El Silencio Lodge and Spa
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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
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
This place is amazing. We traveled during the 'early' rainy season and enjoyed beautiful days and afternoons, and the soft rain in the late afternoon and evening. The service was impeccable. We highly recommend that you use their shuttle service from San Jose or the San Jose Airport because the drive to the area is not for the faint of heart. From the moment you arrive, the staff treats you like a special guest. We enjoyed the nature hike with Kenneth, the cultural tour and horseback riding with Bryan, birdwatching with Emilio, and massages at the spa. Each and every excursion, meal, and request felt special. Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by Ronan and Wilhem. We enjoyed the fresh juices delivered on our porch (perfectly outfitted with rocking chairs and a porch swing), and the private hot tubs was a perfect treat after long hikes. Bring hiking boots and athletic clothing for hiking and horseback riding, and be prepared for a challenging, but well-marked trail. I can't think of a better retreat in the rainforest.
What a wonderful surprise! We stayed in May 2019. We had just come from a beautiful hotel, so I was reluctant. However, this place was so beautiful, relaxing, and peaceful and even better than I could have imagined. The restaurant was very good. Excellent food and choices. The staff was the best! Martin was always a friendly face. Our guides Kenneth and Bryan were fantastic and made the activities so much fun. Ronan was also so kind and made our stay so enjoyable. Upon arrival they had a welcome drink and welcome sweets in our room. Every morning on our deck there was fresh juice. They had a "Happy Hour" from 3 to 5 everyday with fresh baked cookies and hot chocolate or coffee. Each room has a jacuzzi on the back patio which was so nice to relax in. They also had rocking chairs with blankets on the deck. They have daily activities at the hotel, so I wish I had stayed longer than 2 days. This made our stay in Costa Rica so special. Its truly a great retreat.
We stayed here in April 2019. El Silencio was breathtakingly beautiful, the peace and tranquillity was just perfect. The welcome we received and all of the explanation of the different activities were excellent. Our accommodation was to an extremely high standard, a beautiful lodge with integral living room and bedroom, a superb bathroom and then a heavenly private jacuzzi! Just bliss! Would highly recommend the early morning bird watching tour. Emilio, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable and we got to see some beautiful birds. This is a place that is just lovely to wander around. We walked up to the waterfalls which was a great experience, and the hummingbird garden was lovely. We also did a forest walk with a guide, Robert?, and it was interesting to learn about the ecology of the area and the eco tourism in Costa Rica. A beautiful place- would love to return!
We came straight here from our flight into SJO...and were amazed that fog arrived to such an extent that there was practically zero visibility en route! It was like being in Wales...but we loved it!
Very beautiful setting and during our short stay over 2 days we had every variety of weather. Rooms are great and very comfortable. Breakfast buffet was good, the usual hot dishes on offer too. Evening menu was far too fussy and complicated - simple steak and salad would have been fine!
Walk to the waterfalls and around the grounds was great and the zip wire was amazing! Lovely friendly staff.
Very good value for money overall.
El Silencio Lodge and Spa was a great place for our family of 4. The 2 bedroom villa provided the space we needed and the jacuzzi was a hit with the kids! We took advantage of the zip-lining, oxcart painting, horseback riding and spa and loved it all. The staff was wonderful and so welcoming. We were thrilled with our stay. The only downside to the lodge is that although breakfast is included, the other meals are quite pricey and there aren't many other local options around. Other than that, we would highly recommend this place.