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“Simply an Incredible Experience”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Simply an Incredible Experience”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Most places to which I travel don’t usually strike a chord with me, usually because of their lack of character and ability to submerge me in the local culture of a place. If I am going to travel somewhere I want to know what distinguishes it from other hotels or other places in the world. El Silencio did exactly that – I can only describe our stay there as magical and an amazing experience I was happy to share with my husband and children.

I will say that if you prefer “fantasy” vacations (such as theme parks or cruises) or if you need to be constantly entertained, this may not be the place for you. Technology is discouraged, prompting you to enjoy the tranquility of the rainforest. Opportunities abounded to connect with the children and discuss new topics: biodiversity, microclimates, cultural differences, etc.. However, I think this secluded location would be ideal for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway sans children!

The hotel itself is luxurious, but in a unique, camping sort of way. There are several “huts” throughout the property, which is nice because you get more room than just a traditional room. The rooms are spotless. You can drink the water from the tap because it is from a mountain spring and purified by UV light. The food was incredible; it is fresh, farm-to-table, grown on the hotel’s property. There were also hidden discoveries we had fun exploring like the medicinal garden, waterfalls and berry patch. The kids also fed the chickens and trout on the farm.

We did the “Mountain Family Package” and it was wonderful – highly recommended. The first day we walked to town (population 300) and our children played soccer with the other kids. Then we went and made handmade tortillas with a local woman in her kitchen. We also went ziplining and white water rafting, which was super fun for all of us.

Sitting around at the beach was the most boring part of our trip, which we did prior to arriving to El Silencio. I would return back here in a heartbeat. It was such an amazing experience and we will carry these great memories forever.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank meg51577
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 11, 2013
Dear Meg,

Thank you so much for your amazing review. I love how you captured the essence of El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Our goal is to allow visitors to enjoy authentic Costa Rica, actively sharing special experiences with our community neighbors. I am delighted to learn that you and your family enjoyed so many bonding moments away from the buzz of incessant technology. Saludos!
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013 via mobile

My husband, our seventeen daughter and I just came back from our two days vacation at El Silencio. We wanted a place to relax and we certainly found it. The first day we took a walk to the little town, just half a mile from the hotel. We visited a "pulperia" where doña Olga a don Carlos open their home to show us how to make "cajetas" a typical costarican sweet. At night, it was a little cold, so we got in to the room's outdoors warm jacuzzi. Next day, we had a two hour guided tour to the hotel waterfalls, the organic garden and the trout ponds. Then we had a mud massage at the spa and finished with a spectacular lunch. The beds in the room where very confortable, the people very nice and the natural /organic / relax / authentic / concept of the hotel convinced us that this is an unique place and we are very happy to have found it.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Cahuitacr
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 11, 2013
Delighted to have had a chance to host you and your beautiful family. Thank you for outlining the many wonderful experiences you enjoyed at Bajos del Toro. It truly is a remarkable community, rich in traditions and extraordinarily welcoming. Please return very soon!
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Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013

Our family of 3 adult children and 2 parents ended our Costa Rican vacation at El Silencio. We had stayed at the beach, at the volcano, in the rain forest, and ended in the cloud forest. We rented 2 villas and were enchanted with the accommodations--the luxurious beds, bath, and hot tubs. We appreciated the attention not only to detail but to ecology in the accommodations and food preparation. Going green in luxurious surroundings put us even more in touch with our natural surroundings. We took advantage of the narrated tour of the property, spent a day at a nearby town learning the history of chocolate and making some ourselves, plus we planted a "family" tree on the El Silencio property. Staff at El Silencio soon became friends as they attended to our every need. The food was a delightful treat at each meal. I highly recommend El Silencio and hope to return in the future!

Room Tip: All villas have a wonderful view of the mountains.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Linda 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 3, 2013
Dear Linda,

Thank you so much for letting us share the last leg of your wonderful Costa Rica vacation with you and your family. It was a true delight to have you around and we are thrilled to learn that you fully enjoyed the experience. Thank you for noting the amazing connection to nature. We are blessed to be surrounded by one of the most stunning cloud forests in Costa Rica. Please return very soon!
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Malvern, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 31, 2013

If you are looking for high end, quiet and secluded place, go to el Silencio. The scenery is breathtaking, set in a cloud forest. We stayed three nights and did hiking, horseback riding and the local cultural experience which included a cooking lesson and a painting lesson. The rooms are wonderful, every detail is taken care of. The outdoor jacuzzi is great, in the evening when it gets chilly, the staff puts hot water bottles in your bed. The restaurant is top notch quality. The wine tasting was a great experience, we enjoyed talking to Carlos, a very enthusiastic and charming sommelier. We loved that they have an organic vegetable garden and free range chickens. Wonderful place, only a few rooms and the staff is really friendly and helpful. William is an amazing manager, and the waiters are very caring. the chef is fantastic! Take a raincoat and appropiate clothing.

Room Tip: Wonderful and relaxing setting
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank LuciaSamblas
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 3, 2013
Dear Lucia,

Greetings from Costa Rica! Please receive our heartfelt thanks for visiting and for taking the time to share your experiences with Trip Advisor readers. I am delighted that you enjoyed so many diverse activities. Bajos del Toro is a wonderful community, rich in cultural traditions and salient in their hospitality. Plus, the surrounding landscapes are simply mesmerizing. I will gladly relay your comments to William, Carlos, and the staff. Muchos saludos!
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Quebec, Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

I have to say this first : qualifying this place as a "pleasant" surprise is quite weak, but my lack of english forces me to be content of this phrasing.

We -stumbled- across this hotel well after dark, worn out from our journey across the carribean coast and we we're hoping for a place that would suit the budget of 2 traveling students...
You must've already understood that as soon as we had crossed the gate, we knew we were way out of our league, but still decided to carry on and meet the people that seemed (on the guard's radio) so eager to meet us!
As soon as we got out, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of the place, the melody of the waterfalls and the wind through the mountains. After a pleasant discussion with the manager on duty, William, we came to an agreement and though both me and my girlfriend knew a night in this hotel would mean a few sacrifices later on, the experience would be absolutely worth it.
The hotel staff catered to our every need (most of them left unspoken by the feeling we had of being already too lucky to be here) and a villa was opened for us much after normal hours, all with a smile.
William was especially friendly and useful, as he answered every little question we had about the hotel, the activities and even went out of his way to call friends and ask some employees for a place to put up our tent for the night. (You must understand that, though the price for this hotel isn't that high, we were working on a 40$ budget per day and anything over that needed to be discussed) We even felt guilty when we said we would stay at the hotel, because we knew how much trouble they went through to find a suitable alternative for us.
The villas are absolutely fabulous, with a jacuzzi outside, a confortable bed with hot water bags for our feet, cinammon water, spacious living and bath rooms and a marvelous sight right out of giant patio doors.
We had a guided walk through the property included with our stay and even though I knew most of the things they had to say (As I had worked for several months as a guide in Costa Rica), I enjoyed every bit as much as my girlfriend and came out with great pictures of their plantations, waterfalls and small farm.
The breakfast was quiet and relaxing, with a breathtaking Cloud Forest scenery, where we received every attention possible, the Maitre d'Hotel even ordered us a special fruit yogurt to excuse the fact that he had come to our table after the waiter, and not before.
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I went two times in Costa Rica, the first time I went for 3 months to work in a luxurious hotel as a concierge for foreign visitors and the second time I visited for 2 weeks with my girlfriend, showing her everything I had seen and more.
I've seen my share of expensive hotels around the world and I believe I know a good place when I see one. I highly recommend this place and extend again a special thank you to William, who did a great job.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Alexandre D
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 30, 2013
Dear Alexandre, warmest greetings from Costa Rica! Thank you so much for sharing your experience at El Silencio Lodge. It is wonderful to learn that you found us by chance and that you fell in love with the property thanks to our amazing staff's caring friendship. William is a stellar example of Costa Rican hospitality! Thanks for noting it :) As a Costa Rican, I also thank you for developing such close ties to my country and for wanting to share its beauty with your girlfriend. Pura Vida!
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Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Like a little bit of Switzerland in the middle of a cloud forest with typical brilliant Costa Rican service!

We stayed for 2 nights in March 2013 with my parents in law. We had a brilliant time and would recommend to anyone wanting to experience typical Costa Rican cloud forest but escape the crowds. Set in its own private cloud forest reserve with three waterfalls, you can trek, spa, relax and eat amazing food to your hearts content. The spa is excellent and the rooms/bungalows, are really fabulous with their own outdoor jacuzzis and tons of space.

The main part of the hotel (separate from the rooms/bungalows) with its crackling fires and goregous restaurant, does feel like a luxurious Swiss ski chalet! Also, I have got to mention the amazing staff. They are welcoming, attentive (but not overly so), professional, informed and most of all enthusiastic about the hotel and what it stands for (there is a big message regarding eco-tourism here). They really do make the hotel, I will warn you that it is expensive all in (when you include food and drinks) but we really enjoyed it and felt that it was second to none.

P.s. Whilst we were here, we partook in the cultural tour and learnt to make tortillas and drink moonshine with Olga, I totally recommend this as it was great fun and interesting.

P.p.s The weather here can be very, very foggy (something to do with it being the cloud forest perhaps?) so if you take the road from Zarcero, try and do it during daylight hours. The last 2 miles are on a steep winding track which you can barely see 1 metre infront of you at night and in the fog! We tried it, and a stiff drink was required when we eventually made it!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CFTG
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 19, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your detailed comments and descriptions of El Silencio Lodge & Spa! Our goal is to provide a superlative travel experience that is far removed from crowded, touristy spots. Thank you so much for noting our staff and the excellence of our facilities. We wholeheartedly agree with your recommendation to only drive during the day, to avoid the late afternoon fog. For the best possible value, we also recommend combining a visit with our sister beach property, Hotel Punta Islita. We can offer a bundled deal that even includes transportation between the properties. For more details, our reservations staff is eager to assist: reserve@grupoislita.com
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Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
38 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
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 review, 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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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Property: 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 (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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