HERITAGE CRAFT: A colorful guesthouse decorated by the artists of Gorée Island.A colorful guesthouse decorated by the artists of Gorée Island.

HERITAGE CRAFT: A colorful guesthouse decorated by the artists of Gorée Island.A colorful guesthouse decorated by the artists of Gorée Island.

  • Words Ricci Shryock
  • Photography Dà Silvio Nkouka-Bizenga

The ferry ride from Dakar to Gorée Island is one of the highlights of a visit to the ASAO guesthouse. “On the boat I feel like I am in heaven,” says Ondine Saglio, who has owned the house with her mother since 1989 and has operated it as a guesthouse since 2010. “You leave the crazy traffic noise of Dakar, you put one foot on the boat and you feel like you’re going back to paradise.”

That paradise for Saglio is where she spent the first seven years of her life. Today, even though she lives in Paris, she says she still feels most at home on Gorée. Her passion for the place is one reason she and her mother, Valérie Schlumberger, bought the home, located on a side street just a block away from the island’s main beach.

“The spirit of the house is an old house,” Saglio say...

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