I wrote this article for a magazine, which unfortunately is now defunct. Although this hotel is not my usual style of travel (when alone and with friends I am a backpacker and with family I am a tourist) this hotel does sound incredible. Maybe one to add to the list?
Recently been valued by the National Geographic as one of the “Unique Lodges of the World” and winning for the second year in the row, “Ecuador’s Leading Green Hotel Award”, you can expect when visiting Mashpi Lodge in Ecuador, a world class facility in a setting that is unsurpassed.
The lodge is situated in one of the most biodiverse centres in the world, with the surrounding habitat being indigenous to its location; Mashpi Lodge offers an incredible insight into a variety of wildlife new to all. It is more than just a luxurious lodge in the forest; Mashpi lodge offers a unique travel experience which allows you to immerse yourself in one of the most geological, geographical, ecological, climatic, scenic, historic and natural areas of the world.
The Mashpi Reserve is situated in between the altitude levels of 550 metres and 1400 metres above sea level, which allows you to experience two entirely different types of habitat; one of lowland forests and one of the lofty treetops of the forests, interacting with different species and different animals. Mashpi is a haven for bird life, and hummingbirds are one of the highlights when visiting Mashpi as over 22 species have been spotted throughout the area. Mashpi Lodge have constructed a Hummingbird Observation Shelter, which allows you to observe these stunning creatures in closer detail and to your own leisure as part of the Lodge’s program of activities. Other activities include; deck level viewing opportunities, nature trails and the aerial bicycle. The aerial bicycle has the advantage of being at the similar height of the Cloud forest; allowing you to interact with newly discovered plant species, cheeky monkeys swinging from tree tops and even pumas sassily prowling with stealth, in between powerful rushing waterfalls, dramatic lush hills and exuberant flora.
The lodge itself is designed in affluence and modern sophistication. Acting as a hideaway and camouflaging oneself into the undergrowth of the forest with its earth tones and minimalist decor, you can experience the landscape at their your own ease with floor to ceiling panoramic glass windows installed throughout the lodge, and experienced guides whom are happy to organise a program suited to your tastes. The lodge acts as a nest of relaxation, comfort and luxury within the sweeping landscape. You will enjoy the impeccable Ecuadorian cuisine on offer which matches natural ingredients from the forest that offers sustainability, creating fine dining to be an experience of the forest in itself.
An integral aspect of Mashpi Lodge is their important role in conservation. Close to the reserve, there is a constructed Life Centre, utilized to investigate and research the abundance of wildlife that surrounds the lodge. It also offers a perfect place for you to reflect and disconnect. Here you can be educated on delicate insects and the life they inhabit, as 200 species of butterfly have been identified in the area.
If wanting a travel experience with a difference, one which focuses on eco-tourism and an abundance of wildlife, Mashpi Lodge is the place to visit.