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Mashpi Lodge Terrace

Mashpi Lodge, Mainland Ecuador

bushbaby rating
four/five
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Mashpi Lodge is a luxurious 22-room oasis set in the heart of Ecuador's Chocó Bio-Region. Within driving distance of Quito it is part of a 3200 acre Private Reserve of tropical and cloud forests, home to hundreds of species of animals and plants and what is considered one of our planet's 'hot spots' of biodiversity. Guests enjoy unique encounters with nature at its purest, led by a fantastic team of guides. No wonder it is a National Geographic recognised 'unique lodge of the world'. Activities range from pure relaxation and contemplation to hikes and full day tours with aerial gondolas and bicycles to ride through the forest canopy, waterfalls and rock pools to swim in as well as night walks into the verdant jungle. Rooms are sleek and contemporary with slate floors and the luxury is evident in the service and thoughtful touches such as homemade pink lemonade served on arrival. The perfect retreat for the eco-conscious traveller. 

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0845 1244455
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Mashpi Lodge Terrace
  • rooms

    Mashpi accommodates guests in 22 luxurious rooms, including 3 'Yaku' suites and 19 'Wayra' rooms. The lodge is designed to completely immerse you in forest life, whilst keeping its creatures safely at bay – a luxury retreat amidst the dense forest and stunning mountain views. The rooms are arranged over three floors, all designed with floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall panoramic glass windows, some on two sides, with the forest just a few feet away.

    Wake up to captivating views through dense jungle. It's a bit like being in a crystal capsule, observing forest life from the comfort of your bed. Open the window, and the sounds of bird and frog calls wash over you. The rooms' lighting is subdued with hidden LED lights that run along the handsome wooden bedheads providing a magical touch.

    The 19 Wayra rooms (Wayra is a Kichwa word which means “Wind”) all cover a generous 34sqm. 12 Wayra Twin Rooms have two full-size beds, three rooms located at the end of the north-western wing (next to the outside terraces) and the rest along the south-eastern wing. 7 Wayra King Rooms out of the 19 rooms feature king-size beds. 

    The lodge’s three Yaku Suites (Yaku is a Kichwa word meaning “Water”) extend over an expansive 37sqm. They are located on the first floor, at the lodge’s north-western end. Each one features a large bathroom with twin washbasins and Philippe Starck-designed bathtubs-with-a-view. All of them have king-size beds.

    All rooms benefit from a safety deposit boxe, bathrooms with luxury amenities, hairdryers, Wi-Fi and telephone.

  • facilities & activities

    On the northwest corner of the lodge, on the upper level, there is a lovely open-air terrace with pergola style roof, seats and tables - the perfect spot to enjoy splendid views and relaxation with the forest and its inhabitants almost at touching distance. This is a favorite venue for early-morning bird-watching. Next door, a smaller more intimate terrace with chairs provides the ideal venue for quiet reading or a morning yoga session. Everywhere, corners with glass windows and comfy chairs invite guests to enjoy nature and relax.

    On the first floor, the Reading Room offers an extensive collection of books and is used by the Naturalist Guides and the Resident Biologist to offer talks and presentations to guests, to provide more in-depth information about the forest and its inhabitants. After all, Mashpi is a learning experience and part of its concept includes ongoing research about the still greatly undiscovered natural world of the Chocó. Nearby, a small boutique sells a variety of books, guides, clothes and souvenirs as well as toiletries and other essentials for guests. Near reception there is also a computer with Internet access. Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the lodge.

    The Wellness Area has a Jacuzzi framed by classy panels of carved wood, open to the breeze and sounds of the forest - the ideal post-hike place to relax. In the adjoining room you can enjoy specialised massages and treatments using natural products, such as clay, stones, herbs and leaves from the forest - guaranteed to leave you refreshed and revitalised.

    Of course, the main appeal of Mashpi is its setting. Perched at 930 m (3,116 feet) above sea level amid pristine lower montane rainforest and cloudforest, the lodge is surrounded by a profusion of plant species, from ferns and bromeliads to hundreds of orchid species, many rare and endangered. Monkeys, peccaries and even puma make their homes inside the Reserve criss-crossed with waterfalls between dramatic, verdant hills. A staggering 400 species of bird – including some 35 endemics – have been spotted to date, not to mention 112 species of amphibians and reptiles. The world of Mashpi is yours to discover through a range of lodge-organised activities and experiences. You can elect to combine them as you please, depending on your interests and abilities. Every night, you will be able to choose from an activity menu and all activities are accompanied by expert naturalist and local community guides.

    One of the best ways to experience the incredible biodiversity of the surrounding forest is to ride on the innovative Dragonfly cable, which carries you under, through and above the canopy: a unique way to see the world anew. The Dragonfly consists of two stations, six towers (with an intermediate station half-way, which you can use to embark and disembark), and four ‘gondolas’ in which you travel. Each gondola can carry four guests plus their guide. The Dragonfly travels gently and slowly along a 2-kilometre (1.2-mile) cable between the two stations, sometimes below the canopy, sometimes through it, and also far above it – it’s a bird’s eye view of this magical ecosystem. It takes about 40 minutes to ride from one station to the other. The lodge have designed various experiences which integrate the Dragonfly ride with the Reserve’s trails, rivers and waterfalls. It takes 10 minutes to walk from the lodge to the departure station.

    For an interactive map of the Reserve see here.

     

  • dining

    The lodge's towering, two-story Dining Room offers a dramatic setting for a lively gourmet experience. Here, Mashpi's chefs draw from the diversity of Ecuadorian cuisine and ingredients, making the most of its location between the coast and the Andes: the best of both worlds.

    Breakfasts are very informal and include fresh regional fruits, breads, eggs any style, cheeses, hams, cereals, home-made jams, organic honey and muesli, and energizsng tropical fruit juices.

    Lunch is deliberately light, with a changing daily menu, mixing a wide variety of fresh vegetables, soups, sandwiches and a mix of classic and contemporary Ecuadorian dishes. Ceviche – served in different styles – might well feature. Again, delicious and refreshing fruit juices are on offer, and, to end the meal, a buffet of delicious, home-made ice-cream – including unique flavors like hearts of palm, coffee, passion fruit, sweet mini-banana and an array of other fascinating flavors.

    Dinner is a more formal affair. The dramatic setup of the dining room accentuated by the subdued floor lamps creates an intimate ambience. The dinner menu changes according to the season, and could include chicken, beef, fish, seafood and vegetarian dishes, all accompanied by mouth-watering side-dishes made with local ingredients and prepared with imagination and flair.

    Vegetarian dishes and other dietary restrictions can be catered for with advance notice.

    The bar adjoining the Dining Room offers specialty house cocktails and natural energy drinks. A carefully-selected wine list features special Chilean and Argentinean vintages.

  • family

    Children are warmly welcomed at Mashpi Lodge. For families or groups of friends, three pairs of Wayra Rooms inter-connect, two pairs on the second floor and one pair on the ground floor, each one with a king-size bed connected to a room with two full-size beds.

  • location

    The sophisticated and strikingly-contemporary Mashpi Lodge is located in the heart of the Equatorial Chocó Bio-Region, regarded as one of the planet’s most important “hot spots” of biodiversity. A hideaway in the forest, only accessible to guests and located on a scenic plateau, Mashpi features amazing views of the surrounding forested mountains right up close through its floor-to-ceiling panoramic glass windows.

    Guests are usally collected early morning from their hotel in Quito. Mashpi lodge is located three hours away, 110 Km (70Milles) on the western slope of the occidental flank of the Andes. The rapid change in altitude (from 2800 msnm to 1000 msnm) allows you to appreciate the wonders of the Andean landscape. The road crosses the valley of Pomasqui dominated by Andean dry forest, and then to the western flank of the Andes through the Cloud Forest and the road ends in Mashpi at the beginning of the tropical rainforest. The monument of “La Mitad del Mundo” (“Middle of the World”), marks the place where you cross the equatorial line and the obelisk commemorates the visit of the geodesic mission in the XVIII century as part of their studies measuring one arc of the meridian and their efforts to prove the elliptical shape of the earth. Half way to Mashpi you stop to visit Tulipe archeological museum, a set of ruins that belonged to the Yumbo culture, one of the last cultures that settled in Quito before the arrival of the Incas and the Spanish. You will enjoy coffee and an empanada (similar to a turnover or pasty) prepared by the locals and then continue for 60 minutes or so before arrivin at Mashpi.

  • rates & specials

    Guests usually stay on a 2 or 3 night programme, which includes shared transfers from/to Quito, all meals as well as guided activities and excursions within the reserve: walks, birdwatching and nature encounters, Sky Bike, Life Centre, waterfalls and Hummingbird Garden. Unlimited soft drinks are included as is the use of rain ponchos and rubber boots.

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