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“Comfortable relaxing cloudforest refuge”
Review of Casa Divina Lodge

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Casa Divina Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mindo
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 28 April 2011

Mindo is a small town off the main road in a valley and the Casa Divina is a mile outside of town, surrounded by river valley, farm, and forest. The area can be wet -- it is a cloud forest, after all. The grounds are very nice, and a bit of a work in progress. The rooms and main room are really nice and comfortable. Hammock, chairs, and lots of beautiful wood interiors, tables and chairs, all built by Efrain the co-owner. Check out the photos. Beds are great, the showers are hot (it gets a bit cold in the cloudforest when a cloudburst happens).

The food is homemade and outstanding. Breakfasts and lunches are wholesome, generous, and tasty. Dinners were a special of the day. We were there in an off-season with only a couple other guests, and therefore missed meeting Molly and the two children, but Efrain was a very capable host on his own.

We walked from the Casa a few times, exploring the area on backroads and seeing birds on our own. It felt very safe. But the highlights were birding with Efrain - - which involves getting up very early and driving to a special refuge (Angel Paz) to see the Cock of the Rock, Quetzals, Antpitas, and many other birds. He also took us birding right from the Casa one morning and we saw at least 50 species in 2 hours. And yes, you pay extra for birding, but it it totally worth it compared to birding without a guide.

The Casa isn't cheap, but we thought we got great value and found it very relaxing, like visiting friends. We'd go back.

Room Tip: We had an upstairs room, but just ask them.
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  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Love22saywa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 April 2011

we had a lovely time at casa divina with our very gracious hosts and their children. our kids (8,5) romped with their kids (about the same ages) in their beautiful great room - all wood floors and furniture, large and relaxing. they have a couple indoor swings and acrobatic fabric that drape over beams that the kids loved to play with. all very beautifully presented. plus, chess and monopoly. what more could the kids want? well, they also enjoyed the butterfly farm and the ziplining as well as the tarabita ride across a valley to the waterfall hike. we unfortunately did not do any of the bird hikes but heard they were amazing! the place is beautiful and very relaxing. our room was great with a hammock to swing on on the porch. huge bathtub. if you are someone who gets bit by insects, bring your bug repellant. one of my poor sons got about 50 bites (48, to be exact, so he tells us) on his legs while we were sleeping! you can walk to town or to the other things to do in the area, but frankly, it's along the main roads and not on trails, so it's not always so scenic. they can always call you a taxi (transportation does start to add up though). breakfast and dinners were wonderfully prepared and presented. boy, we ate well! vegetarian options looked good but we really enjoyed our passion fruit trout! if someone is looking for a quiet retreat, don't let my mention of kids put you off! the rooms are beautiful and very tranquil, and the great room is large enough for all to enjoy.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank wetakethekids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2011

Casa Divina is even more beautiful than it looks in the photos. The grounds were a slice a paradise. The rooms were lovely, comfortable, and spotless. Our room had a wall of windows, a balcony, and a large bathroom with a full size tub and shower, as well as filtered water. Molly was friendly and very helpful. SHe's from the US and speaks fluent English, which I'll admit made life easier. The food was very good. We stayed one night and wished we could've stayed longer. The only downside is that its a little pricey. One bit of advise -- try to book Eprhain as your guide. We used someone else for birdwatching (Ephrain was booked) and our guide was good, but I have a feeling that Ephrain is better.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cheshiregal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2011

We recently stayed at Casa Divina with my husband's family and our three boys (there were ten in our party). My husband's family was making a return trip to Casa Divina but it was our first visit. It was incredible.
There was something for everyone. My sons (ages 6, 7, and 12) were constantly investigating the outdoors, finding new insects and amphibians, and spotting birds. We went on bird hikes, a night hike, visited the butterfly farm, and toured the Mindo Orchid garden. I wish we had a week to spend there.
The food was delicious and Molly and her staff were very helpful and friendly. The rooms were clean, nicely decorated and very comfortable. Efrain was incredibly knowledgeable about the plants, birds, animals and insects. He was a fantastic guide!
I'd recommend this destination to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank BonnieMcNett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2011

We were a group of 7 (3 couples & our 23 yr. old son). We took the bus from Quito, very comfortable & approx. 2hrs. & less than $3 per person each way. Casa Divina was beyond our expectations. The guest lodge/dining room/living room, built by the owners, Efrain & Molly, was not only beautiful but comfortable & a lovely place to enjoy our delicious meals prepared by Molly. There were several "cabins". We stayed in one that accomodated me, my husband & our son. It was quite roomy, spottlessly clean, lots of windows looking into the surrounding foliage & the bathroom was large & bright. What a beautiful place to spend a night in the cloud forest. We took advantage of several of the activities available in the area ~ early morning bird watching, horseback riding, cable car ride across a canyon to a beautiful hike to several waterfalls & zip-lining. Rain boots were available & so appreciated since the trail to the waterfall was muddy (rainy season). Molly & Efrain were both very gracious hosts & happy to help make any arrangements. We were truly impressed w/the accommodations in this tucked-away cloud forest & are happy to highly recommend it anyone who may travel to Mindo. Thank you again Molly & Efrain!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank ustruckgold
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2011

The lodge, built by the hosts, has a main building and a few guest cottages. The accomodations were lovely- and very surprising in the middle of a small town in Ecuador. The hosts were friendly and well prepared with a large dining and seating area, and the meals were delicious and generous. They had referrals for riding (horse) and bird watch hikes, cable car trip etc.. boots to lend for the mud- very well prepared and equipped. The area was beautiful. The Ecuador bus service was great. the bus was clean and well maintained- an easy and inexpensive way to travel to Mindo (and Banos, too).

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank fstaylor11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

Having read all the positive reviews before booking this stay, I must say in retrospect I agree with all the highly complimentary things said about Casa Divina. Staying at Casa Divina is a splurge worth every penny.
Ephraim is a key player in Mindo area tourism, and it was such a privilege to have him take us personally to the various sites on the "Discover Mindo" itinerary. He was so knowlegable and engaging, I could have stayed much longer just to share stories with him. He made us feel like very honored guests. Even provided us with mucky boots as it was the rainy season, and brought a scope for excellent views of local bird life.
Molly oversees the wonderful array of food and will keep you very happily satiated and satisfied. Her online emails before we arrived were warm and inviting. Their two lovely homeschooled daughters were also a delight to interact with. The accommodations they have built for guests is an experience in indulgence. I liked that there were plenty of hooks to hang towels and wet clothing. Bathroom was wonderfully thought out, even non-slip tub, plush towels, and local handmade soaps. You can see Mindo for less, but you'll leave with so much more in terms of connection and appreciation if you stay here. PS I have wonderful photos because Ephraim made sure to have my camera while I was doing the canopy tour and the river tubing!! Thanks!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank nishamah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casa Divina Lodge

Address: 1.2km Via a la Cascada Nambillo | Pichincha, Mindo, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Mindo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Mindo
Price Range: £155 - £219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Casa Divina Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Divina Lodge is located 1.2 km (3/4 mi.) outside the town of Mindo in the western lowlands of the Pichincha Province in Ecuador, South America. About 2 hours northwest of Quito, the valley of Mindo forms part of a larger biodiversity hotspot known as the Andean Choco Region. We are proud to offer comfortable and elegant accommodation in the middle of the cloudforest. The town of Mindo offers many activities for the outdoor, nature-seeking traveler. World class birdwatching is at its best in and around the Mindo area. Please inquire about birdwatching packages and personalized tours.At Casa Divina Lodge we provide delicious home-style meals and comfortable accommodations for those who want an adventure by day and an elegant and cozy place to rest by night. As well as an experienced bird guide, Efrain, owner and builder, is a talented carpenter and has demonstrated his love for wood in each of the hand-built cabins as well as almost all of the wooden furniture in the lodge. We are a family-run business that holds high standards in service to our guests and also towards our employees. We value those that work with us greatly. We are proud to have a dedicated staff that is happy to be here and has been with us for an extended period, making the atmosphere here that much more warm and family-oriented.We welcome families that travel together, as well as guests with young children. We have two children and know what a great opportunity and advantage it is for children to experience a broader sense of the world through travel. We run a small capacity lodge on a private nature reserve, so whether you are dedicated birdwatchers, honeymooners or a traveling family Casa Divina Lodge offers the perfect cloudforest experience.We support community tourism by working with other family-run businesses in the area. We encourage our guests to get out and experience the variety of activities available in the region. For the adventure seekers there is zip lining through the trees, tubing down the Mindo River and rappelling down one of many local waterfalls. Delight your sweet tooth on a rainy afternoon at the local chocolate factory. For nature lovers there is a morning at the butterfly farm, a tour at the orchid garden and the after dinner night hike. For avid bird watchers you can't miss the cock-of-the-rock lek, a visit to the Paz de Las Aves Reserve and humming bird observation.But you won't want to spend all of your time out of doors. Casa Divina is a place where life slows down. A place where you are invited to relax on the sofa with a good book, or in your hammock for a refreshing siesta.Our meals are a healthy blend of traditional Ecuadorian and international fare. And don't forget the desserts. Each evening a unique sweet inspiration is served from the ovens of the Sweet Goddess Bakery. For those who can't get enough of our cooking (or just want to stay in for the day) we offer lunch, snacks, drinks and-of course-coffee and tea all day long. Unlimited filtered drinking water is also available in your room as well as in the main house.Mindo is a small town located in the Ecuadorian western lowlands (more commonly know as cloud forest) where so many ideals come together: the climate is just right (the nickname for this valley is "the land of eternal spring"), the biodiversity will make even the most amateur nature seeker giddy with excitement, malaria does not exist here (no pills, no side effects), and the community is conscientious and moving ahead in the eco-tourism movement. You will see informative signs posted throughout town about the effects of pollution and all households and businesses separate our waste into organic and non-organic bins. The young people from Mindo are proud of their town, their work and the opportunity to have an international experience in a small rural town.Although Mindo still has a long way to go in its development as an "eco-destination," change and progress are happening and it's exciting to be part of the process. We invite you to come and kick up your heels at Casa Divina Lodge and participate in community tourism in the making. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Divina Cloudforest Retreat Hotel Mindo

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