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Angie D
Quito, Ecuador
A stereotypical lodge for stereotypical tourists
2.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 Feb 2014
If you want a jungle adventure that isn't really adventurous, then this is the place for you and your family. You can get an introduction to the local people and the local wildlife (though caged in a refuge). But don't plan on choosing which day trips would work best for you and your family. The lodge itself seemed interested only in sending all of their guests on the exact same trip for that day, loading each guide with the maximum amount of tourists (about 24 to 1). This place is a tourist mill.

Our family had come to the jungle with the plan to hike in the primary forest as much as possible. Our first day, we were offered a trip to visit local indigenous people and local artisans and our second day we were offered a trip to the local wildlife refuge and a chance to tube down the river. Neither of these were trips we would have chosen from the long list the lodge offers but the manager on duty was unwilling to work with us or the other family that joined us. After dealing with the unhelpful manager and after having taken two of their less than stellar day trips, we figured that our best option might be to hike on our own. However, the lodge is not located in a location where hiking is possible. There are no trails. You can walk back down to the river and explore a small area next to the water.

The best part of our trip was an afternoon spent birdwatching from the lodge grounds over the path that comes up from the river to the lodge. Birds are very skittish, probably because there are several feral cats living in the area. If you are coming to the jungle in hopes of seeing wildlife, please visit another lodge.

Other added stressors to the trip - some of our group did not speak Spanish and those of us that were bi-lingual were expected to translate for our guide. There was no attempt to separate tourists by their language abilities which only made the arbitrary groupings more bizarre. On the day of the tubing trip, we were told those of us that did not want to tube could return to the lodge via canoe. Well, we could, but we had to float downriver with those that tubed so that we could pick them up when their fun was over. It was a bizarre experience overall.

We have stayed at other lodges in South America and this was by far one of our least enjoyable trips. While I can give them high marks for food and for the rooms, I cannot give high marks for the overall experience. Part of what this lodge is trying to sell is an opportunity to learn about the people, the culture, and the environment itself. Our experience felt very forced and faked. They failed big time for this family.
Date of stay: January 2014
The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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    254 - 259 of 533 reviews
    Reviewed 23 January 2014

    This was the highlight of my Ecuadorian itinerary. The hotel/resort is set amongst indigenous communities and we accessed it by canoe across the Napo River. That set the tone for adventure! The hotel offers a more traditional pool and patio area along with the option for river-based activities. River guides are incredibly skilled. The guided river activities would be safe for families as well. Couples or individuals with no children could enjoy the bar scene, and the bar is steps away from the pool.The rooms are simple (no TV or phones, which I liked for this type of relaxing stay) and the beds are not luxurious. BUT I found the rooms very soothing because they are completely screened in, putting guests very close to all the natural sounds...birds, breezes through the tree canopy, and of course thunderstorms! I slept well.

    Date of stay: October 2013
    • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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    Thank MamaJColorado
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 18 January 2014

    I stayed at La Casa del Suizo for two nights on a Gate1 tour. It was the best part of the trip. The rooms are large with modern amenities, but no TV, phone, or Internet, which is actually great. A screen separates the room from the balcony so that you can hear the birds from the inside. The balcony has a hammock and great view of the river and jungle. The resort has beautiful flowers and plants. An open restaurant is next to a nice size pool. They serve buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is good. The staff are attentive and courteous. The jungle guides are excellent. This was a memorable stay in an Amazon paradise.

    Date of stay: January 2014
    • Trip type: Travelled solo
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    1  Thank BASWIMMER
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 31 December 2013

    This remote Amazon Resort Hotel is located smack in the Ecuador Amazon Rainforest on the Napo River (which flows into the Amazon River). Civilization has slowly crept closer to the hotel over the years but it still seems like an oasis in the middle of the green lush Amazon. To get there, you take river canoes down the river a mile or two. The resort consists of a main lodge and several small cabins. The cabins have electricity and bathrooms and the windows are screened but there are no window panes and not every window has curtains. This lack of window panes does lets the noise of the rainforest in and all the other noises like two roosters that liked to wake us at 5 am each morning. The lack of curtains meant you did not have much privacy.

    Our cabin had a veranda with a nice hammock. We did several activities to experience the rainforest while at this resort including taking a canoe to Anaconda Island and meeting a local Quechua family and learn about their way of life first hand. We also took an excellent hike in the rainforest and visited a local animal rescue zoo that featured indigenous animals.

    There was limited wifi available at this resort but it was fairly pricey and could only be accessed in the lobby area. We swam in the large pool which was nice but felt it could have been cleaned more frequently. It’s the best resort in the area and the Vice President of Ecuador and his son were staying there when we were there. If it’s good enough for a world leader, then it must be good enough for us tourists.

    Date of stay: November 2013
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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    Thank AndrewGeb
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 28 December 2013

    This hotel is beautiful and offers a taste of the jungle without roughing it.

    The not so great (first-world problems here): I was in a moderately uncomfortable twin bed with mediocre bed coverings and there was a dead lizard in the shower. There were no mosquito nets and the screens were not perfect, but I didn't get a single bug bite as I made sure to both wear and spray the perimeter of my bedsheets with insect repellant.

    Now that I have that out of the way, the hotel is pretty great. The rooms are clean and the showers had hot water (I almost cried over actually having hot water). Our balconies had hammocks overlooking the river--wonderful views. The main plaza/common area was lovely. The swimming was very near the bar and was made for drinking while wading. After sundown bats would constantly swoop around the pool to rid the area of bugs--it may sound creepy to some, but the bats don't come near you, all they do is eliminate insects which is a good thing.

    The bar had some interesting drinks. We made it a point to try every single one of them and some just weren't great. I believe one was called sex on the river, which tasted like chocolate mixed with sludge. Banana daiquiris and Capiroskas are safe bets for mixed drinks. Caution though, the prices for drinks are higher there than any other bar/hotel we went to. If you were able to pay as you go, this would be no big deal, but everything is put on a tab and reconciled when you check out. A few nights of daiquiris and laundry service can end up being a scary thing.

    If you exit the back entrance of the hotel you can travel through the local village. Maybe 1-2 blocks to the right and 1-2 blocks towards the river there is a patio with a few stools and a picnic table. Though there are no signs to indicate this is a bar, the people who live/work across the street will come over and sell you Pilsener--it's a much cheaper alternative than the hotel bar.

    Activities: We took the tour through the cloud forest which was great, then rode balsa rafts back to the hotel. We jumped off the rafts and swam part of the way, which was fun until I stepped on something that felt like it belonged on an episode of "River Monsters." We also visited a local home and drank fresh chicha (I don't recommend tasting it unless you like the taste of vomit) and visited the local wildlife center.

    Though my review may not seem 100% favorable, note that we had a blast at this hotel. I was with a large group of 20-somethings. We met the most interesting people at the hotel bar and when we weren't outside of the hotel grounds, we spent hours singing, swimming, and drinking with the other guests. There are plenty of activities to do, though you could probably spend days just sitting at the pool and reveling in the beautiful scenery.

    Date of stay: May 2013
    • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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    4  Thank Bets162a2
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 24 December 2013

    This place was beautiful. We had to travel by small boats on the Napo River to get here. The cabins were clean and had electricity but no AC. The windows had screens but no glass so we could here the sounds of nature all night long. The meals were always nicely prepared and presented but I wish we could have tried more traditional fare as well. We went with local tour guides to visit nearby communities as well as hike through the jungle and raft down the Napo. I really had a great time. The staff was accommodating and friendly and made our stay really memorable. I would highly recommend this opportunity to anyone.

    Date of stay: October 2013
    Trip type: Travelled with family
    Thank Colette S
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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