Jungle lodges are normally basic accommodation with few mod cons, but Mashpi Lodge has re-written the script. This is the ultimate in luxury for nature lovers who want a bit of pampering after a hike through the rainforest. Mashpi is only 3 hours drive from Quito, set in the western cloud forests of the Andes, sustained by the mists that drift in from the Pacific Ocean. These dense forests are festooned with epiphytes like orchids and lichens. They are part of a highly diverse hotspot of species that sadly had largely been destroyed elsewhere. Mashpi is a private reserve, surrounded by a provincial reserve and whose raison d’etre is as much for conservation as well as a hotel. The project is vision of entrepreneur Roque Sevilla, an ex-major of Quito, who wants to educate the guests about nature as well as protect it. The hotel is built on an old sawmill and the original road was created by loggers. The main labour force is now building a 2km Canopy Gondola (cable-car) which is soon to be completed. I was content with the human-powered Sky-Bike, a kind of pedal-driven zip-wire experience 60m over a valley in the forest. After a hard-days bird-watching and swimming under a waterfall there was just time to enjoy the Jacuzzi before the gourmet supper. The ultra contemporary hotel has luxurious rooms each with one see-through wall looking right into the forest. The only peeping-Toms are the anteaters, kinkajous ocelots and the rare ocelots.