We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best villa I've ever stayed at”
Review of Villa Gonatouki

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Villa Gonatouki
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ghazoua
Certificate of Excellence
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank antanya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (673)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

206 - 212 of 673 reviews

Reviewed September 23, 2013

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
1  Thank Albaskye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank loploploplop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank EmmanuelleAU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank fluffychick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank AnnaShirley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Maeve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruno E, Propriétaire at Villa Gonatouki, responded to this reviewResponded 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.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Ghazoua
9.0 mi away
Essaouira Lodge
Essaouira Lodge
#11 of 75 in Essaouira
278 reviews
2.5 mi away
Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa
1.0 mi away
Domaine de l'Arganeraie
Domaine de l'Arganeraie
#12 of 75 in Essaouira
443 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.7 mi away
Riad Watier
Riad Watier
#2 of 75 in Essaouira
534 reviews
4.5 mi away
Riad Zahra
Riad Zahra
#8 of 75 in Essaouira
849 reviews
5.2 mi away
Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa - MGallery by Sofitel-
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Villa Gonatouki? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Villa Gonatouki

Address: Km 8 Route d'Agadir | El Ghazoua, 44000, Ghazoua, Essaouira, Morocco
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: $94 - $108 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Hotwire and Orbitz so you can book your Villa Gonatouki reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing