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“The best of Ecuador” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hacienda San Vicente

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Hacienda San Vicente
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Mindo, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 13 Mindo B&B and Inns
mindo, ecuador
1 review
“The best of Ecuador”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2012

This place is a little paradise. Not just the sweet accommodations and the lovely property but more than anything the genuine kindness of the family. I arrived sick (after eating coconuts soaking in a plastic bag of water -- what was I thinking!) and was pampered like a relative. Of all the place I've stayed in Ecuador, this was the best!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    33
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Linn, Oregon
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

I arrived in Mindo on the bus, tired, hungry and without any reservations for my first two nights. After a filling breakfast at a local eatery, I inquired as to the location for Hacienda San Vicente (aka "Yellow House"). The hacienda is located about 300 yards from the main square, up a stony driveway. The owners took one look at me after I had carried two heavy bags and sat me down with a juice. I spent two nights in a downstairs run in the first building. I enjoyed the rustic wooden finishing of the room, which was clean and comfortable, and and svereal times rested while looking out at the hummingbird feeders hanging off the balcony of my building and the main house. Birds abound here, and walks on the trails (free for guests, and only $5 for others) will yield sightings of many species. Apparently Spectacled Bear has been seen on the property, but it requires incredibly good fortune to find one. The owners are three wonderful and kind women, and they provide a delicious breakfast in accordance with the guests' schedule. All this for a very reasonable $21 a night! Note: at the time of my stay in November 2011, several trails were closed due to fallen trees and storm damage. This is a great place to stay for birders, hikers, and anyone wishing a little peace and quiet.

Room Tip: Downstairs rooms can carry the sound of footsteps, if anyone is staying directly above you.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Hereford, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2011

We arrived in the dark and the rain after a bus journey from Quito - we suggest you take a taxi rather than lug your luggage up the long, rather stony driveway as we did!
The owner showed us to our room - the upstairs floor of a lovely little detached wooden "hut". Simply furnished and quite small, but spotlessly clean, and with plenty of hot water for the shower - what more can you ask for?! She then kindly offered to drive us back into town to get something to eat with the other guest who had also just arrived, and picked us up an hour later - what personal service!
The surrounding of the Yellow House are superb. The family has lived there over 50 years (if my broken Spanish serves me right!) and they have established a wonderful system of self-sufficiency with a tilapia pond, chickens, cows, horses, masses of fruit trees etc. The breakfasts are long and leisurely (and include homemade guava jam and home grown coffee) and take place in their kitchen right by a panoramic window where you can sit and watch the many birds on the banana tree, and where the 2 sisters and their mum pottered around serving us with great attentiveness. There is also a verandah where you are welcome to wait and watch the hummingbirds at the feeders, and access the Internet (with your own laptop).
There is a network of trails from their house up into the cloud forest - quite a strenuous walk but well worth it just to experience the wildness and isolation of the lush forest.
It is soooo much nicer to stay out of town so that you can feel the area where you are staying - it really is idyllic and although we were only here 3 days, the family made us feel so welcome that it felt like home! We definitely hope to be back....

Room Tip: We loved our little independent house just for 2!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aviemore, Scotland
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2011

If you like to experience wildlife amid beautiful surroundings and tranquility, but don't want to go too far off the beaten track, then this place is for you. Mindo is easy to get to by bus and the guesthouse is within walking distance of the town square but far enough away from it to feel private and secluded. The hospitality here is second to none, accommodation very comfortable, the birds and butterflies excellent, the forest trails easily accessible. The sounds of the forest at night were ethereal!

For budding Lepidopterists, check out the lamp posts first thing in the morning before the birds get to them, as you will find all manner of moths from the night before. There was a resident Potoo outside our room each evening, atop a bamboo post, hawking moths attracted to our porch light. Conveniently, we had a fridge outside our room for our use which came in very handy for fridging moth specimens ready for the camera! For anyone not familiar with this, don't panic, it's a well known trick amongst moth-ers and certainly does not harm the insects!

For birders, the hummer feeders are wonderful for photography, just feet away from the veranda. The banana plant outside the dining room window attracts tanagers and is also close for photos. Many more hummers in the forest. Much time can be spent in the garden watching the birds and many butterflies. Colourful tanagers, resident Squirrel Cuckoos, a lonesome Turkey Vulture doing the rounds are just a few highlights of this place. We spent 3 days here but we wish we had stayed a lot longer.

A big thank you to the ladies who looked after us so attentively and fed us so well. We hope to return one day!

  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2011

Having carefully considered the many options in Mindo I finally contacted another trip advisor member “rarich” for advice and what luck she recommended the Hacienda San Vicente. It was just 5 minutes walk from Mindo village. We stayed 8 nights in a two bedroom cottage that was simply but beautifully constructed in wood with a terrace (and hammocks) overlooking fantastic birding trees, the views were stunning- and this all to ourselves for 18 USD per person per night. The best value for money I have ever had. The beds were comfortable, the rooms impeccable and private showers excellent. We felt safe and happy in this delightful haven. We were woken by the sound of rare and glorious coloured birds (the list is long see Paul Greenfields expert guide to Ecuadorian birds). Breakfast and fruit juices were delicious and we even eat a tilapia fish picked out in their pond. Marie-Helena, her sweet mother and delightful sister Marie Ines know Mindo intimately and are widely respected. Their bird trails are famous. In addition, they introduced us to Angel Paz the great bird watcher who showed us the famous cok of the rock and the near extinct antpittas (he named a baby yellow-chested antpitta after me - I was thrilled). Subsequently, an expert in humming birds – we got great footage. The frog concert they recommended was exceptional and last but not least, they found us Julia Pinta a top guide whose passion for birds is matched by her talent for finding them. Staying here was a far better choice than staying in the village itself. Spoken English was limited but not at all a barrier.

  • Stayed July 2011, 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.
London
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2011

Although it only takes ten minutes to walk into Mindo town, you feel wonderfully close to nature and almost in the arms of the cloud forest at Yellow House.

Our rating of Excellent is probably coloured by having the place almost to ourselves, adding a great sense of tranquility to our stay. The room we had was rustic and basic, yet it had everything we needed and indeed was more usefully furnished than a lot of hotel rooms. Most especially our private bathroom which was positively huge. Out on our balcony was a hammock and I lay there as the sun went down listening to the all the birdsong of the forest.

The lady looking after Yellow House when we stayed didn't have any English at all, but with our minimal Spanish we got by and had her arrange a local bird guide for a day. There is an extensive network of trails above the lodge into the forest and we (well, mainly our guide!) spotted 56 different species on a 4 hour morning wander. Plenty of birds were visible right around the Yellow House itself and at night we explored the gardens and found several frogs and toads, a great potoo and a four-eyed opossum.

Because we went out birding both mornings we never got to try the breakfast, the packed lunch that was provided instead was okay but nothing special.

We stayed here in winter, and the climate was very comfortable. In summer it may be rather warm to stay here, but Mindo is said to have a particularly equable micro-climate so perhaps not too bad. The town itself has some decent places to eat.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Tyers Beach
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2011

A five minute walk through butterflies, horses, cattle, and beautiful scenery in the day, and fireflies at night to your pad. Excellent, smiling accommodating hosts, who serve up a great brekky, hummingbirds feeders at your door - who could tire of watching them? - the most fabulous vistas and views of Mindo from your hammock on your private balcony. The property is only just out of town but above town and hence away from the dust. Idyllic, tranquil, fun. Find out about the bears in the private (?) forest...

Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hacienda San Vicente

Address: Mindo, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Mindo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Mindo
Number of rooms: 17

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