Nestled in the Andeans foothills only 3 hours from Quito, high in the mist-shrouded cloud forest of Ecuador sits the sustainable jungle hideaway of Mashpi Lodge. The eco-friendly lodge is a modern monolith of recycled steel, tropical wood and glass hidden in a cloud covered forest, and was built in sustainable style on land wrested from loggers. Mashpi’s creation is a sustainability success story in itself, the forests that surround it were targeted by timber companies until Mashpi’s owner made an alternative case for ecotourism and proposed to build the lodge on the grounds of the defunct sawmill, making sure not one tree was felled during the construction. All the materials were brought into the forest using existing logging roads and assembled on the spot.
Mashpi Lodge offers a close-up experience of some of the most pristine forests in the world in one of the most bio diverse areas. Its 22 rooms and three suites make the most of the forest views through floor-to-ceiling glass walls, and the dining room soars two stories, so that guests can watch life play out in the trees as they dine on world-class cuisine that incorporates the fruits of the jungle. Its contemporary and spacious design contrasts beautifully with the natural setting and vast floor-to-ceiling windows offer unparalleled views of the world beyond with captivating hummingbirds as your neighbors.
For those who stay in this reverse natural history museum, where the real-life outside is eternally on display through glass walls, the forest experience is unparalleled. A must-try at this enchanting lodge in the sky is the exhilarating thrill of the Sky Bike. Take in the wonders of the forest racing through the canopy on a tandem bike suspended in zip-line style criss-crossed by waterfalls, hang with colorful friends at the Hummingbird Station and walk among the kaleidoscopic residents of owl butterflies fluttering amid orchids and passion flowers. This sustainable property also features a Life Centre, where conservation projects are carried out in a leaf-shaped building, a half-hour walk from the hotel.