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“Amazing” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Casa Divina Lodge

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Casa Divina Lodge
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Tennessee
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2009

My husband & I stayed here at the end of April. Even though on both our hikes it rained, it didn't dampen the beauty of it all. It helped that we were able to get our clothes (and shoes) washed & dried.
Molly & Efrain are wonderful hosts. The guided hikes by Efrain were awesome - he knows his stuff - he was able to call to a female quetzal so she would fly closer to us so we would be able to see her beautiful colors. He was able to spot various birds from far off which we could only see with binoculars and he knew them right away.
The rooms, food & company were all fantastic. My only regret is we didn't stay longer.

Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank CatIslandCouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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208 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    187
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
47 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2009

i stayed here with my boyfriend on my second trip to Mindo. The property is WONDERFUL. The cabañas are adorable and very private because they are set back into the cloud forest. They do not rent out both floors of the cabañas to separate parties so it a great romantic escape. The food that Molly makes is fantastic. She varies between Ecuadorian food and Gringo food. I loved the combination and the desserts! Molly and Efrain's children are adorable and I don't think they were a bother what so ever as a poster said below. But then again, I love children so maybe that is why. Efrain's canopy company was great... It was worth paying more than for the other canopy company in Mindo. In general it was a great place to stay in Mindo. The other places to stay in Mindo are no where near as nice or luxurious because they are hostels (with the exception of Arasha which is outside of Mindo). My few complaints were that I did feel a money pressure at this Inn more so than ever in Ecuador. The van driver they used scoffed at the 1 dollar tip that we gave him and we were charged a corking fee for bringing our own wine to the hotel. Additionally, when I paid for tubing at the tubing location because I thought that was was I was supposed to do, they seemed annoyed with me back at the hotel. Maybe they get a fee for setting me up with the company if I pay at the hotel? I don't know but it was an honest mistake. While these things might fit in more a bit in the US, I felt strange that they happened in Ecuador. The custom in Ecuador is not to tip at all so why not be gracious when receiving a tip? So yes, my boyfriend and I had a fabulous and romantic time but I wish some of these things had not left a sour taste in my mouth.

  • Liked — The rooms
  • Disliked — The fact that 130 is a lot of money in Ecuador for a hotel so why was there so much focus on adding more money?
  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank UberLaura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
222 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2009

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful holiday in Ecuador, including a cruise in the Galapagos Islands with Celebrity Cruises (amazing!). After the cruise we spent 3 nights at Casa Divina in Mindo. The cabins were spotless and beautiful, well made of rich and exotic woods, and the setting, nestled amongst streams in the cloud forest outside of town, made for a perfect retreat. Molly and Efrain were wonderful hosts: they made sure we arrived safely and took very good care of us. As we visited in the rainy season, everything was quiet: besides the family and some of their friends who came in to visit, we had Casa Divina to ourselves, exotic and romantic.

The food was well prepared and tasty, especially breakfasts - make sure to get some of those famous waffles. Our hosts also helped us with travel arrangements in the area, including a visit to the Butterfly Farm, the Orchidarea, a morning's ziplining adventure (amazing) and a hike to the cable car and then down to the waterfalls (where we enjoyed a nice lunch prepared by Molly). We also spent some time in town: charming and friendly, a choice of restaurants.

We are well traveled, having explored more than 60 countries. This is one of our favourite places - highly recommended.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JimBCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2009

This is a great hideaway in the cloud forest. Although it was one of the most expensive places we stayed in Ecuador we loved it. The property is beautiful and Molly and Efrain make you feel right at home. Molly is an incredible cook - her homemade soups are divine. Efrain is a fabulous birder and naturalist and took us all over the area. Definitely recommend for anyone that loves enjoying the outdoors with all of the creature comforts of home. We lucked out and were the only people staying there and had a hard time leaving.

  • Liked — The owners
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank oceanexp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san francisco, ca
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2009

Casa Divina is a great place for families and for weekend adventures outside of Quito. We loved the setting in the forest and the private cabins. The hosts make you feel at home, serve delicious meals, and arrange interesting adventures. The zip lines were awesome, and the children's night hike fascinated the adults. It was wonderful to be so comfortable and simultaneously immersed in nature. One small thing is that the multi-level cabins aren't very soundproof. Actually the sound proofing was no inconvenience for us, it provided some security. It was very helpful for parents to know when the kids are running around. If you are a couple seeking a getaway , you might ask for a private cabin.

All in all Casa Divina is a magical place!

  • Liked — Comfort
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank trippingatw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2008

Molly and Efrain have a great little forest retreat, complete with a resident quetzal and an elusive potoo. Entirely, and beautifully, built of local materials by Efrain and couple of helpers, the lodge consists of a main dining and meeting building and four screened-in two-story cottages, with a large room and bath on each floor. Very clean, lots of beautiful polished wood on walls and floors, and plenty of hot water.
Molly is a great cook! She offers simple, well-prepared and creative fare for breakfast and dinner, which are served family-style with whomever else happens to be staying there. Don't be surprised by berry pancakes, French toast, lasagne, or spicy chicken (not in one meal, of course). Delicious pastries and breads are her specialty. Sack lunches are pretty mundane, but include fresh fruit.
Efrain, in addition to his woodworking talent, is a self-taught birder, who knows virtually every local bird by sight and call. In a 3-mile, 8-hour walk with Efrain from the lodge, we saw 95 different birds and heard at least a dozen more! Truly a birder's paradise.
They also own the largest local zipline center, and you can take an intro zip on two lines for $7.50p/p, or do the whole kaboodle of around 10 lines for $15. Safe and fun!!
One negative - their two kids can be noisy, but they are usually in bed by around 9 or 9:30.
Our biggest regret was the limit set by our two-night stay. If you are a birder and/or like relatively mild but plenty of fun jungle activities, plan on at least 3 nights. More would be much better.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
Thank winetripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los angeles
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 18, 2008

I stumbled upon their website. It is beautifully designed and intrigued me to find out more. Molly Brown, a great American gal who serves up marvelous meals and killer deserts (she also runs the Heavenly Goddess bakery in the village of Mindo) and her partner Efrain Toapanta, Ecudoran with an extraordinary knowlege of the local ecology and birdlife, and their two charming little girls, Dede and Sabe, welcome you like family members. The guest cabins are beautifully crafted from local hardwoods and tastefully decorated, and........the bathroom boasts a full sized bathtub with a picture widow looking out into the midst of the cloudforest.......I had a Golden Quetzal just outside during my first morning's shower! The area boasts over 500 species of birds, over 55 of those are a dazzling array of hummingbirds. I sat on my porch in the morning and had spectacular tanangers, aracaris, toucans, woodpeckers, the lot, just in the trees in front of me. Efrain and his family also manage and own a spectacular series of ziplines. Imagine soaring above the canopy and whizzing across deep valleys. It is one of the best vacations I've had!

  • Liked — warm hospitality/incredible variety and abundance of birdlife
  • Disliked — The local roads are bone jarring, but hey, that's one of the great features of the place, remoteness!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank DarwinLosAngeles
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 #2 of 7 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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