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“Garden of Eden” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Monte Sustainable Lodge

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El Monte Sustainable Lodge
Ranked #7 of 45 Speciality Lodging in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Garden of Eden”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

The lodge is nestled in the cloud forest and is reached by crossing a rushing river. There is no bridge. You are pulled in over the river on a cable seat. You are surrounded by the forest in complete peace and all you can hear is the sound of birds and the gushing river as it flows perpetually and crashes over the rocks.
The cabins are far enough from each other to provide privacy and seclusion. Very comfortable beds. On the top floor, with windows all around, you feel like you are in a tree house. You are enveloped in greenery. In the afternoon you can watch the misty clouds descend the hillsides. You can hear the rain gently pattering on the window panes while you are cosily ensconsed in your cabin.
The main lounge is a short walk. It is an impressive, open structure - large enough to accommodate dining area for 20, a big kitchen, a fire pit and relaxing areas with comfortable chairs as well the hosts' living quarters. It is hard to describe this grand structure, open on all sides, which looks like a cathedral with a many-winged roof. From this lounge you can view the garden where fresh vegetables are grown.
The food is absolutely amazing. Merina, the cook, is a gifted woman. Bread is homemade, quinoa, pasta, and exotic dishes are absolutely delicious and all made fresh. You won't eat this well and healthy in any restaurant. The fresh lemon grass, ginger and mint teas and the hot chocolate are memorable.
The staff is great. Lucia, our guide, was helpful and patient. She accompanied us on all our trips - canopy cable car ride, hikes, visits to the orchid garden, to see humming birds and to the local chocolate factory. Taxis were available as needed.
The hosts - Tom and Meriela were most gracious and spent time with us. They shared the history of the lodge, how they designed and built it by themselves. We laud their effort to make the lodge truly sustainable. We took a tour and saw the septic system, the electricity generator and the recycling system .
We spent 4 restful days at El Monte - the kind of peaceful time one needs to rejuvenate the spirit. It was a highlight of our trip to Ecuador.

Room Tip: Our cabin was the furthest from the main lounge. We loved it.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DharSa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    104
    21
    5
    2
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 May 2014

Pros: Beautiful setting, wonderful host, amazing food, rooms are private cabanas that are luxurious with tons of space, bathtub has window to open and let nature in

Cons: Toilet struggled to fully flush, water took a long time to fill bathtub but that's to be expected given the remote, isolated location you are enjoying.

The lodge has a guide you can set a schedule with for daily activities (most have additional costs). Plan to wake up early one morning to see the Cock of the Rock, includes a 30 minute drive and 20 minute hike before sunrise, but it's well worth the effort. Meals are pescatarian, delicious with high quality ingredients and plenty of variety. Dining area and lounge is open air, lots of space, beautiful area to relax and watch nature. No wifi, distance from town is a 10 minute drive or 30 minute walk. Cable-car over river to enter the lodge.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MattHy2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Managua, Nicaragua
Level Contributor
85 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2014

This is a lovely 'lodge' and cabanas set into the forest edge along a river in Mindo. The owners are incredibly nice and helpful and the food is outstanding especially for Ecuador (which generally seems to have low vegetable diversity). Every meal was unique and fresh and tasty with lots of vegetables and exceptional salads and excellent homemade desserts. The nature guides who work for the lodge are excellent. Natalia helped us find those difficult to see forest understory birds as well as the showier canopy species, hummers etc. The owners will help you get what you want out of your stay there. Do take precautions for chiggers if you wander in the garden and greenhouse area. Mosquitos were not bad. the Cabanas are comfortable as are the beds. No internet but you dont' go to a place like this to sit around on the internet! also it isn't inexpensive but it is well worth the expense to say in this attractive, tranquil place!

Room Tip: i think you can't go wrong with their cabanas. they are very roomy.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Carla D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

Staying at El Monte was a great experience. The guest cabins are charming and comfortable and the main lodge is extraordinary. The design and location of the hotel are unique, the food is amazing, and the personal attention from the staff and owners is truly impressive. Overall, a very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mruggi3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in El Monte Lodge on March 10, 2014. From the moment we arrived we new we were in a very special place. We waited beside the river as we were were greeted by the personnel on the other side. Quickly, a wooden platform was sent over for us and there was no questions that our adventure had begun. Our cabin was spacious and with all the comforts of home such as electricity, hot water and a very large bath. We loved that the window in the shower could be open to give us an outdoor experience. The Lodge was beautiful and relaxing and our meals healthy and delicious. The lodge in the evening was lit with romantic candles and hearing the sounds of the birds from the Cloud Forest provided a peaceful ambiance. We enjoyed meeting our guide Lucia who went with us to all of our activities such as bird watching, visiting the chocolate factory, butterfly farm, orchid farm, and humming bird viewing.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cflippen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 January 2014

Mike and I stayed at El Monte just over a year ago. We are VERY tardy with our review, but we just got back from another trip and even after a new experience in a new place, we both agree that El Monte has a very special place in our hearts. We had a great time meeting Tom, one of the owners and learning about the build process of the lodges. The cabins were lux, the central lodge was so relaxing and the food was pure bliss. We enjoyed everything about El Monte and the only thing we would do differently next time is hire the specialized bird guide. We did not realize what we were missing (because we could not locate the birds on our own) until it was too late. I would highly recommend a hot chocolate and a nap in a main lodge hammock. We also picked up some of the awesome slippers from the lodge's suppliers…and I am wearing them right now! So much to love about this place.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 December 2013

Went to El Monte to stay 2 nights directly requested one more. The cabins are so biutiful decorated. We stayed in no 5. You can take a bath open up the windows and just see directly out into the forest. There are candles to lit just amazing experiense.
Most of the food you are served are grown at the lodge. You are served 3 meals a day. At least 3 courses for ´lunch and dinner, its a set menu and plenty of food, impossible to eat everything that is on your plate.
They have there own electricity power station from the river and a water cleaning station to make sure the water is clean before letting it back to the river. (Make sure that they show you this)
We saw plenty of birds just sitting relaxing at the lodge several diffrent hummingbirds.
Go there to experiense paradise

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Diveheart
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 #7 of 45 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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