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“Wonderful Experience - Top Notch Service!”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience - Top Notch Service!”
Reviewed 7 June 2014

My husband and I stayed at El Silencio for 2 nights and we wish we stayed for more! It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend staying here for a nice getaway. It’s off the beaten path, but worth the trek to get there. The service is the best I’ve had at a CR hotel and the staff is on top of everything! I don’t say this about many hotels but we will be back again to stay at El Silencio! he rooms are little private cabins, large and very comfortable. They’ve thought of everything!! I really do not have anything bad to say about this hotel, but for those of you who do their research, I’m giving you my observations and tips.
I’ve included some pictures so you can see the room and views.

Highlights:

1.Newly furnished and very comfortable - the property is only 6 years old so all the accommodations are fairly new, comfortable and well decorated.
2.Room – you have your own little cabin with a Jacuzzi outside and a porch. The room is a very good size and has a nice sitting area.
3.Mini Fridge - large enough to put extra drinks or if you have food, there is a stocked mini-bar that you can purchase.
4.Coffee Maker inside the room
5.Bed is very plush, comfortable, and it is comparable to a Westin Heavenly bed. They got this right!
6.Jacuzzi – full sized private Jacuzzi outside your room. Turn it on 2 hours before you need it and it will be ready. It’s fantastic to come home to after a long walk and dinner. You can adjust the temp by adding cold or hot at any time. It’s fresh water, no chlorine!
7.Fresh water – the water is so fresh here you can drink it out of the tap. I’m from California where you wouldn’t dare drink tap water, but this place is for real. No need for bottled water at this resort. A real shocker for me.
8.Bathroom – the shower is very nice and new. Has two sinks which is perfect for a couple.
9.Robes and slipper were awesome and perfect for going out to the Jacuzzi.
10.Umbrellas – no need to bring your own umbrella as they have them for you to use.
11.Blackout drapes – if you want to sleep in darkness, you will get it here and great for if you want to take a nap.
12.Valet car service – You just pull up to the hotel, they take your luggage and park your car – they take care of everything!
13.Turndown service – they come to your room while you are eating dinner and give you fresh water with fruit and put hot water bottles in your bed to keep you warm at night! A really nice surprise!
14.Staff – impressive service, extremely personable and are driven to ensure you are happy at all times. The general manager was very attentive and friendly. They get 6 stars in customer service!

This hotel exceeded our expectations! I really do not have any negative things to say about our stay, which is rare! :) but I thought I would include just a few things to consider as well.

General Tips/Hints:
1. Weather can be a little chilly – they provide a heater in the room which made it very comfortable. I'm for California, so keep in mind my comment is based on that perspective. We were there in May and wore cotton pants/jeans and cotton long sleeved shirts. Bring a sweatshirt and sweatpants. It’s not cold but it’s a little chillier than other parts of CR. We were comfortable during our stay but we had the right clothes. Bring a lightweight rain slicker too, that will be very helpful!
2.Grounds Lighting – it gets dark outside so bring a small flashlight or use a headlamp. They gave us a flashlight, so we used that in addition to our headlamps.
3.Location is remote – Its located in a little valley and it’s remote so it is a little hard to find at first but you will be glad you did. The hotel contacted us in advance and provided excellent driving directions but we are glad we drove during the day. I would not advise driving to the hotel at night if this is your first time.
4.La Paz Waterfalls Park - Worth seeing, it was an easy 1.5 hour drive from the hotel. We had a fabulous time there, spent from 11-5pm and would go back again. Hand feeding the hummingbirds was the highlight of my trip – they offer hand feeding twice a day so ask what times it takes place if you are interested. You are also able to hold Toucans as well. Most of the guides say spend half a day, but you can certainly spend more. If you hike down to the waterfalls, there is a bus service that will bring you back up to the top of the park. Great facility sort of a combo park/zoo.
5. Zarcero - a town worth visiting. Known for their cheese, go visit the park and the church. Cool and worth stopping for at least a half an hour visit.

I want to thank the staff for a very memorable experience and I hope that if time and money permits, we will return.
Mauricio and Rossana Fernandez

Room Tip: We stayed in cabin #4 - it was a hike up the hill but private and worth it - great views and private...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ROSEOC
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 review, 9 June 2014
Greetings Rose! Your review, insights, and recommendations will certainly be very useful to our future guests and friends. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and observations. We are thrilled to know that we fully succeeded in offering a memorable retreat and certainly look forward to your return. We would love to have another chance to share the mountain spring water, cloud-comfort bed, heated jacuzzi, and hummingbirds with you!
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  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
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  • Rooms
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  • Service
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  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (164)
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English first
St. Augustine, Florida
Level Contributor
159 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

We stayed at three different resorts during our trip to Costa Rica and this was our least favorite - and it really had nothing to do with the staff who were all just amazingly accommodating. While the location and activity choices are fantastic, there were just some things that need to be fine-tuned to make this a truly luxury experience. The fact that it takes the hot tub at least two hours to heat up makes it way more complicated than it should be if you want to use it. Then, when it is ready, the water is tepid at best – not really hot. Also the shower was very finicky – taking a long time for the hot water to come out and when it did, it was scalding hot (no matter where you had it adjusted for temperature). The El Silencio Lodge is very proud of its purified drinking water and its sustainable initiatives, but we would have liked the option of having bottled water in the room and/or for dining. This was the only resort where that was not an option. Luckily, we had some of our own. We participated in the Tico Cooking activity, which was really fun and the chef was very engaging. However, we were a little put off by the bar charge for the Blackberry Mojitos that we thought were part of the experience (no one told us any different). We probably would have opted out of those (even though we picked the blackberries and mint) knowing that we were going right into the wine tasting. And, the sommelier made the wine tasting fun and informative. However, it would have been better in another room or out on the deck instead of in the TV room because there was a group of four people who proceeded to talk and laugh loudly through the whole presentation and then set up blankets to go to sleep on the couches. Really made for a weird experience. We do want to give a shout-out to our EcoConcierge Orlando. He led us on two terrific hikes – one to the waterfalls and the other to the bottom of an inactive volcano crater. He really had a great personality, was very knowledgeable and took exceptional pictures. All in all, a very good experience, just not an excellent one.

Room Tip: We stayed in the suite closest to the main lodge and the employees parking area. Although the walk t...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gobeach56
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 review, 6 June 2014
Thank you very much for your candid feedback and for highlighting our staff's amazing hospitality and fantastic location and activities. Everything we do aims to create exemplary experiences. We do regret that we were not fully successful in your case and thank you for giving us guidance with your comments. We will review our print material to better communicate that alcoholic beverages are not included in our Tico Cooking lessons and that the water offered is pure spring water from our cloud forest. Our sincere apologies for the problems with your water temperature. Management is reviewing the unit's heating equipment to ensure that it is fully functional.

Our sincere gracias for exploring Costa Rica! It is an amazing destination!
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

El Silencio was recommended to us by a friend that had honeymooned there a few years ago. They'd stayed at a few places in Costa Rica but she said El Silencio was their favorite, and that sold us.

We stayed for three nights, and I kept remarking to my husband that I felt like we were at summer camp for adults. There were so many activities from which to choose, but we never felt pressure to do anything. One of the most relaxing days I've ever had was spent tasting coffee, getting massages, and reading in one of the rocking chairs on our front porch. It was capped off by the afternoon hot chocolate delivery that's available to guests (make sure to ask for this)! We loved the silence at the hotel - we really felt like we were away from everything!

The food at El Silencio was really special. My husband and I agreed that breakfast and lunch were our favorite meals. Since breakfast is included, don't miss it! What I wouldn't do for another glass of that freshly made pineapple + mint juice!

I'd never slept with a hot water bottle before, but this nighttime service ended up being one of my favorites!

We were really nervous about driving to El Silencio because we decided to rent a car (making our future travels easier), but we needn't have worried. The roads en route to El Silencio twist and turn and become dirt at some point, but they weren't treacherous or anything. Do yourself a favor, however, and pay the extra for the GPS! I don't know that we would have been able to get around without it.

The only very minor complaint I have about El Silencio is that we were planning on using our hot tub on our last night there, but were surprised to find that it was nearly empty. It would have perhaps been helpful if we had been asked if we were going to use it so that it could have been refilled. Unfortunately we didn't think to look at the water level before we planned on using it, but I definitely recommend that all guests take the time to do this!

This is not a complaint, but a warning for fellow asthma sufferers out there: El Silencio is located about a mile above sea level and you have to do some further stair climbing to get up to the rooms. Be prepared that you may get winded! I found myself in need of my inhaler every time I returned to my room. (We were in room 5 and I was very happy that I wasn't in one of the rooms that was even further up!)

Overall we loved our stay at El Silencio and will definitely return one day!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa K
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 review, 6 June 2014
Dear Lisa -Thanks so much for joining us and for celebrating the fun and relaxing activities travelers can find at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Learning that we were remembered fondly and recommended enthusiastically by a former guest is highly motivating! Our apologies for the hot tub's water level. I have relayed your comments to our onsite staff to figure out what happened. The tubs are normally kept with the heating system off to avoid energy waste but they should be at full level at all times. I also want to echo your excellent recommendation to include GPS in traveler's car rentals. It will definitely ensure a smoother driving experience while in Costa Rica. Our best wishes for many more happy travels!
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Nantucket, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2014

This was one of the most tranquil and beautiful spaces we have ever stayed in.
It was refreshing to be up in the cloud forest away from the humidity....

The Staff: were very welcoming and warm. Such sincerity we experienced from all of our interactions with people in Costa Rica. We were truly taken care of.

The Grounds: simple, green, and lush. Incredible trails taking you to three waterfalls.

Our Room: We loved our room (#11). It was at the top of the property which provided a nice amount of privacy. Once again simple but with a beautiful eye for detail in lighting and furniture. I loved the rustic wood details in the bathroom. The terrace with rocking chairs, I could not bare to blink in case I missed out seeing the beauty laid out before us in the hills.

The Food: was very good and plentiful. The wines were very well chosen.

Suggestions:

One experience that could have been better for us was dinner time.
We walked into the lounge area and had a glass of wine by one of the two fireplaces - which was wonderful.
The lights were dim and cosy - which was wonderful.
The music however was the same Spa music that played throughout the entire day.
It created a dining ambiance that was awkward and stiff. It failed to create a night time shift in energy.
Everybody sat together almost whispering, eating in silence, afraid not to disturb the room it seemed.


Note: The refrigerator in our room was the only thing that was not "El Silencio" It kept going on and off all night making rattling sounds.

Minor details that would not stop us from returning...

We look forward to seeing you again in our future.

Room Tip: We really enjoyed our room #11 for it's height on the hill which afforded us an amazing view, an...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cabnyc
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 review, 3 June 2014
Your heart-thumping review is much appreciated! It is a true privilege to have an opportunity to transport visitors to a wonderful space of beauty and tranquility, fully surrounded by Costa Rica's magical cloud forest. Your photographs are an amazing illustration of the forest. Our sincere apologies for the rumbling fridge and thank you for alerting us to the problem. Music is certainly key to creating ambiance and your feedback is incredibly helpful. Warmest regards and best wishes for a fantastic Summer season!
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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed 31 May 2014

When my 14 year-old daughter and I wanted an adventure trip to Costa Rica, little did we know how amazing El Silencio would be. Just getting to the eco-lodge was amazing.. the drive through the cloud forest gave sights that reminded us of Switzerland. Once we arrived, our villa had an outdoor jacuzzi, rocking chairs on the porch to look over the forest and luxury accommodations. The activities included hiking to nearby waterfalls, touring the on site organic farm and fishery, bird watching, zip lining, day tours to Arenal volcano etc. The staff and personal eco-concierge that met our every need were just delightful. We spent many hours in the lodge drinking hot chocolate and wine from the great wine list. Dinners were healthy and filling. We can't wait to return with our whole family!

Thanks again El Silencio! -

Room Tip: You can fit a family of four into a regular room as the large couches can handle kids under 14.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Kristen H
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 review, 3 June 2014
Dear Kristen, the feeling is mutual! We can't wait to have another chance to be your hosts. Thanks so much for taking the time to describe your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa and Costa Rica in general. I think you will be amused to know that many refer to Costa Rica as "The Switzerland of Central America". This is alluded to in one of our traditional folk songs! :) I am delighted that you and your daughter had such a wonderful vacation, rich in simple but meaningful shared moments. Please do return very soon!
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Boston
Level Contributor
90 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Pros
Rooms: we had amazing family villa, two bedrooms, with hot tub overlooking the mountains, super private
Food--restaurant reasonably priced, quality great with focus on local, authentic dishes (we are foodies and very picky) loved the organic, sulfite free wine selection. pricing must have changed we were able to order everything by course not the fixed price for three courses i've seen in earlier reviews-- good because one of my daughters eats very little.
Service-- friendly, local, warm, comprehensive
Tours-- loved each one, three waterfalls right on property, del toro waterfall which is steep steps down but pretty easy and amazing fall into volcano, more aggressive hidden gem if you are reasonably fit and adventurous was real hike with no trail just walking through pastures in the cloud forrest, then over boulders in stream to mineral water and waterfall, bright blue that take your breath away.
Location-- only about 1 to 1.5 hours from airport but remote, authentic. When you are driving up to it you come to a point where you go from sunny, hot to suddenly entering the clouds and it is amazing.
Property-- butterfly garden, secret swings, trout pond, lots of wandering trails

Cons
Nothing significant. It is fairly remote, you are coming to stay there and there is plenty to do on property and in immediate area but if you want to go to Arenal it is too far away for day trip. It is great for two full days, even three but probably not longer; 3 nights ideal.

Room Tip: We had one of two family villas which i would highly recommend, exceeded expectations. we had Quiet...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ArtLovingFoodie
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 review, 31 May 2014
Hola Dee Dee! Thank you so much for your visit and enthusiastic words about El Silencio Lodge & Spa. Our new Two Bedroom Villas are an excellent choice for families. The forest immersion plus the full comforts of home are an ideal combination. We pay close attention to guest feedback and we have modified our menu options accordingly. Thank you for noticing! :) Warmest regards and many happy returns to CR.
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Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
326 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

I cannot say enough good things about this resort -- great meals, lovely cabin, beautiful scenery, and knowledgeable guides. We spent two days at El Silencio and knew we found a gem when we checked in at 4:00 in the afternoon, way past lunch service, and the manager offered to get us something to eat as we were famished. We had hearty tortilla soup with fresh vegetables and the local mozzarella cheese. Delicious. We had the most outstanding meals of our trip here and their chef was the best! Breakfast was made to order and had an array of choices, all of them hot and tasty. We took a guided hike with one of their guides and he was knowledgeable and very chatty. Speaking of walking, we loved that they had walking sticks available for guests to use and boy, did we use them as everything is very steep. We spent many hours sitting on the porch of our cabin in the rocking chairs watching the butterflies and birds that came to visit the many flowers. While El Silencio is in a cloud forest, during the time we were there the weather was unusually warm and sunny, so we didn't get the cloud forest experience, which was fine as the surrounding area was lush and green. We did use the hot tub one afternoon and it was toasty in about 2 1/2 hours. We slept well and were awakened in the morning by birdsong. I would highly recommend El Silencio.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MomRocco
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 review, 29 May 2014
Saludos and thank you for detailing your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. We certainly aim to set the perfect stage for our guests' to reconnect with nature in all its facets. From relaxing serenity to active adventure. I am delighted that you enjoyed a little piece of authentic Costa Rica! Warmest regards!
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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Property: El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Address: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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