El Silencio Lodge & Spa
- Style Eco suites on stilts
- Setting Cloud forest canopy
Cross the Indiana Jones-style bridge to El Silencio Lodge and Spa hotel in Costa Rica and you’ll find living the way nature intended, only better. Surrounded by the tranquility of a 500-acre jungle, you’ll salute the sun from the yoga deck, dine on delicious organic cuisine and soak in postcard-perfect panoramic views from all around the resort.
Need to know
- Rooms 15 mountainside suites, raised on wooden pillars.
- Rates Double rooms from $294.69, excluding tax at 13 per cent.
- More details Rates include daily breakfast and a guided nature walk.
- Facilities Gardens, spa, private nature reserve, library of books and DVDS, free WiFi in the restaurant and TV room. In rooms:, iPod dock, outdoor whirlpool tub, minibar, viewing deck with rocking chairs, and bath products by Costa Rican line Aromas para el Alma.
- Check–out 11am, but flexible and free, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Children Children ages eight and older are welcome at El Silencio. They can sleep on the convertible day-beds in each lodge, at no extra charge. Babysitting can be arranged with hotel staff for US$15, with 48 hours’ notice.
- Eco‐friendly Sustainability is the watchword. Ninety per cent of El Silencio’s grounds is designated as a private forest reserve. The cabins were built on repurposed grazing grounds to avoid clearing additional trees, and are made with eco-friendly materials (bamboo features heavily). The staff compost food remnants, provide reusable water bottles, and clean with low-impact products. Much of the food comes from local farmers or the hotel garden.
- Also Each Suite is assigned an Eco Concierge, who leads your courtesy hike, coordinates activities, can arrange tree-plantings and can point out flora and fauna.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms All rooms have the same floor plan and feel very private, with dramatic views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as from the hot tub on each deck. The Suites higher up the hill feel more like they are situated in a cloud forest. Opt for 11, which attracts hummingbirds to the plants around its porch.
- Packing tips Pack light on bath products: El Silencio’s biodegradable potions are packed with natural goodies such as lavender and peppermint, (which handily double as all-natural bug repellents). Bring clothes for all temperatures (preferably in shades of green, naturally).
- Also Sit back and let the wildlife come to you. The groundskeepers planted purple verbena flowers around each cabin’s viewing deck to lure hummingbirds. Keen eyes can also spot wild pheasants, sparrows, blue tanagers and, possibly, the iridescent, long-tailed quetzal.
Food and drink at El Silencio Lodge & Spa
- Hotel restaurant Los Ventanas uses produce from the hotel garden to create an menu of international dishes. The kitchen promotes healthier cuisine and vegetables, ie no red meat. Local fishermen hand over their catches for several dishes, including trout au gratin.
- Dress code Jungle-casual rules the resort. Closed-toed shoes will keep you safe on impromptu after-dinner walks.
- Top table The glass-walled dining makes it easy to watch the world go by from any table. If the weather is warm, take a table on the terrace, where the babbling river sets the soundtrack.
- Last orders Las Ventanas serves dinner from 7pm¬ to 9:30pm (breakfast is 7am–10am; lunch, noon–3pm). The bar’s open until 10pm.
- Hotel bar The lodge has a bar serving tropical cocktails, wine, beer and an espresso selection.