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“Living in the clouds!”

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

We really enjoyed our stay – it is an unusual and terrific place (apart from one gripe). The cloud forest setting is remarkable. The buildings are well-designed and look great. The staff is attentive, friendly and work hard to ensure your enjoyment. The opening hours for the restaurant are very reasonable.

The food is spectacular. Certainly some credit goes to the fresh ingredients but the chef, Marcela, is just amazing. One of my favorites at dinner was the starter “Trout Tartare” – be sure to try it.

Our one gripe is the suites need better heating. The lone radiant space heater for the bedroom doesn’t circulate the heat well in the bedroom with its vaulted ceiling. And, the bathroom is left unheated. The space heater can be rolled into the bathroom but that’s a nuisance and has very noisy wheels (you’ll wake your partner if they are still sleeping). Fortunately, the shower keeps a wonderfully full and steady supply of hot water.

I would easily give this 5 stars except for the heating issue. At an elevation of over 5000 feet the weather will often be chilly but there is no need for the room to also be that. We are still glad we visited – it’s a great lodge!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank MandL89
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 March 15, 2013

Fondest greetings from Costa Rica! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Your feedback is incredibly helpful. El Silencio Lodge & Spa is located in high elevation cloud forest and warm comfy clothes are strongly recommended. Normally, one electric heater is enough to keep the Suite comfortable. If temperatures drop below normal levels, we gladly provide additional heaters and will bring hot water bed bags for added comfort :) That said, we are always looking for ways to improve our services and will gladly look into heating alternatives. Thank you so much for your warm nod to our staff, design, and our spectacular food by Chef Marcela!

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392 - 398 of 683 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed at El Silencio for two nights during out 25th Wedding Anniversary trip and had a fantastic stay. The room was lovely. We so enjoyed the hot water bottles and water at our bedside during the turndown service. We also enjoyed our morning hike and then went to the small town nearby to learn to make tortillas. Andrey was our guide and Olga was our teacher and she is also the market owner of the small market right in her home. It was a wonderful, interesting experience. Would highly recommend it if you are interested in the local community. Andrey did an awesome job of answering all of my questions.
We also really enjoyed the restaurant and Henry was a wonderful waiter who helped us make our dinner decisions...he was never wrong! The food was fantastic. The trout was our favorite.
Please keep in mind if you go to El Silencio that it is in the cloud forest so there is 100% humidity....your hair may do really goofy things! I know mine did so I just put it in a ponytail and gave up! Also dress warm!!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank SuesamM
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 March 15, 2013

Saludos Sue! Thank you so much for your candid review of El Silencio Lodge & Spa. And a very special thanks for selecting us to celebrate such a special occasion. It was an honor to be a part of your 25th Wedding Anniversary. Congratulations! Thrilled to read that you fully enjoyed your stay --despite the hairdo issues ;) But most importantly, I am delighted to read that you fully enjoyed visiting Dona Olga and learning how to make traditional tortillas with her. Our relationship with local community members is our strongest asset and we are proud to have a chance to let visitors experience authentic Costa Rica in an unscripted, natural way. Thank you so much for your friendship!

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Reviewed March 10, 2013

I don't think I have ever experienced service at a hotel at this level.
Everyone, but especially our eco-concierge, went BEYOND any of our needs in trying to make our stay comfortable.

The Good:
Extremely friendly and helpful staff, beautiful and private grounds, excellent food (some of the best we've had in Costa Rica), great massages at the spa, outstanding bedding (best sleep in Costa Rica, hands down!).

The Bad:
This is not adapted for kids, they are open and clear about it (they have policy of 8yrs+... which we broke!). The place is also very secluded, so plan on staying on site or for traveling on bumpy winding roads if you want to do off-site tours.

The Bottom Line:
I don't know if we'd stay there for a full week because it is so remote, but my wife and I firmly intend to go back without the kids to enjoy some quality time off for a few days.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank aeternalis
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 March 15, 2013

Wow! Thank yo so much for your wonderful review. Our staff is truly outstanding and generous and we are quite blessed to have them. As you note, El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a relaxing, remote destination ideally suited for winding down, exploring the cloud forest, enjoying delicious food, and getting pampered with unique spa treatments. We recommend 8 years old as the minimum age but leave it to the discretion of parents. Some youngsters are keenly interested in the forest! The ideal stay is 3-4 nights to give you time to fully relax, explore the local communities, and engage in horseback riding, birdwatching, and hiking. Day excursions are also possible, entailing a 1.5 hour drive to access canopy zip-lining, river rafting, and other signature Costa Rica adventures. We certainly look forward to your return :) Gracias!

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Reviewed March 3, 2013

El Silencio, Bajos de Toro Amarillo.
This luxury Eco lodge is in a beautiful valley setting at quite a high altitude near the Volcano Poas. We had two nights here in mid-February and it was quite cold and showery.
It felt more like Cornwall than Costa Rica. On the day we left there was bright sunshine and it was really warm. Can't blame them for the weather. Hot water bottles in the bed during the turn down procedure was a nice touch.
The lodges are fabulous and include a hot tub. The bed linen is superb quality, and the bathroom is great. Food in the restaurant was high quality organic and tasted very fresh.
Service was friendly and mostly good but sometimes they forgot the odd thing that they were asked for.
At check-in we were asked to sign two pages of waivers - for instance saying that we would have to pay for any damage we caused. A bit heavy!
No TV or wi-fi. Also, no straws to drink your Piña Colada with because they say that they are Eco-unfriendly. Haven't they heard of bamboo straws? Some of this Eco business is baloney.
There is a guided 9am tour each day to the waterfalls included in the cost, which was very informative, particularly on the flora and fauna. We also did a 6.30am bird watching tour with Benny. We saw quite a few small birds and a glimpse of a Trogon, but overall it was quite disappointing for 35 dollars per person. Basically we just walked down through the car park and the access road. In our experience there the bird watching was a disappointment. I like to photograph birds and I never took a photograph in the two days we were there.
Most lodges in Costa Rica have a bird feeding station, usually near the restaurant where you can sit and watch the birds feeding, and also get some good photos. When I asked why they don't do this I was told that it wasn't natural to feed the birds. OK, but it's not natural to have a hotel in a quiet valley either, or to have Eco-unfriendly hot tubs, or to build more lodges down the valley. I understand that they would not qualify for their 5 star ecopoints if they feed the animals. The difference to me was that I would not come back again to this lodge because of the relative lack of birds to photograph. To be fair they had planted a garden specifically to attract hummingbirds,which was a nice touch.
Overall a top quality place, but be prepared for how cold it can get.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Roger K
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 March 6, 2013

Thank you so much for highlighting the beautiful scenery that characterizes our surroundings. Its whimsical nature is part of its magic! I am especially glad to know that you fully enjoyed our spacious and comfortable Suite.

I will review the waiver material to ensure that legalese does not interfere with our guests’ enjoyment. Thanks for the heads up! Regarding straws… when we tried to procure suitable eco-alternatives, we found out that we would have to import them. I will have our procurement staff look into other alternatives. If you know of any please write to me at: outreach@grupoislita.com

El Silencio Lodge does offer complimentary WiFi access in the gallery behind the Front Desk. My apologies if you were not duly informed about this.

I do regret that your bird watching/photography experience was unsatisfactory. The season, weather patterns, and many variables have an impact and I am sorry that in your case our feathered friends were skittish.

Thank you so much for choosing to visit Costa Rica! I certainly hope you return in the very near future. Saludos!

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Reviewed February 26, 2013

If you are looking to rejuvenate your body and soul this is the place to go. It is an exceptional place for all that. If you are looking for adventure, perhaps this isn,t for you. With the hotel being so remote the excursions are expensive. We went to Arenal Volcano and my expectation was to actually see the volcano however this ended as a rain forest walk, nice but not expected. It had also a stop at hot springs which was ok. The staff are exceptional. I can,t say anything bad only praise their ability to accommodate us with everything we asked. You should know that the price for lunch and dinner is set. As we had 2children and there was no children,s menus, it was a bit over the top. The menu should be one where you can choose what want and priced accordingly. Sometimes all you want is a bowl of soup and for 30$, this a little over the top. I do have to say the meals were very good. The rooms are clean and comfortable beds. Excellent place BUT....

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 7Family7
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 February 28, 2013

Thank you so much for your kind words praising the regenerative ambiance and qualities of El Silencio Lodge & Spa and Bajos del Toro. Although located just about 90 minutes from the capital city, it truly is a relaxing destination, far removed from the stress of the city.

We have noted your comments about our Prix Fixe menu and we will be exploring possible alternatives for the near future. In the meantime, I would like to clarify that our current room rates include daily breakfast. Lunch and dinner are provided as a Prix Fixe option for at total of $65 per day, per person, plus taxes. Both lunch and dinner include a-la-carte appetizers, main entrees, and dessert. Dishes emphasize organic local and regional ingredients and stand out for their flavorful freshnesss.

In terms of Arenal Volcano, I am sorry that you were unable to see it. Because of its location, it is quite common for the cone to be completely shrouded by clouds. As a Costa Rican, I have only managed to see it clearly on a couple of occasions.

In hopes of providing useful information about our featured on-site adventures and daily excursions, I am enclosing a link to our Experience Catalog, featuring rates. Hope this is useful for the Trip Advisor community: bit.ly/ElSilencioLodgeCostaRicaExperiences2012

Best regards from Costa Rica!

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Reviewed February 26, 2013

Our recent stay at El Silencio was completely magical. This exclusive gem in the cloud forest surpassed all of our expectations. From the superior accomadations to the fresh organic food to the warm and friendly staff, we started our Costa Rican vacation on a completely satisfying note. We would return in a heartbeat, and, we can't wait to do so.

Room Tip: Our room, #2, was perfect.
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank juniorjam
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 February 28, 2013

Our heartfelt thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with the Trip Advisor community. Thank you for choosing to start your Costa Rica vacation at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. We hope that you do plan a return visit in the very near future. Perhaps you could even combine your stay with a visit to our sister beach property, Hotel Punta Islita. Warmest regards!

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Reviewed February 19, 2013

The best place my husband and I have ever stayed for unwinding & relaxing in nature. Very secluded and SO peaceful. The staff was incredible, by far the best service we have experienced at any hotel. Every one that we came in contact with made our stay special. The food was excellent, having organic gardens and trout ponds right on the property is a bonus. Benicio, the concierge that helped us plan our tours was so attentive and helpful with everything. The tour of the local town was a highlight for us & meeting the gracious people who live there. Beautiful views, hiking trails to the waterfalls, & watching the clouds gently roll in over the mountain tops from our bungalow, what more could you ask for? Spending 3 wonderful days & nights at El Silencio as part of the "Amigas in Costa Rica" package that includes staying at their other lovely property Hotel Punta Islita. Would highly recommend this particular package if you would like to experience the beauty of the cloud forest as well as a stay at an an upscale beachfront resort complete with infinity pool & swim up bar. All of the details are taken care of by the professional and amazing staff, including private dinners, spa treatments and tours at both locations. And the drive between the hotels is an adventure I'm glad we did not miss.

Room Tip: We had bunglow # 1, offfered great views and privacy, set high up on the hill a short walk from the...
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DD5358
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 February 28, 2013

It is quite exciting to make our guests’ “best ever” list. Thank you so much for your kind enthusiasm about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. It was wonderful to have a chance to pamper you an d your husband with Costa Rican hospitality. And a special thanks for visiting our sister property, Hotel Punta Islita. ☺ Many blessings!

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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: $260 - $631 (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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