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“A Few Days in Paradise!”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Having read the reviews of El Silencio I expected our visit to be excellent - it was even better than we could have hoped! The warmest welcome, beautiful accommodation, fantastic food, friendly and efficient Orlando, amazing scenery, wonderful walks and so much more. The peace and beauty seemed to settle on us like a happy cloud, such a relaxing place to spend a few days.

Room Tip: We were in room 11, quite a few steps to get there but worth it for the views and total privacy.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank MJM48
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 January 17, 2013

Thrilled to learn that our reputation inspired high expectations… Elated to learn that we managed to surpass them! Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. I love your description of El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s refreshingly peaceful ambiance as a “happy cloud”. Wonderful!

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413 - 419 of 685 reviews

Reviewed January 12, 2013

It's WELL worth the hour and a half it takes to get here from the airport- secluded. Quiet. You just FEEL healthier being there. Th waterfall trails are amazing whether you go by yourself or with a guide. The spa is one of the most professional I've ever been to. Like to do yoga? They've got a place perfectly in harmony with nature for you to do so. Everything you eat was grown or raised or caught right in the area. There are no words for the experience this leaves you with.

Definitely get the hot cocoa too. Cookies and hot cocoa and a porch with a view = paradise

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Max_Appian
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 January 17, 2013

I certainly hope that the wellness inspired by the cloud forest lingers for a very long time. El Silencio Lodge & Spa is honored to have a chance to display the magical cloud forest of Bajos del Toro in Costa Rica. It certainly is a destination that elicits inspiration, relaxation, and peace of spirit.

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Reviewed January 11, 2013

Heaven in the Cloud Forest is how I would describe my stay at the El Silencio Lodge! If was the perfect way to end my Costa Rican trip after being in the mountains of Arenal and jungle/beach of Cabuya/Nicoya Peninsula. The service, food and accommodations were first class and personalized for me. The hike with Ronald, horseback ride with Andre and deep stone massage with Carolina were highlights of my stay, along with the fabulous jacuzzi on the room's deck. My only regret that I was alone and wish I had someone special to share this magical experience with. I hope to return again soon and in the meantime, I continue to praise and recommend the El Silencio Lodge as one of Costa Rica's gems to family, friends and colleagues!

Room Tip: All rooms are fabulous, as limited number and spread out from one another for the ultimate in privac...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank bandit4564
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 January 17, 2013

A heartfelt GRACIAS for your insightful comments about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. As a Costa Rican, I also thank you for exploring my country and sharing your experience with the world. Thank you so much for singling out so many of our wonderful staff. What a team! We are quite blessed. We certainly look forward to your return. Wanting to share El Silencio Lodge & Spa with someone special is one of the nicest compliments we can receive.

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Reviewed January 10, 2013

My husband and I were married in June and spent our honeymoon at El Silencio. It was exactly what we needed and wanted. Peaceful, clean, gorgeous environment. The entire staff was great, there when you needed them but not at all overbearing. Ronald was our concierge and he is very pleasant and accomodating. We took the coffee plantation tour, the cultural tour of Bajos del Toro which included the orchid garden. We also did took the volcano tour. El Silencio has a lot of great things to see on-site, like the hummingbird garden, horses, chicken coop and lots of wonderful hiking trails. Don't plan on swimming at the waterfalls though, the water is painfully cold, just stick to the hot tub. We loved the room!

Joanna & Trea

Room Tip: We stayed in suite 16. It was close to the lodge, a stream ran in front of it and there were hummin...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joanna H
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 January 17, 2013

It is always an honor to be selected as a honeymoon destination. For such a special occasion, we hope to provide the most fun, romantic, and adventure-filed setting imaginable. Elated to learn that we fully succeeded. Thank you for our willingness to explore our country and Bajos del Toro. The many experiences you mention evidence that you two were able to fully immerse in Costa Rica’s culture. Saludos!

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Reviewed January 7, 2013

This place is a gem! Beautiful facilities and incredible service. I can't wait to go back! I spent two days there and wish I had more time. By far my favorite part of my visit to Costa Rica. It is a bit of a tricky drive getting there and I would suggest driving during the day as it gets foggy in the late afternoon and evening but once you get there it is worth it.,

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jcblancha
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 January 9, 2013

We certainly hope to have a chance to see you again very soon! Costa Rica is full of wonders and there will soon be a direct flight from Dulles International to San Jose. With El Silencio located about an hour away from the international airport, we will be a perfect weekend getaway for DC/MD/VA travelers.

I am delighted that you fully enjoyed your stay, including our premium facilities and service. We completely agree with your recommendation for a daylight arrival, no later than 5pm. As an alternative, we can also schedule the services of an experienced private driver for full peace of mind. Best wishes for an amazing 2013!

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Reviewed January 5, 2013

Overall, we had a very pleasant stay. We were guests for three nights over Thanksgiving. This was my least favorite of the three hotels we stayed at - and here's why:

1) The location is absolutely amazing. You drive into this neverland and you are definitely transported into the clouds. Superb. That said, when I arrived and walked into the main lodge (where the restaurant, bar and main lobby space are) I would have sworn the place was built in the 90s. It feels a bit dated. We were also baffled to see that the main entrance has you drive past a maintenance building, and that the restaurant has a partial view of some generators and the back of the kitchen. You will better understand once you see just how much land they have. This is clearly poor planning as the layout could have easily hidden these things. They could have made simple adjustments to play up the beauty and nature that are all around you.

2) The staff - in general I would say that the bus boys and helpers were harder working and friendlier than the main wait staff. We really did not get to know or connect with most of the staff like we did at the other places we stayed while in CR and Nica.

3) The room - musty, musty musty. Yes, I know we were in a cloud forest - but a little aromatherapy room spray would have gone a long way. Also, as it tends to rain a bit each day, I cannot tell you how miserable it was to ALWAYS be cold in your room you were paying a good deal of money for. They provide you with one space heater that doesn't even heat more than half of the room. The bathroom is FREEZING, and the in-room slippers they provide you are actually rubber flip flops, which means your feet are completely exposed. Yes, they do provide you with the fabulous hot water bottle under your sheets - but some simple adjustments to the room (ie - slippers that cover your feet, a towel warmer which they assure me they have ordered for the rooms, and more than one space heater for each room) would help my room rating immensely.

Now to the good -

The location is amazing. You are in the middle of nowhere. Bajos del Toros is worth a visit. Take the cultural tour if it is included in your package (we booked via Luxury Link). Meeting Dona Olga was a highlight of our trip. We made tortillas and sampled some of her homemade rusk-like pastries which were wonderful.

The hot tub outside each room is a nice treat. Heat it up before you head to dinner and it will be ready when you return.

The nature hike on the property is well worth the walk. You will learn about the flora and fauna and see their many waterfalls. It's so nice to get to walk in an area you know few people have seen, so it stays so nicely preserved. Many people wore inadequate shoes, so be sure to bring some hiking boots or trail running shoes. The staff offer to clean them after the walk as they will get a bit muddy. They do provide bulky parkas, or bring your own.

The suspension bridge over the creek that leads to the spa is such a treat. I first experienced it at night and felt like I was a kid in a candy store getting to cross it, though I am sure others may have been put off by having to cross it to get to the spa.

The hotel has many short walking trails you can take if you don't feel like leaving the property.

For a day excursion - we drove our rental car 1.5 hours to the Arenal Volcano area. We first went to the Tabacon hot springs (which I recommend going to in the AM before they get busy - so you have the place more to yourself.) Tabacon has a reduced admission for a 1/2 day visit which includes an extensive lunch buffet. This gave us plenty of time there, and we saved approximately $200 USD by booking this ourselves, separate from the hotel. Then from there we drove less than one mile to the Silencio trail head and got to hike some fun trails near the volcano (which is not currently active, by the way.) This is the same excursion the hotel offers, only in the reverse order. The roads from the hotel to Tabacon were smooth (compared to so many unsmooth roads in CR) and were easy to navigate if your phone has a SIM card and Google Maps.) Just know that Google Maps does not show the road from El Silencio out through Bajos del Toros - so have Ronald show you how to go via the "oh my G-d" bridge as he calls it.

That leaves me with mentioning Ronald. He is the most special thing about El Silencio. He lives in Sarchi and drives 45 minutes each day to get to the hotel. He is precious. Your experience is not complete without getting to interact with him. He cares so much about the lodge and about ensuring you have a pleasant stay. He's a great person to seek advice from, and he's just a special person who you will grow to love instantly. I would stay there again mainly because of him. Once they make the very well needed updates I mentioned above, I would stay there again because of how special the location is.

Room Tip: Request two space heaters if there is any chance that you will be experiencing cool weather. Also...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank mmstravels
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 January 6, 2013

Costa Rica is an amazing destination and I am delighted to learn that you fully experienced and enjoyed its charms. Thank you so much for singling out our incomparable landscapes and our neighbor community of Bajos del Toro. Enjoying authentic cultural experiences is an essential part of our mantra!

From the moment it was designed and inaugurated in 2008, El Silencio has immersed guests in nature while enjoying an ambiance that reflects elements of Costa Rica’s traditional agricultural farms. Of the 500 acre property more than 90% is kept as a private natural reserve. I am delighted to learn that you fully enjoyed hiking through our trails.

I share your enthusiasm over crossing the hanging bridge. It certainly brings out one’s inner child.

Our goal is to dazzle all guests with a superlative travel experience and we will carefully review your suggestions. Thank you so much for your candid input.

Finally… I could not agree more with your assessment of Ronald as an amazing human being. His friendship, warmth, and caring spirit truly shine. I hope you also had a chance to enjoy one of his traditional oxcart painting lessons. He is a master of Costa Rica’s emblematic designs!

Feliz 2013!

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Reviewed January 4, 2013

Our stay heer was very enjoyable. Ronald the guide who took us on the walk to the waterfall deserves a special mention he ensured everyone on the walk was happy & gave excellent commentary onthe plants as we walked. When we said we would do a detour on the way back to make the walk circular he actively encouraged us to do so which is unusual often guides want to keep everyone together (I can't remember the name of the trail but it made an excellent round trip & wasn't at all difficult so ask your guide)
The only downside & the reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that they make a big deal of their "eco credentials" even advertising on their signs - If you're not hungry ask for a half portion so food doesn't go to waste. We took them up on this saying we weren't very hungry but were told we'd still have to pay full price as they have deliberately priced their meals to encourage you to eat 3 courses. I feel this is not in line with the principles they are trying to promote & an acceptance that people don't always want to eat 3 courses with appropriate pricing would make me believe they live by their purported principles rather than saying we're ecological but we'll charge you even if you try to reduce waste- which unfortunately led to us not eating a meal that evening as I refuse to order food I do not want to eat.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank maltontraveller
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 January 17, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Your opinions are most useful in helping us guide our services and address shortcomings whenever possible. I have noted your comments about the meal-pricing schedule. I understand your concern. Please do note that given El Silencio Lodge & Spa’s small size, our restaurant is structured in daily prix-fix prices that include an appetizer, a main dish, and dessert (all a-la-carte). Fresh, organic, and locally-sourced food helps the environment and local farms. We will carefully analyze your comments. Warm regards and I am glad that your overall stay was very relaxing!

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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: $230 - $769 (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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