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“Amazing Place a must in Morocco.”
Review of Villa Gonatouki

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Villa Gonatouki
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Ghazoua
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Me and my partner went for our anniversary and Bruno and his staff couldn't have been better, in this paradise villa you really want for nothing. Food was great, room was outstanding and the hospitality was second to NONE. we'll be back with friends and family. Thanks Bruno

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank AaronCharlotte
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 28 September 2014

Thanks a lot for this kind review. We like to accommodate couples for wedding anniversary or honey moon. It's so romantic! The whole team was happy to meet you and we really hope to see you again soon. Kisses.

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Reviewed 25 July 2014

Villa Gonatouki is somewhere a bit different. It's off the beaten track up a bumpy dirt road and we found the surroundings a little bleak and windswept when we arrived on a very blowy day. Admittedly it was high-wind season and many people come to Essaouira for the wind-surfing but I think we would have warmed to it more in calmer weather when we could have relaxed on the terrace or by the pool. The building has character and is comfortable, the atmosphere is laid back - upmarket of back-packer accommodation but with a communal feel rather than a luxury hotel feel. The owner and staff are welcoming and helpful - Bruno, the owner, is very friendly and arranged our transport into town. The meals were excellent and the best vegetarian options we had in Morocco.

Room Tip: We chose a Prestige room, which was spacious and had a terrace. Having also viewed the smaller rooms...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank GypsyJH_11
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 28 September 2014

Thank you for your review. Yes it's different here and I'm happy you liked it. You made a so long journey to arrive at Gonatouki! In July, as usual we had a strong wind, that's why it's not too hot in Essaouira (28°). We asked a few years ago to have a better road to come here. But in the same time the track during 5 minutes is a guaranty to keep quiet. I wish you all the best for the future.

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Reviewed 15 July 2014

I stayed here for three nights after three nights in Marrakesh. It was a lovely retreat and totally relaxing. This place really is quite special; originally built as a family home, it retains that authenticity and relaxed nature. There is no front desk, you can wonder into the kitchen (and even help cook), you can have breakfast whenever you like, wherever you like. The service is excellent.

The pools are well maintained and the views are beautiful. The food is excellent and certainly worth staying in for. The wifi is also excellent which makes a change and even reaches down to the bottom of the grounds.

What I would say is that is place is not for everyone. It does not have the finish of a an upmarket hotel, it is very informal and it does not feel like a hotel. Some people will love this and some will not. The reviews reflect this.

Also, don't be put off by the distance away from the town. Its only a 9 euro taxi to town.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tim J
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 23 July 2014

Thank you very much for your kind review, Tim. Yes it's different. People here live exactly as they wish. It's big enough so one can meet anybody or stays alone to be quiet. And every guest is more than that because we are a big family. For example, this week one guest was a chief (one star Michelin). He decided to cook for all the guests at the end of Ramadan so the team will be free. Isn't it fantastic? And I'm sure we'll eat very well. I love that. Come back when you want, you'll stay in our eart.

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Reviewed 14 June 2014

My partner and I have just spent the loveliest, most relaxed and top quality stay at Villa Gonatouki. Our only gripe was that we lacked the time to stay longer! Bruno and his staff could not have been more helpful and accommodating.Our room was amazing, ( we got an upgrade :) which was wonderful. The food was gorgeous and the setting sumptuous and peaceful (especially after the mania of Marrakech). We could not have asked for any better and would highly recommend Bruno, his home and lovely staff for a blissful, pampered stay. You will not want to leave.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank edinburger76
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 10 July 2014

Thank you very much for your so nice review. Yes, it was not long enough but it does not matter because I'm sure you will come back. The team was very please to read that because they had a big pleasure with you. See you soon.

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Reviewed 13 June 2014

We had a bit of a bumpy start to our stay - the villa is a bugger to find. There are clues: if you look it up on Google maps it puts it on the right road (dirt track) but not far enough up, and there is a sign at the bottom of the dirt track showing the various riads situated up it. Unfortunately initially it's not clear the sign refers to the track rather than the road you're on.

For anyone who has booked and needs to get there, let me save you a headache:
a) Ghazoua is outside the main town, if you're in a local car ask for Kilometre 8
b) There is a big sign next to a set of municipal bins, turn up the dirt track there, on the right hand fork
c) Carry on up the track for rather a long time
d) You will eventually hit a sign for Gonatouki, and a set of gates, which you should go through and close behind you
e) There are various large white houses, go past them until you're almost at the last one and take the right hand turn which will take you to the large orange building, this is Gonatouki

Not having been told any of this, having gotten very lost after a 3+hr drive, I arrived in a monster strop. But it was difficult to stay cross for long because Gonatouki's really a very nice place to be.

We stayed in one of the small rooms the opened out onto the lawn. It was a little damp-ish but that went as soon as the windows were opened. The room was small but more than adequate, with curtains that kept the light out. Another time I'd be inclined to go for one of the posher rooms in the main house.

The main house is very pretty and carefully maintained, with multiple lounge/dining areas. There are two pools, though one is really more decorative than useful, in good condition, and plenty of loungers/tables/umbrellas. The views over the dunes to the sea are really something, and as a seaside girl I loved the sea breeze, which got pretty bracing towards the end of our stay (fortunately the pool is cleverly sheltered by walls so sunbathing was still fine).

The best bit of our stay was the food, which was fab. You booked in for dinner, no menu, and they brought a succession of beautifully made delicious bits and bobs. The kitchen was spotlessly clean, we never had a moment's doubt that everything was as fresh and beautiful as it could possibly be. The fresh breads at breakfast were particularly lovely.

I can't speak for the owner as he wasn't around during our visit, the place was instead very nicely run by a staff of local girls. But if our stay was representative of the usual state of affairs I'd wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and would be happy to return myself.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank gloryindustries
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 21 June 2014

Thank you for your review and the good information. Usually we send a plan to arrive here. But sometimes I forget...Sorry. Samira was happy to read that you loved her food. I didn't see you but the staff told me you are very nice. I hope I'll meet you another time.

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Reviewed 12 June 2014

Its worth it, I promise you. A retreat about 8km from Essaouria by taxi you will pay about 80 to 100 dh (£7) Taxi drivers in town dont always know where it is, personally we stayed 4 nights in Essaouira at Hotel Ocean Vagabond then came to Gonatouki for pure relaxation before we left by local bus back to Marrakesh. (buses cheap, safe and comfortable Super tours cost 70 to 100 dh).

Villa Gonatouki is a credit to Bruno, a truly beautiful building with only a few rooms, basis rooms are at ground level and look out to the pool. We stayed on first floor with balcony, worth the bit extra. The chill out areas inside the house are plentiful, spacious, clean and cosy. No need to see other guests if you dont want to. Or make friends and have dinner together as we did.

Food is brilliant, it is very chilled out, so no menus, no choice just trust you will be served a delicious variety of local food, perfectly cooked and plentiful. Wine and beers is available also. Vegetarian or meat eaters food is great. Breakfast also brilliant.

Spent the days, laying by the pool, reading, using the hammam and getting a massage from in house spa rooms. once arrived no need to leave, the girls in the kitchen are around to help you and get you water, drinks etc.

The ethos is friendly and relaxed. staff are lovely. Even the 2 villa puppies are chilled out often found laying at the end of your sun lounger taking it easy. Will definitely return, thank you

Kerry and Claire, UK

Room Tip: First floor rooms have large balcony's. Large roof top terrace has awesome panoramic views of...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Glitterstar_11
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 21 June 2014

Thank you so much Kerry and Claire for your kind review. I like when you say it's possible to stay alone or to meet many people. To stay here is under the freedom sign! You do as you wish and there are many places to be together or alone. I hope we'll see you soon. Best wishes for the future.

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Reviewed 31 May 2014 via mobile

I ve stayed in this Villa for a friends weedding recently.The place itself is fantastic,a really beautiful villa but all the beauty of our staying over there was taken away by the terrible owner who basicly wasn't even suppose to be there as we have rented all the place for a week. Instead he was there nearly 24/7 like he couldn't let people enjoying their staying without controling everywhere and everything. Very unpleasent, still we managed to ignore it until the wedding day when we have realised he invited himself taking pictures of everything and everyone plus enjoying the food and the drinks. On the very last day he was very present counting twice every single euro ( for your information count your spendings too , just to be sure its the same amount at the end). Its rare to see such a luck of tact but most of all very inproffessional if you run a such a large place.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
2  Thank Anna K
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 13 June 2014

What a pity. Everything started off well. From the first morning you had appreciated that I support one of you by taking him to the hospital (several stitches) and by avoiding long waiting hours (only 2 hours between our departure and return). You also asked me to play golf and you invited me for a drink several times. But everything changed. At 11, the eve of the ceremony you ask me to hold a quad output for the next morning. I called the agency which proposes to amend the schedules of another group if he accepts. I ask them to wait for confirmation. At 17h you confirm for 14 people. I remind the agency that confirms a few minutes later the other group is willing to shift the next day. It's great. At 23h you cancel and I explain that you cannot do that. I propose to compensate but you tell me that you did not sign anything. You thought that my interest was commercial. It was just respect for the word. For 4 years we have selected the best providers and all those who have benefited have been delighted. They are all pros lined with a great kindness.
I deeply regret that this incident has damaged our relationship. My subsequent presence had no other purpose than to respond immediately to your requests if necessary as find two maids or order pizza for the visiting team.
Anyway I just hope that you will especially remember a great party. The whole team and I wish the best to the married.

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Additional Information about Villa Gonatouki

Address: Km 8 Route d'Agadir | El Ghazoua, 44000, Ghazoua, Essaouira, Morocco
Region: 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: £68 - £93 (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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