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“Great for a short escape into nature”

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El Silencio Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Bajos del Toro
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Santa Clara, California
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Great for a short escape into nature”
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Pros: Excellent service and food. Breakfast was great. Included in the room price, and was ala carte. Dinner was excellent. Included in the room rate is a free guided hike into the cloud forest. Overall we enjoyed our stay.

Cons:
There was a lengthy intro to resort amenities and the room. We would have appreciated it better if we were staying longer. for a short stay it felt a tad bit long.

We got a room very close to reception and the balcony open to a common walkway, and would have preferred one with more privacy. The space heater was not enough to heat the room.

The main pull for me selecting this hotel was the private hot-tub, but it took very long to heat it up.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shikari007
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, 20 June 2014
Please receive an earnest thanks for your visit and for taking the time to provide us with valuable feedback. The recommended stay at El Silencio Lodge & Spa is three nights to best give visitors a chance to enjoy our extensive offering of culinary, cultural, and spa experiences plus nature-immersed adventures. We certainly hope to have a chance to be your hosts for a bit of a longer stay. Warmest regards!
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 June 2014

My wife and I stayed at El Silencio for five nights to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and wished that we would have stayed longer. This is really a beautiful place! Think of the scenery from the movie Jurassic Park and that is what it looks like. We loved to just sit on the porch and watch the hummingbirds fly by. We were even greeted by a light show at night created by fireflies. It is truly a magical place. From the food to the activities, everything was top notch. I was amazed at how all members of the staff knew us by name. It goes to show that they really take the time to get to know their guests and their needs. From the walking sticks for hiking, to the fruit in the water left by our bedside each night, everything was perfect. The lodge is the perfect place to not only relax and unwind, but there are plenty of activities to choose from as well. We truly enjoyed the hikes to the waterfalls on the property. The zip lining with Benny and Armando was excellent as well. They gave us a great experience, but I hope that the lodge considers adding additional zip lines as that would make it perfect. Chef Andres is very talented and a joy to converse with. It is obvious he is passionate about cooking as he takes the time to explain to the guests how items on the menu are prepared. Our waiters, Francisco, Alonso and Martin, were very attentive, but not intrusive. They went out of their way to give us the best experience possible. In addition, most of the produce at El Silencio comes from their own organic garden. It is amazing how much better everything tastes when it goes straight from the garden to the plate. The trout, also grown on the property, was exquisite. The spa gave us some of the best massages in the world. We want to thank Orlando, Francisco, Martin, William, Andres, Benny, Armando, and Alonso for making this one of the best vacations we have ever had. Some tips to consider: Bring a light jacket as it can get a little cool in the mornings. Also try to plan your tours/activities for the first half of the day as the pattern is usually sun in the morning followed by light rain in the afternoon. Don't worry about the rain, I feel that it just adds to the mystique of the rain forest. It is actually beautiful to watch the clouds just roll over the mountains and down toward your cabin. Thanks to all. We will be back!

Room Tip: All rooms have a great view. We had room number 11. It is the highest up on the mountain and is a bi...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frank C
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, 18 June 2014
Dear Frank -The way you and your wife fully immersed in the magic of Bajos del Toro is enchanting. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a vividly descriptive narrative about your experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. From complete relaxation at the Spa to intense thrills at our new Adventure Park, to nature's wonderful sights, we hope to assemble a collection of amazing moments. Our incredibly thoughtful staff is the icing on the cake! Saludos on behalf of the team!
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London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 June 2014

This is what you've been imagining. El Silencio was the perfect place to unwind, enjoy nature, experience gourmet delights, and get a bit pampered. The service was above and beyond, with each staff member taking the time to learn your name, food preferences, and a little about you. Ronald, the eco concierge was amazing, and helped us plant a tree (complimentary). Orlando lead us on many wonderful nature hikes (the property is 500 acres and has dozens of trails, waterfalls, and gardens), and was very knowledgable about the Costa Rican Jungle. With only 16 villas, you truly feel you have reached your private jungle retreat. There was nothing better than ordering the afternoon tea (complimentary), watching the hummingbirds from our rocking chairs, and wrap ourselves in blankets as the clouds descended upon us. The spa is a must, I had one of the best massages of my life there, and the therapists were excellent. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were often organic, straight from the garden, and innovative, with fantastic and friendly service. El Silencio is truly a hidden gem, and a great way to start off any Costa Rica trip. My husband and I would definitely recommend this to our friends and family, and we will be back to check on our tree :)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanna L
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, 16 June 2014
Hola Joanna and thanks so much for highlighting the many special moments you and your husband enjoyed at El Silencio Lodge & Spa. We certainly want to transport our guests to a magical space, perfect to immerse in nature's surprises and beauty. A very special gracias for noting our staff's warmth and genuine friendship. We will take excellent care of your tree!
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ORANGE COUNTY, CA
Level 5 Contributor
31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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St. Augustine, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • 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 3 Contributor
22 reviews
13 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 442lisak
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 4 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • 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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Additional Information about El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Property: 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 (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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