El Silencio Lodge - A Unique Costa Rica Wedding Destination
At El Silencio Lodge in Bajos del Toro - a luxury eco resort specializing in elopements, intimate weddings, and honeymoons - we interviewed William Viquez, the Guest Services Manager, who gave us a complete tour of the lodge and showed us its best venues for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and dinners, and gave us access to their Honeymoon Suite, and showed us the most picturesque locations for wedding portraits. We want you to have a marvelous wedding in an amazing place and hope this article makes finding it easier.
LOCATION & TRANSPORTATION
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is located approximately 1.5 hours north of the Juan Santamaria International Airport in the cloud forest in Bajos del Toro, at the southern tip of Parque Nacional Juan Castro Blanco – Juan Castro Blanco National Park. The lodge offers guest round-trip transportation to the airport and it can organize transportation to and from any of the local sites and activities in Bajos del Toro, as well as other areas such as La Fortuna and Poas.
REPUTATION, HISTORY & DESIGN
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a 4-Star boutique wellness retreat that has been accommodating elopements and weddings for 10 years this December. Its parent company, Grupo Islita (Island Group), is an independent Costa Rica enterprise dedicated to excellence in hotel management and development, ensuring you have an outstanding experience. El Silencio Lodge, as with Grupo Islita’s other properties, is known for considering and incorporating nature into its design and into its daily and long-term operations, maintenance, and development for the betterment of Costa Rica and to provide its guests with a unique nature-centric experience in a distinct location.
Why El Silencio Lodge & Spa is Unique
It location in the mountains and dense cloud forest in Bajos del Toro, where there are many breathtaking waterfalls, make the lodge a quiet, serene, and beautiful destination for weddings and elopements. The way the lodge and its wedding venues, upscale spa, guest rooms and other sites were incorporated into the environment ensures you have direct and constant contact with nature. Additionally, El Silencio Lodge produces much of its own food onsite on its organic farm to ensure guests have high quality, fresh, organic food and to reduce its environmental impact.
Best Time for an El Silencio Lodge & Spa Wedding
In planning when and where you tie the knot, especially if it’s a destination wedding, the weather and when the busy and slow seasons are important factors to consider as they can affect your overall experience and the cost and availability of travel and accommodations.
THE Climate & Weather
Since the lodge is located in the cloud forest covering highland mountains, rain is probable at any time of the year. May through December is the rainy season – the winter – with September and October receiving the most rainfall and it falling off in December. January through April receive the least rainfall. The average temperature is 66º F, which falls after sundown, and which contributes to the mist or fog that envelope the mountains frequently.
BUSY / SLOW SEASONS
In Costa Rica, the busy season is from mid December to late April, which coincides with the summer. The slow season is from May through mid December, which is also the rainy season. In addition to experiencing more tourists in the busy season, many Costa Ricans vacation at this time as well, further reducing the availability and increasing the cost of accommodations.
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WEDDING PLANNING SERVICES & PROVIDERS
To help you plan your El Silencio Lodge wedding or elopement, the lodge has an in-house wedding planner on site. Their wedding organizer will create a custom wedding or elopement package tailored to your needs and will provide you with a list of recommended providers – the florist, baker, officiant, photographer, videographer, and entertainment – upon request. El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a magical location to say I do, and its staff wants nothing more than to make sure you have an amazing and memorable wedding day and stay.
BRIDAL PREPARATION SERVICES
You can have your wedding day makeup applied, your hair styled, a manicure, a pedicure or both done all in your guest room.
WEDDING CEREMONIES – TYPES & SIZES
El Silencio Lodge & Spa is a spectacular venue for nature-inspired elopements, intimate wedding ceremonies, and medium to small events, given its surroundings, intimate size of its venues, and emphasis on being a wellness retreat. The lodge can accommodate all types of weddings, from traditional, non-traditional, culturally specific weddings to civil ceremonies with up to 60 guests.
El Silencio Lodge and Spa has a total of 20 guest rooms, 16 Suites, 2 Master Suites, and 4 Villas, which can accommodate between 40-60 guests depending on the size of the group staying in each room. The rooms are a mixture of freestanding luxury suites and private villas interspersed in the hillsides of the cloud forest, affording you and your guests privacy and amazing views. For your wedding day or elopement, they can make any of their lodging options into a honeymoon suite.
Here is a detailed list and description of their guest rooms. On the day of our photo session, only one guest room was available. The photos will give you an accurate impression of the design, amenities, quality of finishings, and views you can expect in any room.
1. Riverside Suites
These suites, situated near the river running through the lodge’s property, are nicely finished and have luxury amenities. Each has beautiful wood floors, multiple large windows with wonderful views of the river, cloud forest, and mountains, a king bed and two twin day beds, large sliding glass doors that open to a gorgeous wood deck with wood rocking chairs facing the river, a large bathroom with dual bowl sinks and a walk-in natural stone shower, and a heated private covered outdoor hot tub.
2. Suites – Standard Accommodations
As with the Riverside Suite, El Silencio’s standard suite comes with a king-sized bed and two twin day beds, a wood deck with handcrafted wood rocking chairs where your wedding guests can take in amazing view of the mountains and cloud forest, a large bathroom with a natural stone vanity and dual sinks, as well as an outdoor heated whirlpool.
3. Master Suites
The Master Suites, the lodge’s newest guest room addition, has two bedrooms – a master bedroom with a king bed and a second room with two full beds – with a shared bathroom, which is ideal for your wedding guests who wish to stay as a group. It has beautiful wood floors, the similar luxury finishings, a heated hot tub outside, wonderful views of the river, cloud forest, and mountains, and can accommodate up to 6 guests.
4. Private Villas
The Private Villas at El Silencio Lodge & Spa are amazing house-like accommodations if you plan on having an extended wedding adventure or if your wedding guests want more comfortable accommodations. Up to 6 people can stay in a villa, which feature a spacious living area between a master bedroom with a king bed and full bathroom, and a second bedroom with two double beds, each of which have an elegantly designed and finished full bathroom. From anywhere in the villa, there are panoramic views of the mountains and cloud forest and, outside, under an extended roof, there is a heated whirlpool.
Wedding Event Sites - Ceremony, REception, Dinner
El Silencio Lodge & Spa has a variety of amazing locations – open-air, covered, and indoor – throughout the resort for your elopement, wedding ceremony, reception, and dinner, from riverside venues to a pavilion hidden in the rainforest.
* If planning on having a wedding reception in Las Ventanas Restaurant, the lodge requires you to rent all guest rooms to assure you and your guests complete and exclusive use of the restaurant.
1. Pavilion Wood Deck
The primary location for wedding events at El Silencio Lodge is their pavilion, which is a great location for wedding ceremonies and receptions of up to 35-40 guests. It is isolated from the guest rooms and restaurants and is surrounded by dense cloud forest.
1. Orchids Platform – Elopements, Ceremonies, Dinner
A lovely setting for an elopement or small wedding of no more 8 people is the covered platform in the cloud forest behind the Reception Building. Located right next to a river, the soothing sound of rushing water envelops the platform, making it even more intimate. It is also an excellent site for a romantic dinner for newlyweds on, before, or after their wedding day.
2. Cloud Forest Lawn – Ceremonies
For weddings with no more than 60 guests, the lawn area near the resort’s main building is a great open-air option. It is near the resort’s river, on the other side of which there is dense cloud forest, has great views of the mountains, and is a very short walk to the main restaurant for your reception. On the lawn, they construct a wood deck on the area where your wedding ceremony takes place.
3. Las Ventanas Terrace – Wedding Ceremonies
At the rear of Las Ventanas Restaurant, there is a tiered wood deck that is great for intimate wedding ceremonies of 25 or fewer guests. The deck faces the river and cloud forest and has views of mountains. Between the deck and the river there is a large stone fire pit that is a nice addition for evening and night weddings.
4. Las Ventanas Restaurant – Wedding Receptions & Dinners
Las Ventanas Restaurant (Windows Restaurant) is the primary location for wedding receptions and dinners. It Consists of a dinner section and a bar area whose furniture can be removed to make space for a dancing area. It’s a wonderful venue for reception given its glass walls are mostly windows allowing for great views of the forest and mountains. Both areas have a romantic ambiance due to the low lighting, wood floors wood floors, wood tables, and attractive table settings.
5. Hierba Buena Restaurant – Wedding Receptions & Dinners
Yerba Buena Restaurant (Good Grass Restaurant) is Located about 200 meters from Las Ventanas, El Silencio Lodge & Spa has a second restaurant that can accommodate up to 40 guests that is a more informal dining experience. Similar to Las Ventanas, Yerba Buena has glass walls and views of the cloud forest and mountains.
6. Riverside Deck – Elopements, Ceremonies, & Romantic Lunches
Riverside Deck, about a 10-minute’s walk from Las Ventanas Restaurant, is a beautiful venue for an elopement or a small ceremony of up to 8 people or a romantic lunch. The isolated wood deck is perched on the side of a ravine above the river that passes through the resort, and is completely surrounded by cloud forest.
7. Yoga Platform – Wedding Ceremonies
In the spa complex, there is a covered pavilion-type structure that is a marvelous location for wedding ceremonies of no more that 50 guests. The structure is all wood – floors, ceiling, rafters, and columns – and is surrounded by rainforest, making it a very secluded and tranquil space, which is why it is ideal for yoga.
Is El Silencio Lodge your ideal wedding location?
El Silencio Lodge & Spa has and organic farm onsite, ensuring guests have fresh, pesticide-free, delicious foods. You can choose between from freshwater trout raised in the lodge’s aerated pond or chicken from its large chicken coup. In their greenhouse, they grow a variety of lettuces, herbs, vegetables and peppers to complete your dish.
Before and after your wedding at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, there are many activities to engage in and sights to see at the lodge and in Bajos del Toro, from nature hikes to rappelling, from gastronomical adventures to painting nature-inspired designs.
AT THE RESORT
For nature lovers, there is a tree planting activity to help offset their carbon footprint, a hike on its cloud-forest trails and humming bird garden to see a variety of humming birds, other exotic birds and other creatures, as well as flowers and plants, or a one-hour hike to mystical waterfalls. For more active adventures, there is horseback riding and an adventure park where you can experience the thrill and wonder of zip-lining over the forest canopy and rappel the face of the of a waterfall.
Afterwards, have a private romantic dinner on its private riverside deck, enjoy a wine-tasting session given by its Sommelier, watch a session covering the history of coffee in Costa Rica, or take a cooking class with their Chef to learn how to prepare traditional Costa Rican dishes made from the vegetables and herbs you pick from their organic garden. For the artist in you, learn how to create the traditional decorative and colorful patterns based on nature that are traditionally painted on oxcarts. There really is something for everyone.
Off Site - Bajos del Toto & Beyond
There are many other amazing sights and activities in Bajos del Toro and beyond. In Bajos del Toro, you will find quite a few spectacular waterfalls, some of which have hypnotic blue water that will leave you in awe, a private orchid garden, a visit to a resident’s home who will teach you how to make hand-made tortillas, a trip to a coffee or a cocoa bean plantation, or to Sarchí, a town known for its woodworking and traditional oxcart manufacturing.
Relax in El Silencio’s luxury spa hidden in the cloud forest surrounding the lodge. As an experienced spa therapist uses natural Costa Rican ingredients in conjunction with massage and relaxation techniques and body wraps to help you unwind for your wedding day, a calming symphony of flowing water, breezes, and from exotic birds singing will entertain your senses.
Isolated in and surrounded by dense cloud forest through which a river flows, the lodge is a very tranquil place and experience that inspires one to interact with nature and easily forget about daily life. In some ways, it feels as if it were a small nature preserve with its walking trails in the forest populated with a multiplicity of exotic and beautiful creatures and plants, and its luxurious and discretely located guest rooms and common areas.