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“Luxurious and cosy villa”
Review of Villa Gonatouki

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Villa Gonatouki
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ghazoua
Certificate of Excellence
Much Hadham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Luxurious and cosy villa”
Reviewed February 2, 2014

It was our first trip to Africa, and we are SO happy that Gonatouki was that special place to accommodate us. It is an incredibly beautiful, stylish and cosy home (I can't call it a "hotel" as I and my husband felt more like staying at our friend's house). It is build and decorated in moroccan style with a trace of french grace. The villa is full of space, vivid spicy cpolours, traditional folk arts and crafts and spectacular views!
Our room was very clean and tidy as well as all other areas indoors and the territory around the hotel. The bed is comfortable; the bathroom is lovely and with hot water; wifi and TV are available - so all modern comfort is created. We had a real fireplace and a big terrace, so we enjoyed our evenings making wood fire and/or sitting on the terrace with a glass of wine and imagined ourselves being the ancient Romans observing the city of Essaouira and the Atlantic ocean from the top of our patrician villa :) That was our romantic Magrib fairy-tale!
The mornings were also very relaxed and we always began them with delicious and rich breakfast - moroccan pancakes, fresh bread, eggs and fruits, local (argan?) honey and jams, coffee, mint tea and fresh orange juice gave us enough energy for the whole day! We read from other reviews that it is worth of trying the meals cooked by villa staff and we did - no regrets! It was delicious and aromatic! We had fish and vegatarian options of traditional moroccan cuisine which is defenitely my cup of tea :) Samira who cooked for us does a great job and she deserves the Michelin star as a Chef :)
What I did want to try in Morocco is their Hamam. First I wanted to visit the public one where local people go (not tourists) but it's better to do it together with someone (like your friend or family) rather than to go on your own (especially for the first time and with my poor French). So I had my first experience of moroccan hamam on Gonatouki villa. Bushra is a tiny lady but has very strong hands! She was soaping me thoroughly, rubbing and scrabbing and then again soaping, rubbing and scrubbing... (I think she did it at least 4 times!). That was cool! and after I had a relaxing massage with argan oil and nice music! That was exactly what I needed to treat myself :)
We met Bruno, the host, a day before our departure as he was in France. Though he was away his staff was very helpful and gentle, we are very thankful to all ladies who looked after us. Bruno is a very optimistic, cheerful and friendly person. It was a great pleasure to spend the evening together sharing dinner and wine and chatting like friends. I hope it was not our last evening and we will be back on Villa Gonatouki one day!
I would like to note that Bruno is taking care of not only his guests but the people who work for him. It's very nice to know that not only guests enjoy their time but the people who work there as well. That's why the staff does their job excellent and make the guests feel happy. We would like to say "thank you very much" again to Samira, Senna and Bushra who looked after us (sorry if I spell your names wrong). And of course, thank you, Bruno!

Room Tip: All rooms are unique ))))
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Yulia_Kj
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, March 22, 2014
Thank you so much Yulia. It was so pleasant to accommodate you. I'm happy that you keep a so good souvenir for your first trip in Morocco.
That's nice that you appreciate the style of Gonatouki. When we built it, we wanted that it was beautiful and that's everybody feels well. That's wonderful when you say that you felt in a friend's house. That one of our objective.
Breakfast is good and we have now a new kind of donut, Hmmm! You must come back just for that. Bouchra was happy to read what you wrote about her. She is not tall but she has a great hand!
That's good to say that the staff is happy to work here. That's a family and we are happy all together.
Next time I'll be more present. Please come back!
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English first
Kings Langley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 27, 2014

This hotel is a place where you enter as guests and leave as friends! I was literally speechless when we arrived; as you enter through the front door you see the scenery beyond the pool. This was my first time in Africa & I was completely blown away. You can see the cows & dokeys walking around just outside the wall. (Some days we'd sit at the edge of the pool watching nature at its most sublime.) The hotel is beautifully laid out; there are different areas to sit and eat dinner depending on your mood. We largely commandeered the alcove looking out over the breakfast area (we sat at every morning, New Years Day has never been so relaxing) as that has a real wood fire. Nothing is too much hassle; I'm a strict vegetarian & was not disappointed. My tastebuds danced with delight every night, I never knew vegetables could be so tantalising & tasty. My husband enjoyed the wonderful meat dishes they cooked. Wait until you try the Seffa; you may never want to eat anything else! All of the staff are incredibly friendly & helpful, my French is pretty poor but they actually took the time to correct my pronunciation & help me use correct sentence structure rather than my basic approach of translating English into French & hoping for the best. The staff are continually busy, they are either preparing the meals, cleaning the house or making the best Mint Tea in the world, but it's never noisy & you're always greeted with a smile & a "hello". Some of the staff speak better English than others but everyone is constantly learning & they always do their best to communicate with you. Bruno is a truly amazing host, he personally greets every person who enters the hotel, gives them a guided tour & takes the time to learn about you to ensure he gives the best advice for you personally. He will arrange taxis for you if you need to; he personally rang & organised our Camel trip for us. He genuinely loves his job & it shows, even when he's busy he'll make time for all of the guests.
The house has two pools (one heated), large landscaped gardens and is exquisitely decorated. The rooms in the house are large & have a private bathroom & private balcony. The Comfort rooms are outside but are also clean, comfortable & have their own bathrooms. There is also a Spa facility where we enjoyed three massages. The woman who gives the massages may be small in stature but has the most nimble, capable hands ever! The first massage relaxed us immensely, the other two were sheer indulgences!
The Villa is close to Essaouira & other local points of interest (Ask Bruno for directions to the beach with the blue stones. Have lunch at the cafe there, you'll think you're dreaming!)
We wanted to stay but sadly we have to work. We're in the process of booking to return for our third wedding anniversary in August. We're going to sit on the roof terrace and gaze up at the stars!

Room Tip: The rooms in the house are luxurious and have their own private balconies, lie on the loungers and w...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank TalieBev
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, March 3, 2014
What a review! Thank you very much Natalie. And thank you to say "you enter as guests and leave as friends!" That's why it's so pleasant for us to accommodate guests. When you left, we had a little tear in our eyes. Yes,the staff is very friendly, but that's so easy which such guests! And when you spoke French with them they were happy. Samira loves to cook because you appreciate. And that's the same for Bouchra with the massages. They do that with their heart.
I saw on facebook that Robin had trubbles to travel. If it arrives again, just think to Gonatouky to feel relax...
Please come back! I hope we'll have a new flight from London this year.
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
72 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

This hotel is absolutely beautiful and I wish I could have moved in! The rooms are lovely and the staff are so willing to help and make you feel welcome. Bruno is incredibly welcoming and very knowledgeable about where to go and what to do!
Surrounding the hotel are gorgeous views which are visible from both the two swimming pools and at night the rooftop is the perfect place to see the stars with no light pollution. It is incredibly peaceful here.
The food was gorgeous, especially the various tajines! Essauoria is a great town to visit with many lovely restaurants, sea views and an array of shops selling wood products/scarves/jewellery/herbs/spices/Moroccan tea/artwork etc.
I would recommend the local horse riding and definitely have a massage at the hotel! They are amazing :)
I would definitely visit again, it was a truly wonderful experience and I wish the stay was longer.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Alice P
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, March 3, 2014
Dear Alice and A, thank you for your nice review. You have a special place in my heart with your job, A. And I will always remember you and your laugh. It was a pleasure to sea you in the swimming pool for the New Year. Did you receive photos? I hope we'll meet us again. All the best for the future.
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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

This hotel is possibly the most spectacular place I have ever stayed. My partner and I planned to stay for 2 nights and as soon as we arrived, we knew we had to stay longer!

The house and grounds are really beautiful and luxurious, the food is the best we had in Morocco, and the staff were friendly, helpful and kind.

While it is about a 10-15 minute drive outside of Essaouira, we really enjoyed spending a few relaxing days by the pool. There was also always a taxi available when we wanted to go to town, and the staff made a reservation for us to go quad biking, which we really enjoyed!

Gonatouki is such a special place and we will definitely be back. Thank you!

Room Tip: Rooms with a balcony are great spots to read a book and sunbathe
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kabulonga2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
70 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2013 via mobile

After a very bad experience in a hotel in Marrakech we were ready for a relaxing time in villa Gonatouki and we weren't disappointed. The service and welcome is amazing, the decor superb and the food excellent (And as a chef I don't say this lightly). The owner Bruno was away on holiday but this didn't stop his staff making our unfortunately short stay an absolute dream of great service and amazing locations. The villa is a little difficult to find but an up to date sat nav sorted that, just don't go to fast down the unfinished road and it is not suspension or tyre friendly. We will return for a much longer visit and we will be bringing friends!

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Damian V
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, January 16, 2014
I'm very happy to read your review because I was not on the spot and it doesn't change anything. Samira was also very happy to read it. She knows that she cook well but to have a good review from a chief, that's the best! Her smile was fantastic. We are waiting for you and your friends!
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2013

good day. I have been away for 30 years from morocco. I missed Essaouira and decided to stay at Villa Gonatouki.
After exchanging emails with bruno the owner who helped to make the arrival smooth by providing all necessary information and directions. from first minutes it was obvious that the place is special. Bruno has put his knowledge and appreciation of moroccan architecture in this beautiful villa. close enough to the city (8 kms) and allows to feel far from the crowd. the host and his team are great, discreet, professional and Bruno is a very interesting human being. before making the decision to go to this place, we have read reviews that most of them reflect the reality except one very negative one that is unrealistic and totally unreasonable. for those who have not integrated the concept I suggest for them to go to hotels where it is impersonal. thanks to bruno, samira et latifa.
we will definitely go back for longer stay.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Nourcha
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
That's was great to meet you 2. You stay in Morocco now Nourdine so, I'm sure, you'll come here often. And it will be great again, you don't have to wait the next festival.
Yes the villa is special and full of energy! And we are happy to share it with you and everybody who appreciate.
You are friend with us now on Facebook, so you will see what's happen at Gonatouki. See you soon.
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Beijing, China
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

My husband have been many times in Essaouira over the course of more than 30 years since the end seventies. This town has become more and more popular and still has managed to maintain its unique charm, being a town with a somehow very Mediterranean feel (maybe due to the pure coloring in white and blue) with distinctive Arab/Moroccan elements. This was the first time we didn't stay in the town but decided to take the villa Gonatouki, which is about 12 km from the town border, easily reachable by car.
The villa is simply lovely, very well dimensioned and will never make you feel that you're in a hotel but rather in a very big country villa with plenty of space - whether you're looking for places to eat or to simply hang out (indoors and outside), whether it's in your own area (ok, we had a suite, which comprised 3 big rooms and a bathroom including two terraces for our own utilization).
And than there's the owner - Bruno. A very gentle and attentive host, who will do anything to make you feel at home right from the beginning until the minute we've left. We felt very much at home and enjoyed his advice and recommendations, which were always great. Bruno is a guy who doesn't only understand what hospitality means but he lives it, you feel it's part of his self understanding and he enjoys it.

Room Tip: Any room! All nice in different style!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lynnschmitz
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
What a very nice review! And coming from China! Thank you very much Lynn. It was very pleasant to speak with you, Thomas and Hans Peter. I come to Asia tomorrow with my wife. We are happy because we kept a very good remember of our last travel. It won't be in China but it will be the next time.
I have to tell you that we had a lot of fun last week. Bouchra tried to make the same design as it is on your nails. But the result was different. She will try again... and probably again. When it will be better, we'll sent you a photo.
I'm sure we'll meet us again. I wish you all the best.
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Additional Information about Villa Gonatouki

Property: 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 (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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