Members Recommend
Very Good 805 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Spacious eco-chic suites with uninterrupted cloud forest views
  • The Esencia Spa is a rain forest beauty, in both the design and the amazing massages
  • Great birding and guided trail hikes though the 500-acre reserve
  • READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation

What To Know

  • Children seven and younger are not permitted
  • The tranquil vibe’s a bit subdued; night owls won’t get their fix here
  • Television and WiFi in the main lodge only
  • Pack a sweater and some rain gear — the highlands can be surprisingly cool and rainy


  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Handicap-accessible
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Luxe eco-sleep in a 500-acre cloud forest north of San Jose, with 15 hillside suites and a rainforest spa

The Look

Less than two hours north of San Jose, El Silencio Lodge & Spa blends style and service with pampered wellness and soft-adventure experiences. Intentionally remote and secluded, the Lodge invites its guests to disappear into the 15 hillside suites, dine on Costa Rica-fusion dishes prepared with imagination and flare, to hike to cascading water falls or count hummingbirds in the Magic Garden. The charm of El Silencio is its blend of style and service with pampered wellness and soft-adventure experiences.

Bed and Bath

Fifteen identical, totally private one-room cabinas sit hillside on pillars, minimizing their footprint on the jungle below. The rustic exterior belies a luxurious and spacious interior: king-size beds outfitted with 450-thread-count linens and cloud top mattresses; polished-stone bathrooms with twin basins and fluffy robes and sandals; two plush sofas; an electric heater and a well-stocked snack bar. The private porch has unbeatable river or forest views to be admired from the rocking chairs or freshwater-fed stone Jacuzzis. Worth noting: If the hike to and from the cabina gets tiring, a personal eco-concierge is on call to transport you in a golf cart.


In the main lodge, Las Ventanas restaurant (with indoor and outdoor dining areas) dishes up healthy fusion fare. Chef Marcela Chaves takes inspiration from traditional Costa Rican dishes and uses fresh fish bought from the local community, free-range poultry and a fiesta of vegetables, fruits and herbs from the on-site organic garden. Wines (Argentine and Chilean, Spanish and South African) and other alcoholic beverages are also available. Out in the forest, surrounded by bubbling streams and torches and candles, is the destination Esencia Spa. There are three rooms for treatments that include the Costa Rica Mud Miracle rub, as well as body polishes and body wraps. Couples can take Poas Healing Stone and Rainforest Aromatherapy massages side by side in the Conical Room, designed, like everything else here, to channel the forest’s natural energy.

In the Area

It is a scenic drive from El Silencio to Poas National Park, whose centerpiece is the country’s largest active volcano crater; a mile across, it is constantly steaming and bubbling. A 20-minute walk from there is Laguna Botos crater, which is filled with its own pool of turquoise water. And the Dokka coffee plantation is right in the neighborhood, ready for tours. An hour away is Sarapiqui, a more pastoral area in which to get active. Go whitewater rafting on the Sarapiqui River, where professional outfitters take thrill-seekers safely down Class II-IV rapids. For a dose of retail therapy, head to Costa Rica’s main center for crafts and furniture, Sarchi. Known for its brightly painted oxcarts, visitors can watch the cart-makers at work, and shop for everything from salad bowls to jewelry fashioned from beautiful hardwoods.

How to Get There

El Silencio Lodge and Spa
Bajos de Toro Amarillo
Sarchi Norte, 00000 Costa Rica


4.5 Very Good 805 Reviews
Fawlty Towers
Reviewed 3 days ago

Yes, the room was very nice as was the spa.The food was mediocre. The service was completely inconsistent. It seemed like the staff was just muddling through, to the extent that I googled to see if there had been a change in ownership. Indeed, there was. The onsite activities listed on the website are not offered with any regularity. The hotel location is remote, so there was a lot of time with nothing to do but read or use the hot tub. Relaxing, but a long way to go to not do very much.

Reviewed 6 days ago

Situated in Costa Rica's central highlands, this beautiful hotel is in the middle of a tropical forest.
The view of the mountains and the rivers from your balcony is amazing.
The outdoor private jacuzzi is just perfect integrated with the nature.
The activities during the day are very well organized . Book all of them.

Great spot
Reviewed 6 days ago

The service is great. The food is just as good. The surroundings are gorgeous. The cabins are very comfortable complete with a jacuzzi. Walks in the forest are s must as is a visit to the greenhouse and the trout raising ponds. And then there is trout for dinner.
We like to start our CR trips here. Decompress and decompress some more.

Reviewed 1 week ago

Such an incredible magical place that words can hardly describe. At the bottom of a very curly road there is El Silencio! The suites are amazing with a beautiful deck overlooking the Cloud Forest and the Jacuzzi and a very pampering bathroom. Hiking around is incredibile peaceful and the waterfalls at the end are worth the walk. Finally the food: amazing! Quality, presentation, service, choices everything is there and of top quality. Really worth every penny and the rather long/uncomfortable drive.
PS: bring warm clothes!!!

Very Peaceful
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Stopped here for a night on the way back to the airport. Very pleasant place. Lovely lodges with nice little touches such as jacuzzi, chocolates in room, hot chocolate drink brought to you between 3 and 5 every day, if you want it.
Nice trails, and a nice airy restaurant.