4.0
Very Good 72 Reviews
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What We Love

  • Experience famed Catalonian chef Ferrán Adrià’s recipes prepared by his protégé, Rafael Zafra, at brand-new restaurant Al Sur
  • The historic Andalusian hotel is built around a 1,100-year-old farmhouse
  • Bedrooms set a romantic tone with soaring ceilings and hand-painted murals
  • A delicious buffet breakfast with incredible coffee is served daily in the inner courtyard

What To Know

  • Property is closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • There’s not much to see or do in Sanlúcar la Mayor and it’s a 25 minute drive to Seville
  • The pool is not heated
  • Most of the cuisine served on the property is very rich
  • No gym facility on grounds
  • In-town dining options are limited, so head to the market down the road

Amenities

  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Lobby Lounge Romantic Rustic building restaurant home Resort Bar

Overview

The Review

If the name Hacienda Benazuza doesn’t sound familiar, maybe its old nickname will – the property used to be dubbed “the El Bulli hotel”. A sibling to the world-famous El Bulli restaurant in Roses, Spain, which closed in July 2011, it used to make the wish list of foodies unable to snag impossible-to-get reservations at its Catalan counterpart. Now, it’s as close to the legendary restaurant as you’ll get.

This year, in the wake of El Bulli’s closure, La Alqueria – the two Michelin-starred, on-site restaurant run by Adrià’s protégé, Rafael Zafra – has been renamed Al Sur. As such, it won’t be in the Michelin guide this year (it’ll be up for appraisal for 2013); but with Zafra and Adrià still at the helm, it’s certain to retain one of those do-before-you-die experiences for any foodie. Alfresco poolside dishes at La Alberca and all-day tapas at La Abaceria round out the dining options.

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/242/pgal-61190-1273680544-612×355-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”Hacienda Benazuza (otherwise known as the El Bulli Hotel) is the ultimate gourmet’s paradise.”}The activities are limited at Hacienda Benazuza – there’s a definite emphasis on relaxation – but amenities abound. Stroll among gardens carefully lined with orange trees and Mediterranean herbs, lounge by the pool on a luxurious day bed, or consider a massage in the intimate spa (but book early — appointments tend to fill up quickly). Hacienda Benazuza also offers around-the-clock limousine service, a helipad and full concierge services.

This intimate Moorish property is inherently romantic, with just 44 rooms and suites. It was built around an old farmhouse that dates back more than a thousand years and features idyllic details typical of the region’s haciendas: intricate inner courtyards, fountains, fragrant fruit trees and spice plants, antique decor, exquisite artwork and a charming chapel. Most of the rooms are housed in the estate’s main building.

Hacienda Benazuza may woo well-heeled travelers seeking solitude, but when the shopping, museum or nightlife urge hits, it’s a convenient 25-minute drive to Seville. A little flamenco should make you feel less guilty about the food.

How to Get There

Hacienda Benazuza
c/Tejares, 1 Sanlucar La Mayor
Seville, 41800 Spain

Reviews

4.0 Very Good 72 Reviews
An oasis of calm
Reviewed 2 years ago

Upon entering the Hacienda, it really feels like you are escaping from the hustle and bustle. The rooms are nice, not luxurious, but in keeping with the style. However, the pool area is gorgeous and the food superb. A week may be too long here, although as a base it would be fine. Nice for a couple of days whilst travelling around the region.

perfect food
Reviewed 6 years ago

beautiful, quiet and romantic hotel. beautiful rooms.
perfect service.
Food Summit, top quality gastronomy to be repeated
Of course we stayed because of the famous El Bulli chef, Ferran Adria. However, that is not why we would come back (and we definitely would). The "best breakfast in the world" is what pulled me in. I had to try it! Breakfast is my favorite travel meal

Gorgeous romantic property
Reviewed 8 years ago

We stayed at the Hacienda to kick off our 25th wedding anniversary trip. Of course we stayed because of the famous El Bulli chef, Ferran Adria. However, that is not why we would come back (and we definitely would). The "best breakfast in the world" is what pulled me in. I had to try it!

Breakfast is my favorite travel meal, and I am a food writer, so this was an irresistible claim to me. While the breakfast is really good--with good coffee, pretty good pastries, fruit and yogurt, interesting egg dishes--"best in the world" is pushing it. I think we have just traveled in too many superb hotels to take that seriously. (In my ever so humble opinion, the best hotel breakfasts are: Hotel Seiyo Ginza in Tokyo, either the English or Japanese breakfast--a choice no one should have to make!; and the Taj West End in Bangalore's unbelievable buffet. Both of these meals were so outstanding, I would consider traveling there just for the breakfasts.)

As far as the restaurant, La Alqueria, what can I say. The food is obviously really interesting, and molecular gastronomy is something that appeals to you or not. I am too much of a traditionalist to be in the former category. My two biggest complaints about the experience: 1) the food itself must be served very quickly, or it deteriorates; this forces the wait staff to be extremely stressed and rushed, which cannot make for a relaxing dinner. The amount of trotting back and forth is unnerving. I think this is why some reviews criticize the staff. 2) No course is really delicious, just strange and interesting. So while the meal is fascinating, you don't come away craving anything, just sort of marveling at the weirdness. Once is fine for us!

That all said, we would absolutely come back. We were upgraded to a suite, which was so beautiful and romantic. The bed had pressed linen (actual linen, not cotton) sheets, which are such a treat! And the bar! We loved that high-ceilinged madder-colored space, with its wonderful barman, and great little bar treats. Just walking the public spaces is worth the stay. The hacienda is gorgeous.

The hotel is 20 minutes outside of Seville, and very easy to drive back and forth to. The little town adjacent to the hacienda is very cute and also pleasant to walk through.

This is a perfect hotel for honeymooners, or for a romantic getaway.

Second visit - standards have slipped
Reviewed 8 years ago

I first stayed here in October 2007 and everything about the hotel was first class, and the food in the Alqueria Restaurant arguably justifed its 2 Michelin stars.

From my stay last weekend it's obvious that budget cuts (understandable in this economic climate) have taken their toll. However hospitality and a smile are largely free and while most of the staff were efficient, with some notable exceptions, many were surly, chilly or at best, just unsmiling.

La Alqueria Restaurant - some very good dishes on the tasting menu, but some very average too. Service stressed.

For this money, neither the lack of friendliness nor the quality of the food is acceptable, so I can't recommend it.

Still had a great weekend - but that was mostly due to the fun people I was with and the hotel building and grounds, which will always be beautiful......

Don't be fooled by the name
Reviewed 8 years ago

Rather bizarrely, the real weakness of this hotel is the food and its price. I went to this hotel with my wife. It is utterly beautiful. It teeters very close to being the wrong side of shabby chic, but for us it was perfect. Our room was spectacular, the gardens and pool are stunning, but the food was average and repetative. If you do not go to the L'alqueria restaurant in the evening, you must eat from the same menu as you had for lunch, which is not extensive and has a heavy bias towards fried fish. For what you get, it is also extremely expensive.

The hotel's supposed jewel is the L'alqueria restaurant. It was singularly dissappointing. Of the 16 courses we ate, not one stood out as exceptional, and the overriding sensation was of pointlessness. A mimetic peanut? So what? A deconstruced omlette, clever, but not much else - the price, ridiculous.

However, to its credit, the service was exceptional throughout our stay, and ignoring the 2 michelin starred L'Alqueria restaurant, we would happily return if a greater variety of simple Andalucian food was on offer.