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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
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Reviews (747)
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Reviewed 11 July 2013

We absolutely loved El Silencio! It was our favorite hotel of all three on our trip, as it combined a 5-star hotel experience with true rainforest and secluded living. There were only about 10 other people staying at El Silencio, and each guestroom was actually more like a little house separated from each other. There was a hot tub for each room as well, making rainy nights pretty fun to be outside! Service and staff at El Silencio was top notch. By the second day everyone knew our name. 5 stars! We already miss everyone there and can't wait to come back. Make sure to do the Wine Tasting Experience and hikes. Orlando and Carlos and Martin at El Silencio will take great care of you!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Ronnie E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 12 July 2013

Saludos Ronnie! Thrilled to learn that we were your highlight destination in Costa Rica. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your enthusiasm about our property and especially for singling out so many in our staff. Warmest regards!

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Reviewed 5 June 2013

We loved this hotel!

First, we took the hotel transportation from SJO airport. Yes, it's pricey, but it's a long drive through mountain roads. If you are a scaredy cat like me, just take the transport and don't drive it yourself. Winding roads through the mountains... eek! I was fine with being a passenger, but I would not have wanted to be a driver. If you are more adventurous, then go for it.

We arrived late at night so everything was dark and it was kind of fun to wake up not really knowing what everything looked like. Of course we had seen pictures, but had never seen the place with our own eyes. Our concierge was Benicio and he was awesome at attending to anything we needed. Our 2 tours that we did were - Horseback Riding and Del Toro Waterfall. I would highly recommend both and they are on the cheaper end of the tours that are offered. Horseback riding was fun, but I'd note that we could not actually see Poas Volcano because of the clouds. For some reason I had the impression that we would be riding the horses closer to the volcano, but we weren't. I think that's my own misinterpretation, but just going to clear it up for anyone else who is considering the tour. It's certainly fun, but you probably won't see the volcano unless it's a VERY clear day. We did stop at a passion fruit plantation though and got to have a yummy treat. The Del Toro Waterfall is a must see. We went in the morning and it only took us a little over 1 hour to go all the way down the stairs (we counted 413 stairs), take a bunch of pictures, and come back up. Breath-taking.

The food was really good at the hotel. Free breakfast was included in our rate and there was a good selection that was very filling. We enjoyed starting our morning with the fruit/yogurt/granola parfaits and then our main course. Unfortunately the only negative I would say is the price of lunch. At $30 USD per person (not including 23% that is automatically added for tax & gratuity) we felt it was quite pricey for lunch and just a lot of food for that time of day. We honestly just skipped out on lunch at the resort and walked to town each day. I have no problem with paying for a nice dinner (dinner is $35 USD per person +23%) and we ate at the resort each night. I recommend the chocolate brownie for dessert. The El Silencio salad was also amazing.

Town is a 20 minute walk and the one day that it was raining during lunch they even offered to drive us to town. For lunch it was much more reasonable prices to eat in town. Note that it would be helpful if you go to town to know a few phrases in Spanish AT LEAST. We didn't find anyone in town that spoke English (though I understand the hotel is working to offer English classes) and sometimes it was a little difficult with my limited knowledge of Spanish. I'm pretty positive that we paid the "gringo tax" for my lack of ability to speak the language, but it still was cheaper, so I shrugged it off and I'm going to make a point to try to learn a little more Spanish for next time. We ate at Restaurante Tipico Toro Amarillo twice and the food was great. The third day we tried a place next door to the Tipico Toro Amarillo (I didn't catch the name of it - but it looks like they basically converted some lady's house to a restaurant) and the food was also good, however my husband ended up sick that night, so maybe that place is a little sketch? I feel fine, so I don't really know. There was also a market in town that sold snacks that were cheaper than the mini bar so we picked up a couple cokes. If you go to town you'll need Colones, but if you don't plan to go to town you can get by with USD and credit cards at the resort.

I also want to mention that the hotel was also very kind when my husband was sick on the last night (even though it was totally our fault for eating sketch food for lunch) and they comped his dinner the last night because he really didn't even eat anything. The made him a special plate with just rice and beans and he was just too sick to eat. I'm thankful that we did not have to pay $35 for untouched rice and black beans. The staff seemed concerned for him, and we appreciate it (he's feeling much better today!).

Room Tip: We had cabin #16. I'm sure all the cabins are lovely, but we liked #16 because it was close to the lodge, we could pick up wifi in the room and we could hear the river at night.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank littlekeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2013

Dear Keri,
It was a true pleasure to read your thorough review. Thank yo so much for your enthusiastic praise and for taking the time to provide such valuable feedback. Your input helps the travel community as they engage in vacation planning and it helps us as a property to better guide our services.

In order to set up transportation, we strongly suggest contacting our reservations’ department for assistance. From car rentals to private drivers, my colleagues can help travelers select the best transportation option, taking into account personal preference, budget, and time constraints. Overall, we do not recommend evening arrivals unless a professional driver is engaged. Although the access roads are in good condition, some mountain portions are not lit.

As you may know, we have transitioned from an all-meals-included pricing schedule. Currently, only breakfast is included in the lodging rate and the restaurant functions under the prixe fixe model. We are reviewing your comments in hopes of improving options for our guests.
The Bajos del Toro community features several local eateries that feature the area’s traditions in a rustic setting. Although we are not involved in their operations, our guests’ experiences have been very positive. I am glad to learn that your husband is feeling better. The staff will be thrilled to learn that their caring attitude made a difference. Warmest regards!

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Reviewed 4 June 2013

This was our third and final honeymoon stop after being by the Pacific for a week. This place was great for finding wildlife everywhere! We had ideas of activities we wanted to do, but ended up relaxing every day on the porch reading and bird watching. The hummingbird garden was really neat and the chickens and garden was fun to check out. Orlando took us on a nature hike to the waterfalls and showed us a ton of birds and helped us identify their calls along the way. As expected, it was very humid, but the cooler weather was refreshing. The food was great at the restaurant and the always-friendly Marcela would visit every table toward the end of a meal. We were sad to go, but it was a great way to end our trip, especially since it's only about 1.5 hours to the airport.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kcampls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 June 2013

Congratulations on your marriage and honeymoon! It was a true pleasure to offer you a relaxing, soothing, and romantic setting. Thanks for selecting El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Many blessings and our best wishes for a shared lifetime.

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Reviewed 19 May 2013

This was my husband's and my second stop on four-ecolodge trip to Costa Rica, our first time anywhere tropical and our first experience with ecolodges. While each of our unique destinations offered us so many new things to explore in Costa Rica (for such a geographically small country I was shocked at how diverse it is), El Silencio was the "Cadillac" of destinations. We were so warmly welcomed by our eco-concierge, Ronald, that I felt and still feel like we are family. He guided us on a three-waterfall hike that I will always remember. It started in the pouring rain and finished in brilliant sunshine and along the way, although we were stunned by the awesome waterfalls, we even more amazed at the ethereal songs of birds that I heard no where else as well as (and this is the ultimate!) a huge congregation of bright yellow mating meadow tree frogs at the base of a nearly dry waterfall. We got lots of footage! Ronald was also amazed and when he returned just a few hours later they had already disbanded!

We explored all the other trails on offer and I especially loved the hummingbird garden. Here they have designed a maze-like garden filled with "hummingbird flowers," blue-flowering shrubs that I saw elsewhere which hummingbirds love. I figured out to sit quietly on the wooden seats provided and I must have seen 10 different kinds of hummingbirds, each doing its rounds in its own territory! I also used one of the most Zen-like yoga platforms I have ever seen to stretch and do my simple brand of yoga moves. If I were here again I would take in a message in one of the beautifully designed rooms.

It is very evident that a professional architect designed this lodge. The design and details are in themselves something to really appreciate, but the cabins are also designed with every creature comfort in mind. We felt thoroughly spoiled here and made maximum use of the personal private jacuzzis.

Meals were very high-end in both quality, execution and service. I love food and cooking and I could really feel the creativity and passion in my food. And so healthy! My body felt so good with lots of hiking energy.

What strikes me most about El Silencio is that we were able to be right inside a rare pristine cloud forest (I could even drink the mountain water), have every comfort and luxury and still leave such a minimal impact on the environment. This is a five leaf ecolodge that recycles, uses all biodegradable (and fantastic) products for guests, raises its own trout and vegetables (thanks again Ronald for showing all this to us). And the buildings themselves were constructed of recycled wood and other environment-friendly materials. I am sure I am missing things here but the point that struck me is that it can be done, and artfully. I can't express how good it feels to experience a place so unique in wildlife and location and know that future generations can come and experience it as I did. This kind of experience (along with the other ecolodges we stayed at) stays with you in your soul. Thank you so much to all the staff at El Silencio!

(I have been so much more mindful of what we we are eating, wasting and reusing since I came home to Canada)

Room Tip: All cabins are identical in layout, and just beautiful.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Gale M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2013

Dear Gale... Thank you so much for capturing so many of the unique elements that distinguish El Silencio Lodge & Spa as a premium nature-immersion destination. Your observation about the architecture is right on the spot. Our property was actually designed by Mr. Ronald Zurcher, one of Costa Rica's most prominent and brilliantly creative architects. His philosophy is to create spaces that seamlessly blend with the surroundings, highlighting its most engaging elements.

If you have any footage of the tree frogs that you would like to share with us please contact me. I would love to feature it in our social media! Warmest regards to you you and your husband :)

Warm regards,

Maria (outreach@grupoislita.com)

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Reviewed 7 May 2013

Spent two days here prior to exploring Costa Rica. A bit of hike to get here, but that's what you expect when seeking solitude and peace in the countryside--but the drive isn't so bad. The grounds are nice, trails very manageable on your own--word of caution, if you go horseback riding, be experienced or specifically let them know "it's your first time", horses need a firm hand! Room is comfortable and two days was just right. Food is good as is the wine list.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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2  Thank joaquim67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaJBIslita, Outreach Manager at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2013

Dear Joaquim,

A heartfelt thanks for choosing El Silencio Lodge & Spa as the starting point of your Costa Rica vacation. It is wonderful to learn that you fully enjoyed your stay, sampling the authentic details that distinguish our beautiful country. I am very interested in learning more about your experience with the horseback riding adventure to see how we can make it more enjoyable and user-friendly for first-time riders. Please contact me at: outreach@grupoislita.com. Once again, thank you very much for your feedback! Warm regards!

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