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“Great place to stay but be need to improve safety”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 2 January 2014

I can't add much more to the excellent reviews of the property, the food, and the service.
We loved the place.

But we had two experiences with guided trips that merit posting here:
* I went on a hiking trip up to a water fall...the hike is called the "Hidden Gem" because there the trail is somewhat rough but the waterfall is beautiful. However we had to cross the stream frequently (sometimes climbing boulders) on rain slick rocks...the guide was very helpful however it was clear that not everyone was prepared for something this tricky...one woman just had just a t-shirt on...went swimming at the falls..and then started shivering intensely because of the temperature, wind, and misty air....it would have been good to prepare us a bit more as to the nature of this hike
* My wife went on a horse back riding tour. She was given the personal horse of one of the guides and because the horse wasn't used to my wife...he was full of "spit & vinegar" as she said...also the guide was much shorter than my wife and the horse was waaaay to small for her...her feet in the stirrups were well below the horses belly which contributed to the following: the other guides horse took off at a gallop (I had been told that El Silencio horses are very gentle and well behaved) and my wife's horse decided to follow...but she couldn't get a solid grip with her legs (too long)...also saddles in Costa Rica don't have a horn so she had nothing to grip on top...anyway she got thrown onto a gravel road...thank God that she didn't break anything like her neck...
I share these experiences so that guests can ask questions up front about the tours....although that wouldn't helped on the horseback tour...I didn't go because I'd had a similar experience in the past (so called docile horse decides to follow another galloping horse)...

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank 6_Million_Mile_Flier
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 3 January 2014

Thank you so much for your valuable observations about the property. I thank you for providing details about your experiences; these give us a chance to improve our services. I sent you an email on December 16th but I guess it wasn't received. As I stated in said email, the wellbeing of our guests is paramount and we send our best wishes to your wife. We have reviewed our horse-pairing guidelines to further emphasize riding suitability. We will also include an "intensity" guide in our Experience catalog to best help guests choose and prepare for the offered activities. I am glad that your overall experience was positive and enjoyable and thank you again for taking the time to share your comments. Best wishes for a wonderful 2014!

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Reviewed 1 January 2014

Our family of four stayed for seven days over Thanksgiving and had a truly magical time. From our arrival until our departure the staff took care of our every desire and treaty us like family. Travelling by car in Costa Rica is always a bit of an adventure....El Silencio is just a short drive away from San Jose, but once you arrive the tranquil location feels as though you are far removed from most anything. We appreciated the fact that while it was peaceful and quiet at the lodge, we weren't too far away from other sights and activities. The food was outstanding and the wine list was extensive. My only things that I feel could be improved on would be a larger or rotating menu. For guests who stay for a week or more, a little more variety would have been nice (to be fair most guests do not stay that long, and they do have a different special every night). Late night spa availability would have been appreciated as well. Overall we had a marvelous stay and HIGHLY recommend El Silencio to anyone looking for a special and relaxing getaway....you won't be disappointed!

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank guppyflyer
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 6 January 2014

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your comments and wonderful suggestions. I am delighted to learn that you and your family enjoyed a wonderful stay during Thanksgiving. Gracias for choosing Costa Rica and El Silencio Lodge & Spa as a special destination to share such a special date. We love your suggestion for late-night spa treatments! Happy 2014!

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Reviewed 27 December 2013

If you want a truly extraordinary Costa Rican experience, I highly recommend El Silencio-- from the beautiful cabin to the surrounding rain/cloud forests, to the extraordinary food, to the perfect service (everyone was so, so kind and accommodating!!), it was an unforgettable vacation...Love, love, love...

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
Thank 444Sam
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 31 December 2013

Dear Sam: Thank you so much for your visit, kind words, and giving us the opportunity to display Costa Rica's authentic charm and friendship. Your enthusiasm is much appreciated as a sign that we are right on track :) Happy New Year!

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Reviewed 24 December 2013

el silencio is situated in the midst of the cloud forest. the scenery here would be enough to blow you away, but coupling it with 5 star service made this an unforgettable experience. among the many places i've traveled in the world, this location stands out as one of the most magical and unforgettable. and ever present fog hugs the mountains while hummingbirds zoom by one after another. we wanted to find a balance of adventure and relaxation on this trip and that is exactly what we found. every person we encountered, from the waitstaff to the managers to tour guides were extremely friendly and accommodating. and the attention to detail is so impressive. this has got to be one of the best kept secrets in costa rica or beyond... and i hope it stays that way.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank jeffelstone
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 31 December 2013

Dear Jeff: Thanks so much for your valuable comments! I am delighted to learn about your extraordinary experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Thank you for vividly describing the special sightings and meaningful moments that make us special. Warmest regards and best wishes for a fantastic 2014!

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Reviewed 22 December 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for two nights and had the most amazing time, its super relaxing. I love that they try and encourage no wifi and this is a great place to switch off, the rooms are spectacular as ate the friendly staff who make you feel welcome. Love the jacuzzi and rocking chairs- total bliss! The food is filling and good value for what it is- Costa Rica is expensive!!! I would recommend the dinner pork! Cocktails are reasonable but I would suggest bringing your own wine and juice and snacks to save cash in the room as wine is very expensive. The whole experience however is good value compared to what you would in the uk and a big reason why we choose this place.

We took a taxi for 6 dollars from San Jose airport to alujela then from there, a bus for 3 dollars each to zarcero and from there a taxi to the lodge for 26 dollars, I would not recommend driving as roads are really bad.

The free hike was superb- ronal was so informative- loved the waterfalls and the surroundings are very well protected and serene- waterfalls and organic garden are impressive, much more than we expected from this free hike!

Would recommend this place- it truly is paradise! Thank you!

  • Stayed: December 2013
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Thank Sashabop1983
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 31 December 2013

Saludos Sasha: Thank you so much for taking the time to write about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. I hope that the relaxation ambiance of this magical place lingers for many many days! My Reservation colleagues are wonderful professionals and will gladly help visitors select the transportation options that best suit their travel style. Public transportation can be a great value but may not be suitable for evening arrivals or tight schedules. Self-driving is indeed possible but we recommend contacting us for the best possible route. Private ground transportation is more expensive but definitely tops in terms of convenience and peace of mind. :) Many blessings for a wonderful 2014!

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Reviewed 22 December 2013

We stayed here for three days on a trip to CR, as part of a romantic getaway. The stay here must be the highlight of our trip to Costa Rica.

Upon booking this place, I was asked if there was a special occasion for the booking (via email). I confirmed that there was, and we were promised a special welcome that acknowledged this.

Six months later, when we arrived, our 'eco-concierge' (El Silencio's description for the staff member responsible for your stay) promptly greeted us, and indeed, a few words were mentioned of the special occasion, which made the welcome all the more special for partner.

The drive down to El Silencio from Zarcero is on largely unsealed gravel, with rocks of varying sizes, so you'll want to be very confident at handling a car on loose tarmac. All the more so given the highly variable weather conditions.

The tariff is all inclusive of meals - and each meal is spectacular in every way. There is plenty of variety, and the meals are sufficiently filling and offer a balance of Costa Rican fusion and Western familiarity (especially if you are from North America - some of the references were unfamiliar to us being from Oceania).

The produce is fresh, and grown on-site (you'll find out where your food comes from if you choose to do the complimentary tour). They really do walk the walk as well as talk the talk when it comes to sustainability.

Everything about the resort has a decidedly premium feel to it. The room was just magical - each room has its own balcony and spa area with hot tub. Showers are supplied with a high quality soap and shampoo that is apparently sourced locally. The design of the room pays homage to the natural environment in which it resides, and is well appointed. Beds are supremely comfortable, and each cabin feels incredibly private.

There's plenty of walking tracks to choose from, and the walk up to the Hummingbird Garden is particularly special, as well as the magic of just sitting there watching the little birds fly by. They were quite the novelty for us being from a part of the world where hummingbirds do not exist.

My partner chose to have a massage and treatment at the on-site spa. She was very impressed with the quality and value of the service.

What makes this place special. however, is the quality of the service. Our eco-concierge was incredibly flexible in accommodating our needs, and we had to reschedule our tour of the site and walk to Silencio waterfall twice owing to illness. After learning of my partner feeling ill, our eco-concierge not only offered to arrange for a local doctor to attend (which was not necessary in any case), but arranged for the kitchen to prepare a herbal tea that helped to clear up her sinuses, and had this sent up to our room. This was amongst the many countless small details that made the service exceptional. On a particularly cold night, we arrived back at our room after dinner to find that hot water bottles had been left in the bed by staff.

We've never had this sort of service from any five star resort or hotel before, and in our travels since, have not had it repeated.

A highlight of the trip for us was the tree planting ceremony - complimentary and allows you to give back a small part to the rainforest around which you are enveloped for several days.

For those of you who must, there is complimentary wifi internet access from the dining and common area, and it is a reliable connection indeed even in inclement weather. They even keep a record of it so that you can see the tree you've planted if you ever re-visit.

Although relatively pricey at peak tariffs, if you book far enough in advance there is a modest discount. Even at the full tariff, we think this resort is fantastic value for the level of service given and quality of the stay.

We would absolutely come back here without hesitation. Staying at El Silencio is an absolute must for anybody visiting Costa Rica and looking for a quality eco-resort.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank nerdag
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 31 December 2013

Reading your review was such a pleasure! Thank you so much for sharing the many wonderful experiences, spectacular nature, and enthusiastic friendship details that make El Silencio Lodge & Spa stand out. Thanks for your vivid and thoughtful descriptions. We certainly hope you return to Costa Rica very soon. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a wonderful New Year :)

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Reviewed 17 December 2013

Myself and my family stayed here for 3 nights and left wanting to come back next year! This hidden retreat in the middle of the cloud forest (which sounds glum but couldn't have been more tarzan-like) is beautifully designed to frame the surrounding hills and has the most overwhelming sense of calm and 'back to nature'. I'd find it difficult to get used to sitting in the hot tub or in the rocking chairs on the veranda with their room delivered hot chocolate and cookies whilst the hummingbirds hummed around you!
The staff couldn't have been nicer or more proud of their beautiful country. Our English laziness meant that our spanish was embarrassingly lacking but they all spoke very good English and gave us basic teachings over breakfast/cocktails! The food was plentiful and all organically sourced from their farm, greenhouse and trout lake (of which you can see on their complimentary walking tour of the grounds). My parents had the couples experience on the yoga deck and we joined them for cocktails before which was pretty special too.
I would hugely recommend Benny's waterfall tour and cultural experience where we made hand palmed tortillas and ate with local sausage cheese and moonshine.
Overall a PERFECT start to our Costa Rican adventure and needed a few more days there at the end to get over it all!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Tiffany 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 18 December 2013

Saludos Tiffany and thank you for giving me the pleasure to read your review. Thanks for capturing so well the essence of the El Silencio Lodge & Spa experience. We aim to showcase our natural and cultural wonders and I am delighted to learn that we succeeded! Many happy returns and our warmest wishes for an amazing 2014!

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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Address: El Silencio Lodge, Bajos del Toro 21203, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Bajos del Toro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Price Range: £237 - £408 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — El Silencio Lodge & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a unique luxury cloud forest hotel set in Costa Rica's pristine Bajos del Toro region. Flanked by two national parks, this all-suite and private villa hotel combines upscale comforts with an intense natural immersion experience. Outstanding features include farm-to-table cuisine, a wellness spa, an adventure park, and authentic cultural experiences. Zip-lining, rappelling, horseback riding, waterfall hiking, oxcart painting, Tico cooking lessons and more can be enjoyed by couples and families (minimum age: 8). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Silencio Hotel Bajos Del Toro
El Silencio Lodge & Spa Costa Rica/Bajos Del Toro

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