La Hacienda del Buen Suceso lies off the GC-2 road to Arucas, in northeastern Gran Canaria. It's a 20-minute drive from Las Palmas and a 40-minute drive from Gran Canaria airport. Unless you want to laze around the pool, a car is essential for exploring the island, or even for hopping into Las Palmas for an evening’s partying. (Dining in the hushed Hacienda every night could send you stir-crazy). If beaches are a deal-breaker, Las Canteras, the capital’s popular urban beach, is twenty minutes away by car. Maspalomas, with its warmer, more appealing resort beaches, is under an hour’s drive south. Closer by, within walking distance, the white-washed village of Arucas is home to tapas bars and a rum distillery (free visits) with celebrity barrels signed by Tom Jones and the King of Spain. Behind the hacienda itself stretch the cacti-encrusted botanical gardens that belong to the hotel’s patrician owners (free entry to guests).
The soft-focus colonial look embraces wrought-iron canopied beds, ceiling fans and sloping oak-beamed ceilings. Rustic yet elegant double-rooms lead off the verandah and contrast chintzy wallpaper with austere wooden-shutters. Whether front or back-facing, most rooms enjoy enviable views over the sea of swaying banana trees. Bedrooms may be on the small side but flinging open the shutters dispels any glimmer of dissatisfaction. The high-ceilinged junior suites are duplexes, with a downstairs bedroom, a mezzanine sitting-room, and a corner-bath designed for two. There is occasional muttering about poor sound-proofing on the ground floor and a preference for the quieter upstairs rooms.
The central courtyard is overhung by an old-world verandah extending around both sides of the hacienda. Communal terraces, scattered with white wicker sofas, lead to the cool pool. The sunny terrace is the place for lingering over cocktails or a café con leche. The under-used drawing room is slightly forbidding, unlike the cosy restaurant set in the converted stables. Here, the breakfast buffet is served in a curious stone trough where the horses were once tethered and watered. Expect reasonably priced Canarian-style dinners (book before 3pm); or drinks by the patio, poolside or bar (annoyingly closed 3-6pm).
Eating and drinking
Mixed reports on meals have turned to praise after the arrival of a new Canarian chef late last year. The Canarian home-cooking is matched by hearty breakfast buffets (with an array of cheeses, hams, pastries and fresh fruit). Follow a dip in the pool with sunset cocktails and a seafood dinner on a terrace framed by banana plantations. Also tuck into inventive soups, bacalo, Canarian salted cod, and queso herreño, grilled smoked cheese from the island of El Hierro. Half-board includes a 3-course dinner, available from 7.30 to 10pm, even on the terrace, but opt for a la carte, and dining out some evenings. Amble over to the friendly tapas bars in Arucas, or head to the hip fusion restaurants and traditional Canarian eateries in Las Palmas.
The groovy outdoor pool overlooking the banana plantation is heated year-round but still on the cool side. The other side of the hacienda has a secluded patio, where his-and-hers sun loungers invite canoodling. Resist the mini-gym (3 cardio machines and a weights machine) in favour of the Jacuzzi and steam room (you need to request it’s turned on). Spa services (from massage to mud-wraps) can be booked in your room but there’s no spa as such, although a late-night Jacuzzi session may appeal, especially after a heady night on the town in Las Palmas.
Friendly but laidback, ranging from leisurely to slack, particularly in the afternoons, when the bar is closed. The upside is that you are left to your own devices and feel entirely at home (unless your home comes fully-staffed, of course).
Who stays there
Couples who place boutique charm over beach frolics, or parties who book the whole hotel. The Hacienda is equally suitable for honeymooners, hipsters or culture-vultures. Empty-nesters can use it as a stepping-stone to exploring both the capital and the rural interior. Instead, the cool crowd can head into Las Palmas for the eclectic bar scene twenty minutes away.
Peace, seclusion and quiet sophistication are the watchwords. This rural retreat is a world away from the soulless resorts in the south. The mellow mood makes this place unsuitable for young children unless you literally take over the hotel for a family gathering. (Check there is no wedding planned during your stay, as any big party risks swamping the hotel).
This stylish hacienda hotel is the price of a soulless resort hotel on Playa del Ingles. Rates remain good value for a delightful boutique hideaway, but, as in most of Gran Canaria, winter season rates (October-April) are higher. A buffet breakfast is included but some items, such as eggs, incur an extra charge. Consider splashing out on a junior suite –the price difference is negligible (and would also suit a couple with an older child).
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Swimming Pool
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Escaping the crowds
- Great views / scenery
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- This is a year-round rural retreat
- Hideaway appeal for couples, culture-vultures and city-slickers
- Mix of rural seclusion but accessibility to the capital
- Atmospheric colonial estate and mellow mood
- If you’re not as mellow as the island, then the 'mañana' attitude to service could grate
- The weather is up to ten degrees cooler than in the south of the island
- While Las Canteras beach is nearby, the southern beaches are about 45 minutes away