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“The Great Escape I was seeking.”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 3, 2014

If you seek a place apart from the noise of this world you will find it here. Accessible only by a long, bumpy drive (scary at night with dense fog shrouded mountains) and nestled deep in the Cloud Forest you are welcomed by the most friendly people we found in all of Costa Rica and this says something as we found everyone friendly in Costa Rica. The separate cabins are nicely designed for maximum privacy – even in #16 which is closest to the lodge but still felt completely private with the sound of the rushing river so close by.

We wanted luxury and found some in the luxurious towels, robes and bed linens but found it missing in the quality of the lighting, wood floors, lack of hooks and places to put your stuff. We weren’t well enough prepared for the very cool and damp weather and the in room heaters only took the edge off. Some will be happier with an extra heater. The hot tub was wonderful in that you can make it as hot as you like but designed in a way that you can’t get completely comfortable in there and it takes at least 2 hours to get it up to temperature.

The water is as pure as you’ll find anywhere in the world for drinking and as hot as you need. They put hot water bottles in our bed at night and that was wonderful. No TV in room (which is great) and no Internet in room (which is great). You can download all your junk mail and get a TV fix in the lodge. The food is fresh as they have their own greenhouse (see it) and their own chickens (for eggs only) and their own trout farm. The menu is the same every day. Not great but very good.

Day trips are a little expensive because of the remote locations. But just hike around the area and see the waterfalls and stunning foliage everywhere. The guides are knowledgeable and careful to give you space and private time. Keep in mind what I didn’t, which is that this is the ‘Cloud Forest’ so don’t expect warm, sunny weather although the daily but brief morning sun felt so good. Most of all just breathe in the freshness of this place, the sense of separateness, and you will be left feeling as I do now, which is that El Silencio is very special with warm welcoming people and a truly good heart.

Room Tip: We loved #16 because it was so close to lodge but felt so private. Most of all loved the sound of t...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jerry 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 March 5, 2014

Warm greetings Jerry! Learning that we succeeded in providing a complete natural immersion and relaxation experience to best enjoy Costa Rica's mesmerizing cloud forest is a wonderful way to start the day. Thank you so much for your visit and your thoughtful review!

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351 - 357 of 700 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2014

Thank goodness we only spent one night at this hotel. I will say the setting is just amazingly beautiful; however, the accommodations were an awful experience. We had a suite with a fairly large sitting area/sleeping area and then a large bathroom. The room has no central heating or air and they provide this little portable plug-in heater. Given the size of the room and the very low temperatures, we were freezing. Also, since the temperature is not controlled in the room and it's in the cloud forest, everything was damp - everything....the towels, robes, etc. There was visible mold growing on the blinds. Also, the jacuzzi on the deck was filled in on one half with concrete (I guess to conserve water); however, this made it very uncomfortable to attempt to use. A little too eco-friendly for me.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank dana53023
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 1, 2014

Greetings Dana and thank you for taking the time to write a review. We are thankful for constructive feedback in hopes of addressing any shortcomings. I regret that cold weather had such an undue impact on your one-night experience and sincerely apologize for the mold you spotted on your Suite's blinds. I also thank you for highlighting the beauty of our surroundings! Preserving the pristine beauty of this magical cloud forest is what inspires our sustainability policies. If there are any suggestions you would like to make to improve the experience for future guests please feel free to contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com Best regards and many happy travels!

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Reviewed February 26, 2014

My husband and I visited El Silencio for our honeymoon as part of a larger package we booked through the hotel management (Grupo Islita) and they did not disappoint.

The property is nestled in a valley between 2 national parks. To say that the area and environment around you is absolutely stunning is an understatement. Besides that, the hotel staff is so welcoming and helpful, they will put you at ease from the moment you get there.

We had an amazing time and are looking forward to going back again. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for an enjoyable, relaxing, and picturesque vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank RNavarrski
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 1, 2014

Saludos! And heartfelt thanks for your wonderful words about El Silencio Lodge & Spa and your experience in our gorgeous surroundings. Giving our guests a chance to experience the cloud forest and signature examples of Costa Rican hospitality is our driving mantra. Muchas gracias!

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Reviewed February 18, 2014

Beautiful resort nestled in a cloud forest. Attentive staff that goes above and beyond to make sure your stay wonderful. We had an early morning flight and had to leave at 330am; they ensured we had sandwiches delivered to our room since we would be missing breakfast (the sandwiches were delicious). Food was always fresh, as they have their own organic farm and chickens. We went on the "hidden treasure hike", waterfall repelling/ziplining, and attended the spa...all were amazing beyond words. Our guide Emilio was attentive, knowledgable, and always prepared. Rooms were impeccable. Definitely will be back, because two days is a tease with all the amazing sites and relaxation to be had.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dana P
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 19, 2014

Thank you so much for your visit, enthusiasm, and comments! As a fellow adrenaline enthusiast, I am especially pleased that you enjoyed our most intense adventures! The Hidden Treasure to find blue-hued waterfalls is indeed an amazing experience and our new Adventure Park offers plenty of thrills! Perfect to follow-up with a relaxing Esencia Spa massage. We hope you have a chance to return soon and in the meantime I hope the memories remain vivid!

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

We (two adults and our 15 year old daughter) visited El Silencio (ES) as part of a package from Grupo Islita that included two activities and a spa credit at each of ES Punta Islita during the last week of January. I made all our arrangements with Aleksandra at Grupo Islita who had helped me a year earlier when we only visited Punta Islita. Aleksandra was very easy to work with extremely responsive to my numerous inquiries.

We arrived by car on Saturday after a little over 90 minute drive from Alajuela. We drove the recommended way from Zarcero and while the road goes over a mountain it is quite doable. Upon arrival we were met by Orlando, our eco-concierge. After a delicious lunch we took a two hour guided hike with Orlando who was terrific. We saw the organic farm/greenhouse and then proceeded into the forest to view the properties three beautiful waterfalls. (The guided hike is included in one's stay) On the way back we were treated to a Pecarary sighting. After the hike I took advantage of the spa credit and had a massage. The spa is tucked back in the woods across a small hanging bridge, very peaceful.

The next morning, I did a bird excursion with Orlando, which was great, and then we all did horseback riding (part of the package) on the property and into the town of Bajo del Toro (pop approx 200). Orlando and Carlos were our guides. On the way back we stopped at Olga's house/pulperia where we learned to make wonderful tacos, as part of the resort's included cultural experience. Since we were full from the tacos, we skipped lunch and headed to a chocolate making experience in Sarapiqui with a great driver named Jimmy. The chocolate tour was in a park, where you traversed one of the longest hanging bridges in CR, over the Sarapiqui river to get to the chocolate making demonstration. We thoroughly enjoyed the activity as well as our time with Jimmy.


After returning from the chocolate tour we enjoyed the hot tub on our deck. Orlando, arranged to have it turned on two hours before our return so it would be ready and thus, avoiding us wasting all that electricity by turning it on earlier in the day.

Our room (#11) was a bit of a climb from the lodge but had great views from the porch. It was quite spacious for the three of us and had nooks to get the luggage out of the way. There is small fridge and coffee/tea maker. The bathroom has a separate room with two sinks, apart from the toilet and shower. We loved the rockers on the porch and the hot water bottles delivered at night. Yes, it is a bit cool in Bajo del Toro but we had just arrived from bitter cold NY, so we found the temperature quite pleasant!. There is no tv or internet in the rooms, but if you need either, there is a room in the lodge where you can watch tv and access the internet. We didn't miss either.

Now about the food, it is simply wonderful. We had dinner there both nights, one lunch and two breakfasts. All of which were delicious. Breakfast was included but we paid separately for the other meals. While others have complained about the set price for three course, we thought it was quite reasonable given the quality of the meals. The trout dishes were absolutely outstanding. A special mention to our waiter Martin, who never failed to remember our names and provided us with excellent service.

We were very glad that we added a two night stay here as it gave us the chance to see a different part of Costa Rica from the beach area and the more touristy Arenal. We hope to return in the future and would highly recommend the place to others.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank CobbHillBrooklyn
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 19, 2014

Saludos! And a huge thank you for taking the time to write such colorful and heartfelt reviews about El Silencio Lodge & Spa and our sister beach property, Hotel Punta Islita. I am delighted that we succeeded in providing an extraordinary family vacation experience. It is obvious that you are thoughtful travelers who truly relish in immersing in your destinations' culture. It will always be a pleasure to be your hosts!

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Reviewed February 9, 2014

My wife and I chose El Silencio and their sister resort Punta Islita for our Honeymoon. We did not regret our decision. Our stay at El Silencio was top notch. We took advantage of a lot of their activities: repelling, zip lining, couple’s massage, horseback riding, romantic dinner, day trip to the volcano, etc. and they were all well worth it. We really liked our personal concierge/hotel representative Benny. He made himself extremely available to us and he made sure we had a great trip. An example of his commitment to his guests was the fact that he got up at 5:45 AM and personally saw us off with cheese sandwiches he had the kitchen prepare for us the day of our departure. Additionally we liked our waiter Martin (I think the name is correct). He gave us excellent service and was extremely professional. The room was clean and spacious and the property was immaculate. The view of the cloud forest from our room was breathtaking and our personal hot tub was a great touch. All around awesome time!

Room Tip: Zip lining is a must
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jongaebe
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 11, 2014

It was a pleasure to have a chance to host you and your wife for your honeymoon at El Silencio Lodge & Spa and our sister beach property, Hotel Punta Islita. It is a true honor to have a chance to share the best of Costa Rica's eco-adventures and authentic culture. I will gladly relay your kudos to Benny and Martin. Thank you so much for taking the time to write!

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Reviewed February 9, 2014 via mobile

Visited here a few years ago. The staff were sincere and friendly. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was relaxing. Enjoyed a hot stone massage which may have been the best massage I have had. The location is very isolated and the drive there from Tabacon was rough but it was worth it to disconnect. Bring a good book and enjoy the serenity.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
Thank melanooch
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 11, 2014

Gracias! It is always a pleasure to hear back from our former guests. Thank you so much for remembering us so fondly. I certainly hope you have a chance to visit us again soon. Since your stay, we have completed many exciting projects including a brand-new eco-adventure park, Private Two-Bedroom Villas, and an expanded selection of farm-to-table cuisine, cultural experiences, and spa services. Warmest regards from all the staff!

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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: $274 - $776 (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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