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“Almost Heaven”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Almost Heaven”
Reviewed April 26, 2011

This small hillside lodge has just about everything going for it. The rooms, each individual cabins, are huge, wonderfully furnished, private, and have beautiful views. The food is very good and the staff could not be friendlier or more accomodating. The nature trail through the grounds is beautiful and the setting itself is grand.

All of that being said, there are just a few things that could improve this property. First, each cabin has a private hot tub -- wonderful, except that you have to turn it on 2 - 3 hours before using because, in the interest of being eco-friendly, the heating mechanism should not be kept on. I get it, really I do, but if you've been on a long hike, or out for a day of rafting or ziplining, you really don't want to wait three hours for the hot tub.

Second, the hotel would benefit greatly from a central swimming pool with some lounge chairs around it -- it doesn't have to be big and splashy, but with so few guests at any one time, it would be nice to have someplace outside to sit and read, sip a drink, and get to know the hotel's other guests.

Finally, one thing that visitors should know is that this property is really in the middle of nowhere, close to nothing. Although the property is quite large, there is only one real hiking trail. Typical Costa Rican activities such as horseback riding, ziplining, and rafting are far away and done at an adventure center that, while nice, is lacking the same grace and superior quality that the lodge provides.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank ShoshTrvls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, June 14, 2011
We always enjoy reading about our friends' experiences at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, often finding great suggestions that help us guide our policies and ever improve our services. I think asking our visitors if they would like to have the outdoor private whirlpool pre-heated for use after hiking or a day tour is a reasonable approach to balance environmental awareness and guest comfort. Thank you for commending El Silencio Lodge & Spa's grace and superior quality. We really take pride in the fact that our facilities are among the finest in the country. Eco-adventures offered as day and half-day trips entail a dose of rugged charm, but are oodles of fun. Warmest regards!
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
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Santa Maria, California
Level 6 Contributor
224 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed April 22, 2011

The lodge is east of Zarcero, high in the cloud forest near Poas Volcano National Park. We arrived near sundown and the mist and stillness set a mood for the rest of the stay. We were traveling in a group of about 30 and were quickly led to our cabins overlooking the main lodge. By then it was dark and the fireflies were twinkling in the nearby bushes and trees. Meals were gourmet and supplemented from a variety of vegetables from their garden. The staff was cordial and always told us to “treat the lodge and surroundings as your home”. The lodge is totally self-contained and although the small town of Bajos del Toro provided a lively walk to three cantinas, there was not much else in the way of infrastructure. My wife’s visit to the Spa left her totally relaxed from the ride from San Jose. We enjoyed the hike to the three waterfalls on the property and our group got to plant a small grove of Damas trees to commemorate our stay. The staff was attentive, friendly and knowledgeable.

  • Stayed April 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank BnThrDnThat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, June 14, 2011
It was our pleasure to have a chance to be your hosts. Costa Rica truly offers a magical diversity of landscapes and picturesque rural communities. I am certainly glad that you had an opportunity to enjoy Zarcero and its marvelous topiary garden, our waterfalls, and even the fireflies' whimsical light show. Saludos!
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

This is honestly the most amazing hotel in the entire world and everyone should experience it at some point in their lives. The staff was beyond incredible. They cater to your every need. Each cabin is pristine with your own personal hot tub. All your food is included which makes the value of the place great. We did zip lining and rafting also set up by the hotel which were both fantastic. You would be silly not to go to this place!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kschmidt11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, June 14, 2011
Thank you so much for your heartfelt enthusiasm! Glad to hear that you fully enjoyed our staff's hospitality. I will relay your comments to Chef Marcela. We certainly look forward to a return visit. Pura Vida!
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Danville, Ca.
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2011

Beautiful remote setting, super healthy & delicious food, warm & wonderful people! Absolute relaxation! There is not much to do, but relax and take in the beautiful grounds. The rooms are very comfortable, and the bed is one of the best we have ever slept on. Great linens too!!! I would suggest taking a transfer to hotel....very hard to find if you are unfamiliar with the area. Ronald is wonderful and will take you on a hike up to a magnificent waterfall, and tell you about the area. The best brownies I have ever had, and Marcella (the chef) even gave me the recipe. If you wish to be a little more active and adventurous, the hotel will arrange day trips for you. I would recommend the Waterfall repelling at Cattaratta del Toro...about 20 minutes from hotel. Fabulous!!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank island2123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, June 14, 2011
Muchas gracias! We are always thrilled to learn that our friends have fully enjoyed the restorative energy of our surrounding forest. Plus, it is always fun to hear when some of our features make our guests' "best ever" list. Chef Marcela's brownies are really outstanding. She will be delighted to hear about your comments. Warmest regards.
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Westhoughton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2011

Everything was just perfect. All the staff were great, the food were excellent, the rooms were brilliant. Wish all hotels were like this.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kennethhopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, June 14, 2011
Greetings! Thank you so much for taking the time to voice your enthusiasm about our staff, dining options, and facilities. We certainly hope to showcase the best of Costa Rica's natural treasures and hospitality. Many smiles!
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Eugene, Oregon
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2011

As part of a package, my husband and I spent the first three nights of our honeymoon at El Silencio Lodge. I cannot express in words how wonderful this place is! (especially in comparison to her sister hotel Punta Islita, where we spent three mediocre days following our stay here - if it wasn't for El Silencio, our honeymoon would've been ruined)

-Andrey the general manager is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, approachable, and does an amazing job at managing the property.
-Andrea, our eco-concierge was a smiley, bubbly, knowledgeable person who took care of our every need! When you book, ask if she can be assigned to you as an eco-concierge...she is great.
-The rooms are really nice and cozy...yes it is annoying to always be turning on your fireplace, but if that's the only inconvenience, I'll take it. We ended up turning it on at night before bed and not needing it after it turned off.
-The jacuzzis are amazing! We found that it took about 2.5-3 hours for the jacuzzi to get nice and hot.
-The service in the restaurant is amazing too. I was sick one night and could not come down for dinner. My husband went down and talked to Martin and asked if he could order a few things and wait in the restaurant to bring it back up. Martin explained that they did not do room service, but since they were not busy, he could do this for us. He shooed my husband back to the room and personally brought up soup and fruit for us. We really appreciated it and were grateful to be taken care of.
-Because I was not feeling well, we were not able to go on our eco-adventures that we had already paid for (in the package). We asked if we would be able to substitute it for a spa treatment and they were able to accommodate us. WOW, was that a great decision! The spa area is amazing, the changing rooms are designed well and the amenities are thoughtfully provided, and the therapists are really, really, really, really, really GOOD. It was probably the best massage that either my husband or I, have ever had. (And I've had a LOT of massages). The therapists are professional and extremely knowledgeable - my therapist worked out many a knot in my back.

Overall, this is an amazing place. I am surprised that it's not more on the radar -- everything about it is high quality and absolutely wonderful. I would recommend this to ANYONE in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank LMH2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, January 25, 2011
Thank you so much for your enthusiastic compliments! We so proud of our staff! They welcome guests in heartfelt friendship to best showcase Costa Rica's hospitality.

Please do visit soon! We would love to prepare a wonderful anniversary celebration! Please feel free to contact me at outreach@elsilenciolodge.com

I would also love to hear more details about your experience at Hotel Punta Islita.
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Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2011

We took the road out of Zarcera and at one point even with a GPS we turned around thinking we must be going the wrong way. After a few minutes of re-orientation we pressed on and were glad we did. Entering the gate the attendant was expecting us. At the lodge mainhouse we were greated by the concierge and asked if we wanted lunch or to check in our cottages/cabins. The mainhouse was beautiful yet casual with attention to detail. You want to curl up into one of the comfortable chairs with the provided plush blanket in front of one of the fireplaces. The service during our stay was outstanding. Our waiter most of the trip was Martin and he was personal and professional with an understanding of the menu and local cuisine. We are pretty critical of food because we have great restaurants at home, but the food at El Silencio exceeded our expectations. The chef came out of the kitchen and talked with us at our table at dinner while dining beside the wood burning fire. She made all the meal selections flavorful and healthy. The cabins were clean and roomy. The gas fireplace was a great addition during the cool evenings. We appreciated the wonderful modern bathroom for its "high end" features and spaciouness. The heated outdoor jacuzzi also added to the stay. What a treat to wake up in luxury while watching humming birds through the glass doors while lying in bed! Lastly the trails and waterfalls were beautiful and worth the hike! We did not visit the spa but can only imagine that it would be impressive. Rusticly luxurious (?) describes El Silencio. And by the way it is called El Silencio for a reason. Very peaceful and serene on the banks of a mountain stream. We did not want to leave and will return and recommend to friends and family.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank jfolk77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, January 25, 2011
Our goal is to pamper our guests with truly remarkable experiences. I am certainly thrilled that we were able to frame our beautiful, relaxing setting with superb attention to detail and upscale services. We are very proud of our top-notch staff!

We would love to host you again! Please feel free to contact me at outreach@elsilenciolodge.com

Cheers!
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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Property: El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Address: El Silencio Lodge, Bajos del Toro 21203, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bajos del Toro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — El Silencio Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a unique luxury cloud forest hotel set in Costa Rica's pristine Bajos del Toro region. Flanked by two national parks, this all-suite and private villa hotel combines upscale comforts with an intense natural immersion experience. Outstanding features include farm-to-table cuisine, a wellness spa, an adventure park, and authentic cultural experiences. Zip-lining, rappelling, horseback riding, waterfall hiking, oxcart painting, Tico cooking lessons and more can be enjoyed by couples and families (minimum age: 8). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Silencio Hotel Bajos Del Toro
El Silencio Lodge & Spa Costa Rica/Bajos Del Toro

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