La Hacienda del Buen Suceso

near Arucas, Gran Canaria, Spain Book from Book from £105 per night

A splendidly restored hacienda estate - the oldest in the Canaries - set in a sea of banana trees with views for miles around
You could be forgiven for thinking you're a distinguished plantation owner as you wander through these grounds: with 50 hectares of banana trees, the estate is the oldest in the Canary Islands (it was established in 1572). It's still a working plantation, though chances are manual labour will be the last thing on your mind during your stay. This is a place to relax, indulge yourself and soak up the sun.

A decade or so ago, the prominent Marquesado family decided to convert their colonial property into a luxurious rural hotel. There's a glorious sun-baked pool, shady verandas, and comfy wicker sofas scattered about the terraces. Some of the rooms have wonderful views over the grounds - an astounding sea of green which envelops the hacienda's sweeping ochre-brick buildings. Sumptuous dinners are served in the old stables, and there's a Jacuzzi and Turkish bath to soak in.

Highs

  • Expansive grounds set in a rolling rich-green sea of banana trees
  • Pretty original features: wood-beamed ceilings, elegant shutters, wrought-iron beds
  • We found the staff attentive and friendly when we last visited
  • Unusual-shaped pool with no shortage of loungers (not much shade, though there are umbrellas)
  • You're only 45 minutes from the sandy (and popular) beaches of the south, and 15 minutes from the seaside promenades of Las Palmas

Lows

  • Recent reports suggest that it lacks management and needs some TLC
  • When we visited, we found the food a little bland, with menus unchanging throughout the week
  • You might want to check that there isn't a wedding planned during your visit, as it can take over the hotel
  • Be sure to stock up on big bottles of water for your room - the minibars only have tiny bottles of fizzy stuff
  • You'll need a car to get the most out of a stay here

Best time to go

With its winter sunshine and cool summer breezes, Gran Canaria is a year-round destination. Christmas and Easter are popular times with northern Europeans, while August sees Spaniards escaping the oppressive heat of the mainland.

Arucas' annual fiesta, the patron saint's day of San Juan Bautista, is celebrated on 24 June.

Our top tips

Have a tipple at the Arucas rum distillery; guided visits are free (until 2pm).

Great for...

Honeymoon
Spa
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 18
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • Welcome, but not ideal for young children
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Steam Room
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Double Room

Rooms

Walk up the wide stairs in the central courtyard and there's a beautiful wooden veranda extending around both sides of the hacienda. All Double / Twin Rooms veer off this wonderful old-world loggia. Some have pretty four-poster beds, flowered wallpaper (chintzy or charming, depending on your view) or exposed stone walls, and there's always a shuttered window to fling open for the view. Front- or back-facing, it doesn’t matter: the green banana tree horizon is endless.

The Junior Suites are duplexes. They have a double or twin bedroom on one level, and a sitting area with a sofa, a table and lamps on the other - though with the TV by the bed, which didn't use ours much. The sofa can fold out into an extra bed, best for an older child. The ceilings are high, with big oak beams and a fan that you will need, since rooms lack air-con (in a particularly warm September, the circulating air was a godsend). Our double bed was comfy, but was the ubiquitous European arrangement of 2 large twins pushed together. We enjoyed the his'n'hers loungers on our small patio (partially private with hedges on each side), just a hop and a skip from the pool.

Bathrooms in all rooms have showers and tubs (our junior suite corner bath could fit 2), although the rooms themselves are on the small side. There are generously sized bottles of posh French shower gel and hand moisturiser, hairdryers, plenty of towels, and a couple of enticing white fluffy bathrobes… but it was just too hot to wear them!

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Pool towels
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries

Eating

The hotel's restaurant is called El Alpende - which translates rather unappetisingly as 'the toolshed' - but the fare on offer is delicious and delicate.

The long stone trough where horses were once tethered and watered is now cleverly utilised for the buffet breakfast… and if you're one of those who's as hungry as a horse in the morning, you're in luck. There's an impressive array of cheeses, salami, fresh fruit, juices, pastries, cereal and yoghurt and, once we had taken our plates to our table, we were asked if we'd like eggs and bacon too! But we opted for a café con leche and lingered on the sunny terrace…

Guests can book half-board packages which include a 3-course dinner, available from 7.30pm to 10pm. You might have a choice of parma ham or blue cheese salad, a meat or fish dish (like the Canary staple bacalao, salted cod), and a dessert. Veggie options are available, but limited. On the à la carte snack menu, we noticed queso herreño, the famous smoked cheese from El Hierro which, grilled with a spicy tomato chutney, is absolutely delicious. When we ordered it again the following evening, the waitress smiled knowingly and brought us an extra big chunk.

For lunch, Peggy, the helpful manager, directed us to one of the restaurants in Arucas, where we were the only tourists and feasted cheaply on yummy tapas and half-carafes of rosé. Or you can head to Las Palmas for a wider range of eateries and drinkeries. But if you do decide to stay put, light lunches can be prepared. El Alpende is well-known and open to non-guests; there are plenty of indoor tables, and it hosts the occasional birthday or wedding feast.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Loll poolside and gaze out over the swaying vastness of banana fields

  • If that makes you feel a tad indolent, you're welcome to meander through the plantation grounds and watch workmen process the plants for shipping (bananas are one of the few fruits that must be cut down before they ripen)

  • Walk or drive into the nearby town of Arucas, nicknamed the 'pearl of Gran Canaria', and gaze at the grey, neo-Gothic Iglesia de San Juan, which stands in sullen splendour over the white-washed houses; its 60m steeple is the highest in the Canaries

  • Wander through the beautiful botanical gardens behind the mansion of the Marquesa de Arucas (Buen Suceso's owner) - admission to these flower- and cactus-filled grounds is free to hotel guests

  • Head to Las Palmas, the island's capital, for 3km of golden sand, a stroll along the pretty paseo maritimo (seaside promenade), and some shopping in the buzzy Santa Catalina district

  • Treat yourself to the range of massages (from Reiki to mud-wraps; there are price lists in the rooms), then soothe yourself to sleep with a late-night soak in the Jacuzzi

  • Have a mini-workout - the gym has 3 cardio machines and a multi-weights machine

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

Children aged 0-2 stay for free in a baby cot, and the sofabed in the Junior Suites can be used for an older child for a charge. The hotel is not really suitable for young children, as the atmosphere is more one of peaceful seclusion, and noise around the pool is discouraged.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 7 independent reviews from i-escape guests

8/10
Room
5/10
Food
7/10
Service
7/10
Value
7/10
Overall

Room was beautiful, quiet and cool. The verandas are truly lovely, with large bed-size sofas in the shade. Breakfast was fine, with a wide range of cooked and fresh food, but the evening menu was disappointing. A car is a must. Teeny swimming pool, but very useful when lying out in the sun. Lovely indoor spa pool, and good massages on site. My memory of this place is the sound of the wind rustling the leaves on the banana trees - it was really quite magical.

9/10,

Here are our observations on the Hotel. Overall value for money was good. The positive points? Plenty hot water at all times. Rooms were clean. Food was homely and with friendly presentation.

La Hacienda de Buen Suceso is promoted as an oasis of tranquility in a sea of banana plantations where one can relax in an atmosphere of former estate grandeur. Be warned. It falls short of the idyll. We would not return for the following reasons...

After travelling for 10 hours, we arrived to be told there was no one to help us carry our cases from a car park over 200 metres away, over rough ground and up steep stairs. We then asked if we could have a sandwich or snack since it was still some time until dinner. We were told we might find somewhere open in a local village. Later in our stay we found that a padlocked chain preventing us from driving closer to the hotel could be removed. That was not an option we were given.
First appearances are very important. This Hacienda failed.

The Hacienda does have many banana fields around it but they are dissected by several busy roads and a ravine into which a broken sewer disgorges its contents. Not only are there banana fields, there is a packaging and processing factory 200 metres from the hotel poolside where the sounds of reversing lorries and fork lift trucks are constant companions.

There is no internet access in rooms and in a modern luxury hotel, or one that aspires to be, such technology is no longer an extra. We were informed access was in public areas. Is not poolside a public area? No reception there or on outside veranda. In the Salon, which had good wi fi- presumably because it is beside the main offices - the temperature is chilly and on the Saturday of our stay was out of bounds due to a function.

The baths have no grab rails and have a high step out on to a very narrow polished and varnished step.

Breakfast provides the essentials but at no point did anyone serve tea or coffee in the morning. Self service is not what we expect.

There is a lack of management in this establishment. Although the hotel booklet states all staff not only welcome but seek out the feedback of guests, at no point in our stay of 7 days did one member of management speak to us, welcomed us or gave us the slightest indication of how things operate in this establishment.

As a general point, do not visit the northern part of any Canary Islands and expect warm sunshine. The prevailing North wind brings fog, drizzle and low cloud most days. If one enjoys hairpin bends and/or a tedious motorway drive then the southern sun beckons. But then one must return to the 'banana oasis'.

7/10,

Lovely location and setting. The room was dark and the bathroom was rather outdated with a glass door over the bath that didn't fit properly and a very rattly window. Sound proofing was poor so that we could here EVERYTHING that the elderly couple in the next room were saying and doing! Breakfasts very good but evening meals mediocre so we chose to eat out. All in all a very relaxing stay but the hotel needs sprucing up a bit. It felt that it needed some TLC.

6/10,

The converted farm buildings that make up this hotel must have been very attractive indeed. But at some point in time, the owners would seem to have lost interest in the project, resulting in a general air of neglect and dilapidation. This feeling was typified by the sale of breakfast eggs at E1.07 each! Overall, a sad waste of a lovely building that could again be made a fine place to stay, given professional management and the application of several coats of paint.

4/10,

This was our 4th visit to the hotel but we hadn't visited for 2 years. Location and ambience remains fantastic but overall we felt hotel was not up to previous standard.
Room: stained carpet and furniture fabric, bedside drawers unlined and not clean. Shower head would not stay in wall attachment so hand held only. No light in wardrobe and hard to see contents. Bed very comfy though.
Outside: far fewer lounger chairs than previously so at a premium; cushions not always put out on chairs so diy job; outside generally looked not as welcoming as previous years.
Services: asked for wardrobe light to be fixed but it wasn't and no explanation. On a couple of nights very long wait in restaurant. Server delightful but overwhelmed on busy nights.
Food: always has been fairly basic which we don't mind but a couple of inedible portions of meat this time at dinner. Breakfast good overall but inclusive coffee really awful.
We did not take up these issues with hotel as just didn't want the hassle but feel it's time for a change of hotel next time unless improvements are made. Really disappointing as it's quiet and untouristy which we like.

7/10,

It has the potential to be a lovely place. The building is stunning and the rooms are stylish but the whole operation lacks management. It needs to be cleaner and tidier. Hairs in the pool and bath. Weeds in the gardens. Staff are friendly but are not being managed... Taxi costs 50 euros from airport to hotel. Arucas is walking distance from hotel but you need a car for anything else.

8/10,

We were in a ground floor bedroom the first night and found it noisy with guests upstairs walking over the wooden floor boards, we asked to move and the staff were accommodating and the second bedroom was much better. Would be good to have tea and coffee making facilities in the room. Poor food in the restaurant, we only ate there once, tasteless, bland and dated menu. Detailed directions to get to the hotel provided by i-escape were essential - thank you!

7/10,

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