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“faint praise”
Review of Villa Maroc

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Villa Maroc
Ranked #10 of 74 Hotels in Essaouira
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 September 2013

We had planned to stay two nights, but when we arrived my partner decided to make the decision one night would be enough and we headed back to the (amazingly perfect) El Fenn in Marrakech. Villa Maroc came recommended from friends and we weren't disappointed, but we also weren't blown away. We had a room at the very top off the breakfast terrace. It was a cute set up with the sleeping area up one level and a nice sitting area when you first enter the room. But, the door didn't close tightly enough to stop the wind from rattling it continuously (this was solved with a washcloth in the space). The bathroom was a little more run-down than I'd hoped to see, but other than these two complaints the riad was charming. Dinner is served tucked into various little rooms/alcoves and the food was very good. Breakfast was served up on the terrace (it's chilly with the wind, of course) and the service was pleasant while the food wasn't as good as that served at dinner.
The location is great - it's just a short walk to the beach, breakwater and you're right in the medina.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank geewhiz3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Thank you for your comment.

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206 - 212 of 721 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2013

We have spent 4 nights, this past month of august in Villa Maroc. Our stay was really super, highlighting achitecture and interiors character (tres bon goût) , unbeatible service ( thanks to all) amazing rooms and rulers savoir faire. Food is also fantastic. This is real luxe, traditional and simple plaisir de vivre, not modern marketing. Thank you Cornelia. Nous reviendrons Incha Allah. A la prochaine fois !!!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank paddyspain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 16 October 2013

Thank you. Hope to see you soon again at Villa Maroc.

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Reviewed 31 August 2013

We certainly seem to have had a different experience from other recent reviewers. The hotel's location is certainly one of its advantages, so close to everything the medina, port and beach have to offer - and the terrace for breakfast overlooks all of these - just wonderful. The communal areas of the hotel, dining spaces etc are simply and tastefully decorated, not over-fussy. Our room was spacious and spotlessly clean and we really liked the shower room. My only comment would be that I would have appreciated a hair-dryer. The bed-linen and towels were good hotel-quality and changed frequently. We ate dinner at the hotel twice and the food was absolutely delicious. We are vegetarian and the cook produced a superb meal for us which has to rank with one of the best veggie meals we've had on our extensive travels. During our stay, all the staff were charming and friendly. Breakfasts were simple but good - with home-made preserves and yoghurt.

At no time were the hotel's facilities misrepresented - the website makes it clear that the pool is at their other property.

If staying again, I would ask for a room away from the side alleyway - some locals like to congregate there in the small hours to chat!

Overall, a lovely hotel where we felt very welcome.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank flo-josh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 10 September 2013

Thank you so much for your comment. We would be happy to see you soon again at Villa Maroc.
Best regards.

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Reviewed 27 August 2013

What could be said nicely of this riad was the location and the terrace with a view.

The rooms are overpriced and small. My friend got another bigger room after voicing out her dissatisfaction. We have seen customers requesting for a change in rooms, so the whole system looked weird to me - were we supposed to get what we paid for only when insisted? As we were only staying for one night, we didn't fuss too much and just beared with what we were given. As another reviewer has said, we didn't feel the Moroccan hospitality here. It was really a shame as we were a group of three and each has a varying degree of knowledge or expectation on Morocco. I would have thought that it was easy to "seduce" one of my friends who was new to Morocco into love, but our first night here in this trip was definitely a no-no.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank watakeet_boris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2013

We are sorry that we have not been able to answer your expectations.
Villa Maroc is a "Hotel de charme" located in four houses of the 18th century. We have 21 rooms - each one different in style and size - five different price-cathagorys. Decoreted with local handcrafts and antiques.
We are here every day to make your stay at Villa Maroc as pleasent as possible.

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Reviewed 24 August 2013

We are a couple of Moroccans who used to live in New York. Since our return to Casablanca where we live now, we try to travel around Morocco as much as we can to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of our country and appreciate the exotism and the warm hospitality of Ryads. Essaouira is one of our favorite places and we stayed there many times in various hotels and Ryads. We like especially the Ryad experience where for less than 50€, you stay in very charming and welcoming guest houses where the owners amaze you with their little attentions, their care for you as a special customer and the generous breakfasts they serve you in very beautiful terraces that have a view on the medina and the beach.
This time, as we were traveling with our 11 months old baby, and after a short stay in sofitel essaouira Mogador resort, we wanted to give to our baby a ryad experience. We decided to book for a more "upscale" ryad naively thinking that by paying much more than we used to, we will have bigger and more comfortable rooms as well as a superior service. We decided to go for Villa Maroc because of the good reputation this place has as one of the first ryad to become a guest house in Essaouira. What a great disappointment it was. This place is not only dirty, shabby and overpriced, but it is a shame for Moroccan legendary hospitality.
First of all, the premium room they gave us was very small, with very old and useless dusty furnitures. No welcoming touch in the room like a flower or a bottle of water. When you call yourself " maison de charme" it's the little gestures that make your guests feel special that makes the difference. In Villa Maroc, you only feel like a stupid client with very low expectation ready to overpay for mediocrity.
In the rooms, there are no phone connections, this is not a problem in itself but when you range yourself as an upscale guesthouse, the least you can do is to provide minimum commodities specially when your room is at the roof top and you have to go down many floor and through a labyrinth with a baby in your arm to ask for basic commodities like water or soap.
As far as breakfast is concerned, a beautifully presented breakfast with products from the region like argan oil are the least you can expect from a Ryad that positions itself as an upscale one. At Villa Maroc, you get the most basic and tasteless breakfast you can get. Coffee and milk is served in cracked up dishes, bread was chewy and not grilled, there was no honey and even though the owners have a domain in the region of Essaouira where they produce argan oil and other terroir products, they didn't have a glimpse of generosity to serve you some at breakfast which is compeletely against moroccan rules of hospitality. And last but not least, if you want eggs, you have to pay for them 20dhs ( abt 2€)for one boiled egg and 30dhs (abt 3€)for an omelet. Besides, olives that are always served for free wherever you go in Morocco are charged 2€. This is a shame! In morocco, wherever you go, hotels or ryads or other guesthouses, eggs are always included in breakfast and never ever in our life, we have been charged for olives!. In villa Maroc, not only they charge you 1350 dhs (abt 135€)for a very small and dirty room, but they serve you a very poor breakfast and make you pay for eggs and olives as an extra.
Well to sum it up, please don't waste your money in such a shameful and dirty place that doesn't reflect at all moroccan sense of hospitality. There are many small ryads out there much less expensive who will give you a true experience of moroccan hospitality.

  • Stayed: August 2013
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9  Thank Selmafree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 30 August 2013

We are sorry that we have not been able to answer your expectations.
A big number of regular guests appreciate our service's and understand the philosophy of our hotel, that we manage since 18 years.
Villa Maroc is a "Hotel de charme" located in four houses of the 18th century. We have 21 rooms - each one different in style and size - five different price-cathagorys. Decoreted with local handcrafts and antiques.
We use handmade local pottery, especially made for us. Our home made and fresh food is served by our loyal and smiling staff, working with us since nearly 20 years.
Our breakfast, served (not buffet) on the roof terrace with views over the harbor and the beach, is well known and - as you can read in other reviews - very appreciated.

We are here, every day, to make you feel home away from home.

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Reviewed 22 August 2013

This is by far one of the most overrated hotel we have encountered so far. I cant really explain the reviews it has on tripadvisor.

The hotel claims to have a swimming pool. IT DOES NOT. The swimming pool is 12km away!! and they charge you 25DHS to get there. This is lying.

The hotel is dirty. From the lack of cleaning, to the really old furniture, sofas, etc.. that are full of of dust. Please check the pictures taken for more details.

They have many types of rooms, not all the same, but all at the same price. In other words, they sell stays on rooms that are not worth the price you pay, specially the ones located on the roof. This is lying... again. If you have different qualities of room, price them at differently. If you charge the price of an normal room to a crappy one, you are being dishonest with the customer.

The service is quite bad. We tried to change our room the first day and they told us it was impossible. It was only after we insisted badly that out of the blue something appeared. Unfortunately we had the night pre-paid and could not leave this place.

We had the chance to see three rooms, as we where 2 couples traveling, plus a change of room. None worth the price we paid.

There is no isolation between rooms (or any other part of the hotel) so forget about any privacy.

The smell of humidity on the rooms is alarming!! We told them about this and they answered saying that it is normal in places close the the beach... really...

Avoid the rooms on the roof, or simply avoid the hotel. We walked around the city and there are plenty of other options. Marrocco offers a huge variety of hotels, are well priced and comfortable.

Room Tip: Find another hotel
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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7  Thank Lore V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2013

We are sorry that we have not been able to answer your expectations.
Villa Maroc is a "Hotel de charme" located in four houses of the 18th century in the medina of Essaouira, no possibility to have a swimming pool in the hotel. We have a country house, www.lesjardinsdevillamaroc.com, 15 minutes from town, where you can use the pool.
At Villa Maroc we have 21 rooms - each one different in style and size - five different price-cathagorys. Decoreted with local handcrafts and antiques.

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Reviewed 4 July 2013

we stayed 3 nights in this hotel in the medina, near the traditional fishermen's harbour and the souk. Some 3-4 old houses now form the Hotel, owned and personally ruled by an marocaine-swiss couple. The structure of the former private houses ist preserved. So the "tour through the hotel" has something of the exploration of a labyrinth. The old houses did not tolerate to install an elevator, so that you have to be pretty well on your feet to stay there.
The terrasse overlooks the harbour and the beach. Each (sleeping- and dining-)room has its own character , the rulers and the staff are very helpful and full of hospitality. The meals are excellent. We felt very well, and the stay was worth every single Dirham.

Room Tip: If possible choose a room at the top, so you can look over the town wall
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank TommyRapperswil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaMaroc, Owner at Villa Maroc, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2013

We are glad that you appreciated your stay at Villa Maroc. It would be a pleasure to welcome you soon again. Best regards. C

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Additional Information about Villa Maroc

Address: 10, rue Abdellah Ben Yassine, Essaouira, Morocco
Region: Morocco > Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region > Essaouira
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Essaouira
#10 Romantic Hotel in Essaouira
#15 Family Hotel in Essaouira
Price Range: £105 - £204 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Villa Maroc 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The leading Riad Hotel in Essaouira. Villa Maroc has everything you could dream of for an unforgettable holiday. Great location tucked inside the ramparts of the historical medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Villa Maroc offers you breathtaking views of the sea and port, 21 rooms with simplicity, spirituality, elegance and refinement, as well as an Oriental Spa. Just a few minutes from the sea and port. Close to both shops and beaches. Villa Maroc is famous for its regional cuisine and romantic candlelit dinners round an open fire. Villa Maroc is the meeting place for artists, actors and musicians." Good Wifi connection throughout the hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Maroc Hotel Essaouira
Maroc Hotel Essaouira

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