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“Really amazing!”
Review of Casa Divina Lodge

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Casa Divina Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 21, 2012

My partner and I loved our stay at Casa Divina. Molly and Efrain are great hosts, the lodge is beautiful, all of the food they served was delicious, and we really enjoyed sharing family style meals with the other guests.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Yulia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 - 149 of 218 reviews

Reviewed January 17, 2012

Despite 2 days of solid rain, we had a delightful time at Casa Divina. One of the first things I saw when we arrived at the property was a Blue Morpho butterfly. I have always wanted to see one in the wild and it was a delight. Also seen from the lodge were hummingbirds, parakeets, toucans, quetzals and more. We also took a night hike and came across the biggest walking stick I have ever seen. We really enjoyed birding with Efrain--his enthusiasm and appreciation for the birds was contagious. (We are not hard-core birders, just enjoy seeing the exotic, and not-so-exotic species). The food was very good with generous (more than generous, actually) portions. The lodge and accommodations were beautifully handmade of solid wood, sort of a rustic elegance. Not roughing it at all. We loved it!

Things to bring along if you stay here: rain gear, fleece, shampoo and conditioner, binoculars, flashlight.

Room Tip: Rooms further away from the lodge are quieter. If there is someone in the room above or below you...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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Thank traveldiveski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

This place is a little bit out of town but worth the journey. I could feel the stress melt away as we walked through the beautiful grounds to our 2 storey cabin. Everything is so lovely, I would highly recommend staying here. The food was great and the service impeccable. As for the distance from town, it is a nice walk and a taxi can be easily arranged for all of $3.00. Host will happily help you arrange outings and activities although we could have happily stayed in our hammocks watching birds and butterflies.

Additional advice: If driving down from Quito, I recommend anti-nausea medication. Our 3 children, usually so hardy, became carsick.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Racoony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2011

My wife and I stayed for 3 nights this month. More than we usually pay but it felt very worth it.
We were the only people staying there during the pre-holiday lull and we enjoyed the quiet and solitude. it is only a 20 minute walk or so into town.
Food was excellent, both breakfast and dinner are included with the room. The cabins were built by the couple, Efrain and Molly, and the workmanship is admirable.
We went birdwatching with Efrain one day and he is very knowledgeable and helpful in getting our gringo eyes to spot the toucans and tanagers that would have passed unnoticed if we were birding by ourselves.
Jerry
Boise

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank jerry233
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2011

Stayed here as a "rest" after a busy 2 weeks in Peru. Loved the lodge, ours was at the back and we had no-one underneath. Very relaxing and restful, especially afternoon naps in the hammock. We had booked the birding package with Efrain who is a wonderful and knowledgeable guide and very keen to share his enthusiasm. We are not bird watching experts so did not appreciate quite how demanding it is! Very early morning starts and lots of peering up into the tree canopies, not great for someone with a dodgy neck. With hindsight think we should have gone for a shorter birding package and more lazing about. Molly and Efrain are a lovely, friendly and welcoming couple who really make you feel at home. We loved our stay there although would not say Mindo itself had much going for it. The only reason I am not marking it as overall "excellent" is that my husband was disappointed by the dinner choices on the two nights we were the only guests. The food had been very good but the last two nights we had a corn salad and then a vegetable rice dish. Not my husband's idea of a decent evening meal when you are paying a fairly expensive nightly rate. Molly had explained that her cook was off sick but we still felt a bit fobbed off.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank p1nkyperky2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2011

My wife and I spent the four best days of our honeymoon at Casa Divina. The grounds are so beautiful -- tropical flowers, hiking trails and amazing birds like Toucanets sprinkle the property -- that we didn't take pictures because they couldn't capture the beauty of the place. Casa Divina is truly a labor of love, and it shows.

As a couple on our honeymoon, we stayed in the honeymoon suite, which came with a great bottle of red wine and a bar of local chocolate each night. This small touches were indicative of the care that Molly and Efrain put into making Casa Divina a great place -- every last detail was right. The locally manufactured organic soap was a nice touch and the room was always clean after we returned from our morning hike.

Our room was secluded with a huge porch and a hammock that was perfect for reading or napping. The food was amazing -- Molly even cooked a Thanksgiving dinner complete with stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. While some of the reviews have complained that dinner is communal, with such a small place, this is really the best -- and only -- way to do it. If you really dislike eating with strangers, I'm sure that you could ask to move your food to one of the other tables in the lodge.

The best part of this place are the owners, Molly and Efrain. Molly is an American living in Ecuador who is able to help you with anything from picking a good place to eat in Quito to arranging an airport pick-up. Efrain is a wonderful naturalist who helped us spot the cock of the rock and some amazing tanagers during our bird walk with him.

Beyond the lodge, the best part of Mindo is the birds. I can't explain how many cool birds there are -- and how great it is to stay at a place where Efrain can tell you what you're listening to. Beyond the birds, there is canyoning, zip lines and a place where you can fish for your own lunch. The town of Mindo is very cute, and we spent a happy afternoon watching the surprisingly cute and friendly street dogs walk through the park.

Casa Divina knocks it out of the park!

Room Tip: The honeymoon suite!
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank JR S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2011

The food is wonderful and the location superb. However, just up the road El Monte is offering a free natualist service for guests, 3 meals a day and cheaper rates with cabins away from the eating area. The walk to town is a bit longer but if you are looking for a very quiet experience then think about El Monte and compare prices, your needs.

Being a solo traveller is expensive everywhere in Ecuador. $60/3 hour morning bird walk was a bit steep. I had a cabin behind the kitchen and found it noisy. I moved to another cabin and it was lovely and quiet but nobody was below me. Rooms are on top of each other in three cabins (six total).

Kids are part of the scene and staff enjoy playing 'background' modern western music in the lodge area. The family will be moving above the eating lodge area and this may add more noise to the lodge eating area. The owers are trying really hard in so many ways but when running a lodge the customer should be first. If you are paying to be in a natural area let the silence and birds be the sounds not music. Also free tea and coffee during the day would be a nice addition.

Windows don't have blinds so you can lie in bed and watch birds but if you like dark rooms pack your eye shields for sleeping.

When you are in Mindo do visit the animal rescue center and meet a lovely sweet monkey, parrots and birds.

Room Tip: ask for the rooms away from the kitchen and top level
  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank sharonr806
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

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: $199 - $280 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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