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“The Most Incredible Hacienda in Ecuador!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hacienda Zuleta

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Hacienda Zuleta
Angochagua, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
“The Most Incredible Hacienda in Ecuador!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

This is my second time to this most amazing place on earth. I love nature and the exquisite beauty of the nature, hacienda, the indigenous people and the incredible Gallo Plaza family.

You are taken back to a time that is still alive on this magnificent working farm.

I chose to stay here for 20 days for an immersion in learning Spanish as a second language and I was not disappointed!

Plus, I feel part of this lovely and very generous Hacienda Zuleta Family. Everyone that works their makes you feel so comfortable and they are so lovely. I miss them already!

The service is beyond your expectations, the food is grown on the farm which includes an amazing cheese factory, an organic garden which continues to be improved with the latest technology, a beautiful and critical Condor Rehabilitation project that is very famous, the beautiful women who still embroider as they did centuries ago, the beautiful indigenous children plus the pure air and miles of walking trails in this incredible setting!

If you love horses then this is the place for you as they are the most beautiful horses I have ever seen. I also loved the fact that every morning I would see the cows being herded to the pastures along with new calves and new colts with their mother's.

I will be back to this magical place where they take care of their guests as if you were royalty but in a very relaxed setting sitting by a fireplace or taking breakfast in the dining room where you watch humming birds sail along the patio or lunch with the most vibrant view of the majestic mountains.

I even saw the most famous Spectacle Bear!!

This is an extraordinary place with magic all around.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fpolancoplaza, Owner at Hacienda Zuleta, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you so much for a beautiful review, you have capture our essence , I also believe MAGIC has a lot to do with why Zuleta captivates most of our guests and family.
We await for your return again and again.

Sincerely ,

Fernando
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102 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montebello, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

What a magnificent place. It was like stepping back in time to Colonial Spain. The service and food was extraordinary! Our every need was their concern. We were welcomed and made to feel at home by the owners of the hacienda. They joined us for breakfast and dinner when possible, since our meal times were always planned around our activities for the day. The accommodations were very well appointed and very clean; as was the entire Hacienda. The food was 5 star authentic Ecuadorian. The presentation of all of our meals made us feel like a Don and Dona. The Hacienda is spread out over several thousand acres which contain approximately 300 cows, 2,000 sheep and 90 horses. The Hacienda includes 15 bedrooms, each named for a family member. Within a short walk of the main buildings you will find a cheese factory, a trout farm and stables. It is truly a working farm/ranch. We were impressed that the entire Hacienda was self-sustaining. They produce their own milk; have their own cheese factory, organic produce, worm farm for the production of fertile soil and a trout farm. Their operation is ecofriendly. They even have a Condor Rehabilitation Project! Last, but certainly not least is the horseback riding………it is FABULOUS!!!!! The horses are a "Zuleta Breed". They are a mix of a Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred and Andalusian. What a fantastic mix. They are beautiful, gentle, strong, intelligent, extremely responsive and well trained. They are truly a rider’s dream. Any trip to Ecuador should include a stay at Hacienda Zuleta. Our visit at the Hacienda Zuleta lived up to every expectation. We will return to Zuleta with the entire family in the future.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fpolancoplaza, Owner at Hacienda Zuleta, responded to this review, November 23, 2012
All the staff at Zuleta Thank you for such a wonderfull and generous review! We are inspire with it to always aspire to do our work with love and dedication to all you, our guests!

Gracias and may we see you again ! And please recommend us to your friends and family.
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Quito
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Ecuador has lots of haciendas that have been modified to be Hotels, but in this case the atmosphere at the hacienda Zukleta is incredible , the pepople that attend you are fantastic, if you want to relax this is the place to be .
We took with my wife a 2 hour walk in what is know as the rabbit trail. fantastci esxperience you go up for almost 400 meters and you can view the magnificient mountains of the highland of Ecuador.
THE HACIENDA HAS BBEN MODIFIED AS A HOTEL, AND THE ROOMS ARE NICELY DECORATED.
THE FOOD ALTHOUGHT IS NOT THE BEST ONE IS SERVED TO ALL THE HOTEL GUEST, AND MAY BE YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN CASE OF THE MAIN DISH, BUT VERY HEALTHY FOOD.
IF YOU WANT TO CHOOSE A ROOM ASK FOR THE NEW ONES, AND IF POSSIBLE ASK FOR MARGAARITA EACH ROOM HAS A NAME.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ostersund, Sweden
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012

My second visit to the Hacienda and wouldn’t mind come back. Magnificent setting for horseback riding, birding or just enjoying the tranquility and nature surrounding Zuleta. Service is excellent and the meals consists of traditional prepared dishes kept simple, but prepared with care and the best ingredients. There are horses available for all types of experience and all of them seem to be in a very good shape and well looked after. It is not a budget place, but neither is it very expensive with rooms starting at around $200 a night (full board). However, I would suggest to choose a Deluxe room.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

Our first trip to Ecuador... So pleased we did not miss Zuleta. It was paradise. Everyone was so friendly, and you felt you were staying at friends for the weekend. Nothing was too much trouble.
My first time on a horse!! Thank you Rodriguez, for being so patient and kind. Seeing the wild condor as we dismounted, was unbelievable... We had a tour of the cheese factory, which was brilliant and hiked 2 of the trails.
Dinner in the evening, was in front of a blazing fire.. When we returned to our room, the fire was blazing, as we turned down our bed we had hot water bottles... It was magical..
Please do not miss, this on your visit to Ecuador. We arrived, at 11am and left at 3pm the following day.. We wished we had booked for longer... But, we will never forget our experience there..

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cusco, Peru
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2012

I travel to Ecuador frequently on business, and have stayed at quite a few other Haciendas in the highlands. None has left such an impression on me like Hacienda Zuleta did.

First: The thing about Zuleta is that it is a true working hacienda and is still run by the family of ex President Galo Plaza. So the experience there is "true" and "real" - nothing is really put on as a show or facade just for guests and your connection to the history is tangible since you meet with Plaza family descendants who still run the Hacienda today.

I got up early my first morning and headed off on foot to explore the Hacienda, they have a great self guided trail network that is signposted and they provide you with a map as well. I really liked that I didn't feel the need to be escorted by a guide everywhere, the locals and hacienda workers are all very helpful, smiling and are used to interacting with international visitors. I stopped by one of the milking barns and the indigenous couple in there milking the cows invited me in to help them. It was really cool to help out the locals in their morning work, to feel part of the Hacienda, even if just for 15 minutes. That afternoon, Fernando Polanco, who is the grandson of ex-President Galo Plaza and overall manager of the Hacienda now - took me on a private guided tour of his cheese factory which was really interesting. I now notice the Zuleta cheese in local supermarkets and he even said that I can find it in my nearby town of Healdsburg, CA! Fernando has a lot going on, but two of the nights I was there he came into the main living room to have drinks with the guests and walked us around the building explaining the different paintings on the walls and photographs, amazing to hear first hand from a family member all the history and anecdotes to all the remarkable things contained in the Hacienda. Again, the history was tangible and a living history, rather than just nostalgia.

The next day I did a horseback riding trip up to see the Condor Rehabilitation project which was phenomenal! Couldn't believe the number of Condors that were soaring through that valley, the only place that rivals it was in the Colca Canyon of Peru. I'm not a big horseback rider but the horses there are beautiful, well cared for, tame, and I was very impressed that they insisted on me wearing a helmet - shows they take guest safety seriously as this has been a thing that has worried me before at other haciendas, a very lax attitude for safety.

I didn't realize before all the community involvement here also. They have a community library which helps out the local population to learn to read and write, mostly young children were coming in after school to learn form the volunteers working there. I also visited the embroidery workshop which was fascinating and it was great to see how much pride the local people took in their work and how highly they spoke of Hacienda Zuleta and their support of the surrounding community.

My room, Margarita, was extremely comfortable - always full of fresh flowers and I enjoyed sitting next to the wood burning stove in the evening reading about the history of the place (I'm a sucker for history if you haven't already noticed). The food was fantastic, and almost all sourced form their extensive organic gardens which you are free to walk through. The accommodations and food were all at a much higher level than what I'd experienced at other Haciendas.

I did a day trip to the "famous" indigenous market of Otavalo, which is close by, but I would have preferred to have just spent that day at Hacienda Zuleta on reflection since there are tons of little genuine hamlets to explore and small crafts workshops - Otavalo felt like a tourist trap actually.

Overall, I really felt at home while at Hacienda Zuleta, like a valued guest of the family rather than just a paying tourist. I really look forward to coming back and bringing my son with me next time.

I'd highly recommend Hacienda Zuleta and want to thank Fernando, Amable, Carolina and the rest of the warm gracious staff at Hacienda Zuleta for such a fantastic experience and for treating me like family.

Room Tip: I sprung for a Jr. suite which was amazing, however I spent little time in my room - there was so mu...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fpolancoplaza, Owner at Hacienda Zuleta, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Although some time has passed, all the team of Hacienda Zuleta and myself, want to thank you for such a great review, we are honored that you came to visit our home, and hope you will send us your family and friends! Please only the nice ones!  :) !

We send you a VERY BIG Hacienda Zuleta hug!  Hopping to see you again at Zuleta. 

Fernando, Caro, Laura, Amable, Margarita, Liliana , Mainor and all the staff!
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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2012

The Hacienda is a truly special place: a gorgeous inn nestled in a lovely setting and overseen by a kind, generous, and fascinating family. We go there to relax, clear our heads, fill our bellies, and nourish our souls. Defining experiences include smelling fresh-cut firewood burning in the bedroom stove, walking with the dogs to the village, taking carriage rides around the property, devouring course after course of the best food we've had anywhere in the world, enjoying long talks with host Fernando and his relatives about Ecuadorian politics and history, and sitting in the backyard garden staring at the biggest night sky you can imagine. As I said, a special place.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hacienda Zuleta

Address: Angochagua, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Imbabura Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 38 Specialty lodging in Imbabura Province
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located only two hours north of Quito, Hacienda Zuleta is a family owned, 2,000 hectare real estate with colonial buildings dating back to 1691. Situated within a tranquil and fertile valley between Cayambe and Ibarra, you will have the impression that you have traveled back in time. The expansive Hacienda Zuleta grounds include a working dairy farm, cheese factory, trout farm, horse stables and an beautiful organic vegetable garden where most of our food comes from. We also manage an Andean Condor Rescue Center and the Hacienda is surrounded by three beautiful Andean communities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Zuleta Hotel Imbabura Province
Hacienda Zuleta Ecuador/Imbabura

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