“A splendidly restored hacienda estate - the oldest in the Canaries - set in a sea of banana trees with views for miles around”
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.
- 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
- 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
Arucas' annual fiesta, the patron saint's day of San Juan Bautista, is celebrated on 24 June.”
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- Welcome, but not ideal for young children
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Steam Room
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
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!
- Extra beds
- Internet access
- Pool towels
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
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.
- Vegetarian menu
- 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:
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
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.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Extra Beds Available