My husband I picked this place after seeing it on a travel channel show. It looked lovely on TV and in person the rooms were very attractive, however, this place comes with some forewarning that we were not aware of. It is not for everyone.
There is NO electricity here. You light your room by candle at night and we were supplied with only 2 candles and one match upon arrival. We were able to get some extra candles and a box of matches so we could at least use the restroom without running into things at night, but it was somewhat difficult in the evening. You are better to hang around the main lodge where they have some power (lights only) but they want you out of there by 8:30-9 p,m, as that is where the owners sleep.
Also the food is vegetarian only, and I wouldn't exactly say they give you a heaping serving-the portions are okay for women, but men will find them tiny and not too satisfying after a long day's hike. They do not provide any snacks between meals or beverages. There is only water in between meals and at meals there is lemonade, coffee and tea only. Because they have no refrigerator, there is no cold beer or sodas or ice. They have a limited amount of wine available for purchase, but I suggest you bring your own.
While the cabanas are very lovely, and the setting pristine, this place has a long, long way to go before it can be considered luxurious. The price we paid was astronomical compared to other places in Ecuador. It seemed reasonable compared to the USA, but for Ecuador it is way overpriced. Had I known how cheap the rest of Ecuador was before we went, I never would have paid this much for this place.
Additionally, even you are inclined to go into town, there is no transportation provided by the lodge and the hike is easily 45 minutes into town. There are virtually no cabs in the tiny town of Miindo and the townspeople speak no English at all. There isn't much reason to go into town unless you are dying for a cold beer or some extra food/beverages to bring back to your cabana.
Despite this, the hiking was lovely and the guides informative and helpful.
Do not forget to bring bugspray and apply it often. My husband and I got eaten alive by what they called "black flies." I left there 3 days ago and my skin is still itching with the worst bug bites I have ever had in my life. They are 10x's worse than mosquitos.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El Monte Sustainable Lodge is an ecotourism destination in every sense of the word. We emphasize nature here at El Monte, in the form of birdwatching and observation of wildlife in general. Aside from the natural focus of our lodge, we also supply many of the vegetables, eggs and more from our organic garden. Most of our energy is supplied by a microhydro plant. We are located in a 110 acre reserve that is close to the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve of over 40,000 acres. At only 3 kilometers from the town of Mindo we are within access of many the activities, such as the Butterfly Garden, Ziplines, White-water Tubing, waterfalls and more. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- El Monte Hotel Mindo