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“El Monte - el magnifico”

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El Monte Sustainable Lodge
Ranked #8 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
Dallas, Texas
2 reviews
“El Monte - el magnifico”
Reviewed 9 September 2013

First of all, the place is beautiful. The scenery is breathtaking, the hosts are wonderful & the food is seriously the best I have ever had!! Mostly vegetarian plates, but don't let that fool you. I am a meat and potatoes guy, or was, until I tasted some of the freshest most delightful plates I have ever had at El Mindo, made fresh 3 times a day!!!
There are plenty of activities besides the food such as hiking, bird watching, zip-lining & many more. One piece of advice..don't take the trips to the orchid farm of chocolate factory.....they are sales pitches, not what you want to do if you have made it all the way to Mindo.
Go for the food and the relaxation.....you won't regret it!

Room Tip: They only have one type of room!
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  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Cleatis79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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136 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

Overall, we had a great stay at this property. Very relaxing. We went bird watching within and outside the property. Tubing right next to the property. The food was excellent, fresh. Lot of variety. Freshly squeezed juices every day. Great salads & desserts.
The staff was very friendly. We also spent a lot of time chatting with the owners Tom & Mariela over dinner every night.
You can certainly just chill out on the property the entire time if you wanted to & just eat, walk around and sleep. The cabins certainly have their share of bugs inside and outside since that's the just the nature of the property. Make sure you use bug spray and wear pants / full sleeves. We kept scratching all over for a about a week after coming back :-)

Room Tip: You may want to request a cabin away from the river if you think you'll be bothered by the const...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank NC G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013 via mobile

El Monte is a hidden gem. Definitely for outdoorsy type. Property is entirely sustainable & lovely. Spectacular settings. They can take you on local hikes. Low key, food ok, staff is very friendly & accommodating. Stayed 2 nights but had to request clean towels & couldn't get our room cleaned. Otherwise it was great

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
Thank oneidaelane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Albans
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2013

El Monte is a brilliant place to stay when visiting Mindo and the cloud forest.

The owners Tom and Mariela are warm and welcoming, very professional and attentive hosts who made our stay so memorable.

American Airlines lost our luggage and Tom and Mariela were amazing; they lent us clothes, insisted on making all the important calls as we did not speak Spanish and managed to get our bags back so we could enjoy the rest of our holiday.

A lot of the food you will eat in El Monte is harvested from their own allotment so it’s very fresh and the standard and the variation of the menu is superb. All of the El Monte staff and guides are brilliant and we would especially mention Natalie, who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local flora and fauna.

El Monte is a perfect size, quiet and relaxing and a great place to discover the cloud forest. The accommodation has been built with great sensitivity to blend into the surroundings and Tom and Mariela have deliberately kept their eco-impact as low as possible.

Your arrival will be spectacular and we cannot recommend this lodge highly enough.

Paul and Ruth Feetham

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Durdle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 August 2013

El Monte Lodge is utter luxury set among tropical cloud forest. This exclusive place is worth every penny. You are made to feel welcome from the start, the food is amazing and the setting is sheer joy. I cant list all the birds I saw while I was there but it included several Toucans, many hummingbirds, parrots, quetzal and sun heron (and that was just the Lodge garden!). I highly recommend this place and the wonderful work they do to promote and support eco-tourism with Amazonian tribes too

Room Tip: Cabin 1 was secluded and wonderful
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank solenodon_joe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We stayed at El Monte for 2 nights---and wished we had booked at least one additional night. When booking our stay we sent a check to a bank in Miami--we had no issues with payment--although it would have been much easier to book with paypal.

Upon approaching El Monte you know you're in for a special treat. The way in over the river is a great "wee" experience! My husband is afraid of heights and had no issue with this.

We were greeted at the entrance by our guide Natalia (we paid $30 for an English speaking guide). She oriented us to the property and let us know about the meal schedule.

The property is spectacular---the main house is beautiful---the cabins are amazing---beautifully designed. We had cabin 4 right by the rushing river with a small pond in front. Only suggestion on the room is to add a reading lamp in the front sitting area.

The food here is amazing! They make their hot chocolate from scratch (literally grow the cacao, dry the beans etc). If you need red meat---or any meat with every meal this is not the place for you.

Birds and butterflies can be easily seen from the main lodge.

The owners are warm and knowledgeable. They ate dinner with us each evening.

The staff arranged transport to and from Quito. They use a variety of drivers but highly recommend Mauro--he was the best driver we had in Ecuador--clean car, safe driver etc.

If you're looking to relax in a beautiful setting with great food --this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Cabin 4 is amazing--but i think you would be happy with any of the cabins---
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cupcake2573
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

Mixed feelings about El Monte.

After a windy couple of hours drive from Quito we got to Mindo and then on to this remote lodge. We loved the rope pulley entrance (although later did have issues with waiting a while for someone to come and let us in).

The cabins were gorgeous. Wooden, very spacious and all very spread out. We did have to move cabins due to a wasps nest and leaking ceiling, but the staff were very helpful about it. The water, however, was never really hot enough, which was a shame as there was a great bath with a view. But we get that sacrifices like that often come with the eco-lodge territory.

The nature walks were great, plenty of toucans etc really close, and with really friendly, helpful guides. We also went out to the butterfly farm and chocolate workshop, both of which were really fun outings.

The food was fantastic. Almost no meat, but really tasty and inventive. The homemade hot chocolate was to die for!

One downside was that the owners weren't there and the manager, who we ate every meal with, didn't seem to know the answers to any of our questions. It was also inconvenient having to go to their office in Quito to pay beforehand.

Also, contrary to other reviews, alcohol was available there - however it was strangely kept in a locked cupboard meaning we had to wait quite a while for the manager to come and unlock it. Indeed overall there seemed to be very little trust of the Ecuadorian staff. We were told not to tip them directly as 'they wouldn't spend it responsibly' - instead we had to pay the manager, who then said she would add it to their paychecks.

Room Tip: The cabins by the river are perhaps best, but the bathroom of one is overlooked by the lake cabin...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ihearttraveltime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Monte Sustainable Lodge

Property: El Monte Sustainable Lodge
Address: Roca E4-49 y Amazonas | Pasaje Chantilly, Mindo, Ecuador (Formerly El Monte Lodge)
Region: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Mindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 47 Speciality Lodging in Mindo
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Monte Sustainable Lodge is an ecotourism destination in every sense of the word. We emphasize nature here at El Monte, in the form of birdwatching and observation of wildlife in general. Aside from the natural focus of our lodge, we also supply many of the vegetables, eggs and more from our organic garden. Most of our energy is supplied by a microhydro plant. We are located in a 110 acre reserve that is close to the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve of over 40,000 acres. At only 3 kilometers from the town of Mindo we are within access of many the activities, such as the Butterfly Garden, Ziplines, White-water Tubing, waterfalls and more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Monte Hotel Mindo

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