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“Relaxing Beauty”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
BC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Relaxing Beauty”
Reviewed February 8, 2010

El Silencio presents a very attractive retreat in a well kept and beautiful setting. We stayed for 3 nights. If a guest is not going to schedule something else such as a day at the spa, or some other eco-adventure outside the hotel, two nights would do it. This would give one a full day to enjoy all the trails and all the sights. I would recommend taking the trails at least twice early in the day and another in mid-afternoon. There are different animals, sounds, and expereinces at different times of the day.

The villas are clean, elegant and simple. There is no television, which may be a downer for folks who might be news hounds, etc,; but we found the experience to be relaxing and provided a strong connection to spend time with my spouse talking, enjoying the warmth of the fire.

The staff was very thoughtful, and we did not find a language barrier. All the key staff spoke and understood english well. The concierage, Ronald, was very helpful, focused, with a keen sense to see to the guest's needs. He could easily be found in some the best urban hotels in any larger city.

The menus in the restaurant were interesting and varried to hold our attention, but picky eaters may be challenged.

On our extra day, we drove to the north which in the beginning of large area of farms with the main roads giving many good vistas. It is not much of a tourist destination. but if you like the countryside or come from a farm background this well worth the drive.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank HaidaKayaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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640 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2010

This eco lodge finished off our brilliant stay in Costa Rica. The setting was in stark contrast to the hot rainforest on the Osa Peninsula and the beaches at Manuel Antonio. The moist cool air and the ethereal setting made you feel like you were living in the clouds that enveloped the lush mountains.
The property is spectacular and has gushing rivers, several waterfalls and a nice variety of unusual animals. My wife saw a coati in our garden and an armadillo sauntered across my path on the way to the dining room.
The lodges were comfortable and always spotless. The staff provided first class service. We tried the spa for a tandem massage and were not disappointed (except for the price).
The food was extremely tasty and organic.
The only slight disappointment was that we did not feel that we were in Central America. The "Spanish" flavour is subdued here.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank therongold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Level Contributor
166 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,477 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2009

We spent two nights at El Silencio Lodge during our three week trip to Costa Rica, and it was hands-down our favourite of all seven hotels we stayed at throughout the country. It is a magical place in an impossibly beautiful setting-- like stepping into the pages of the James Hilton classic "Lost Horizon."

We were so glad we did not opt to rent a car and let someone else do the driving. The road from La Fortuna to El Silencio was terribly scenic, but also terribly frightening at times! It's very narrow, in varying states of repair/disrepair, and often there's barely enough room for just one car to round a curve or cross a bridge. What a dramatic way to arrive!

Once you pass through the gates to El Silencio it's like you've discovered Shangri-la! The landscape is so lush and green, with little pockets of mist and clouds clinging to the hillsides. We arrived during a thunderstorm, which only added to the beauty and mystery of the place. By the time we reached the main lodge there were two employees waiting with umbrellas to greet us, take our luggage and escort us into the lobby to check-in fireside. Andrej gave us a very thorough description of the hotel and the services it offers, showed us around the grounds, and let us choose whatever cabin location we preferred (there was only one other cabin occupied while we were there). He recommended his favourite, #16, which is the closest cabin to the rushing stream on the property (and close to the lodge too). It was so nice to be able to leave the windows open and fall asleep to the sounds of the rain and the stream- best sleep ever!

Housekeeping had spelled out "welcome" in hydrangea petals on the rug, and there was a plate of homemade regional sweets and berries waiting for us. The room is rustic, but in the best sense of the word-- log lamps, wood floors, twig window screens. The bed is luxuriously outfitted in Frette linens and the bathroom is stocked with L'Occitane products. Who could ask for anything more? We loved that there was no television or radio and did not once miss the 'noise'. At night, while we were at dinner, the housekeeper would return to the room, replace towels, draw the blinds and curtains, set out carafes of water, and turn down the bed. The only thing missing was a little mint or chocolate! (Still, it was the best turndown service we had anywhere).

While on the property we took hikes along the various well-marked trails. The longest one leads past at least 3 different waterfalls, each more beautiful than the previous. You end up at "La Promesa" which delivers what it promises: a gorgeous waterfall emptying into a pristine pool-- and no one else around but you and your hiking partner. Amazing!

There is a very nice looking spa which unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to use, and a yoga studio that offers classes on weekends. One afternoon we walked down into the little village near the entrance to the hotel, but there really isn't much to see there. Still, it was interesting to see how the locals live.

Each meal we had at El Silencio was a sheer delight. Everything is prepared with the freshest of ingredients (many things are grown right on the property in their organic gardens and greenhouse), and there's a good selection of reasonably priced wines and cocktails. The tilapia with parmesan risotto, the mushroom fettucine, and the tres leches cake are the absolute stand-outs! Service is quiet, polished and very attentive. It was the best food and service we had in all of Costa Rica.

Our departure was made even more memorable when Andrej called us to ask if we would like to plant a tree, tagged with our names and date of stay, in front of our cottage. It was a charming 'ceremony' and offers yet one more reason to return to El Silencio some day. They even gave us banana-leaf bookmarks with a photograph of us planting the tree to remember the experience by. Such amazing attention to detail. Other hotels we stayed at paid lip-service to providing a "personal concierge" (Gaia and Punta Islita, for example) but never delivered (we saw them only at check-in and perhaps at check-out). At El Silencio, we definitely felt "taken care of" by Andrej- any question or request was answered or met efficiently and with a smile.

It was hard to leave after just two nights (3 or 4 nights there would be perfect). El Silencio Lodge & Spa is truly one of the most memorable places we have ever stayed at anywhere in the world. We stayed at the lodge's sister property, Hotel Punta Islita, immediately after for 5 nights, but it just did not live up to El Silencio's service and attention to detail. We wish we could return to El Silencio tomorrow!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank Kodachrome_Dreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grass Valley, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 1, 2009

My husband and I absolutely loved this place. Our few complaints are below in the next paragraph if you are looking for the bad things. When we arrived there were flowers arranged saying "Happy Honeymoon" and a plate of fruit and chocolate sauce (which later got eaten by a raccoon because we left the door open, and we got another plate for free :)). The rooms were spacious with awesome bathrooms, beds. views, couches, a little cozy fireplace, and a wonderful wonderful jacuzzi on the private balcony. The jacuzzi was from spring water so it was so fresh and didn't smell like chlorine or bromine. The rocking chairs on the porch were outstanding and we spent lots of time sipping on a drink staring into the rainforest on the porch. The 3 included meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner all three course) were ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. The service was excellent and I have never been so satisfied with meals at a hotel!

Ok, here's my complaints which really aren't a big deal at all. First of all, the alcohol was a bit expensive, especially the wine. We ordered a bottle of champagne and asked for the cheapest one and got a $117 bottle of Moet that is about $30 at the most in the U.S. So the language barrier was a little annoying at times, but what can you expect going into a foreign country where they have a different language than you? Finally, at times we were bored because there was no t.v. in the room or anything. And the spa was very very expensive, but the honeymoon special that my husband and I got was OUTSTANDING. Most of the other spas we saw had similar prices so it wasn't really over priced, just expensive for me. If you go here be prepared to travel on very scary roads to get there as well!!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank lkcutee42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2009

I traveled to Costa Rica with my new wife on our honeymoon and we stayed at 3 different locations during the course of a week. While I would also call another place we stayed at during our trip "Heaven", it was more man-made Heaven. El Silencio is natural Heaven. It is literally in the middle of nowhere, you travel quite a distance up a mountain to reach it, but it is very secluded, no other resort-type places around it. It is very peaceful and beautiful. If you love nature, this is the place for you.

We stayed at El Silencio for 3 days, 2 nights. We had our own Eco-Guide named Andrea who was awesome, she showed us around the place and even gave us a private tour on their private trails through the Cloud Forest. We had about a 3 hour hike, taking our time and visiting all 3 of their major waterfalls which were very beautiful. I was very happy to find out during our hike that there is not much dangerous wildlife to be found there. Before heading to Costa Rica I had read about all sorts of nasty snakes and such and was a bit weary to go trekking off into the forest on my own. Andrea told us though there are no poisonous snakes there and no dangerous animals...very few bugs too, didn't even need insect repellent. She said they didn't like it at the high altitude. Did I mention this is a Cloud Forest? You are so high up that you are in the clouds - literally. It is good to note that it is a bit chillier here since you are so high up, I did wear pants and a sweatshirt during the nights here.

The service from all of the staff was great, each day we went into our room to find a new message made out of plants and flowers that read things like "Happy Honeymoon" and "Together Forever". The "cabin" itself was very nice inside with windows everywhere to enjoy the full view (there are shades to pull down at night). It also features two comfy couches and a soft king size bed. The floors are a nice solid wood, no bugs coming between cracks. You have your own gas fireplace that turns off automatically, a private jacuzzi outside, a deck with 2 rocking chairs to enjoy the great view, a complementary mini fridge stocked daily, 2 sinks, complementary laundry service, complementary ponchos, complementary shoe cleaning (since they'll get a bit dirty). They've really thought of everything. Oh, I forgot to mention they serve afternoon hot chocolate with cookies that they brought to our room around 5pm, which was a great snack since dinner is not served until 7.

All three meals each day were included with our stay and the meals were very good and healthy, they grow much of their own food there at the site. At the time we were there they were currently building a new greenhouse to grow more food. The first dinner we had they reserved a special honeymoon table for us by the fireplace which provided a great eating experience. The normal dining area is great as well, either indoors or out, both offer wonderful views of the forest.

They also provide a great spa at the resort complete with massages, yoga, facials, wraps, etc. The spa itself is off from the "cabins", you need to walk a bit through the forest to get to it. My wife and I enjoyed a tandem hot stone massage there that was very relaxing and one of the best massages I've ever had, if not the best. I know that when it was over I was wishing I would have done a longer massage instead of the 60 min one.

El Silencio is very Eco-Friendly, they do a lot of things to save the environment. The paper they use is natural, there is little lighting, but enough at night, and they also try to counter their carbon footprint by doing things like having their guests plant a tree. We did take part in this and were able to plant our tree right outside the restaurant. They place a tag around it with the date and your name, and they keep a log of where your tree is planted so you can come back and know which one is yours.

I really wish we could have stayed here longer, 2 nights was not enough. Especially since we went and did activities outside the resort one day we were there (they do have that option). We were picked up from the resort and brought to a place about an hour away where you have your choice of activities like horseback riding, whitewater rafting, zip lining, rappelling, and trail walking. We did horseback riding and zip lining which were fun.

Overall I would highly recommend El Silencio, the resort is great in every way and the staff really go out of their way to make your stay the best possible. I do believe that when we visit Costa Rica again (and we will because the entire country is great) we will stay at El Silencio again.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Qunix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2009

From the moment you arrive, you are immediately immersed in the foothills of the rain forest, with its cooler temps and cloud covered mountains, which makes for a very tranquil setting. The uniqueness of El Silencio is that they have their own organic farm from which they prepare three very delicious meals from daily, included in your room rate. Another feature was the private hot tubs on your platform deck, which is the perfect way to end the evening after a delicious, gourmet meal. The fireplaces in the room are also wonderful and much needed on the cooler nights. A nice touch, too, was the inclusive mini'bar, which was fully stocked each day and complimentary.

Our eco guide, Andre, was superb, in taking us on the propertey´s trail, Mistico Mountain, and showing us the water falls on the property, as well as educating us about the flora and fauna. I had an amazing yoga session at the spa, which is adjacent to the creek, with the sound of the water in the background was truly special. I would highly recommend the couples massage in the specially designed conical room, too, which was one of the better massages I have had in a long time. Do take a day trip to Tabacon Springs in the ARenal area, and if you are lucky to get a good driver, like we had, Hernon, we did a side trip around the volcano area and saw our first Toucan, as well as monkies and iguanas. As they say in Costa Rica, "Pura Vida .... Good Life!¨"

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tbtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Yor,k, NY
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2009

My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at El Silencio. We spent 3 days in their beautiful "villas" tucked in the cloud forest north of San Jose. The service at this resort is unmatched by any place we've ever been. We had daily flower petals spelling out messages, plush bath robes and slippers, a private jacuzzi, hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies every afternoon, amazing walks to waterfalls nearby, and the most relaxing spa experience possible. We ate great food, slept, read, planted a tree, and definitely re-energized after our destination wedding in Nicaragua. We loved this place, and can't wait to return.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alarah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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