If you can stay in one of the top resorts in the area, do that. Stay here only if you can't find another option.
This hotel/hot springs is at the base of the volcano. It's a US$150 cab ride from San Jose or the airport. It's about a $6 cab ride to La Fortuna. You can't beat the location if you want to stay next to a volcano.
It rains a lot in 10 minute bursts -- downpour for 10 minutes then nothing for ten minutes. Check the weather and be prepared. I didn't see the volcano until the last day.
A guard greets you when you arrive. They're very nice and guide you to the front desk. But there are no bellmen to help you move your bags until after you check in. Then they take you in a golf cart to the hotel which is about a 100m walk.
There are two sides -- one facing the entrance and the other around the corner. When I arrived there were maybe 20 people standing in an unorganized queue and three front desk people doing nothing. So I had to go around everyone to ask to check in. Turns out the counters aren't well marked. The first one is for people who want to go to the hot springs and they literally come in by the bus load. Around the corner there is never a queue but you have to figure that out yourself. The front desk people will help you but they don't do it with a smile and they're not very helpful most of the time. When you check in you get a bracelet with your room number which gets you in everywhere.
My room wasn't ready so I was offered to go to the springs or to eat. There are two places to eat -- one at the entrance and one in back that is a buffet. At the front I sat down and was shocked by the prices -- entrees for $25, appetizers for $10-15. After a very expensive meal I found out that they had a "snack" menu which included lunch items that were much cheaper. I felt ripped off. They should have offered the other menu as an alternative. You have to ask. The other menu is half the price. There are terrific restaurants nearby so go try them instead.
This is a 4 or so story high hotel/motel on a gorgeous property. The hotel is old -- feels like 60s or 70s era although it has probably been renovated in the past 5-10 years. It has big screen TVs and relatively new furniture. I would call it pottery barn style. Problem is that it's in an old building that feels damp and moldy. Sound also carries easily. To get to your room you have to take stairs or a ramp and the tiled path is almost always wet which makes it hazardous. I found the rooms to be clean but they felt damp.
Be sure to book a room with a view. The reason to stay here is the view. Incredible.
There is one. I didn't try it.
It's all man made, but it's gorgeous. It's well landscaped and maintained. It's a sprawling complex with maybe 10 pools -- at least three of them have swim up bars. The place is packed in the afternoon when the tour buses stop by. But at night the views and lighting are spectacular.
I got sick on the first day. Can't tell for sure where it came from, but I ate on site, had a drink at the swim up bar and swam in the hot springs.
You can tell the owner has put a lot money into this project. I recommend that they get a new customer service program and ideally build a new hotel. If you go to the springs after a long day of hiking you will love it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Costa Rica, at the base of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, San Carlos. This is the perfect family get away that offers 25 thermo mineral hot water pools flowing naturally from the base of the volcano. These medicinal hot springs waters are certified by NAL (National Water Laboratory) from the Government of Costa Rica. You will enjoy pools ranging in temperatures from 93, 100, 102, 104, 109, 110, 113, 116, 152 º F, a combination that is suitable to all of our guests. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/San Carlos