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“luxury in the wilderness”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“luxury in the wilderness”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

I can't say enough about how great our experience was. The property was beautiful and the details made this a luxury experience (bathrobes, large towels, snacks in the room, candies in the room upon arrival, hot water bottle placed at the foot of the bed to keep your feet warm during evening turn down service). I travel a lot for business and stay at nice properties but have never found a bed more comfortable than the one at El Silencio. Luxury linens. The outdoor hot tub was a treat. The food was excellent and the staff were very friendly and went out of their way to make sure you had the best service. Very relaxing and beautiful location. The spa is a must experience, well worth the price. You can use the outdoor shower if you chose. We stayed at the sister property last year-Hotel Punta Islita. We had the same great experience there.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank beachlover041
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, December 7, 2012
Thank you for sampling both of Grupo Islita's properties in Costa Rica. At El Silencio Lodge & Spa and Hotel Punta Islita we take pride in showcasing the best examples of our country's warm hospitality and happy living mantra. I am delighted to learn that you fully enjoyed both adventures and certainly hope to see you again in the very near future. Warm wishes!
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (168)
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English first
New Orleans, Louisiana
1 review
Reviewed November 26, 2012

We stayed at El Silencio during our 2 week honeymoon and it could not have been more perfect. From the initial contact, to the bungalows, to the hikes and tours, to the guides, to the spa to the food all the way to every aspect of the service. The employees were kind, efficient, quick to say yes to any request you have and you feel they genuinely love their job and are proud of the hotel. Two highlights of our trip actually came from our stay at El Silencio. One of the guides took took us to his neighbor's house from breakfast and showed us how to make tortillas and we were able to pick our own vegetables from the organic garden and get our own trout from the pond, deliver it to the chef and he used the ingredients to prepare lunch of our choosing. Additionally, the location is breathtaking and I could have stayed all week. We have been lucky enough to travel many parts of Costa Rica and I would recommend El Silencio to anyone and everyone and would return in a heartbeat. I wouldn't change a thing about our experience at El Silencio Lodge...it is truly one's of life's special treats and an experience everyone should have the opportunity to experience.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Erika B
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, December 7, 2012
Our most sincere and enthusiastic thanks for letting us stage special moments for your honeymoon. I am thrilled to learn that you fully embraced opportunities to no only enjoy our facilities but to experience authentic Costa Rica and the warmth of our neighbors. Our best wishes and heartfelt congratulations on your wedding!
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Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed November 23, 2012

After the hustle and bustle of getting married this is exactly what we needed. First, it is a very quiet and relaxing place. We had a bungalow next to a stream and with views of the surrounding mountains and rainforest with great privacy. The nights were cool and the daytime temps pleasant. The food at the restaurant was very good (although I ordered a 'Sambucca' from the bar and it was definitely a different brand - nasty). There are no tourist traps, rowdy conference groups or over commercialization in this area.

We hiked to the amazing waterfall, enjoyed the jacuzzi on the porch with some wine from the bar (start warming it up early) and had an excursion about an hour away to do some white water rafting and ziplining. Both were great. The transportation to and from the excursion, and from the San Jose airport were safe, and pleasant (despite some bumpy roads). The spa was really nice although my back hurt for days from the massage.

The service was really fast whether at the restaurant or if you needed something in your room.
They are environmentally focused, but i highly recommend making sure you have enough towels. The air is so moist that it took over a day for a bathing suit to dry on the porch. The towels never seem to dry.

If I had to point out some places for improvement I would want some wine choices at different price levels, more towels in the room, a more gentle massage, real sambucca. That's it.

After El Silencio we went to the Arenal volcano area, and then to Guanecasta.

I highly recommending this place first for a honeymoon.

Room Tip: Wifi is available only in the main lodge. But our room was close enough to get a signal. You may wan...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CS994
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, December 17, 2012
Congratulations on your wedding and thank you so much for selecting El Silencio Lodge & Spa as your honeymoon destination. Thrilled to read that you enjoyed many signature Costa Rican eco-adventures! I apologize for the problems you had with the Sambuca. If possible, please provide me with more details: outreach@grupoislita.com. The beverages we feature in our menu are brand-name and we do not allow for substitutions so I would like to find out a bit more in hopes of figuring out what may have gone wrong with your ordered drink. Thank you so much for your valuable recommendations! Warmest regards.
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
74 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2012

My husband and I stayed here recently after spending a few days at the sister property, Hotel Punta Islita (I have also posted a review on that property).

The El Silencio Lodge was one of the top destinations where we have ever stayed among our many travels. We were warmly greeted by the manager, Andrey. Our bags were promptly taken to our room and we were quickly fed (since we had just made a long trip, the quick meal was greatly appreciated!). Afterwards, we were given a thorough tour of the property and all of the amenities available, including the personal phone numbers of some of the staff in case we ever had any issues.

The property itself is gorgeous. The rooms were clean and well maintained and beautifully decorated. There was ample space for storage and I absolutely loved the sitting deck with rocking chairs. I spent many a peaceful morning there just watching the hummingbirds. There was an electronic in-room safe and all doors/windows locked securely. Turn-down service was superb (twice daily) and always included warm bottles in the bed so it was cozy when we went to sleep (what a great touch!). There are about 6 miles of hiking trails, which includes three waterfalls (yep, you can get in one of them!). All the trails were clearly marked and well maintained.

The service was also outstanding! The restaurant wait staff was extremely attentive and was very conscientious of dietary needs. There were tons of food choices and everything was excellent--especially for foodies! We even got to help cook one of our own meals, which was very interesting. My only suggestion here was that everything was prix fixe and I would have preferred an a la carte menu to allow for more small tastings and no obligation of daily dessert. The spa staff was also very respectful and paid attention to all of the smallest details. I thought the spa prices were fairly reasonable also. Our eco-concierge, Vinicio, truly made our trip special! He was there for every need that we had, but was never pushy or overbearing. He organized quite a few special (and surprise) activities for us based on our personalities or random comments that we made.

There were also a lot of other small details that made this property truly special. They offer complementary sandal/shoe cleaning (which was done to the detail!), laundry service, laminated hiking maps (so they don't get wet or crunched in your backpack), fresh flowers in the room, complementary snacks restocked daily and they actually do clean the rooms (scrub the floor, toilets, etc).

We already can’t wait to return!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank goferris
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, December 17, 2012
It was a true pleasure to read your glowing review of El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful account of your experience with us. I extend heartfelt thanks for taking the time to detail our staff’s amazing hospitality and genuine warmth. They are truly an amazing team! Please do visit again very soon!
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Wilson, North Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

This was the most wonderful, peaceful 4 walls I have experienced in a long time....absolutely magnificent from the architecturally designed restaurant to the wonderfully minimalist intriguing guest cottages....everything was fantastic....just imagine hot chocolate delivered to your room on a cool rainy night, then an organic exquisitely prepared dinner including appetizer, entree and dessert and when you return to your cottage all completely sated with food and wine as you crawl into your high count sheets you feel the warmth of a toasty hot water bottle at your feet....I mean does it get any better than this???....and the spa and treatments are wonderful....now we go for the God given wonders of nature....a stream, waterfalls, rainforest, vegetation galore and the most kind and gracious staff EVER....everyone was so attentive and truly gracious with no "attitudes" whatsoever....I can't speak highly enough of this lodge and its surroundings....so glad Luxury Link led me and my friend to you.....thank you for a wonderful 3 days!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: rooms are separate lodgings so I don't think you can go wrong....the spa on the deck was very so...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank meellie
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, November 4, 2012
Warm greetings from Costa Rica! Thank you for providing such colorful glimpses of the El Silencio Lodge experience. It was a delight to read your review and I certainly hope that the relaxation and enjoyment linger. Saludos and many happy returns!
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Boca Raton, Florida
1 review
Reviewed October 21, 2012

My husband and I spent two nights at El Silencio for our honeymoon and wish we had stayed longer! The staff is very professional and kind. It is a magical place with much to do and see. We highly recommend doing the horse back riding into town, horses are very tame and a great way to see and meet some locals. Food was very good and Martin our waiter was a pleasure to be around. We had Andre as our main guide and he also was a very informative and excellent person to be around. Besides the beauty of this local what really make this place so special is the warmth and attentiveness of the staff, they really love what they do and it shows.Can't wait to go back!!! PURA VIDA!!!!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 7 very private and great view!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Mazzycakes
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, November 4, 2012
Congratulations on your honeymoon and thank you for selecting Costa Rica for such an important getaway. And a very special GRACIAS for giving us a chance to be your hosts. Thank you for taking the time to mention so many members of our team. They truly are remarkable! Their warm friendship is sincere and this certainly translates into an incredibly relaxing and enjoyable travel experience. I also want to thank you for taking the time to visit our neighbor community of Bajos del Toro. Our hotel model hopes to encourage travelers to go beyond our grounds to truly experience everyday life and immerse in local culture. We feel this is what creates the most meaningful travel moments. Many blessings!
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SF
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

We spent the first 4 nights of our honeymoon at El Silencio and we didn't want to leave. The hotel is absolutely incredible!

The Staff - so warm and welcoming. They anticipated our needs and we never wanted for anything during our time there. Martine in the restaurant was not only the perfect server but he gracefully taught us about the culture. We asked him what a cassava was since we thought it was so delicious, and he went in the back and brought one out for us to see. Then he quickly cooked another vegetable for us to try. We will never forget his kindness. Everyone at the hotel was fantastic - Natalie, who seemed to be there all the time, William, Venecio, the Spa therapists... a delightful team. One night they even set up a private table for us in front of the fireplace for dinner. We felt so taken care of.

Our Eco Concierge Ronald is a gem and his enthusiasm and energy was so refreshing. He was a great guide, we loved the hike to the 3 waterfalls. He set up all of our tours for us which were great. The chocolate tour at Tirimbina was our favorite - it starts with a hike through the rain forest and then you tastes roasted cocoa, chocolate drink and melted cocoa. The tour is really amazing! We also did the Sarchi cultural tour and coffee tour. Our driver Jimmy was so much fun. We visited a beautiful botanical garden where Jimmy told us all about the plants. Then we did the coffee tour, which was ok but we definitely liked the chocolate tour better. There was a "coffee tasting" at the end of the tour so we figured we would sit down and they would probably use a french press to make a light, medium and dark roast for us to try. But instead they took us into the gift shop and pumped a little coffee out of an air-pot into a dixie cup and that was the tasting. So a little anti climatic. After the coffee tour we went to the oxcart factory in Sarchi which was incredible! Sarchi is known for their furniture and we actually bought one of the rocking chairs like the ones on the decks at El Silencio. Then Jimmy drove us back up this crazy 4x4 road back to the hotel - overall it was a great day. The last activity we did was the rappel down Bajos del Toro Waterfall - incredible!!! Venecio was our driver and he was great.

Location - we loved Bajos del Toro. We thought it was the perfect beginning or end to a vacation in Costa Rica. The town is small, only 150 people or so with many of them working at the hotel. It took us about 2 hours from the SJO airport. We rented a car and were glad we did (DEFINITELY GET THE GPS if you rent a car, Costa Rica doesn't have street names so as we drove through the country, the GPS was definitely worth the price). We loved the location and it was our favorite place we stayed during our 12 nights in Costa Rica. The cloud forest is beautiful. The weather is cooler due to the elevation which was nice because the rest of our trip we were hot and sticky. Of course we went in green season so we expected rain, but mornings are beautifully sunny typically and afternoons are perfect for relaxing on the deck watching the rain, sipping the delicious hot chocolate, and enjoying the hot tub.

The facilities - perfect! the rooms are beautiful and private. The large deck with 2 rocking chairs looking out to the mountains... we spent a lot of time relaxing there. The private hot tubs... the hot water bottles placed in the bed at turn down... the complimentary hot chocolate in the afternoons enjoyed in our rocking chairs... the main lodge and restaurant... we were blown away!

We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank winetravelingal
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, October 12, 2012
Your thorough and thoughtful review is much appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to detail your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. I am delighted to learn that you fully enjoyed your stay and that Martin, William, Natalie, Jimmy, and the rest of the team were able to showcase their best hospitality details. Thanks for the feedback on the chocolate and coffee experience. Your suggestion about the coffee press is noted and I will gladly share it with the people who run the coffee hacienda.

Warmest regards!
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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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