When we booked this hotel we were assured it was in the center of essaouira, we found to our dismay, after several taxi journeys, a long walk, and the kindness of a French lady in a paper shop that it is 6km from the centre (the clue is in the address I suppose).
When we arrived we were greeted exceptionally warmly, as it appears they weren't expecting us. We were shown around the riad, which is simply sumptuous, with a charming pool area. A shame then that we were the only 2 guests in the 30 rooms and we were followed everywhere by a sinister, silent, half naked child.
Getting into town was a nightmare and in the end Ahmed (one of the may staff who appears to live there) gave us a lift. Getting back from town was worse, as despite a map and directions in Arabic, many taxi drivers wouldn't go there as they had not heard of it.
Another member of staff was on reception by our return that evening, and seemed confused and slightly amused that we were staying there. We were locked in our room at 9.30pm, hiding from the scary child and over friendly receptionist. There was no air conditioning, I found an abundance of long blacks hairs between the BLANKETS on the bed, and the pillows smelled of damp. Probably as there was a large patch of it on the wall. By morning I had 32 mosquito bites, nothing to do with the riad I understand, I just want you all to share my pain.
It was near impossible to communicate with staff as (according to them) they spoke every language except English (although the site we booked it on claimed they did). This resulted in us getting a 3 course breakfast with enough food for 16 people 45 mins after we had polietly declined any food and asked them to please book us a taxi as we were leaving a day early. After another loooooong discussion about payment, we ended up standing in the middle of the road to flag a taxi as they seemed incapable of arranging one, and couldn't understand why we would want to leave the riad and go into town at any point.
Because we were scared of dying, that's why.
A beautiful building indeed, but the mose sinister place I have ever spent the night!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Today, Hotel Riad Damonte Villa is a hotel of tranquility, and what about yesterday? Yesterday, it was a villa with a mixture of Arab, Berber and Andalusian architectures. Not only does it benefit from its proximity to the city but also from the advantages of the countryside (forest all around) and above all from the beautiful smell coming from the sea. ... more less
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