El Silencio Lodge & Spa is located in picturesque Bajos del Toro on a 500-acre private cloud forest reserve flanked by the Juan Castro Blanco and Poas Volcano National Parks. 

The suites at El Silencio Lodge & Spa are thoughtfully arranged up the mountainside to give you privacy and good views of the cloud forest.  There is a spa on site and an area where you can do zip lining etc. if that takes your fancy.  We had suite no 11 which is a good steep walk up from the lodge (although there are golf carts available to take you if you really needed them).  There is a heated outdoor jacuzzi in each suite, but it takes two hours to warm up, which is a bit frustrating. 

As the name suggests, it is extremely peaceful here.  There are a large number of activities and excursions available, but all need to be pre-booked and it is probably best to do this before you arrive than when you are here as the timings are difficult to co-ordinate and minimum numbers + notice for transportation etc. is required.  A number of the activities seemed to be either cancelled or fully booked – i.e. – they weren’t running, despite being written on the board.  It would be far better if there was a pre arranged programme covering the most popular activities so that you could ensure you made the most of your time here and costs were kept to a minimum by grouping people together.  
 
​There is a garden in the grounds laid out with flowers specially designed to attract hummingbirds, which they do.  You can hike to three waterfalls just 2kms from the lodge.  A mystic hiking trail, visit to the organic farm/garden and tree planting are complimentary activities, but everything else has to be pre-booked and paid for.

​You can only book into the restaurant on a daily basis.  We were given a choice of 6 or 8.30 when we arrived at lunch time – not ideal really.  If the hotel is busy, it may be best to ring ahead to “book your slot”.  Being early to breakfast is also a good idea if you want to be sure there is something other than water melon left in the tropical fruit selection when the hotel is full.  The restaurant is good for lunch, but the evening service and menu didn’t really impress.  On our second night, the starters we ordered never arrived and it took an hour and a half to be served our main course.  While we were waiting for dessert to arrive, we were given the good news that our jacuzzi had been fixed (although way too late in the day to be of any use to us) – but it was still stone cold when we got back to our room. anyway  This was getting a bit like Fawlty Towers?!

The location is the real winner here – the restaurant, service and facilities definitely need some improvement.  It’s a shame because the staff are universally lovely, try so hard and are always so sorry when things go wrong – a bit like Manuel really – very lovable.

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