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“bring your walking shoes” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa

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El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Aguas Zarcas, San Carlos, Costa Rica (Formerly Occidental El Tucano & Spa)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
A TripAdvisor Member
“bring your walking shoes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2005

just got back from CR
we stayed at the el tucano for 5 days (too long)
it was nicefor a day or so but not 5, but the lobby is at thge bottom of a hill that you can't see from the pictures so if you have a room at the top it is a long way down, also the pool and resterate are even farther down the hill,
the pool was nice but cold and the hot tubs although green were great,
the staff and rooms were excelent, the only draw back is loaction you are in the middle of the contry to get there is a $80, 3 hr ride from san jose
a 20min ride to the nearset town witch is a dump, the next is Fortuna witch is 2-3 hrs away so bring your money and patience becuae transfers add up and the bus is long and hot ride :)

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154 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
chicago, il
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2005

way past its prime. the hotel didn't have particularly friendly staff, which isn't typical for this country. the spa was a total waste of money. the worst mani/pedi i've ever had. the tools used were totally dirty and the place was unsanitary. could have been the worst food i've been forced to eat in some time. in fact, its well known in the area among tourist guides apparently, that the food their is terrible. the place looks nice, and has a few nice things like the thermal pools, and its beautiful surroundings, but that kind of place would last about a minute in the States.

Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2005

We just returned from El Tucano and were very impressed with the quality of service and caliber of the facility. It was exceptionall clean. It was lovely! The spa was excellent with very talented staff. The restaurant also had an outdoor setting by a rushing river and lush jungle. The wait staff did everything they could to accomodate us.

The food was for the most part good. The desserts were superb. I found the entree dishes diverse and the evening buffets varied.

The water was sparkling and pristine.

The pools are drained weekly and refreshed. The soaking tubs are the perfect temperature and even the edge of the soaking pools are contoured theraputically for neck comfort.

The au-natural stone steam room was unlike anything I've ever experienced with steam created by the natural hot mineral springs running under it.

The regular rain I found refreshing and delighted floating in the pool with a soft sprinkle of rain tickleing me... a joy.

Stayed January 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
258 helpful votes 258 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2004

OK, so we thought we could trust Foders for some good advice...Unfortunately, I don't think they have updated their 2004 guide to Costa Rica in about a decade.We 2 teens (15 and 17) and I stayed at the Occidental Toucan in April, 04, and I'm convinced that in its "glory days" it was quite a nice place. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this establishment and a MAJOR facelift is very much needed. The rooms are small, dark and have no air conditioning. The walls in our room were scuffed and in need of poaint. The reception area was dimly lit, and the meeting rooms throughout the hotel were dark (it is an open air hotel, however there were not many lights on which made it feel even more dingy).The "hot springs" were available, but the area has not been tended in some time. There was a railing down the slippery steps, but it was removed and now there is a rusty stub were it used to be. There are no railings in and out of the springs and the steps are very slippery and spaced far apart. This would not be a recommended trip down to the springs for young children, or anyone that may have difficulty hoisting themselves in and out of a slippery and steep area.The pool area was in dire need of attention. The jacuzzi (which boasts "heated by the hot springs") is green and there are green algae-bubbles in the water. The large swimming pool has tiles falling of and is in major need of a face-lift. The water in the pool was also green while we were visiting.The grounds aroung the hotel were quite pretty, however they did not make up for the poor condition of the rooms and the pool area. We have stayed at the Allegro Occidental in Cozumel, and there is no comparison between the 2 hotels!Bypassing this facility would be doing yourself a favor.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New york, NY
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2004

We had a very nice stay at this hotel. We booked a package through a discount auction site which included 5 nights 2 massages, facials, a bottle of champagne, and a romantic dinner for 2. They gave us a fantastic room for the price: quiet, with a great bathtub, decent cable, a king sized bed and a great terrace with two comfortable rocking chairs. The weather in this area is hit or miss - we were there during the dry season and it was somewhat foggy and rainy at numerous times during the 5 days. We thought, no problem, we can take a dip in the hot springs and enjoy ourselves there for a few hours. Well, the hot springs were really two lukewarm jacuzzis that did receive water from the fresh spring below. The spring itself had several hot spots, but none of those areas were accessible. Only a sort of tepid area could be reached. This was of course a disappointment.The area itself leaves a bit to be desired. 2 hours from San Jose, an hour and a half to anywhere else except for Ciudad Quesada, a smallish city with a couple of decent restaurants, but no real character. For 3 nights, I would certainly recommend this place, but 5 nights was just too many.
There simply isn't enough to do in the area.As for the buffet breakfast they served, it was fine the first day, but it was exactly the same for 5 days straight. Plus, they served a buffet dinner almost every night as well. It was just too much of the same fairly plain food.All the people who worked there were very kind, the spa experience was very nice, and the room was fantastic. If you would like a place to relax for a few days with a good book, this is a great option. If you are banking on hotsprings and proximity to the volcano, you might be disappointed. Overall though, we were very satisfied.

  • Stayed March 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2004

Absolutely terrible. there was mud on the walls. holes in the towels.
complaints were not received well by the hotel. compensation not given for terrible accomadation. DO NOT GO THERE !

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa

Address: Aguas Zarcas, San Carlos, Costa Rica (Formerly Occidental El Tucano & Spa)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Carlos
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Tucano Hotel’s main guest is Mother Nature. The hotel has 87 rooms, including two luxury suites, though the real luxury is the chance to take a bath in its thermal waters. Featuring a 500 people capacity restaurant and conference halls for 200 people, both areas are surrounded by the primary forest housing a countless variety of flora and fauna. El Tucano Hotel has one of the most complete spas in Latin America where all the visitors renew their body and soul thanks to the communion received by the gifts of nature. In its extension of almost 7 acres of land and 9000 m2 of construction are produced 80 liters of water per second flowing from the 7 springs of thermal waters. The hotel has three hot springs pools recently remodeled and a hot water river with wonderful waterfalls and natural pools (surrounded the whole property), guests can swim in and let the river take all its problems while they get renew with its powerful energy. There is also a tennis field, several trails through the forest and mini golf area, though the best activity to practice at El Tucano is relaxation while contemplating the great masterpiece that surrounds it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Tucano Resort & Thermal Hotel San Carlos
El Tucano Resort And Thermal Spa
Occidental El Tucano Hotel
Occidental El Tucano Resort
El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa Costa Rica/San Carlos

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