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“Truly special” 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
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Truly special”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Riad Baoussala is a truly special, almost magical place. I actually hesitated before writing this review, as I loved it so much I kind of want to keep it a secret, so that there is room when we book again next year (Inshallah, as they say in Morrocco).

At the heart of it all, it's Dominique's vision and personality that makes Baoussala what it is. It's hard to describe how perfect this place is, and even photos don't truly give it justice. The architecture and lay out is original, exotic and fun: uneven steps, low doors, delightful colored-glass sky-lights, maze-like quality with secret nooks and lovely corners. This place is so peaceful that you just want to chill and not leave. We were there for 5 nights but could have easily stayed 10 and not be bored. We had rented a car for 4 days and ended up using it only twice, as we just did not feel like leaving the Riad at all (we were very tired after a few crazy days in Marrakech).

The food is great - we had dinner at the Riad 4 out of 5 nights (once again: why leave?) and we would have licked the bottom of the tajine dishes if it were not inappropriate (and too hot). Baoussala has its own (lovely) hammam and I splurged on a Grand Oriental treatment (hammam, scrub, mask, massage, bath) - Saloua the hammam attendant was very good and the price very reasonable for the level of service. The pool is gorgeous and heated, which is a good thing when the wind blows, at it often does in Essaouira, because it can get chilly even in the sun. Which is really my only gripe about Essaouira in general - it's a bit windy/chilly for my taste,

All in all, Baoussala functions a little bit like a resort, with the difference being that it only has 6 rooms instead of 200... so if you want to make friends and socialize with your fellow guests you can, but if you want to keep to yourself you can too - there are enough nooks where you can sit/read/eat/drink that you are never crowded and can find an isolated spot. One of the family we chatted with at Baoussala was on their 9th stay there, which is saying something!

In terms of outside activities, besides visiting Essaouira proper, we went to Tagenza, a wild beach a few kilometers away with a beach shack managed by Abdou with his 15+ dogs and as many cats, 2 donkeys etc. Completely unexpected and beautiful. We also went on a quad ride in the forest, the dunes and along the beach which was a ton of fun. Both activities were recommended by Dominique: she spends time with the guests upon their arrival to look over maps and point out things to do, how to get there etc. Very useful. We did not have time to go horse riding but it's on the list for when we come back. This time we traveled as a couple but we can't wait to bring our daughter next year, she's going to love the animals (cats, dogs, turtles, donkeys, goats), the pool, and everything else about this place.

Yes, Baoussala is in the middle of nowhere and a pain to get to on a very bumpy rocky dirt road, but it's worth it. Finally, a special mention for Rachid who is the consummate professional and so smooth.

Room Tip: We adored the red room, very romantic, but from what we could see all the rooms are great. There is...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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453 reviews from our community

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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
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  • English first
  • French first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

You drive up a very bumpy track and through the gates to a real oasis of calm, beauty and tranquility. We really enjoyed our stay, undoubtedly the most relaxing in our Morocco road trip. The rooms are very charming and stylish, the staff are very kind and easy going and clearly enjoy their work and are a brilliant and caring team. The pool, grounds, and tortoises were all fabulous. The food was also the best of all we had in Morocco and was really very nice- we are quite fussy on food and have to say that we happily ate in every day and could also have become quite happily fat if we stayed much longer :) the owner was also very dedicated and friendly with a great flair for hosting and running this wonderful hideaway. Is it appropriate to embarrass Rachid by complimenting him on his easy going style of doing things? Maybe, but we shall say it anyway, and give conpliments also to Leah and rest of the team. You all make it special place!

Room Tip: The blue suite is fab, large and with small seating area outside.
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2014

After a 2 and a half taxi transfer, well organised, we arrived and immediately felt relaxed. The marabout suite was perfect next to the pool. The place is among shurb and worth walking around, donkeys, cows, goats and truly peaceful. We had a car for 3 of the 7 days, nothing that much to see, the charm is Essaouria and the riad. Taxis are cheap and reliable. I don't like picking anyone out who makes your holiday special, but Rashid needs to be thanked, the rest of the team are lovely too. My only negative, and so small, but at night, please more lights if only solar powered, then it would be truly wonderful.
Thank you all of you.

Victoria and Adrien.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2014

We stayed here for four nights in May and it's a lovely, relaxing place to stay.

Dominique, Leah and Rashid were brilliant, very welcoming and nothing was too much for them.

Our room was very cool, a perfect escape if the heat got to much and the food was delicious.

We have nothing but good memories of our stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

We've just got back from Baoussala and every moment was absolutely perfect! Having visited twice before we had already fallen in love with the place and knew it was the place for us really is magical,
We ate in the riad almost every night; amazing courses, tea . There's also wine and beer available, looking up at the star filled sky with a glass of red wine was a real highlight!!
all of the rooms are comfortable and quirky each with their own character;

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2014

This is place is just fantastic. We loved everything about it. Amazing pool, beautifully decorated rooms and outside spaces. It is just great. The food and drink are all reasonably priced too. We would return to Morocco just to stay here. Loved it.

  • Stayed April 2014, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

We loved it here!! A perfect relaxing retreat with gorgeous surroundings, lovely people and delicious food!
We stayed at Baoussala for 10 days over Easter and had an amazing time. The rooms are beautiful and the whole place is a treat to be in with lots of quirky artefacts and interesting features (for example coloured glass skylights in our bathroom). The atmosphere is chilled and cosy, with candles and warm fires in the evening. The staff are wonderful (thank you Rasheed!) and service impeccable, nothing was too much trouble. The food was fantastic and the chef happily catered for our vegetarian needs. The pool area is beautiful and there are lots of different areas to hang out so that you never feel overcrowded by the other guests. We coped fine without our own car and used taxis to get into Essaouira and also went on a lovely trip to a Berber market where we got a lift with Baoussala's own driver. Honestly it was one of the most wonderful holidays we've been on and we're so looking forward to coming back! Thank you, Daisy & Annie x

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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
#1 Best Value 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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