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“Peaceful Beauty ... In Every Way !!!!” 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
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Peaceful Beauty ... In Every Way !!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013 via mobile

I have just left Villa Gonatouki after eight wonderful nights and need to write whilst the beauty, peace and comfort of my stay remain fresh. The Villa is set 4 kilometres down a wee road about ten minutes from Essaouira, where it stands peacefully amongst the Moroccan countryside, donkeys and goats. The peace and quiet are instantly calming and this is reflected in the space and comfort within the Villa itself.

I was upgraded for free to a Prestige Room with its own private balcony and they happily served me dinner any night that I requested on the balcony with the sea and Essaouria in view. The four course meals were traditionally Moroccan but full of home cooked flavour and just what one wanted after a day lounging around the pool or out exploring the local area and beaches. Alternatively there are some superb restaurants in Essaouira offering fresh Moroccan food with a plentiful supply of fish. Apart from being able to recommend some of the best restaurants (from £10 upwards for three courses and drinks), Bruno, the Villa's owner is always around at breakfast to help plan your day's trips if required.

Bruno and all of his staff team could not be either more welcoming or more helpful, with nothing being too much trouble. The rooms are cleaned each day and the Villa and it's grounds are constantly maintained to an exceptional standard. Breakfast is just as delightful as dinner with fresh orange juice, breads, pancakes et al all freshly cooked and served with mint tea, coffee and fresh fruit ... The perfect start to one's day.

Visit the beaches at Essaouria and Sidi Kaouki ... Try the fresh fish grills at both places ... The souks are great fun to wander and barter in but not pressurised in any significant way. .. The Berber Market at Had Draa on a Sunday is a must ...

The only two questions I am left with ... When can I manage to come back ? and secondly, who can I persuade to share in Villa Gonatouki's beauty next time ?

Thank you Bruno ... And all your team ... David Black

Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
Thank ou very much for your so nice review, David. I'll remember you always because you are the only one who walk to Sidi Kaouki and come back. It was pleasant to speak with you, you are so calm, Yes, next time you can share your experience with somebody. There will be (normally in a few weeks, Inch'Allah!) a flight from London direct to Essaouira. We are waiting for you.
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330 reviews from our community

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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 (31)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

My new husband and I stayed at Villa Gonatouki for the last half of our week-long honeymoon in Morocco. The estate was a welcome retreat and an indulgence in space and luxury from the madness of Marrakech, where we had been staying for 3 nights previously.

Bruno collected us from the coach station and drove us to the villa where we were given a tour of the house and grounds. The whole place is relaxed, informal and very homely.

The villa is in a very rural spot and has a perfect view overlooking the coastline. It was a little windy but this was a welcome break from the intense heat of Marrakech!

We enjoyed all the different spaces in the villa - including the grounds and gorgeous pools (salt water) and are a delight to swim in and lounge beside in the sun. It was total luxury.

The food was superb and the staff catered quite well to my dietary requirements for coeliac disease (which are not always easy to accommodate in Moroccan cuisine). Our favourite meal was a fish tagine with honey, saffron almonds and rice, and we enjoyed a range of stunning local wines each night - particularly fave was the Gazelle de Mogador (rouge). Wished we had brought a few bottles home with us!

All in all we had a great stay and enjoyed the company of all of the young staff as well as the lovely family who were also staying including the two gorgeous children who entertained us with their wildlife discoveries and generally made us feel right at home, like we were with our own families.

We left happy, relaxed AND were even sent off with a gift of Argan Oil in a traditional Moroccan glass bottle from the owner Bruno. Can't get better than that!

100% recommended.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 16, 2013
That's always pleasant to accommodate people for their honeymoon! And it was nice for you to meet the french/australian family. That's your future! I'm sure you'll come back without any reason or for your wedding anniversary! You are always welcome.
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Adelaide, Australia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

Coming from Australia with my family I was looking for some relaxing time as well as some Moroccan experience... Villa Gonatouki ticked all boxes. Bruno and his team were fantastic. The "tagine" were delicious and always different. The villa is situated on a little mount offering a beautiful view and great space and quiet. The kids loved the pool and I also enjoyed doing lap in the 22m lap pool. The staff were quick to assist when needed and charming. The photo from the villa's web site reflect the reality. A great stay and certainly a come back destination! Thanks you to you all at Gonatouki.

  • Stayed September 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
    • 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 16, 2013
Thank you very much Emmanuelle. It was nice to meet you with your children, mother and aunt. It was so natural. We had here the impression that we have known you for a long time. Have Felix and Alix practiced quad again? I'm still waiting the adress of Champagne for you. Thank you for the photos, they are really nice. I hope we'll meet us again.
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uk
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
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
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
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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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
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 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
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
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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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*
Number of rooms: 10
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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