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“Glorious Gonatouki” 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
Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Glorious Gonatouki”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed at the Villa for the last five days of our trip to Morocco and I can tell you now it was a really good decision on our part, admittedly a little difficult to find at first but once we had made a trip to the Medina the following day, we found it was simple (ask any taxi to go 8 kilometre on the Agadir road turn right and 3 kilometres on the BAD road and voile its that simple :).
Bruno is always on hand for whatever you may need to know, and it is obvious he loves Gonatouki and its guests as he floats around from table to table making sure everyone is fine as can be!
What wonderful food, Samira is such a talented cook although I do love Tagine and Couscous it was nice to have something a little different now an then, such as the lemon chicken with noodles (to die for) Breakfast was always ample with fresh jams, bread, pancakes and fruit to fill up on, if you didn't fancy lunch just have a late breakfast which we did was no problem to have at 11am or later I suppose and you could last till dinner.

We had some nice time spent by the pool area or down in the hammocks with our DD 3.5, she loved how much space she had to run around and the staff payed her so much attention she was thoroughly spoiled so much so they would make sure that at breakfast the pulp would be removed from her OJ and that she had ample supply of hot chocolate!

Sanaa (I hope I have spelt correctly) a wonderful young lady, made sure we never went hungry or thirsty and was on hand for all our needs, and Emilienne (again not sure of spelling) the manager was always charming, extremely efficient and always happy!

Anything that might of made stay easier, maybe a small table and chairs on the huge balconies, we did have sunlongers, and perhaps a notice board where you could check what time dinner was being held in the evenings?

I had a wonderful experience while at the villa had some wonderful evenings spent chatting with other guests and left feeling relaxed and stress free a perfect ending to a fantastic trip, keep on keeping on Bruno and all the staff.

  • Stayed October 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, November 16, 2013
Thank you so much Georgina! We were waiting to have a nice review from Irish people and it's done. First the whole team and I thank you for the different things you left for the kids. They ask me to give you a kiss next time I'll write you.
It was nice to accommodate you 3 (give also a kiss from to your little and so cute Julia, I love her eyes!) l and we were happy that you met others people. As every host is always friendly it's always nice on the spot.
We stay in touch for the soap because you are a professional for that. You know that we are ecological every time we can (we use solar energy, we have an ecological septic tank and now we have natural soap). Once I'll invite everybody who help us to improve. There are many and you are in the first places!
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305 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 (28)
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English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

We stayed at the villa for 3 nights and really enjoyed our stay. The host is very welcoming and makes it clear that you are welcome anywhere in the house (it's their family home and they love it and are very proud of it, which gives it a unique atmosphere) and can ask the ladies in the kitchen if you need anything. We had a lovely room with a massive balcony (amazing sea view) and really enjoyed lounging by the pool. Great dinners and breakfasts too! Ask the host where the name Gonatouki comes from - it's a sweet story.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, November 16, 2013
Thank you for your review. It's right, that's interesting to know where the name Gonatouki comes from. That's a surprise! The pools were nice and now it's better because one of them is heated. I hope you enjoyed your travel in Morocco and we'll be happy to accommodate you again.
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Rock Creek
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2013

Villa Gonatouki was an amazing place to stay. We have enjoyed a number of extremely friendly hotels in Morocco, but Gonatouki exceeds all. Bruno, the owner and our host, is just an amazing guy. Friendly, accommodating, attentive and welcoming to all. We met a couple from France (Frank and Helene) and together the five of us had two amazing evening dinners, as well as some enjoyable conversations. There were other people at the hotel who seemed to prefer privacy, and although Bruno made sure they were looked after, they were able to enjoy their privacy undisturbed. In other words, you can make your stay as private or as convivial as you wish. Breakfast was served on one of the many balcony areas and comprised a nice assortment of cakes, breads, fruit, jam, honey, fresh orange juice and coffee. Omelettes or eggs were available if you wished. The dinners were exceptional and as close to home made food as you will find. I really enjoy fresh sardines, which are abundant in the area, and for dinner the second night there was a huge platter of "sardines farci" which was a special treat (thank you again, Bruno and Sanaa). Although we booked for one night, we could not resist staying another night just to enjoy the company and the atmosphere. Considering the quality of the meals, the large and inviting rooms, the great food and the many available areas for relaxing, Gonatouki is excellent value. Bruno and his team are really committed to ensuring that you enjoy your stay.

The villa itself is extensive with a number of different dining and relaxation areas, both inside and out. There are two pools, one for relaxation, and a lap pool (Helene claims this is her pool as she puts in many laps each day). Our room was enormous with a separate, large bathroom and double glass doors opening onto a huge balcony. It was also spotlessly clean. There are balconies on two levels and a large number of places to either visit with others, or find a solitary space if you wish. For a large family group, a small wedding or a gathering of friends, the entire villa would make an amazing place.

If you are driving yourself (as we were) you need to be persistent to find the villa. From the south (Agadir) you will arrive in the village of Ghazoua. Stay on the road towards Essaouira, and approximately 2 km past the Ecole Polytecnique, you will see a large red cow statute in front of a restaurant, which is on your right. Immediately on the other side across the road is a gravel road. You need to go about 2.5 km down this road past a number of other villas. You will see Les Deux Mondes and, in about another kilometre you will see the sign for Gonatouki on the right. There's a metal gate and about 300 m up the track you will see the villa. Stick with it, you'll be glad you did!

Room Tip: We had a room upstairs with a balcony on the southwest side. It is spacious and has a great view.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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 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, November 5, 2013
Thank you so much for this wonderful review. It was a pleasure to accommodate you during these two days. Yes the two dinners were very nice. That's why we love to accommodate people : just to be friendly, exchange experiences and keep a good souvenir. And you'r right : if people prefer to stay alone, it's ok for us because some people just need to be quiet and together.
Frank and Helene asked me to say hello. I suppose you'r back in Canada now. Sure, in the five next years, we'll go and see you. We stay in touch!
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2013

We stayed here for a week, for the entirety of our holiday in Morocco, and we are so pleased we didn't stay anywhere else.

When you first get to the villa (we were kindly given a lift by Bruno the owner), you can appreciate its beauty, which is just as advertised on the website. We were given a tour around by the owner, and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice!

As for food, this was the highlight. It is informal, with no menu or dining room. You simply choose at which of the tables (inside or outside!) through the villa you want to eat and let any of the staff know you will be eating! Not a problem for us, but they will accommodate to your dietary needs if you have any. Food is generous in amount, and very delicious and homely in style. Dinner is a 3 course affair (with some appetizers before the starter), usually with a tajine for main, which I can't stress enough how delicious they are. Breakfast is home baked breads with a mix of jams and fruits. Everything is made from fresh produce.

If you fancy it, you can join the staff for their weekly shop at the largest market between Essaouira and Marrakesh, which is totally worth the experience.

We slept extremely well as it is silent, and the rooms are pitch black with the curtains drawn and lights off!

Thank you so much to Bruno for giving us this amazing experience! I would thoroughly recommend staying here if you plan to visit Essaouira!

  • 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
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Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this review, October 16, 2013
Thank you very much, it's a so nice and long review. The whole team was happy to meet you. You are so friendly! You can come back when you want, we'll always find a place for you. I wish you all the best for the future.
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Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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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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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
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 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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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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