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“Wonderful Life Experience”

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Madre Tierra Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Vilcabamba
Certificate of Excellence
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
1 review
“Wonderful Life Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012

When we arrived at Madre Tierra it was raining and the sun had just set. Little did I know what I was in for when the rain broke and the sun rose the next morning. First my wife and I awoke in a beautifully hand-crafted cabin, from the balcony the view was breath-taking, it overlooked the gorgeous Vilcambaba valley with lush greenery in every direction. Our cabin was gorgeously woven into the beautiful mountain setting, blending perfectly with the garden-like forest.

As much as our day started so perfectly, it only got better when we met the owners and staff at breakfast. To say the food was delicious and the their service was 5-star would be an understatement. We became family immediately.

You talk about falling in love with the little elderly lady that makes the home-made grain bread. I wanted to take her home with me, or at least her recipe, but no cigar. According to the owners, she will take it to her grave. So I recommend going while you still have time to try it.

Next, they offer a spa, you talk about service with a smile. My wife and I had the relaxation package the first day for 3 hours. Absolutely out of this world. The spa is certainly a hidden gem and the price can not be beat. The ladies performing the services, were absolutely well-trained and very professional.

Then there is the little receptionist girl (local) who took our food orders, checked us into our rooms and, well she is an amazing concierge. We were looking for an outdoor adventure off the beaten path and she happily obliged. She contacted a local guide (Paul) who was amazing and took us deep into the mountains, we followed a mule caravan hauling materials to their home at least a 6 hour hike one way. We then ventured off trail to a gorgeous 100 ft + waterfall where we had lunch was our skin enjoyed the spray from the falls.

I can't express enough how the owners of this gorgeous relaxing hotel and spa customize the experience to each guest. We loved evening dinners sitting and chatting with the owners and staff. We felt at home.

Again, thank you to the owners and staff who are absolutely worth the visit again no matter where you are from!!!

Room Tip: Every room there is unique and worth the visit.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Danny C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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263 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (95)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 15, 2012

As I am still basking in the bliss of an amazing ceremony and reception, I find it only appropriate to share with you that this place rocks for getting hitched. These people care so much about the people that stay with them and that is exactly what you want when you are diving into such a special event. Peter and Gail do what they do straight from their heart and with a smile on their face. They are open, honest and detail oriented. We had the good fortune of being able to stay in one of their lovely rooms after our celebration. We loved the room! A bunch of my family stayed too and everyone was sleeping in style and in comfort. There is a room for every budget at Madre! Even if you just get the chance to stop in for a meal...do it! They have home made mayonaise and it is excellent with the fries.
From the food, to the location, to the room, to the service, to the convention center...this place is a gem in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

Room Tip: The lion room is super romantic.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Lula C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spokane, Washington
Level Contributor
212 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2012

After a wild van ride from Cuenca to Loja with 7 other passengers and 3 fighting cocks, our arrival at Madre Tierra was a welcome relief! We were greeted with warm temperatures, lush surroundings and the gentle sound of water cascading down from the small pool area. The staff immediately grabbed our bags and ushered us up and into the reception area where we warmly greeted by Aurita and shown to room number 15 - a nice big room with a wonderful veranda and views of the pool and surrounding mountains - gorgeous. Shortly afterwards, we were met by Peter and Gail, the owners, who immediately made us feel at home. For the 5 days that we were there, Peter and Gail went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed and were always available whenever we had questions about recreational opportunities, local restaurants or really anything to do with Ecuador.

Because this is an eco resort, the owners are dedicated to providing healthy food choices, minimizing the impact on the environment and providing local Ecuadorians with jobs. They have poured so much of themselves into this resort and you can tell that they have a passion to create a special environment for travelers. It's a work in progress and will only continue to get better.

Breakfast is included in your room price and along with the standard egg dishes, you can ask for oatmeal or granola or anything else that may be available. A woman working in the kitchen makes one of the best breads we've ever eaten in our lives. It's a secret recipe that she doesn't share and easily the best bread we had in all of Ecuador, considering that most Ecuadorian bread products tend to lean towards white Wonder bread. If you're like us and need fiber in your diet, eat this bread! The kitchen serves a small, but diverse enough menu of items that are all locally grown and homemade. A real treat was the coconut water straight from the coconut itself.

There is a spa located on the premises and if you're lucky enough to have Gardenia as your masseuse, she's worth every penny. Not only does she have good hands, but is intuitive about your body. Spa treatments here are at least 1/2 the price you'd pay in the US and seem to be a good value. I also had a pedicure for $10 that left my feet the smoothest they've ever been. The only downside to the pedicure is that there are no spa/pedicure chairs that you typically see in the salons back home -the big comfy chairs with a dedicated place to soak and drain the water. If you need back support, you might want to ask to sit in a chair instead of on the massage loungers.

We enjoyed our room which included a nice, comfortable queen mattress and an extra twin bed. There was plenty of drawer and closet storage for all of our belongings and hot water was available whenever we needed it. Wi-fi connection was very reliable. Because Vilcabamba is a rather rural location, everybody owns roosters and it should not surprise you to be awoken every morning by the sound of them. You may also hear donkeys, cows and goats! There are lots of different bird species here so be aware that at any time of the morning you could also hear them singing (or screaming). For those who are sensitive to sound, we recommend earplugs!

If you're looking for a smaller, beautiful, healthy place to stay in Southern Ecuador, we recommend Madre Tierra. You won't find friendlier staff or owners dedicated to making your stay enjoyable!

Room Tip: If you like bigger rooms, ask for a "suite."
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alverda3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2012

Madre Tierra feels like a return to the Mother. Lush,green,secluded and peaceful with spectacular views yet with quick,easy, and inexpensive access to the village of
Vilcabamba. The staff and management are warm and attentve while maintaining just the right amount of professionalism. The food was healthy, varied and very tasty. The massages were excellent with other services available. I'll be going back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2012

First- Please understand this is an ECO RESORT. If a few bugs or critters alarm you, best try another country. This place was fantastic! The owners are obviously working hard to make this place special. I had stayed at a few places in Equador, and this village and Spa made the entire trip. Rooms are spacious, clean and interesting. Grounds where very nice and covered with lush flora. The pool area is beautiful. Dont expect to do laps, but it is a wonderful place to relax and meditate. Also, if you dont mind the hike up the stairs...the top rooms have a spectacular view of Mandago, and offer some solitude. Ask about these first! The owners where very nice people and made me feel at home. I was impressed with the gardens and effort to grow their own vegetables and shoot for sustainability. Food was good and service on par for Equador standards. This is a great place to explore the valley of longevity. I will be back!
Book here with confidence!

Room Tip: If you can handle a long flight of stairs, request rooms 8 or 9 !!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank citruslion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuenca, Ecuador
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

This was my third time at Madre Tierra. I made the trip from Cuenca with my buddy for a quick overnight break. In spite of being a national holiday we were able to get a room that became available at the last minute so we were grateful. The room was quiet and simple, one that I had stayed in previously with my family in the past. They have some really great rooms with more amenities and views but were sold out this weekend. The night we stayed was a special dance night, open to the community and guests of the hotel. Because the taxis don't run very late it ended around 10pm which is a bit early for me, but we understood the problem for those living in Vilca. They had a live band that was here for the holiday. As I mentioned earlier, I've stayed there before and the staff and owners are like family now. In spite of their workload with a full house they made time to connect with us! This is a very unique property, the food is good, a truly relaxing atmosphere, and a place I like to go to when I need a rest. The owners are health minded, caring people who go out of their way to offer warm hospitality in a gorgeous South American setting.

Room Tip: The rooms above the conference center have a spectacular view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Musodude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eldueno, Owner at Madre Tierra Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Musodude. We appreciate the effort it takes to write a review and are glad you had a good experience here. We look forward to seeing you and the family next time. Peter, Gail and the family
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

Some do not know what to expect when going to a new and very different area. Madre Tierra was a warm, home away from home in a valley whose beauty rivals all. I like Madre Tierra because with the family owners on site, it has more of a community feel than a "hotel environment." Just glorious for the taste buds...the aromatically, wonderful coffee, fresh juice, fruit, eggs and fresh made bread for breakfast, then to all the wonderful organic choices on the menu for lunch and dinner. We enjoyed all the fresh vegetables as most other locations along this trip ( Guayaquil, Cuenca) were sadly lacking in that area.
The whole area is simply breath-taking and I kept finding new things all the time. The pool is lovely, though I can never imagine it being warm enough in Vilcabamba to actually get in!
Madre Tierra's spa area is worth a mint! I highly recommend a massage and clay bath, before dinner.
It was nice to be so close to town that we could casually stroll into town each morning. And a $1 can ride back if we walked around town too much. There are several restaurants/places to stay in Vilcabamba, but for my family, THIS is it. If it doesn't work for you, maybe a bigger city is better.

Room Tip: Just ask them and they will help you find the right room for your needs!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RevShar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eldueno, Owner at Madre Tierra Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Thank goodness for guests like you and your family RevShar! You make it worth all the effort. We are glad you are part of the extended family. Your recent stay with us was more fun than the first (which was fun too)! Blessings! Peter, Gail and the team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Madre Tierra Resort & Spa

Property: Madre Tierra Resort & Spa
Address: San Pedro de Vilcabamba | PO Box 1145, Vilcabamba 288, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Loja Province > Vilcabamba
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Vilcabamba
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Madre Tierra Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Madre Tierra Resort & Spa is your gateway to Hiking, Bird Watching, Restaurants and the beauty of the Loja Valley. Enjoy the absolute Peace & Tranquility, stunning views, our incredible Guest Services, Famous Full-Service Spa, Restaurant (Breakfast Included), Library, Pool, Gardens, our Travel Assistance and The Madre Tierra Experience. There are an incredible array of Activities to undertake in our beautiful Loja Valley and the Town of Vilcabamba. Madre Tierra is a short walk into Vilcabamba or a $1.25 Taxi ride. Buses pass along the main road every 15 minutes and will stop with the wave of a hand. The Main Bus Terminal is located just off the Town Square. This is an easy place to get around. Any questions - Please inquire at our Reception for whatever you might need to make your time with us the highlight of your travels. We are here to do what we can to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Madre Tierra Hotel

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