El Abrazo del Arbol is at the very end of a long dirt road...about 20 minutes' ride. Our guide had to drive through 5 flowing, rocky "rivers" to get there! We were fine with that, as we were prepared for a little adventure and, after all, you're no longer in the city when you're in the heart of the cloud forest! Make sure your driver is willing to go down this road and has a vehicle that can handle it! The property and the inn itself are very beautiful and we felt that we really were hidden in a gorgeous, natural setting. The common area and rooms are updated, but with a rustic flair that goes along with the setting. The food was absolutely amazing, and I wish I could remember the young chef's name. He took pride in his (what I would consider) gourmet dishes, and it was probably the best food we had the entire 10 days we were in Ecuador! Unfortunately, we are still learning Spanish and he was the only staff there to take care of everything for us, and he knew little English, so it was sometimes difficult to communicate our needs to him. He tried very hard and his service was impeccable, nonetheless.
The rooms were a bit small, and there was no room for our large suitcases, except on the floor, on either side of our bed, which took up every inch of floor space between the bed and the wall. Also, there was a mosquito net around the bed. We immediately knew that it was to protect us from the flies and moths that are all around, especially at night. I expected that we had to live with these creatures, as we chose to stay in THEIR environment, but I wasn't prepared to see, out of the blue, a giant cockroach-like bug INSIDE of our mosquito net! It wasn't the inn's fault, but I couldn't shake the creepy-crawly feeling that I got after seeing that critter in bed with us (thankfully my boyfriend got up and killed it - then just laughed at me). It would be nice if screens were on the windows, as the rooms get stuffy, but if you open the windows, then anything can (and does!) fly into the room. Also, having ceiling fans in the rooms would help tremendously, too. Despite the comfortable bed, it was just too stuffy for us to get a comfortable night's sleep.
The last little complaint I have was about the wine prices. I was so thankful that there was good food and drink available to us, as going back to town is not convenient, just to get a meal. Believe me, you want to eat at the inn - it's just so good and you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. Remember, you have to pay for each meal you opt to have - which is definitely reasonably-priced and worth every penny! However, they don't have prices on the many bottles of wine they have available. My bad for not asking and making sure I was willing to pay the price before opening a bottle! During our 3-day stay, I opened a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine (you have to pay for the entire bottle, but they will put it back in the fridge for you to have another time if you don't finish the bottle). When we settled our bill, we found that the white wine was $25 -- and the red was $45! We were prepared to pay the $25 - a little pricey, but not a big deal. But the $45 bottle of red was a not-so-welcome surprise! We thought it was ridiculous, and that the prices should be advertised if they are going to charge that much! I should have drank the beer, like my boyfriend did - MUCH less expensive!
Overall, we enjoyed our stay, and it was nice to come back to the inn after a morning of zip lining and touring the chocolate factory...to be greeted to a gourmet lunch of the most delicious trout I ever tasted; a glass of wine; playing chess; mingling a bit with the other guests; taking in all the beautiful surroundings; and then ending the day with another gourmet feast! If we're in Mindo again, we'll still consider staying here and to know better than to drink the wine without asking the price first!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El Abrazo del Árbol – Farm Eco Lodge is the most cosy and peaceful hotel in Mindo. It is located amongst 14 acres of tropical rainforest at the end of the Cunuco Road. It has eco trails to the river and to one of the waterfalls that can be seen from the hotel´s balconies. It has 8 comfortable rooms in which the hotel can accommodate up to 19 guests. All the rooms have a private bathroom as well as first class mattresses and white neat blankets. Each corner of the hotel is full of detail that reflect the hosts commitment with eco design. Among its facilities you can find the pool which is free of chemicals, steam bath, yoga bungalow, pool table, bungalow bar on the island by the lagoon, organic farm that supplies the restaurant, private parking and a soccer field. Most of the hotel´s furniture and decoration are made out of recycled materials that have been carefully worked in order to reinforce the ecological approach in which the hotel is focused. The menu at the restaurant fusions different styles of food from around the globe, everything with organic ingredients, surprising the most demanding guests. The kindness of the hosts make every guest feel at home. The hotel has large balconies and living rooms where the people can relax and watch different kinds of birds or just enjoy a good cup of tea. The hotel also plans adventure and eco tourist trips around the area depending on the guests´ needs. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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