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“Touch of Eden”
Review of Casa Divina Lodge

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Casa Divina Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Long Island, New York
Level 6 Contributor
132 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Touch of Eden”
Reviewed June 23, 2011

I found Casa Divina using Trip Advisor and the reviews were spot on. It is a lovely property, with beautiful brand new cabins, & the best plumbing we encountered.The bathrooms are large and luxurious & yes, they have bathtubs..as well as their own water supply. I accidently drank a whole glass, with no adverse effects. . Molly and Ephrain are excellent hosts. One of the best things is that Molly is American and speaks English. She is also an outstanding chef..of course w/ staff help; the food was excellent. Ephrain is a knowledgeable and accomodating bird/nature guide..you can go at your own pace or not at all.

The cabins are brand new and beautiful, built by Ephrain..furniture is hand made. The acoustics tho' are not great. Take a top room if you are not traveling w/ enough people to share a whole cabin. Another warning..there are children..and they are not shy w/guests and that can be a bother if you want to be alone, or quiet in the main lodge. Of course it is a blessing if you are bringing children..they even have a child's swings inside the lodge. While I stayed there two families with children stayed one night, and with all the hard wood surfaces in the main lodge, I used ear plugs during dinner.

The town of Mindo is not much, and we did not venture in..but birding up the road from the lodge is spectacular.. on the way up the road is a canopy zip line (if you're brave) Ephrain will tell you its not safe, tho' it is listed in the brochure. Farher up there is a cable car across the river..(also iffy, but we did that and survived). There are hiking trails to the Nambillo Falls on the other side..or continue on up the road for a hike to the falls from the that side. Either way, see the falls, they are spectacular.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank gemswinc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (60)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2011

Casa Divina was the perfect location for our trip to the Ecuador Cloud Forest. Molly and Efrain made us feel right at home and have a beautiful location. Each and every meal was wonderful and the soups were delicious. The cabins that Efrain built were very comfortable and clean. I loved the little babbling brook just outside our bath room window. Molly helped us plan our side trips and Efrain was our guide to a butterfly farm and to the cock-on-the-rock. He also took us to visit several waterfalls in the Cloud forest. If you are looking for an eco-destination in Ecuador as we were, you will not be disappointed at Casa Divina.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ReuvenJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed May 20, 2011

Our stay in Casa Divina (several nights) was lovely. The cabins are beautifully built with dark wood, comfortably furnished, and immaculately clean. Ours included large wrap-around windows, upscale spa-like bathrooms, comfy clean beds, and a porch with a hammock -- all allowing you to be in the midst of the cloudforest with all the creature comforts you need.

The owners are a sweet and conscientious couple with two adorable kids. They were extremely helpful -- more than willing to help you reserve/plan your activities (the orchid garden, butterfly farm, zip-lining, and cable car are must-do's). They (and all of their staff) are friendly and approachable ... excited to help point out birds, butterflies, plants, etc that you see while there, to answer any questions you might have about the area and culture, and even to make you some tea if you feel like it in the middle of the afternoon. They also have a deep understanding of the challenges the community faces as it develops, and are extremely eco-conscious, working through eco-tourism to help Mindo and the surrounding areas develop and grow in a sustainable way, ensuring the protection of the area's natural resources.

The common space (including the dining area) is (similar to the cabins) beautiful, clean, and comfortable, complete with chess set, guest computer, games, books -- and large windows so you can keep an eye out for wildlife. The food was homecooked, delicious, and more than plentiful!

If you are traveling through Mindo (and you should!), Casa Divina is the place to stay. They made our time there warm, comfortable, easy, and fun. They even arranged for a car to drive us from Quito and back (a windy beautiful drive up into the mountains!)

ENJOY!

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
Thank SusanneBrooks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2011

Mindo is a small town off the main road in a valley and the Casa Divina is a mile outside of town, surrounded by river valley, farm, and forest. The area can be wet -- it is a cloud forest, after all. The grounds are very nice, and a bit of a work in progress. The rooms and main room are really nice and comfortable. Hammock, chairs, and lots of beautiful wood interiors, tables and chairs, all built by Efrain the co-owner. Check out the photos. Beds are great, the showers are hot (it gets a bit cold in the cloudforest when a cloudburst happens).

The food is homemade and outstanding. Breakfasts and lunches are wholesome, generous, and tasty. Dinners were a special of the day. We were there in an off-season with only a couple other guests, and therefore missed meeting Molly and the two children, but Efrain was a very capable host on his own.

We walked from the Casa a few times, exploring the area on backroads and seeing birds on our own. It felt very safe. But the highlights were birding with Efrain - - which involves getting up very early and driving to a special refuge (Angel Paz) to see the Cock of the Rock, Quetzals, Antpitas, and many other birds. He also took us birding right from the Casa one morning and we saw at least 50 species in 2 hours. And yes, you pay extra for birding, but it it totally worth it compared to birding without a guide.

The Casa isn't cheap, but we thought we got great value and found it very relaxing, like visiting friends. We'd go back.

Room Tip: We had an upstairs room, but just ask them.
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Love22saywa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philadelphia, pa
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2011

we had a lovely time at casa divina with our very gracious hosts and their children. our kids (8,5) romped with their kids (about the same ages) in their beautiful great room - all wood floors and furniture, large and relaxing. they have a couple indoor swings and acrobatic fabric that drape over beams that the kids loved to play with. all very beautifully presented. plus, chess and monopoly. what more could the kids want? well, they also enjoyed the butterfly farm and the ziplining as well as the tarabita ride across a valley to the waterfall hike. we unfortunately did not do any of the bird hikes but heard they were amazing! the place is beautiful and very relaxing. our room was great with a hammock to swing on on the porch. huge bathtub. if you are someone who gets bit by insects, bring your bug repellant. one of my poor sons got about 50 bites (48, to be exact, so he tells us) on his legs while we were sleeping! you can walk to town or to the other things to do in the area, but frankly, it's along the main roads and not on trails, so it's not always so scenic. they can always call you a taxi (transportation does start to add up though). breakfast and dinners were wonderfully prepared and presented. boy, we ate well! vegetarian options looked good but we really enjoyed our passion fruit trout! if someone is looking for a quiet retreat, don't let my mention of kids put you off! the rooms are beautiful and very tranquil, and the great room is large enough for all to enjoy.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank wetakethekids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2011

Casa Divina is even more beautiful than it looks in the photos. The grounds were a slice a paradise. The rooms were lovely, comfortable, and spotless. Our room had a wall of windows, a balcony, and a large bathroom with a full size tub and shower, as well as filtered water. Molly was friendly and very helpful. SHe's from the US and speaks fluent English, which I'll admit made life easier. The food was very good. We stayed one night and wished we could've stayed longer. The only downside is that its a little pricey. One bit of advise -- try to book Eprhain as your guide. We used someone else for birdwatching (Ephrain was booked) and our guide was good, but I have a feeling that Ephrain is better.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cheshiregal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2011

We recently stayed at Casa Divina with my husband's family and our three boys (there were ten in our party). My husband's family was making a return trip to Casa Divina but it was our first visit. It was incredible.
There was something for everyone. My sons (ages 6, 7, and 12) were constantly investigating the outdoors, finding new insects and amphibians, and spotting birds. We went on bird hikes, a night hike, visited the butterfly farm, and toured the Mindo Orchid garden. I wish we had a week to spend there.
The food was delicious and Molly and her staff were very helpful and friendly. The rooms were clean, nicely decorated and very comfortable. Efrain was incredibly knowledgeable about the plants, birds, animals and insects. He was a fantastic guide!
I'd recommend this destination to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BonnieMcNett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Divina Lodge

Property: Casa Divina Lodge
Address: 1.2km Via a la Cascada Nambillo | Pichincha, Mindo, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Mindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mindo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Divina Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Divina Lodge is located 1.2 km (3/4 mi.) outside the town of Mindo in the western lowlands of the Pichincha Province in Ecuador, South America. About 2 hours northwest of Quito, the valley of Mindo forms part of a larger biodiversity hotspot known as the Andean Choco Region. We are proud to offer comfortable and elegant accommodation in the middle of the cloudforest. The town of Mindo offers many activities for the outdoor, nature-seeking traveler. World class birdwatching is at its best in and around the Mindo area. Please inquire about birdwatching packages and personalized tours.At Casa Divina Lodge we provide delicious home-style meals and comfortable accommodations for those who want an adventure by day and an elegant and cozy place to rest by night. As well as an experienced bird guide, Efrain, owner and builder, is a talented carpenter and has demonstrated his love for wood in each of the hand-built cabins as well as almost all of the wooden furniture in the lodge. We are a family-run business that holds high standards in service to our guests and also towards our employees. We value those that work with us greatly. We are proud to have a dedicated staff that is happy to be here and has been with us for an extended period, making the atmosphere here that much more warm and family-oriented.We welcome families that travel together, as well as guests with young children. We have two children and know what a great opportunity and advantage it is for children to experience a broader sense of the world through travel. We run a small capacity lodge on a private nature reserve, so whether you are dedicated birdwatchers, honeymooners or a traveling family Casa Divina Lodge offers the perfect cloudforest experience.We support community tourism by working with other family-run businesses in the area. We encourage our guests to get out and experience the variety of activities available in the region. For the adventure seekers there is zip lining through the trees, tubing down the Mindo River and rappelling down one of many local waterfalls. Delight your sweet tooth on a rainy afternoon at the local chocolate factory. For nature lovers there is a morning at the butterfly farm, a tour at the orchid garden and the after dinner night hike. For avid bird watchers you can't miss the cock-of-the-rock lek, a visit to the Paz de Las Aves Reserve and humming bird observation.But you won't want to spend all of your time out of doors. Casa Divina is a place where life slows down. A place where you are invited to relax on the sofa with a good book, or in your hammock for a refreshing siesta.Our meals are a healthy blend of traditional Ecuadorian and international fare. And don't forget the desserts. Each evening a unique sweet inspiration is served from the ovens of the Sweet Goddess Bakery. For those who can't get enough of our cooking (or just want to stay in for the day) we offer lunch, snacks, drinks and-of course-coffee and tea all day long. Unlimited filtered drinking water is also available in your room as well as in the main house.Mindo is a small town located in the Ecuadorian western lowlands (more commonly know as cloud forest) where so many ideals come together: the climate is just right (the nickname for this valley is "the land of eternal spring"), the biodiversity will make even the most amateur nature seeker giddy with excitement, malaria does not exist here (no pills, no side effects), and the community is conscientious and moving ahead in the eco-tourism movement. You will see informative signs posted throughout town about the effects of pollution and all households and businesses separate our waste into organic and non-organic bins. The young people from Mindo are proud of their town, their work and the opportunity to have an international experience in a small rural town.Although Mindo still has a long way to go in its development as an "eco-destination," change and progress are happening and it's exciting to be part of the process. We invite you to come and kick up your heels at Casa Divina Lodge and participate in community tourism in the making. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Divina Cloudforest Retreat Hotel Mindo

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