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“Great place to stay esp. for Birds” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Descanso

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El Descanso
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Mindo, Ecuador   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 13 Mindo B&B and Inns
Quito, Ecuador
1 review
“Great place to stay esp. for Birds”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

We thought it was the nicest place we could have picked in Mindo. Only a few blocks from town (very small town) but on the 'edge' of town so very nice and quiet. Owner Rodney keeps excellent garden for birds and we saw amazing hummingbirds and many others there without even having to go anywhere. Nice breakfast included (egg/s, bread, jam, margarine, good juice, milk/coffeemilk or tea). Nice room upstairs with hammocks outside. And a kitchen guests can use! (after breakfast hours). Can do laundry on site too. Good value - was 35/night for our nice double room--very spacious, with bathroom, hot water, wireless internet, shelves and tables too. Only downside was it was a little musty-- had some incense to try to cover that. Very friendly people. Shanti and beautiful bird garden. In Mindo stop by Quetzal for best espresso, cacao, hot chocolate, and ice cream in Ecuador (try vanibrownie). Cafe Chocolo-arte has good omelettes and serves real butter. Brick oven pizzeria downtown across from bus station pretty good too.

Room Tip: Could view birds from our room - the only one in the back I think.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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28 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2011

We arrived into Mindo and walked from the bus station to hotel (6 small rural town blocks). It is on the NW corner of town but only about 3 blocks from the main street. The first floor is open air, and the wide plank wooden floors that were wonderfully clean and polished. The back porch is for relaxing and viewing the amazing hummingbirds. The hotel asks you to remove your shoes and the feel of the wooden floor on your sock feet is wonderful. The rooms are basic. We got the 3 bed room upstairs with private shower/wc. Upstairs are hammocks for napping. I do not believe there were any other guests at the time. We were completely left alone but if we needed anything we just asked at the caretaker's house right next to main room of hotel.

The small bassett hound that is out front in th picture was Panchita. She was very charming. By the way, the lady who showed us the room, was endearing and friendly, contrary to another reviewer. Breakfast was delicious and cooked on request at your time, not theirs.

However, since our room was open air because we left the windows open, you will hear all the sounds of Mindo. I did not realize that 200 roosters could all crow at the same time, sometimes in complete unison, from 0400 to 0600. No need to set the alarm.

If I went back to Mindo, I would absolutely stay here again. No credit card hold needed for a reservation at all.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Auckland, NZ
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2010

Four of us stayed in the 'dorm', which was really the attic level of the main building. It was kind of fun, but you had to watch the low sloping roof and it wasn't possible to lock anything away as there was no door. There also wasn't much privacy from the other guests, who had their own rooms but paid more. And we had to climb a ladder to reach our 'room'.
However, the building was all wooden inside and on the floor below us there were two lovely hammocks which were a great place to laze. The place was awesome for birdlovers, as you could sit on the downstairs verandah and see three different hummingbird feeders which were constantly full of birds, and also the owner put bananas out for other larger birds to come and feed on.
It was only a short walk to the main part of town, and was in a lovely quiet area (except for the early morning roosters!). Breakfast was included, and the lovely lady who fed us even got up ridiculously early to make us eggs before our 5.30am pick-up by the bird guide.
If you value your privacy I'd pay the extra for a private room, but we had no problems at all, and it was a lovely spot.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Netherlands
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2010

What is this place. When we arrived a local female showed us a room. I've never met anyone more depressing then this woman.
The hotel was smelly (like old and dirty water) and was possibly the most remote hotel in town. You'd better stay at one of the very nice, same priced hotels at the town centre!

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Pacifica, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2008

This is where you want to be if you're interested in birds... especially hummingbirds. Rodny is the consummate host. He'll spend as much time as you need explaining where to go and what to see, and the terrace/patio out back is the best place in Mindo for hummingbird watching. Rodny has cultivated flowers that attract the birds and has feeders as well, so there is practically never any "slack time" for bird watching as there is always something going on.
I've been there on four separate trips and can say in all honesty that there is not a better value in Mindo. I wish I were in a better position financially as Rodny is trying to sell the lodge (I'd buy it in a heartbeat) as it is the perfect birding lodge in Mindo.

  • Liked — hummingbird experience
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
70 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2008

We loved this place. It's clean and beautiful. Our room was spacious and the bed very comfortable. There were hammocks on the deck right outside our door. Best of all, it's tailor-made for briders. Owner Rodney maintains the most visited hummingbird garden I've ever seen, filling the feeders up to 8x a day. He also puts out bananas for the forest birds who come to visit. You can just sit on the deck and birdwatch comfortably. He's very helpful (but also very busy with all the tourists who stop by to see the show). Rates for guided trips are very reasonable.

  • Liked — access to birdwatching
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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 El Descanso

Address: Mindo, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Mindo
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 B&Bs / Inns in Mindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8

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