If you’re looking for an exciting but luxurious and unique Ecuadorian cloud forest experience, Mashpi Lodge may be just what you need. Indulgent and unique, a stay at Mashpi is a once in a lifetime experience, not to be missed. To find out about what it is like to stay there, recently our team member Andrea travelled to the lodgefor three days and two nights. She has reported back on her experience, to help you decide if this may be for you. Mashpi Lodge is just 60 miles (100 kilometers) from Quito and the hotel is built at 3,117 feet (950 meters) above sea level. The pristine reserve in which it is set covers an altitude range of anything between 1,640 to 4,000 feet (500 to 1,200 meters).
After collection from Quito, the three-hour road trip to the hotel was an adventure in itself. Dropping down from higher to a lower altitude, it was fascinating watching different layers of vegetation uncover along the route. Andrea explains that on arriving at Mashpi Lodge, her jaw dropped. This lovely hideaway in the forest is set on a beautiful plateau, and is surrounded by mountains thick with forest. The setting is fabulous and as Andrea said, “The marketing literature for this lodge is no lie. It is indeed an urban concept in lush jungle. The design is admirable and completely unique, making an excellent impression right from the very start.
After a refreshing arrival drink, Andrea was shown to her room. This was no less impressive with its panoramic windows running from floor to ceiling and designed for a feeling of immersion in the forest – but very much at the pinnacle of luxury. Rooms are divided across three floors, and the attention to detail within the design is incredible. The rooms are designed using green and brown colors to merge with the exterior, and there is low level lighting, which is accompanied by the natural light. Even the bathtub boasts a fabulous view. As Andrea explained, “I felt like I was in a large, luxurious pod, an integral part of the cloud forest surrounding me. I could not want for anything in my room, it was splendid.”
There were plenty of activities to keep Andrea busy during her three-day, two-night stay at Mashpi. As she explains, “There is lots of flexibility to do what you want or to simply relax, but I wanted to get out there and see everything!” After lunch on day one, this meant heading out for a ride on the stunning Dragonfly aerial cable car, offering an unbeatable view of the canopy. Before dinner, she also experienced an exciting night walk, to experience some of the wildlife that is nocturnal and cannot be seen at other times. This included tarantulas but also frogs and snakes.
On the second day, got up early to begin the day surrounded by a cacophony of delightful bird song, spotting all variety of colorful birds, flitting around while going about their early morning business. After breakfast, the bird theme continued as Andrea opted for a visit to the Hummingbird Garden to enjoy more feathered friends flapping and buzzing about. There was also time for a guided hike along a trail to a stunning waterfall. After yet another delicious lunch, Andrea climbed the Observation Tower for spectacular views across the reserve and took a ride on the unusual Sky Bike to enjoy the scenery and wildlife from another perspective.
On her final day, Andrea opted for a short walk along another of the many winding forest trails, and also visiting the pretty Life Centre with its array of beautiful butterflies, before her transportation back to Quito and civilization. Was there anything she didn’t do that she’d have liked to? Andrea said, “I’d love to have had some time in the luxury spa. I peeped my head in, and it looked simply fabulous. Other guests I spoke to said the massage was out of this world, while the open-air hot tub offered yet another unique take on the urban-forest theme. There is also a delightful yoga space, and plenty of spots for mindful relaxation. Bliss!”
It is worth noting that Mashpi Reserve is not just all about tourism. As well as offering a sustainable lodge, the reserve also serves as a research station. Scientists there are working to learn everything possible about the unusual and diverse landscape of the reserve. The goal of doing this has been to feedback to local communities, but also visitors and the scientific community, with a view to conserving the delicate ecosystem here. The research that has been carried out has helped the tourism here to be sustainable, and research efforts are always ongoing to find out more.
For Andrea, the food at Mashpi Lodge really stood out. The restaurant is eager to use local and fresh ingredients, so these are an important feature of the menu. Ecuador’s fabulous different regional cuisines are explored, with different options for guests to experience the varied tastes and culinary treats. From ceviches to fresh jams, and fresh soups to exotic fruits, guests have a chance to experience the weird, wonderful, and downright delicious here. The tasty food is washed down with one of a wide selection of wines or alternatively a forest-themed cocktail. Andrea found that her visits to the restaurant were enjoyable in and of themselves for the view of the surrounding forest.
Andrea reported that the service was everything you might expect from a luxurious lodge with this sort of price point. As she put it, “the attention from the staff was professional, friendly and personalized. I felt very well taken care of and as if my every need was anticipated before I was even aware of it myself!”
We can organize packages to visit Mashpi Lodge, and based on Andrea’s experience we can customize your trip to meet your preferences and desires. Contact us now toget started on booking your once in a lifetime trip to the luxurious Mashpi Lodge.