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“Fantastic stay”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Stratford upon Avon
1 review
“Fantastic stay”
Reviewed April 13, 2012

We stayed at El Silencio Lodge for 2 nights 4th of April. It is an amazing place. Such attention to detail. The room was stunning - great views, comfy bed and our own outdoor jacuzzi! The food was really good and interesting. All local food and no beef on the menu!
The trails around the lodge were well kept and varied. I wish we could have stayed longer. We could not fault the lodge..

Room Tip: Our room was number 7. Not overlooked at all!!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Hazel701
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, April 24, 2012
We truly appreciate your comments on this forum. Thank you very much for sharing a glimpse of your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. We certainly hope to have another chance to be your hosts in the very near future. Gracias, gracias, gracias!
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Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2012

El Silencio was our first hotel on our 2-week trip to Costa Rica. We were feeling a little sick before our departure to Costa Rica so this was a great place to relax and recuperate. We arrived late in the evening (Don't try driving here in the dark - the fog in the mountains and the roads can be quite scary!) and were greeted by Ronald, our eco-concierge. Check-in was quick and our room had been turned down already for the night - with the awesome hot water bottles under the covers!

We only spent two days at the resort which I feel is more than enough if you are not doing any offsite activities. We did the hike to the waterfalls which is quite easy although we didn't see any wildlife. The waterfalls are beautiful! We had great weather although it can be quite unpredictable.

The food and service was EXCELLENT! You will not go hungry! The staff are very friendly and were the same familiar faces the whole time which is comforting.

The natural fireplace in the lobby is great as are the complimentary blankets on the lounge chairs.

Everything is simple and not over-the-top luxury but very comfortable and peaceful. The outdoor hot tub was a wonderful way to unwind in the evening. The bed had a wonderful view out the large sliding doors to the valley and the mountains outside. Sitting on the porch on the rocking chairs is a great way to enjoy the views and the rolling clouds that come through the valley.

I would recommend this hotel as a great place to start or end your trip to Costa Rica!

Enjoy!

Room Tip: We were in room 2 which is higher up on the mountain with better views of the valley and surrounding...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank banananas2000
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, April 24, 2012
Thank you for giving us a chance to be your first hosts while in Costa Rica! I am glad that your relaxing stay gave you a chance to fully charge your batteries before exploring the rest of our beautiful country. As you point out, evening arrivals to El Silencio Lodge & Spa are discouraged due to our secluded location and possibility of dense nighttime fog.

Your vivid description of the view from the porch of our Suites is right on the mark. Enjoying the rolling clouds is uniquely mesmerizing and soothing! We certainly hope to have chance to be your hosts again. Perhaps next time you could include a visit to our sister beach property, Hotel Punta Islita! Warm regards.
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New Jersey
Level Contributor
201 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2012

Unlike some ecolodges we have stayed at, El Silencio manages a nice balance in having the rooms far enough apart so that you have a sense of privacy without having a long trek between the rooms and the main lodge (although some reviewers have found their walk to be long, we've been to other ecolodges in which the distances were much greater and more demanding). The rooms were spacious and comfortable, though lighting could have been better. Like most of the other reviewers we thought the meals were excellent and that the chef was truly masterful. We'd decided before arriving at the lodge that we would not take the off-site excursions offered because we felt they they were overpriced and thus we were looking forward to spending time on the hiking trails. We were especially pleased to have Andrey as our eco-concierge because he shared our deep interest in bird-watching (in fact he prepared the Lodge's bird list). He lives quite a way from the Lodge but came in extra early on two mornings to take us on birding tours. Unfortunately, those tours never materialized because of torrential downpours during which you would not want to be outside at all, not to mention trying to spot birds (and this was during the dry season!). We have been in cloud forests before so we were prepared for some rain, but not of this magnitude and duration. Clearly the Lodge cannot control the weather. However, if you were not there for spa treatments (and we were not), you're pretty much confined to your room during such weather. Undoubtedly our rating of the property would have been higher if the weather were more cooperative. However, it's hard for us to feel enthusiastic about this part of the trip, especially considering the high cost of staying at the Lodge. It's a risk you take in such climates; you have to decide for yourself whether you're prepared to take that risk.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 16. We had reservations about privacy and noise because it was the closest room t...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank adanacsim
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, April 9, 2012
Balancing upscale comfort and privacy with sustainability is our clear mandate and I truly appreciate your gracious nod to our layout, design, our chef’s masterful creations, and our Eco-Concierges’ above-and-beyond dedication. Our off-site excursions are offered by a selection of top-notch providers to emphasize the quality and safety of the experience.

It is certainly regretful that your stay coincided with a period of inclement weather. As you kindly acknowledge, this is entirely out of our control. Our location is a transition point between Costa Rica’s caribbean and pacific weather patterns and we are influenced by both. Sometimes we have sun during the traditional rainy season, sometimes we have rain during the traditional dry season. This usually entails a smattering of sun, drizzle, fog, wind, rain, blue skies, and other signature elements of nature’s serendipitous character. In those instances where rain is predominant, our staff takes special care to offer extra pampering to compensate. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you schedule a return visit. Warmest regards, Maria
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Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 25, 2012

Amazing! We were completely cared for in this place of pure serenity. The staff were wonderful and very informative, the food was healthy and delicious, our room was spacious and comfy (enormous picture windows framing the exquisite views, hot water bottles were waiting for us under our silky sheets at night, mattress was PERFECT, extra space heaters were brought in on request, plus a spring-fed jacuzzi!), the property was both tranquil and breathtaking, the village nearby friendly and very down to earth.

Don't miss out on the skillful spa services there - the spa director, Isel, is a talented, intelligent physical therapist and esthetician. She has taken care to cultivate a well-versed staff - most of the massage therapists are also physical therapists so they really know what they are doing, which was essential for us when we arrived 9 days into our trek, exhausted from bumpy mountain roads and achy from our adventures. We especially loved the Volcanic Mud Massage - the fresh clay they used acted as an exfoliating scrub and emollient base to help work every last kink out of our knotted bodies, and indulging in a piping hot outdoor shower after was the best! We only wished there was also a yoga teacher/fitness instructor - they have a gorgeous yoga deck that went unused during our stay. They offered us free reign to do our sun salutations on our own, but it would have been nice to have a selection of deeper classes available.

Our package through Luxury Link was an astonishing deal - all meals, 2 adventures (ziplining and whitewater rafting), 2 tours (the local village of Bajos del Toro Amarillo and the trails on the property leading to 3 enchanting waterfalls) all for about $160 per person, per night. We opted to have El Silencio send a driver to pick us up from our hotel in San Jose, which was exactly the right decision as the way there is a little circuitous, with definitely challenging terrain, and there are no street signs in Costa Rica. It was worth every penny. Our driver, Jimmy Gomez, was awesome! He was so knowledgeable, genuinely friendly, and he even took us to a shopping mall on our way up so we could replace my hiking boots which had blown out in the hills outside Dominical, and my boyfriend's broken sunglasses. He had iced beverages waiting for us in the van, was always ready with thoughtful insight, and on our drive back to San Jose, he showed us around the village of Sarchi so we could take in some of the local culture and crafts. He is a huge asset to the El Silencio team!

I can't wait to return here - it was exactly what we needed. El Silencio is the perfect place to decompress, reconnect and enjoy the lush beauty of la pura vida!

Hint: Do pack a sweater, long sleeved layering shirts, long pants and warm socks, in addition to a waterproof windbreaker and sturdy shoes - cloud forest weather ranges from 40-80 degrees, can be quite moist even in the "dry" season, and some of the cabins require a little hike to get to - plus you'll definitely want to take advantage of the excellent trails on site. Also - the kitchen staff was very accommodating, allowing us to modify certain dishes to our taste, serving lunch items at dinner, even making me a little birthday cake to help us celebrate in style. Definitely take advantage of the afternoon hot chocolate and tea service!

PROS: Everything! Everyone!
CONS: Rooms are chilly, there was no yoga teacher available during our stay.

Room Tip: There is no such thing as a bad room at El Silencio - each of the 15 cabins is perfectly placed to a...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tudorvision
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, April 9, 2012
Our heartfelt thanks for taking the time to share such a thorough review of El Silencio Lodge & Spa.

I can personally attest that your comments about Isel, our Esencia Spa Director are right on the mark. She has truly crafted a very special wellness sanctuary.

I am delighted that you and your boyfriend had an opportunity to unwind and relax. I think that ending a Costa Rica vacation at El Silencio gives you a unique opportunity to completely relax after extreme adventures, enjoy revitalizing organic meals, and soothe body and spirit in preparation for a return to “normal life”.

Thank you for acknowledging Jimmy, one of our private transportation providers. We have selected the best in terms of personality, knowledgeability, dedication to personalized service, and safety record.

We certainly hope to have a chance to see you again very soon. Thank you for choosing Costa Rica and thank you for selecting El Silencio Lodge & Spa!
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Lino Lakes, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2012

We were at El Silencio for 2 nights after being on the beach near Manuel Antonio National Park for 5 days. It was fabulous! First time to Costa Rica--and we will go back. Food was phenomenal, the people were friendly, welcoming, and so very knowledgeable about their country, the flora and fauna, and everything. The only thing I could complain about were Costa Rican roads--narrow and winding--but we had a great driver, so that is even small.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy T
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, April 9, 2012
Saludos and thank you for your enthusiastic review of El Silencio Lodge & Spa and Costa Rica as a destination. We are honored to have a chance to showcase our country’s tropical cloud forest and warm hospitality. Complementing our guests’ enjoyment of traditional fun and sun at Costa Rica’s gorgeous beaches, El Silencio Lodge & Spa offers a chance to relax, unwind, and pamper the body and soul with excellent organic meals, unsurpassed spa experiences, and rugged mountain adventures. We look forward to your return!
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NYC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2012

While El Silencio Lodge (ELS) is luxurious and expensive, it is a value. I wish I could go on a regular basis, but alas . . . one day.

ESL is incredibly beautiful without being over-the-top. The 500+ acres of property are spectacular. It's in the midst of primary and secondary rain forests, clouds that roll in and out over the hills and mountains, waterfalls and valleys: You'll spend quite a bit of time on the porch rocking in the chair, watching the peaks of the mountains hide behind the mist and the humming birds buzz about, wondering how you're going to manage to not work in an office.

The hikes are well maintained but does not interfere with the natural surroundings. While I didn't have time or look into any challenging hikes, the one that ends at the waterfall is very manageable for the novice hiker and moderately fit. The on-site gardens, chicken coop and fishery are charming and delicious (much of it winds up on your plate). Chef Marcella's food is deliciously traditional with her own twist and not heavy (except for the pasta con pollo in bechamel). Her husband is also one of wonderful servers in the dining room.

The cabins are so efficiently and beautifully designed that if it were offered as a prefab house I'd order one (please send me the schematics!). While the hot tub does take two hours to heat up as noted by the other reviewers, it's never a problem since you just rev it up when your out for lunch or dinner.

Make sure you visit the spa and yoga deck even if you don't book a treatment - I hope El Silencio hosts a yoga retreat one day (soon). Also try the tea they serve in the spa, I forgot the name of it, but if anyone out there knows, please contact me.

Other than the beautiful space and natural surroundings, fantastic food, and warm staff, please make sure you visit the town of Boro del Toro and take a horse back ride to the the valley where you'll get to see dairy and pig farms. The view from the valley was the most beautiful I experienced in my entire trip in Costa Rica. The homes are also super charming as well as the people. Go.

Room Tip: If you have issues with your knees or just don't want to climb, ask for a cabin that's close...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank imustfindausername
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, March 23, 2012
I sincerely enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for offering such a fresh perspective. It certainly sounds like you were able to fully embrace the uniquely mesmerizing aspects of our surrounding nature and the easy-going friendliness of our team. El Silencio definitely emphasizes upscale comfort and aims to please with an outstanding value. Thank you for letting us know that we are succeeding!

I will gladly relay your comments to Marcela and her husband, Alonso. In terms of the tea that is offered to greet guests at our Spa is blended by Tea Land, a Costa Rica based company. I just looked at their site and it doesn’t look like they ship abroad. I can let you know that the blend features Rooibos, blueberry, and yogurt! It certainly is unique and delicious.

Please do visit our website or keep up with us on Facebook for ongoing specials and future Yoga retreats. We have held some in the past and we are always open to scheduling special events upon request. Warmest regards.
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US
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2012

What a place! I can't say enough about our wonderful time at this place.

We flew into San Jose, CR and were met by Jimmy Gomez, who is a wonderful representative for both El Silencio and Costa Rica in general. He is truly a genuinely happy person and was chock-full of information that he shared along our 1.5 hour drive to the hotel. It was a great beginning to our trip.

On arrival to the hotel, we were greeted so warmly, and offered lunch after our travels. Our bags were taken to our suite in the interim. The suite was perfect: very simply done, but still luxurious. Beautiful wooden flooring, sliding glass doors to view the beautiful outdoors (and ever-changing weather!), a nice porch with rocking chairs, an outdoor hot-tub... could not ask for more. At night the temperature dropped and it was a nice touch to have the room heater as well as the hot water bottles in the foot of the bed, provided as part of the turn-down service!
I can't say enough about the staff. Every single one of them were friendly and warm and went out of their way to help in any possible way. When we travel, we go to nice places, so our expectations are high... and they met every one of them. We were immediately made to feel at home in this beautiful place.
We had gotten a package through luxury link and as a result we had an option of a few 'adventures'. We went zip-lining (great fun, even if it was a little scary... but we felt safe!) and white water rafting. The company that runs these adventures were first rate.
Our eco-concierge, Venicio, was wonderful in every way, making sure that everything was going well and that all our needs were met. He was also a wonderful tour guide, both on the guided hike to the waterfalls, and on the cultural tour, which was a very unique way to see how the people of the town live. It was a viewpoint one does not usually get to see: a glimpse into the day to day life of the people. And such warm and nice people they are!

The food was spectacular, we really enjoyed every meal we had there. While done simply, it was top notch with great attention to being cooked perfectly, and presented beautifully. Even though there is a standard menu, there is always a special at dinner so there is variety in choices even if you are staying there for several days. The servers all work together as a team and do a great job. We are wine drinkers, and found the wine list to be very good, both by the bottle and by the glass.

This place is definitely off the beaten path, but worth the drive to get there, in every way. As others have said, the setting is beautiful and you really have a sense of communing with nature as you walk the nature paths on the property. It has a calming and peaceful presence and you can immediately unwind from the life you left at home.

Frankly ('not that there's anything wrong with that!') I am always amazed at how tied to
i-phones and computers people are. This is such a beautiful setting it is hard to imagine how one might feel a pull to look at a computer rather than take a walk in the fresh air. [ok perhaps i'm old fashioned! When I vacation, I like to leave all that behind.] Still, that said, there are accommodations for those with that need, and although there are no TVs in the room, there is a big screen in a common area (I never saw anyone in there, tho!) and also computer access if the need should arise.
This was a beautiful, special place that we look forward to returning to. This trip was a surprise destination for my husband's birthday and he was thoroughly enchanted from beginning to end!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brie30
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, March 23, 2012
Wow! Thank you so much for your candid enthusiasm about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Your words mean a lot to us because we do see ourselves as “Costa Rica Ambassadors” and certainly want to inspire our guests to fall in love with our country. In doing so we have a mandate to offer top-notch services at the property and engage only first-rate providers when it comes to transportation, external guides, and third-party eco-adventures. Thank you so much for noting their professionalism. We look forward to your return to Costa Rica and hopefully to El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Muchos saludos!
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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Property: El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Address: 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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