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“Don't be fooled by the name”

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El Bulli Hotel - Hacienda Benazuza
Reviewed October 2, 2010

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.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TomMildmay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 - 11 of 71 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2010

One of the best hotel experiences in the world and undoubtedly the best hotel cuisine (Ferran Adria), in particular the unbeatable breakfast. Charming, quiet, historic, authentic, yet up to date in terms of luxury comfort and service. At starting prices in the €300 range, I would even say that this hotel is fantastic value for money. Close enough to Sevilla, but rather a country hotel, this is the ultimate hideaway.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TrophyCollector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2010

The service, the food, the pool area/gardens were really really excellent. The room (we stayed in a master suite) was less good, but more than adequate.

Service is rather stiff and very correct but always quick and efficient. All our requests were solved very well and - to some extent - our needs and wishes were pre-empted. Nothing was ever a problem.

The food is the reason you go here. Eating in the two star La Alqueria is a fantastic experience. You are served a 15 course menu of the El Bulli highlights from the last 15 (I think) years. We decided to eat there two of the evenings and got 15 other courses the 2nd evening. Both spectacular and a real experience for all the senses. Simply great. During lunch the poolside restaurant La Alberca serves great, typical Spanish dishes, often tapas style. Menu is in pictures and I think we tried all the different things. All really delicious. The third restaurant La Abaceria is only open only during winter, so we did not eat there. However, one could have a dinner in the Guadarnes restaurant (in bar area but also al fresco) the days one did not feel like a full El Bulli style dinner. Also this good, but less special than the others.
And not to forget: The breakfast. Voted best hotel breakfast in the world, and I would agree. A tasting breakfast offering a selection of freshly baked sweet pastry; three different juices served in miniature bottles, toast and sweet butters and home made marmelades, fresh fruit and a selection of egg and other hot dishes. All served at your table, all home made and all different during the four breakfasts we had. Just great!!!

The pool is really huge with three different parts within a large garden with beautiful trees, flowers and fountains. Comfortable loungers or special daybeds, very attentive service and no disturbances at all. Just wonderful. We skipped planned sightseeing trips just to enjoy this oasis.

Our room was a master suite which was on the small side compared to other suites that we have stayed in. It consisted of a bedroom, partly separate living room with sofa, chair, table and desk and a pretty small bathroom with combined bath/shower and double sinks. Style was a combination of rustique (these rooms used to be the stalls) and romantic English flowery. Aircondition VERY noisy and not really efficient enough for the July heat. Outside private terrasse. All in all comfortable but nothing special.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank Musken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2010

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS ANOTHER ENTRY AND REVIEW SECTION FOR THIS HOTEL AS WELL.
My wife and I stayed here during a driving/gastronomic tour of Spain. We very much enjoyed the hotel and wish we could have had more time to enjoy the pool and grounds during our stay. Our two nights there included two wonderful breakfasts and two special dinners so we were well pleased. The room was on two levels, with the bedroom upstairs and a sitting room and the en suite bathroom downstairs, very spacious and comfortable. Public areas of the hotel are delightfully furnished and interesting to explore, from the grain stores underground near Reception to the day bed in the pool gardens. The famed El Bulli restaurant takes itself very seriously. The offering was delicious and extremely well served, however it would have been nice to see some smiles from the waiting staff! Breakfast is an experience.The waiters are in full mess dress and the waitresses in maid's uniforms, all very smart and effeicient. No buffet is offered, it is all served. So don't expect a quick breakfast, just enjoy the rare treat.
In summary this is a great hotel to use as a base near to Seville. We would definitely return.

  • Stayed: May 2010
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1  Thank accidentaltourist_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

I have to say that me and my husband feel really lucky to have visited this place. Flew in just for a weekend with couple of colleagues.... The setting is amazing, charm, history and tradition... location is ok (nothing to see in Sanlucar la Mayor) but Seville is just 25 min drive... The gardens are lush and romantic... Now, I have to say, we have definitely stayed in more luxurious and more comfortable rooms through our travel... so there is really some space for improvement here...

What makes up for the rooms and makes the whole experience is the FOOD!!!!! We were pampered from the morning till the evening and the dinner at the main restaurant El Bulli's Andalusian sister was just unforgettable! The young chef Rafael Zafra has definitely mastered his skills...

Best Breakfast in the World: now this is a fact not only my opinion! Extraordinary and delicious... I ordered two main breakfast courses and made sure they both had truffles... Fantastic!

What a weekend and what an experience!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
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2  Thank mrsgoosestravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2009

Room: It's like going back in time to someplace very special. Top-notch.

Location: Well outside of Seville. The town of Benazuza is very quiet, so you're stuck to whatever is in the resort. Fortunately, the resort is gorgeous. (Note: I asked the hotel to pick me up from the train station. I thought they had their own service, but it turned out I had to pay about 50 euros for a one-way trip.)

Common areas: You feel very much like you're staying in your own historic Spanish castle/fort. While not everything was perfectly kept up (the place is over 700 years old!), it was beautiful and serene. The gardens and pools were extremely relaxing.

Value: It's expensive, but I feel like I got what I paid for.

Service: Don't expect many smiles. Service was fast, but not that friendly. (I even felt a cold shoulder once or twice.) Overall not a big deal when considered with everything else the hotel had to offer.

Saving the best for last--THE FOOD: La Alqueria was amazing and Ferran is a genius. It was nice to eat the food of El Bulli without the wait. The breakfast he created was out of this world too. I recommend getting the gourmet package so you can have dinner and breakfasts grouped with the price of your room in order to save some money.

NOTE: I kind of compare this hotel with the Parador in Granada's Alhambra. While I enjoyed the Parador more, the Hacienda had a pool, and that's always tough to beat. You really can't go wrong with either.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BirdCatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2009

I went to Seville as the part of my spanish birthday celebration trip. While choosing the hotel to stay in for 4 days I was looking simply for the very best. And surely Hacienda is that impressive jewel worth to be visited more than once. First the interior must be noted. Breathtaking atmosphere of typical spanish hacienda with it's inner courts, fountains, fruit tree alleys, antique furniture, remarcable paintings, decorative pieces. Junior suite is two storeyed. The ground level is the living room and the terrace, wc. The first floor is the bedroom (the only problem for me personally was the lack of big window and fresh air in the bedroom, but as far as the summer is usually really hot it makes sence). The service is better than can ever be expected. All the staff paid so much attention to my needs. I take pills and that reflects on my diet, am not allowed to eat any backed or fried food. The manager of the restaurant (which holds actually 2 Michelin stars!!!!) and the chef designed the special menu for my consisting of stewed and boiled fish and veggies. For the Birthday dinner they offered absolutely delicious menu with unforgetable avocado and crab roll....still remember the taste :) Every day small sweet delicacies were delivered to my room as compliments. I never heard "no" as the reply to any request. The spa masager is quite a profecional! Very nice person with very gentle technique and great experience (strongly reccomend limphodrinage massage after sunbathing). The breakfast that is served in the inner court is a masterpiece itself. Nice small bottles and pots of delicious things create romantic and relaxed state of mind for the whole day. I can still describe all in details. But the point is that Hacienda Benazuza is one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in. I definately come back soon!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank KarinaMilovidova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Bulli Hotel - Hacienda Benazuza

Address: Virgen De Las Nievas s/n, 41800 Sanlucar la Mayor, Spain
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Seville > Sanlucar la Mayor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sanlucar la Mayor
Price Range: $278 - $411 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — El Bulli Hotel - Hacienda Benazuza 5*
Number of rooms: 44
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Also Known As:
El Bulli Hotel - Hacienda Benazuza Province Of Seville, Spain - Sanlucar La Mayor

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