On a private nature reserve deep in the misty forests west of Quito, the award-winning, state-of-the-art hilltop Mashpi Lodge is breathtaking in its combination of simplicity and sophistication.
You'll enjoy a jungle experience, replete with exotic bird life and lush flowering tropical vegetation, but there's a difference: the comfortable cocoon of Mashpi's modern luxury accommodation bears no resemblance to the rustic design of a traditional jungle lodge. Instead it consists of a minimalist contemporary structure of floor-to-ceiling glass windows framing panoramic views. Slate-effect tiles, blond wood and wrought iron furnishings create a feeling of space and tranquillity. In 2107 the lodge underwent a bit of a facelift, with the introduction of the two connecting suites, a brand new spa and outdoor area with covered hot tub and yoga deck. There's now an expedition room for lectures and presentations, and a new scientific laboratory, open to guests.
The top-floor rooms, along with the innovative restaurant, are virtually at the level of the forest canopy: you’ll be eye to eye with the branches on which parrots roost and monkeys play.
Excursions include gentle jungle trekking, climbing the observation tower, riding the aerial tram through the canopy and bathing in nearby waterfalls. Afterwards, unwind in the welcoming lounge or reading room, or in either of two Jacuzzis which survey the forest.
The lodge was built using the latest in sustainable construction techniques and uses hydroelectric power. It works in close co-operation with the local community.