I’ve never quite been convinced by rainforest lodges. I find the vegetation slightly oppressive and the ability only to explore on cut paths a little claustrophobic. A recent trip to the wide open waters of some of Brazil’s black water tributaries changed all of that, but that was on a private yacht, so quite another story.
The Ecuadorian Cloud Forest, however, is altogether different and Mashpi Lodge is a revelation. I still struggle with the eco credentials of the ‘build’ of a glass and concrete fully air-conditioned hotel in primary cloud forest but there is no doubt that it is preserving and extending a habitat previously blighted by logging interests and it is employing and educating the local population in the sustainability industry. It is also beyond argument that the cool, stylish luxury of a modern hotel gives levels of comfort not available anywhere else in any rainforest or cloud forest I have visited.