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“Old, damp hotel with bad service in an incredible location” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa

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Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Del Centro De La Fortuna 4 Km, San Carlos 83-6151, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
Florida
Top Contributor
173 reviews 173 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
202 helpful votes 202 helpful votes
“Old, damp hotel with bad service in an incredible location”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

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.

Location
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.

Weather
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.

Entrance
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.

Check In
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.

Food
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.

Room
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.

Views
Be sure to book a room with a view. The reason to stay here is the view. Incredible.

Spa
There is one. I didn't try it.

Hot Springs
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.

Sick
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.

Summary
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.

Room Tip: Get a room with a volcano view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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316 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (40)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

The good and the bad.

First the good: The pools/grounds are nice. 25 pools with different temperatures complete with water-slides, caves, walking trail (not jungle but nice). Go in and look around and maybe pay to swim but DO NOT stay in the hotel.

Second the Bad: The hotel has no elevator and is old and cheap. Musty, stinky, dirty, overall low low quality. Cheap fan in the window of the bathroom that stinks. No cold water, so shower and the toilet wouldn't work. Had to take a shower and flush the toilet with a bucket of water from the sink. The breakfast was included, bugs all over the table and on the food at the bar, quality was low. Charged me $4.50 for a can soft drink witch made me finally complain.....their answer "we still have to charge you for the drink".

After one night we moved across the street to Royal Corin which was not that fancy but was at least nice and clean.

Room Tip: Want a good room? Go somewhere else.
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Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Virginia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We did not stay at the hotel but visited the hot springs for the day. The pools and gardens were nice, not much to complain about there. The drinks were very expensive but they were good and we pretty much expected expensive drinks at a place like this. I do have to say that the included buffet was horrible and I was only brave enough to eat a little fruit and salad. There were flies everywhere and the food just looked old and like it had been sitting out for a while. They also told us we only had an hour to sit down, even though the place was far from crowded...I thought that was a little obnoxious.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012

Before visiting Baldi we totally expected to be in natural hot springs, not a man-made water park. That being said, I enjoyed our visit. Some of the pools were super, super hot and we could barely stand them for seconds. Others were cool and others were just right. There is so much variety that you can't be disappointed.

Food in the restaurant wasn't that good - definitely not worth the high prices, but that's to be expected.

The setting is beautiful, even if not natural.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

i am sitting in the room as i write this. Room smell like mold, furniture is old, walls are thin, music is too loud (rather you like it or not), service is so far the worse i have experienced in Costa Rica. There were 6 service ladies when i came to check-in, not one looked at me for about 10min (doing otner things or just talking to each otner), Finally i got noticed and then everything went quickly "Here you got everything what you need, you will be picked by someone to bring you to your room". I have stayed in many hotels or resorts but the service was never like this. She did not smile once, they answer to your questions like you really bother them and they do not want to talk. I asked for the map (as a printout). How would you not have a map at such resort?
Did not even try the food because its way too expensive. Trying to figure out how to get out of this place asap.

oh yeah, the hot springs are nice..but thats about it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012 via mobile

The 24 pools are great and they are well kept together with the gardens.

Tip: if you expect to be in some natural hot springs in the nature, this is not your place. Just go to tabacon ( twice price )
Also buy the ticket with chalo on the downtown plaza, you can get tickets for $30 instead of 40 in some other places

We had a lot of fun because the place is huge.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Yes, this place is toally fake. Completely man made, but beautiful nonetheless. The grounds & gardens are so pleasant, but the water in the pools is clear (nice to see), & from my experience, hot spring water is not clear (more greenish). There isn't much shelter from the rain, so your towel & all your belongings will definitely get wet if you bring them along. Loved the hot pool. with the cold ones in the middle. The waterslides are fun, being all blacked out & not knowing where you are going. The buffet dinner is not very good - quite low quality for what we paid. Also, signage within the park is very confusing, took us forever to find the buffet. It is nice to try all the different pools, but not pleasant to smell the toilets & chemicals close by. The showers afterwards are freezing cold (isn't this a 'hot springs'?)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa

Address: Del Centro De La Fortuna 4 Km, San Carlos 83-6151, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1
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 
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Also Known As:
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/San Carlos

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