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“Opulent luxury and peace and quiet” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Villa Gonatouki

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Villa Gonatouki
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Km 8 Route d'Agadir | El Ghazoua, 44000, Ghazoua, Essaouira, Morocco   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Ghazoua
uk
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Opulent luxury and peace and quiet”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013 via mobile

We had the most relaxing holiday at Villa Gonatouki,with every need taken care of by the friendly staff.

We were met as our car pulled up outside the villa. Owner Bruno introduced himself and then took us on a tour of the house intoducing us to all the other staff.

We had booked the cheapest 'comfort' room, but the cancellation of a large group left my partner and I the only guests for the week. We were offered the choice of the two best rooms in the villa as a complimentary upgrade. This was a lovely gesture and the room we chose was palatial. These rooms are huge and their balconies bigger still. However, throughout our stay the doors to all the vacant rooms were open and we were nosy; I have to say I'd have been happy staying in any of them.

The communal areas of the house are extensive, with a lounge area with corner sofa, a lounge featuring luscious beanbags, a large room equipped with a huge TV, and an inner courtyard. Every room is beautifully furnished and accessorised, giving a sumptuous, luxurious feel.

Outside, there's a huge terrace with tables, chairs and parasols. Steps lead down to the large pool and many comfortable sunloungers. Towels are provided for around the pool - another nice touch. Another long pool for serious swimming sits on a higher level, appearing to be an extension of the impressive hallway.

The villa has free Wi-Fi and the signal is strong wherever you are, even by the pool. There's a masseuse on staff with very reasonable rates for massage and beauty treatments. My partner and I both had two massages each during our week's stay.

The villa sits in green gardens, and several hammocks hang in the shade of some trees. A pleasant wind kept us from being overly hot, and I found using the pool was more for variety than the necessity of keeping cool.

Breakfast, we were told, could be taken any time we liked. Each morning we were presented with a basket of fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, very good coffee, and freshly made local breads with jams and maple syrup. On the first day we felt obliged to eat all of the bread, but learned that would only lead to more being delivered to the table!

We were offered the option of lunch as we sat by the pool. We declined, simply because breakfast and dinner are so filling. In any case, a plate of fruit was brought to us each afternoon.

Bruno emailed two days before our flight to ask if we'd like dinner on the first evening. We took him up on the offer, and then ate dinner in the hotel for the rest of our stay. Bruno is quite correct in extolling the culinary skills of his cook. Every night we enjoyed a different appetizer, starter, main and dessert. No menu, just fabulous Moroccan food brought to the table. Each evening we left the table with very full bellies. Most of the dishes we would never have tried had we had to select from a restaurant menu, so if I offer only one piece of advice it would be to eat at Villa Gonatouki on the first night just so you know what you'll be missing if you decide to eat anywhere else!
From our second night onwards, our appetizer was delivered to us on our roof terrace, leading me to write home that 'it doesn't matter where you go, they'll find you with food.'

Many other reviews touch on the remoteness of the location, unpaved road and difficulty in finding Villa Gonatouki. In reality, Bruno provided clear instructions and we found it without any problem. If you were to have difficulty, he's at the end of the phone. The final stretch of road is unpaved, but still reasonable. A car would be needed for excursions into Essaouira as, yes the location is remote. But the remoteness pays you back in piece and tranquility. It's quiet. Plus the absence of light pollution makes it quite stunning at night. Every night without fail you could see every star in the sky. Plus the Milky Way is visible, and I've never seen it before, not even once, so to see it every night was magical.

We spent each day sitting by the pool reading good books. You can hear the occasional goat or donkey, and the wind in the trees. If you stand you can see the sea. A group of naughty local donkeys provided entertainment as they were rather partial to the Villa's lawn, trying to eat as much as they could before Bruno spotted them! We also spotted a chameleon in the foliage by the front door.

A few of our days started off cloudy, but without exception the sky was clear by lunchtime. Bruno was around at breakfast with helpful suggestions of things to do. His advice on basic things such as parking in the town was invaluable.

As it was, we used the occasional cloudy morning as a reason not to be lazy and get out and experience life beyond the grounds of the villa. We shopped, rode on camels and visited the two nearest beaches. For us though, the biggest enjoyment was from a totally relaxing afternoon by the pool, followed by a glass of wine and appetizers on the roof terrace, and a then probably the best dinners we'll ever eat.

There's really nothing I could say that would put anyone off visiting. I'm certainly going to recommend it to any friends thinking of holidaying in Morocco.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Waouuuh! What a review.!!! Thank you very much. It goes directly in our heart. It's was vey nice to accommodate you in this period, because it was quiet. It was easy with you because you are always happy. You can come back when you want! It will be just wonderful for us.
I hope you keep a bit of your suntan! Here the weather is still very nice : sky is blue, it's 26° C!
The whole team ask me to say you hello, they keep a so good souvenir.
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287 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

Villa Gonatouki is a wonderful place to enjoy a relaxing holiday. We were so impressed with the service and Bruno is the perfect host. We were welcomed on arrival and offered a choice of rooms, including a free upgrade! It was so exciting having a private balcony with sun loungers. The food was excellent quality and made fresh to order. We really enjoyed being able to eat at whatever time we wanted as well (one day we had a big lie in and had breakfast at 12.00, when you are ready you just ask!). Bruno made time to chat to each of the guests each day and see if he could help with plans. He suggested a restaurant in Essaouira for my birthday (La Licorne) which was a great recommendation. We wished we could have stayed longer and enjoyed more time relaxing by the pools. Although a little hard to find initially, the villa is away from the hustle and bustle of the towns, and just a short drive to Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki. We hired a car from Marrakech and once the city driving bit is over, it's a straightforward route, and Bruno provided maps and contact numbers in case we got lost. Overall, this stay exceeded our expectations and we would love to come back with a big group of friends.

Room Tip: Having a private balcony is wonderful!
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  • Stayed March 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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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Hello Anna. That's a long time now. Thank you very much for your so nice review. We had a big pleasure to accommodate you with Harry. I'm sure we'll sea you gain, here or in Lille where you are welcome or in London. I have heard that in november there will have a new flight from London, direct to Essaouira with Easyjet. Best Wishes for the future for you 2.
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Offham West MALLING UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We are a large family group ranging in age from 83 to 6, - and we have holidayed together for a fortnight for the last few years. Teenagers, little children and parents have all told me that this was the best family holiday so far. Bruno went out of his way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. There was plenty to kep the young children occupied, the teenagers enjoyed the sun and the pool and nights on the town and the grandparents were able to be quiet and rest when they wanted, and to enormously enjoy seeing everyone else happy and satisfied

We warmly recommend Gonatuki. You will be in for a lovely surprise.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
What a big and wonderful family! It was nice to speak with everybody. That's a so good place for such holidays. I hope your granddaughter received the Ipod she forgot. Thank you for the book you left. We stay in touch to exchange our houses in France and in England.
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Sint-Truiden, Belgium
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

A great place to stay in a beautiful Moroccan villa with a contemporary touch. Friendly staff, always ready to help. Excellent Moroccan cuisine. With many different seating areas and two swimming pools, there's always the choice to mingle or be on your own. The comfort rooms are a bit damp and can get hot at night, but a fan was provided. You can always get a ride, but If you intend to explore on a daily base, hiring a car is advised.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
We spoke by phone about your passport, but I was not on the spot when you came. I hope you spend a good time in Gonatouki. The staff was happy to meet you and said you were very nice. You have to come back again. With the plane from Charleroi, that's cheap and very easy from Belgium.
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Paris, France
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

The time we spent in Villa Gonatouki was great. The house is beautiful with a wondeful view on the coastal landscape. Landlords are adorable and have a unic sense of welcome. I warmly recommend it for holidays in Essaouira

  • Stayed June 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
I'm sorry Antoine to answer so late. Thanks a lot for your review. It was nice to accommodate you. You are always welcome!
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UK
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

If you are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh, then this villa is the perfect place. We spent three very relaxing days here and the staff were wonderful. If you do get bored, you can take a trip into Essaouria where there are plenty of things to do. I would highly recommend staying here... If we go again, we would probably stay for a full week next time.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Thank you Jay for your review. It was nice to accommodate you and to speak with you. And Ghaoula was happy to improve her English with Hyomin until 4am! I have bought your book and I'll read it this month. And then everybody will be abble to read it at Gonatouki! All the best for the future.
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ireland
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I have thought long and hard as I really do not like doing bad reviews as any place can have a bad day but we were so disappointed with this Villa that my husband went and rechecked the reviews to see did we book the wrong place.
Firstly forget the sat nav co ordinations to here as they do not work so it took us nearly two hours and numerous phone calls to Bruno before we eventually found the Villa. I think the local police thought we just liked going round the roundabout as we must have done it at least five times. What was surprising is the directions we received from Bruno the restaurant has been closed for months and the red cow is a statue on wheels and if someone parks in front of the red cow you will not see it believe me we looked hard for it I notice there is now a photo of the red cow What was strange is that with good directions it would have been easy to find the dirt road as there is a wicker shop just before the turn and a huge white sign for the road works on the main road these are a lot easier to find than the red cow. We were getting so frustrated that we were going to just go and book somewhere else.
Once you turn off the main road you drive up a dirt road and you take pot luck with the road and with finding the Villa. Watch out for the Camels that appear out on the road along with the donkeys. Once you have survived that you then turn onto an even worse surface and you bounce along and you arrive at the Villa we thought we had parked in the wrong place as you had to go through trees to get into the Villa. I thought thank God we have arrived and things can only get better how wrong I was.
We were upgraded to the prestige room and my husbands face said it all when we were shown the room there was a huge chip out of the sink a huge cobweb hanging from the ceiling and towels that were well used. As we were tired we decided to have dinner we had some lovely company at dinner with the other guests but the food was not great the desert was wonderful the starter was burnt. Off we went to bed and I like a hard bed but this bed was like a rock and the pillow was no better.
There had been a wedding the previous week in the Villa and the dying flowers were still in the dining room.
Breakfast as it had rained and the furniture on the veranda was falling apart we decided to have breakfast inside. Breakfast the first morning was poor in a country where there is so much fresh fruit there was none at breakfast only pancakes. Brunos wife accompanied us to the medina and while there I mentioned I would like to book the Haman as she was buying supplies for the next evening I got a very non committal reply little did I know the reason why.
We went back to the villa and lay by the pool the gardens and the pools are beautiful but the pool is not heated so was way too cold for my liking
We went out for dinner and arrived home late and this is where the fun really began. On parking the car we noticed a male in the garden as it was around 11pm and I did not know whether this man was supposed to be there or not I went in search of Bruno when I found him he said oh that is the security guard but there was a problem we had to move out the following day as someone had come who was having a wedding that weeked they had booked three rooms and they now wanted the whole house from Thursday To say I was stunned was an understatement we had been by the pool all afternoon and not once did Bruno come and discuss this with us it was just assumed that we would move to god only knows where when I asked had the new location got a pool I was told no but that we would be compensated.
This really annoyed me as why when you already have a guest did you rent the whole house to someone else apparently just that day!!!!!!
I am sure they knew well ahead of time that they had overbooked as when we booked months ahead of time the Villa was booked out for the following days got the feeling that the hoped we would not arrive. The following morning breakfast was dismal and not once did Bruno come looking for us to apologise so we decided we had enough and went and said we were leaving we did get dinner discounted from the bill but this did nothing to amend the appalling treatment we had received
Bottom line is even if you book you are not guaranteed your stay and there are way better places to stay in Morocco where a booking guarantees your room.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
What a review six weeks after your stay! I apologize even I don't understand why you are so hard with us. Everything was so bad? Probably I didn't spend time enough with you and I'm sorry for that. Perhaps because it was just after my son's wedding. Anyway, I'll consider all your feedback.
You are right we need a signal at the beginning of the track. The administration put all the signals of all the hotels away. We are trying to have a common signal. That's why I sent you an access plan. That gives me an idea : we will made a photo of the beginning of the track and will send it with the reservation. Well, camels and donkeys are fun! That's Morocco.
Our bedrooms are always clean and we made probably a mistake. If you told us we would change immediatly.
The beds are hard because it's better for the back. The guests prefer. I understand it was to hard for you and I'm sorry for that. If you told us we could do something.
You were unlucky with food, because Samira's cooking is really wonderfull. And for the breakfast you can have what you ask (eggs, fruits, bread, creaps...). If we miss to propose that, it's really a mistake. Once again I apologize.
I'm really disapointed because if you wrote a so long bad review six weeks after your stay it's because you keep a very bad remember. Unfortunatly it's too late to do something for you. But I hear what you say and we'll do better for the next guests. For example, one of the pools will be heated in October. Brigite is really nice, but she doesn't speak a very well English. That's why you had this bad feeling.
The security guard turn the whole night. Now we will tell us when people to arrive, so nobody will be surprised to see him.
We were not overbooked and we were sure you'll arrive. We had 5 different mails with Terry your husband, before you arrived. I just made a mistake with your room and I told you it was possible to stay on the same domain, with another very nice room. Perhaps my explication was not good after our nice conversation the evening before during half an hour.
We arrived first on Tripadvisor because we do everything for our guest. Sorry because we fail with you.
I just hope you enjoyed the rest of your journey and I wish you the best for the next holiday.
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Additional Information about Villa Gonatouki

Address: Km 8 Route d'Agadir | El Ghazoua, 44000, Ghazoua, Essaouira, Morocco
Phone Number:
Location: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira > Ghazoua
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Ghazoua
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Villa Gonatouki 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A wonderful and peaceful place with a sea view, Gonatouki is located at roughly 10km from the beach.With its 10 bedrooms and suites you will be enchanted by the villa, its architecture and its 2 swimming pools (one with a kids' pool).A place you will never forget!!! ... more   less 
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