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“Amazing vacation for people of all ages!”

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Hacienda Primavera Wilderness Ecolodge
Reviewed 4 January 2011

This Hacienda has it all! Great service, great food, and so many things to do... or just relax by the pool and enjoy the scenery. The resort is great for people of all ages. We brought our 8 month old daughter along and there were other guests in their 60s and up!

The drive from Quito is not short, but there are so many things to see along the way, including stopping to stand on the equator. On the way back, we also stopped in Otavalo at the market. If you love to bargain over prices, that place is heaven... otherwise, you pay full or over-price, and yet everything is still incredibly cheap. And the finds can be great quality. My Otavalo tablecloths have stood up to washing better than my Crate & Barrel ones!!

We went horseback riding, hiking to waterfalls, and I got to go white water rafting while hubby stayed with the baby :) All the guides are so nice and helpful. You can just feel that everyone there wants to make sure you are happy and having a great time. Knowing that they all care so much made such a difference in the quality of our stay.

The food was excellent. Lunches and dinners are prepared at pretty flexible hours. They usually figure out when you will be done with your morning and afternoon activities and adjust the timing accordingly. Breakfast is whenever you wake up. Make sure you ask for the "Ecuadorian breakfast", which consists of last night's leftovers fried up with rice and an egg. Great energy for your morning hike! All the juices are freshly squeezed and they have a pretty great selection of wines.

Our room was clean and tastefully decorated. The beds were comfortable, and my husband is very sensitive to this. Each room has it's own bathroom and balcony, and the views are breathtaking.

Our stay at the Hacienda was by far the best we have ever been on... and we have been around the world a bit. You couldn't ask for better views or friendlier staff, and the activities are plentiful. Would highly recommend!

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank JuneBugMom79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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53 - 59 of 75 reviews

Reviewed 5 November 2010

The website promises a lot, reading the website it would seem that the hacienda will be well organised and very professional, unfortunately our experience did not live up these expectations.

First the Bad - It is a lot further away than we expected, it was hard to tell from the website exactly where it was located but in the end it took us 3.5 - 4 of driving, changing cars/drivers in Ibarra, to get there. The last 12km are on a very rough road which makes it feel even longer to reach the hacienda. We found out that its actually very close to the border with Colombia. The return journey from Ibarra to Quito was absolutely terrifying, the taxi driver contracted to take us drove at high speed, overtaking anything and everything on blind corners, across continuous lines and generally putting our lives and his in danger the entire time. Then the taxi broke down and it took us an hour to convince him that he should put is in another taxi and pay for it as we couldn´t wait on the side of the road with him with traffic roaring past for the rest of the afternoon.

The hacienda is only staffed when there are people staying there, which means rooms are damp and the floors were not clean. Also they bring in food for the length of the stay, but as we didn´t know this we didn´t specify and dietry requirements and as they didn´t ask it meant I ate the same meal (very tasty) more or less for lunch and dinner for 2 days. It also meant when we asked to leave early we had to pay for food wasted.

The day we arrived we had lunch, asked to use the internet as we had to check an urgent email and the man in charge suggested we go for a walk, we agreed and asked him to wait until we had checked our email. He then disappeared completely as did the chef and waiter from lunch. We seemed to be completely alone in the building in the middle of nowhere and no amount of shouting located anyone. By chance I noticed that the owner of the hacienda was on skype on the computer I had used to check email, I told him everyone had disappeared and we didn´t know what to do next. Thankfully he told us which room the manager was in, where we found him sleeping! That same night as we were having dinner we saw him disappearing out the door, clearly on his way out and we had to stop him briefly to find out what we would be/could do the following day.

The website seems to indicate that walks and riding will be in the cloud forest in the area, in fact the one walk we did was in the grounds of the hacienda and the riding was solely up the road and down the road that the hacienda is on. It was clear from the horses complete refusal to go anywhere off the road that that is what they are used to doing. It also mentions knowledgeable guides, it was clear that whilst the manager is a friendly and nice person, he had very little knowledge about anything including what a ripe orange looks like. He seemed to learn quite a bit from my husband in our time together!

The good - The location is gorgeous, the house with a bit of attention could be stunning but it lacks creature comforts. The people are very nice, and the chef and waiter kindly treated us to a 2 hour musical concert on our last night which was fantastic. And the manager is a lovely person and very funny but is too laid back and disorganised. When we had to leave one day early (due to paperwork issues in Quito) they kindly organised this for us and we did not have to pay for the nights accomodation that we did not use, very kind and very flexible.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank FBMadrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
haciendaprimavera, Owner at Hacienda Primavera Wilderness Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2011

We are sorry that you lost your passports in Quito before coming to us, Unfortunately we are far away from the city and I can see that we were the wrong choice for you. The fact that you had to leave early created problems with the transportation, no matter what we did we couldn't make you happy. Sorry again

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2010

You'll never forget the tranquility of the surroundings and its beauty.

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank jun9003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2010

We just came back from Hacienda Primavera. This place is amazing! This is our second time there we love it so much.
It is always warm and sunny during the day, and at night it is cooled off by rain which keeps the area lush and green.
The views are beautiful and our room had a double balcony overlooking the surrounding valley. We were quite impressed. Last time we were on the other side of the central garden which was also nice, but #4 has the better view.
The staff was very nice and attentive to everything we wanted. We wanted to go visit the local schools, which we did and it was fantastic! We brought them some crayons, pencils and notebooks which was much appreciated.
We also took a tour of the hacienda's plantations. Ask to do this if you are interested, because we loved it! They are growing organic bananas, papayas, coffee, lemons, oranges and they just harvested a plantation of beans while we were there. The cook made them for us and they were delicious!!!! He also made fresh fruit drinks for us from the farm. Yum! I read the comment below and asked the cook about it. He said that they are not able to go 100% local because the region cannot produce all the variety of foods/goods they need for the hotel. He said there is a plan to start a vegetable garden next to the main building. Also, they said they chose to get their meats from the large supermarkets in the city because they require health inspection certifications that many of the small local Ecuadorian farms do not need to have.
The administrator said that the hacienda grows only organic foods, but the region had been stuck on using pesticides, etc., but that ever since Hacienda Primavera started going 100% organic, the neighbors have been catching on that it works and is less expensive so there has been an increase in the number of local organic farmers. Most of them are planting coffee and banana only.
Regardless, the food was great.. definitely homestyle, but delicious after a good hike or horseback ride.
I am looking forward to coming back when the coffee is ready for harvesting. They are promising that it will attract a lot of bird species.
The horses are very friendly and tame. We are not experienced horseback riders, but we felt very comfortable with the horses there.
The whole place is very laid-back. Perfect for us because we just need some time off from our hectic lives. We will be back and highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank vacationer092
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2010

We spent a fantatic week at this place and enjoyed a multitude of activites. The cloud forest is breathtaking and the climate most always comfortable. High mountains covered by lush jungle surrond the modern and comfortable hacienda faciity, which is staffed by local professionals including a great cook who doubles as a crooning guaitar playing entertainer. Meals are served by a formally dressed waiter in a dining area overlooking spectacular views. The stables are manned by horsemen having vast knowledge of the animals and the countryside, who serve as necessary guides through the terrain surronding the hacienda. Horseback opportunities are available for all ranges of riders, from beginer to expert. The more advanced rides include narrow paths over very steep terrain bordered by whitewater river beds, which would be impossible without the local horses and guides.

In addtion to the riding, we enjoyed activites including level 3 white water rafting, trips to the local markets and small towns, and a day excursion to the Pacific Coast and the coastal town of San Lorenzo, a small city which has grown up around the gold mining industry and has the feel of the wild west. We also enjoyed swimming in and relaxing around the beautiful swimming pool at the hacienda, feed only by the freshly running river, which also provides a background of sound soothing to the soul. Birding opportunities are plentiful as are hikes and exploration of the local floura and fawna.

Our group consisted of 2 couples and we were the only guests there that week. In addition to having the entire staff to ourselves, we were graced with the presense of the propietor and a few of his family members who helped us plan each day to ensure our continued enjoyment. Speaking Spanish would have made our trip even more enjoyable, however we had no trouble communicating with our hosts.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank ricc0_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2010

Hacienda Primavera is a really beautiful place in a gorgeous setting but you need to know what you're getting into by staying here as we felt rather misled by the promises of the website. We only had a quick stay there and I think it's better suited to people looking for somewhere quiet and peaceful for several days without having to "do" anything - while there are lots of options for hiking and horseback riding in the area, it can take some time to coordinate tour plans and is best for those on a relaxed timetable.

The biggest disappointment was that the food is not organic, local or grown on their "farm" (when we asked about where the farm and gardens were they were quite confused and finally said that it was all around us) - en route to the hacienda the driver stopped at the grocery store to pick up a big pre-ordered box of groceries for our stay. Not that grocery produce is all that bad - the food was all still very fresh and always included veggies - but the food just wasn't outstanding (a lot of meats in sauces and the lovely but usual juice/fruit/toast/eggs tourist breakfast) and at their price point and with promises of organic local meals I do expect more. The chef is a great guy though and an excellent guitarist!

The rooms are spacious with beautiful views, particularly the matrimonial rooms which are in the corners and feature two half-walls of windows and corner balconies (but none are really "suites", all are generous box rooms of a similar size each with ensuite bathroom). The staff was friendly and accommodating but not truly equipped to fulfill the promises of the website - we came specifically for the farm experience and to hike in the cloud forests but since another couple was staying at the hotel at the same time as us and wanted to take a short horseback ride and local hike we basically had to do that too as there wasn't an additional guide or driver to accommodate us. It's a truly beautiful place in a breathtaking rural setting but I felt it was just way overpriced for what is actually provided.

  • Stayed: May 2010
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2  Thank LaChicaAmazonas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2010

Words can not do justice to this little piece of paradise.
The staff are impeccable and make you feel that you are the owners of the estate and not tourists. It is like a home away from home, but you are waited on hand and foot.
Every view is spectacular and there is such a variety of things to do.
The temperature is perfect whether day or night and even hiking to the waterfalls in the pouring rain is just so refreshing.
The food is plain, simple and really good. You eat when you want, the time schedule is yours to make.
The horses are very sweet natured and very responsive. Even experienced riders ourselves we enjoyed their company. There's nothing like sightseeing from the back of a horse. The rides were divided into a morning ride of a few hours, then returning for lunch. Then an afternoon ride when we were ready, of a few hours. Every ride was different and we got to see a lot of the valley and different terrain.
The white water rafting was an exhilarating experience, but you need to cover up to protect against sunburn. We both experienced a very deep burn on our legs. A waterproof camera would be an asset on that trip.
We learned that light weight cotton or synthetic dries easier in the high humidity. Jeans will stay wet for days.
I have never felt so relaxed and at ease on a holiday before. I would highly recommend this place for those wanting rest and rejuvenation from todays rat race.
All I can say is that it was incredibly hard to leave at the end of our stay and I would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cparker24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hacienda Primavera Wilderness Ecolodge

Address: Caserio Primavera, Ibarra 59362, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Imbabura Province > Ibarra
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access 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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Ibarra
Price Range: £154 - £156 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The hacienda is located three hours Northwest of Quito and one and a half hours Northwest of Otavalo and Ibarra The same family has owned the hacienda for over 90 years. Renovated luxury suites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hacienda Primavera Wilderness Ecolodge Hotel Imbabura Province

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