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“Wonderful family trip.”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We stayed for 3 nights and had 2 adults and our almost-8 year old daughter in our group. The lodge is secluded and the roads were not that easy to drive, but we came from San Jose (near airport) and stopped by Grecia, Zarcero, and Sarchi on the way, so it was more fun than grueling. Once we got there, we were warmly greeted by Ronald, who was our eco-conciege. He checked us in, showed us to our little house, and even asked them to hold lunch for us (we got there late in the afternoon). The grounds and buildings are understated and rustic, but elegant and sophisticated in design. This is perfect for being a responsible tourist and not feeling too guilty about trampling down a cloud forest to build a resort, and yet, I didn't feel any sacrifice in comfort or aesthetic appeal. My husand is less apt to sacrifice comfort on a vacation, and was wary of eco-tourism (he thought he might be showering with zero-water pressure in an outdoor structure :), but he absolutely loved it too. The food was impeccably prepared and most impressively, much of it was grown organically on the grounds or made from scratch in the kitchen on-site. There are many options for both vegetarian and meat-eating guests.Our servers were very educated and took obvious pride in the food and doing their jobs well. The massages at the spa my husband and I got were wonderful, especially after we did the rainforest hike and cultural tour that day. The hike to all 3 waterfalls was lovely and not hard for our 8 year old. On the cultural tour, making tortillas at Dona Olga's was great and her whole family was so warm and welcoming! Visiting Martin's orchid garden was enchanting as well. We also did the zip-lining and horse-back riding at Poco Azul (45 minute drive by truck) and while we loved the zip-lining, I think the horses were better-groomed and maybe next time, I would have done the riding right here at the lodge...
The best part of our experience was all the little touches: the child-sized rocker they put on our porch, getting a pot of hot cocoa and chamomile tea with warm-from-the-oven cookies or homemade focaccia sandwiches made with the local soft cheese every afternoon (and eating it in our own private hot tub), getting to plant a tree with my daughter, and wandering down to the stable to be invited in to pet the horses and hang out. EVERYONE is just SO nice...There are less than 20 little houses and the guests pretty much nod and smile at each other and it's a great feeling. The price is not cheap, but we got a good package via Luxury Link, and it was definitely worth every penny :)

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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Thank especialk
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 reviewResponded September 19, 2012

Wow! Thank you for such a thorough and charming account of your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. It was a true pleasure to host your family and I am thrilled to learn that you had many chances to live local culture. Martin, Dona Olga and her family embody Costa Rica’s warmth and we are very fortunate to have a chance to share their hospitality with our guests. Our staff’s signature surprises never cease to amaze me. I can just picture the little rocking chair on the deck. Thanks for acknowledging their thoughtful details. Warmest regards to you and your family!

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473 - 479 of 723 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2012

This was my fourth time here and I have to say it was as special as always. Beautiful rooms in an amazing setting and great service.

Food in general can be improved specially knowing there are no other good options around. Our rate only included breakfast (I understand regular rates included the whole food and beverage package) and we did feel it was overpriced (and nothing really spectacular).

Overall a great experience I definitely recommend. A place worth visiting!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Maria Jose C
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 reviewResponded September 3, 2012

Dear Maria Jose,

Thank you for your continued friendship. We value feedback as the best tool to keep a pulse on our services. Your opinion as a member of Costa Rica's hospitality industry is especially welcome and valuable. Thank you for your fourth visit and thank you for underscoring our views and amazing service. As you note, we are transitioning from a rate-per-person, meal-inclusive pricing system to a per-room, breakfast-inclusive system. Please feel free to contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com to provide more specific feedback regarding your experience with our food & beverage options. Greetings to your colleagues at Cayuga Hospitality.

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Reviewed August 27, 2012

This is a real retreat in the cloud forest with the sound of a fast flowing mountain stream just a few yards away from our timber log cabin. This hotel has a 4 leaf green conservation award and is a great example of how Costa Rica's eco tourism is flourishing. Our lodge had a kingsize bed with Egyptian cotton and a panoramic window through which to gaze at the lush jungle vegetation from the comfort of a snuggly duvet. The complimentary tree planting ceremony and two hour horse riding trek with our eco-concierge Ronald Jimenez were the highlights. The Rainforest Massage at the Esencia Spa in the amazing Conical Room was another treat and the restaurant, bar and service were all fabulous. If you have the chance you really need to experience this place.

Room Tip: Ask for lodge 16 which is the closest to the main building where the bar and restaurant are based. A...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank gmppr_12
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 reviewResponded September 4, 2012

Saludos! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. It was a pleasure to have a chance to be your hosts in Costa Rica. Ronald is an amazing Eco-Concierge and I am thrilled to learn that you enjoyed the horseback riding adventure. Just a couple of updates: our lodging options are actually made of Plycem, a pressed cement board-like material that can resemble wood siding but is a lot more sustainable. And we currently have a 5 leaf eco-rating by Costa Rica's CST program (Certification of Sustainable Tourism). We certainly hope to have a chance to see you again very soon. :)

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Reviewed August 25, 2012

The service? Amazing. They are all really professional people, from the guides to the waiters to the reception people. Not even one bad or even medium spot.

The food at the restaurant? Superb. Everything organic, everything very well cooked.

The rooms? Great! We didn't spend a lot of time in the rooms but everything there was really nice, tasteful, comfy...

The environment? Really spectacular. It is a bit far away from any other city, but that makes the experience even better.

I will return for sure, lots of things to see and to do there.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Borja 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 reviewResponded August 27, 2012

Muchisimas gracias for your thorough, eloquent review. It was a true honor and pleasure to have a chance to be your hosts. Thank you for graciously embracing Costa Rica and our little town of Bajos del Toro. I am delighted to read that we fully succeeded in highlighting your visit with excellent dining, full comfort, and spectacular scenery.

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Reviewed July 31, 2012

We were seriously impressed by the beauty surrounding this place. Our private cabin was super cool, private, and had amazing views. The staff is excellent and helpful yet hands-off. The property is amazing and the hotel seems self-sustaining with organic farm. I definitely recommend hiking to the 3 waterfalls on the property. Oh, be warned, you'll need a sturdy car getting there and a little patience for getting lost. The road into the property from the airport is rocky and the place is pretty much remote. Which is kinda part of the charm.

Room Tip: All the cabins seemed pretty excellent. We had #11 which was nice because it was the highest up and...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jimmydanol
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 reviewResponded August 19, 2012

Saludos Jimmy! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Highlighting our views, helpful staff, and sustainability is much appreciated and your recommendation about hiking to the three waterfalls is right on the mark! Our location in Bajos del Toro is certainly secluded and embedded in pristine nature. Access roads are asphalted and take you through several picturesque small Costa Rican towns to catch a glimpse of our country’s rural life. Of the 75-90 minutes it takes to arrive from the airport (SJO), the last 15 are on a gravel path. We highly recommend contacting our property for a detailed driving map and the very latest updates regarding weather and road conditions. Warmest regards!

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Reviewed July 29, 2012

We had spent 9 days traveling around Costa Rica and decided to "relax" for the last three days of our trip. I was a little hesitant that our family was going to get bored being out in the middle of no where. Nothing could be further from the truth. From the moment we arrived we felt like we could stay forever. The staff was so warm and welcoming. We wish we would have stayed longer -- and next time we visit we will. There is a sense of calm, peace and beauty that you can't seem to get enough of. We took advantage of the cultural tour which was one of the highlights of our trip. They also arranged a coffee tour for us which was outstanding. The casita was beautiful. We could have spent a week on the porch rocking in rocking chairs, reading and enjoying the wildlife around us. It was a much easier drive from San Jose than I
was led to believe, and besides it was a beautiful drive. We enjoyed the hiking trails on the property and wish we had more time to explore further (another reason we needed to stay longer). We took advantage of the spa too. We originally set aside one afternoon for spa treatments but our massages were so fantastic and fairly priced that we went back again. One of the best massages I've ever had. We can't wait to go back. It was the highlight of our trip and a wonderful way to end our time in Costa Rica.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Kathleen F
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 reviewResponded August 19, 2012

Thanks Kathleen! I loved your thoughtful description of the El Silencio experience… a peaceful immersion in nature to elicit wellness, a sense of calm, and full contact with nature. We are very proud of our Esencia Spa and quite thankful for the amazing treatments that Director Isel and her staff have crafted. Special thanks for acknowledging their amazing success!

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Reviewed July 17, 2012

We were INTEROGATED at the gate and again at the restaurant about whom had taken our reservation. I didn't know the name (I mean who really gets the name of a reservationist?), but they were not expecting us and they would not show us to a table unless we gave the name, even though the restaurant was completely empty. Our group of five experienced international travelers had rented a lovely contemporary home in nearby Bajos del Toro, and wanted a nice dinner. I called El Silencio, and in Spanish made reservations for dinner, and spelled my name while the very nice woman on the phone wrote it down, letter by letter. Upon arrival we explained this, in Spanish and in English, and they did not believe us, demanded the woman's name (which we did not have). We pointed out there was plently of room to seat us because the restaurant was empty. The guy went back to demanding the name of the person who gave us reservations. Fearing they simply had no fresh food, and knowing dinner would very uncomfortable, we turned to leave, and only then did he offer us a table. But by that time, it was too late. We took our hard-earned dollars and made due with the snacks we had in the very nice kitchen of our vacation rental. And we are not a scruffy group - a principal, two lawyers, a published artist, a 4.0 GPA college student -- and all of us had dressed for a nice dinner. Seemed as tho this place had never heard of "hospitality."

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank Brooke O
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 reviewResponded August 13, 2012

Dear Kristin. I certainly regret that you were unable to experience El Silencio Lodge as either a guest or a dining visitor. Your experience due to a misunderstanding with your dinner reservation as a non-guest was regrettably unfortunate. Our staff is genuinely friendly, warm, and welcoming as attested by the scores of guests who enthusiastically celebrate their commitment and hospitality. To avoid a similar situation, we have updated our website, kindly requesting day visitors to secure dining reservations directly with our on-site staff. Had there not been a communication breakdown, your arrival would have been fully expected and the initial confusion would have been avoided. Thank you for helping us improve our services.

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Additional Information about 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: $332 - $572 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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