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“Bliss!”
Review of Villa Gonatouki

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Villa Gonatouki
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ghazoua
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We had a wonderful stay at Villa Gonatouki, located just a 10 minute drive south of the picturesque Essaouira. A very warm and friendly welcome, a beautiful location, quiet and relaxing. Bruno was an excellent host, charming and chatty. We felt right at home and settled into our comfy room. The food was really delicious, and Bruno supplied some excellent wine. We had a wonderfully relaxing time, lounging by the pool and having blissful massages. The girls and staff who work there are so sweet and nothing is too much trouble for them. The house itself is gorgeous with sumptuous, rich colours and lots of wonderful spaces to eat, socialise and chill out. Also ,lovely views of the sea. I do hope that we will be back for longer next time!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank ClarissaL88
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 April 19, 2014

Thank you very much for your review. It was short but good. Now you know where we are and can come back asap. We'll be very happy to accommodate you again. Happy Easter from all of us.

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Reviewed April 1, 2014

This was our first visit to Morocco and after three nights in Marrakech we were ready to get away from the hustle and bustle and find a more peaceful surrounding. You found it as soon as you arrived to Villa Gonatouki. It was located 10km approx from Essaouira but was a simple taxi in (100 dirhams). Make sure you agree price before hand and explain down the track 2-3 km. When you arrive you are greeted either by Bruno the owner or his staff and what a welcome it is. Relaxed, a good tour of the villa is given and then you enter your room. Wow Wow Wow. If you cant feel relaxed here then there is something wrong. The superior rooms are a delight of relaxation, serenity and comfortable. There are open fireplaces with fresh cut wood each day, a large marble style bath and balconies overlooking the hills and sea of Essaouira. The Villa itself is huge but so so homely. There are different relaxing and chill out rooms and dining areas and balconies/ roof terraces giving 360 degrees view over forest, sea, olive plantations and hills. They offer massage and hammam which we unfortunately run out time to have but heard it is excellent and truly relaxing. There are two lovely swimming pools that are rarely used so feels so private. The food they offer is homely, local, fresh and out of this world if you want to taste the real Morocco. A must to stay in for a night or two to have lunch and diner. Despite the love of Villa Gonatouki like all places it's about the feel and hospitality and once you meet the owner Bruno and his staff you instantly feel at home. Bruno has so many interesting stories and makes you feel at home right away. It's not a B and B, hotel or villa it's his home that you feel so comfortable in. You have privacy, space, time and relaxation surrounding you. We seriously cannot wait to come back here either as a couple or with a large group of friends.
Thank you very much Bruno and the team for making our stay feel the most relaxing and welcoming ever. We will see you all soon.

Room Tip: We stayed in three types of rooms > If your a single and were on a budget the smaller rooms are l...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ChrisDedman79
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 April 6, 2014

Ouak, ouak, ouak as we say here! What a wonderful review. Thanks a lot Chris. We are so happy here when somebody says that he feels at home.That's exactly what we want. It was a great pleasure to accommodate you. You told me that you want to make a guest house in the future. I'm sure you'll success because you have the good spirit for that.And your guests will be happy, I'm sure of that. All the staff will be pleased to see you again. We love to meet our friends again.

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Reviewed March 26, 2014

This is our third visit to Morocco. Unlike previous visits where we toured and visited the cities, desert etc, we wanted a week to recover from the rain and wind of the winter. Guess what: we found it! This is a lovely and very stylish guest house. The food was absolutely magnificent and was authentically Moroccan. The architecture and furnishings of the Villa are a delight to the eye. Yes, it is reached after a 3km rough track. However, for those who venture out for a walk up to the main road at Km8, it is certainly worth it. People exchange friendly and welcoming greetings. You pass the local school and if the children are arriving or leaving they rarely hesitate to offer a smile and 'Bonjour' or 'Salam' that helps to enhance the feel good factor. I would advise everyone from the UK who intends to travel to Morocco and reads this. 'Please forget the increasingly prevalent British attitude of ignoring others who greet you.'
It was unfortunate that Bruno was away at the time of our stay. However, he took time to give us a welcome call while we were there. The staff at the Villa were wonderful. Despite our very limited understanding of French and (with some of the staff) their limited understanding of English, there were NO problems.
The facilities were just as we hoped. Despite being March, the swimming pool was perfectly useable if a little cold when the wind blew. We will be back.
Just one tip. We got rather worried when the taxi driver turned up late to take us back to the airport at Agadir. However, the drivers skill on the twisting road back to Agadir meant that he could do the normally 3-hour journey in around 2hr 30 minutes slowing down where police were using speed cameras!
In conclusion, a great stay!

Room Tip: The suite downstairs nearest the pool is lovely and spacious and dead quiet at night. However, it ma...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank 3akwasi3
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 April 6, 2014

Thank you very much for this review. You cannot imagine how I'm happy to read it. I was not on the spot and everything was ok. That's wonderful because the staff is fantastic and they do exactly as I was here. That's their house. They speak about you with such a good way. They were afraid you miss your plane and were happy that you arrive on time.
I hope you'll come back and I have the pleasure to meet you.

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Reviewed March 26, 2014

The hotel is absolutely beautiful! It's an architectural work of art. It's very hard to find (make sure you print the directions beforehand) but once you get there you won't want to leave. The french owner and host Bruno makes you feel so welcome and feel like a guest at his house rather than a client. He does this whilst still allowing you compete privacy. The pool is lovely and there is over 5 different seating areas to choose from as well as the balconies from the rooms. It is clear the hotel is run because Bruno loves to host and not to make money. There was no pressure to buy or do anything. We had a late flight home and, because there wasn't anyone booked in the room, there was absolutely no problem us staying in the room as late as we liked. This kind of hospitality along with the stunning location and views made us wish we could have stayed longer than the 2 nights we had!

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank thomas1222
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 April 6, 2014

Thank you Thomas for your kind review. It was nice to accommodate you. We don't put any pression because holidays are done to do what we want. For us one thing is very important : to make guests happy. It's not difficult because people are already fine when they arrive. You are right : 2 days, it's too short. But that's better than nothing and after you want to come again.See you soon!

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Reviewed March 11, 2014

The owner and host, Bruno, made us so very welcome from the moment we arrived. The villa is one of the most beautiful places I have had the pleasure of staying in, with very attentive and lovely staff, delicious food, and a good selection of tasty Moroccan wine. Our room was beautifully furnished, with a fantastic balcony, and an extremely comfortable bed. Our only regret is that we only had one night here, but we will definitely be returning. Don't overlook the massage options and Hammam, which are a must.Thanks Bruno and staff, from Jackie and Dan

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jackie S
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 April 6, 2014

Thank you very much for your nice review. Yes, you stay only one day but that's the beginning. And I hope you'll be addict. It was short but you let us a good memory. See you soon.

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Reviewed March 8, 2014

From our first sight of Gonatouki, raised magnificently up above the simple, rough track at its foot, we knew that our stay there would be an experience that we would remember forever. And from the moment we met Bruno, its charming and enthusiastic creator and our twinkly-eyed host throughout the 5 night sojourn, we knew that the experience would be full of smiles! And we were right! :-) ! Nothing, least of all the stony 'white' road that carried us the last mile or so to its door, could have quite prepared us for the majestic beauty of this remarkable hotel. Stepping over the threshold through its giant wooden doors was like stepping into an enchanted world. And perhaps the most remarkable thing is that despite its exotic grandeur Gonatouki feels very much like the family home that it was originally built as. Thanks to Bruno's genuine warmth and courtesy we felt far more like guests in his home rather than hotel clients but at the same time his sensitivity ensured that this hospitality never intruded upon our privacy. Our striking bedroom, part of a large suite of rooms incorporating a dressing room, bathroom with bath (blissfully long enough for my 6'2" husband to stretch out in!) and walk-in shower plus a private dining room/sitting room with stunning glass windows designed to incorporate the glorious views without, was airy, spacious and light with arched French doors on two sides leading to private terraces and gardens beyond. The corner fireplace made a homely touch though, as we discovered, it is perhaps best to rely upon the wonderfully efficient gas-stoves for extra winter-warmth should there be a high wind! On our first night we had trouble finding our bed amidst all the fragrant wood smoke! :-) !
In fact, we could quite happily have stayed in our softly-lit dining room all night - and indeed there is an extra sofa bed in there for just such a whim! - reminiscing on the fabulous Moroccan feast served up by Gonatouki's delightful in-house chef, Samira and the equally gracious Bushra. Wow! To find cooking of that quality anywhere is rare but to find it in that remote, 'Biblical' wilderness enhanced furtherour happy sense that we had somehow wandered into a Fairy-Tale! We ate 'at home' every night, smug in our conviction that no-one anywhere could be eating more deliciously than we were!
A long term battle with my health makes any journey or overnight stay a complicated affair. Bruno's warmth and courtesy and the shy good-humour of his team ensured that any self-consciousness I might have had over this was banished on the warm Moroccan wind...
This place is VERY special indeed. If you are trying to decide whether to stay here, ponder no more! Book now! You will be very glad you did! Forever..! :-) !

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank LittleMermaid13
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 April 5, 2014

Thank you very much, your review is so nice and you write so well. I really enjoy your stay here with L. Your happy smile is fantastic and make all people around you happy. I know that you were tired after your journey back to Florence but you fight so much that I'm sure you'll be better. I'm happy to tell all our English speaking guests that you translate our website with the same spirit. They will be able to read it in English soon. Thanks a lot for that.
Kisses for you 2 from the whole staff. Please come back next year!

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Reviewed March 5, 2014

We loved staying in this beautiful family home. It is not a hotel, it is more a home. You stay with friends, and you can join them or stay on your own in the many cosy rooms this place has. It is as colourful as its visitors and owners. The first night we arrived, we joined some great musicians (guitar player from the Usa and the son of Bruno.) together with my family we had a spontaneous gig:) The food in this place as great too. And what is best, you can eat wherever you like (at a cosy couch in front of the fireplace:) Thanks Bruno !!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank anke 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 reviewResponded April 5, 2014

Dear Anke, it was a pleasure to accommodate you and your family (your sons are very well educated and open). As somebody said you arrive as a guest and you stay as a friend. Of course it's pleasant for you and it's very pleasant for us. There is no stress because we only meet nice people. Thank you for your smile during the time you spend here and for your so lovely voice when you sing.
I'm sure that your "fireplace" of substitution will work. I confirm you there is a big market in Paris in 2015. But you can come back before you earl 1 million €! See you soon

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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: $85 - $151 (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 
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