humor! There is beautiful artwork through the property, inside and out. There is an outdoor cinema. How cool is that? I had my first hammam followed by a massage. I felt like a queen afterwards! We did visit the amazing beach, Sidi Kaouki just south of the property. A definite worthwhile and effortless day trip which Dominique arranged a car rental for. And we also enjoyed a day walking around the beautiful old town of Essaouira. There is this incredible wood furniture store called Centre Artisanal D’Essaouira which just blew us away. Our only regret was not being able to stay at Baoussala for longer. We could easily have spent a couple of weeks here. We live in western Canada, so it is a long way for us to travel. Hopefully we can return to this wonderful Riad again sometime. Morocco is definitely an exotic and incredibly beautiful country to visit, and we have so many treasured memories of our 25th wedding anniversary. Thank you so much, Dominique, Leah, Rashid, and staff for giving us such a wonderful holiday experience, and sharing your beautiful paradise with us. You are all amazing. Wishing you all of the best with your continued successes!

Chris and Al Block, Vancouver Island, Canada

Room Tip: We stayed in the Red Room which was very roomy, private and romantic.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Macclesfield, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

My wife and I spent 14 nights at Baoussala to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we could not have spent the time at a more peaceful and relaxing place. The property is magnificent, the accommodation elegant, the food wonderful and the gardens and pool area divine.
The staff, including the gardener, could not have looked after us better, they were attentive without being intrusive.
We had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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