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“Wonderful Time at the foot of Arenal” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Springs Resort and Spa

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The Springs Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Near Montana de Fuego, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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South Carolina
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Wonderful Time at the foot of Arenal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

Others have described the physical layout of the Springs, so I won't try to duplicate their efforts. I can tell you that the photos on their website do not do the place justice. It is a wonderful property with spectacular views of the Arenal Volcano. Service is EXCELLENT, some of the best I have ever experienced anywhere in the world. A brief example...we went horseback riding and the guide made a little grasshopper out of palm fronds. We had it stashed in the cupholder of our golf-cart (which came with the Villa Calatea) and somehow it got removed from the cart. My wife mentioned this, and about 10 minutes later, one of the bell staff appeared at our door with the grasshopper! A very minor thing, but this tells you just how attentive the staff can be.

We were able to book Calatea for four nights, and a regular Honeymoon Suite (room, really) for the last two. IF you want to spend the $$$, go for the Calatea or one of the other upscale rooms. They are separate from the main hotel, come with a golf-cart for transport up the hill, and there are no screaming children in the vicinity, which was a MAJOR problem once we moved to the main building. Decor is fairly uniform (hardwoods, cane) throughout the property. The Calatea had incredible outdoor spaces, patios, 4 hammocks, plunge pool, two large bedrooms, two large bathrooms and an additional powder room, and a third, outdoor shower. It was a bit of overkill for just three of us, but still absolutely amazing.

We never did go into town for meals, as it rained hard every single night. Food on the property was expensive, but not horribly so, and good, maybe a 7-8 out of 10. We are told the food in La Fortuna is better and cheaper, but never made it to find out. Apparently the restaurant NEXT to the Burger King is very good.

Ultimately, we are glad we came, but likely will go back to Jade Mountain rather than returning here in the future.

Room Tip: Go with the Caletea or other high-end Villas if you can justify the cost. We were very pleased with...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (301)
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Brooklyn, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

This resort has beauty all around it!!
From the moment you step foot into the lobby until you leave the place , you are going to want to stay longer because it's going to be very difficult to say goodbye to such tranquility, peace and natural atmosphere.
Needless to say, the actual springs are great with different temperatures set up in every pool available on the mountain. The view when waking up to that great Volcano Arenal is just breath taking.
The food is delicious from breakfast to dinner menu options and restaurants available. We ate everything and even ordered a giant sushi boat that was taken to our section of one of the pools.
Service is excellent and whatever you want , you get...They even have their own zoo down the hill and a river where you can go kayaking.
I went there for my birthday last year and It was by far a great experience!! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!!

Room Tip: All rooms are great . They all face the volcano, but if you can get a suite then even better since t...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boulder Creek
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2012

I have been to the Springs and every visit I am in Paradise. The location is ideal,La Fortuna is great for everything and at the Springs I can sit and recover from the adventures on my balcony and watch the Arenal Volcano in sweet comfort. The linens are the best the room service is at my finger tips. The pools are inviting and drinks and appetizers are at the pool bar. The staff is always available to help me choose the next adventure in beautiful Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The staff is so good just let them know what you need and like they will take care of the rest. All...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Camarillo, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

While this resort was georgeous, I had very mixed feelings about it. They run a special where you get a 20% discount if you book at both of their properties: The Springs and their sister property The Peace Lodge. We spent 5 nights at The Springs and 2 nights at Peace Lodge and frankly preferred it over the Springs. While both properties are remote, Peace Lodge just has more charm and there is more to do. I also wrote a review about The Peace Lodge you can go check out for more info on that resort.
The Springs is absolutely beautiful, and frankly I have difficulty even identifying what it was that I didn't like about it. Our room was elegant and comfortable, with an amazing view of the volcano. I can tell you that The Springs is like a ghost town--you rarely see much of anyone around which I guess would be a plus if you were on your honeymoon and craving alone-time. Otherwise, even though we went on some amazing tours to get off the property, the place almost had a "Groundhog Day" feeling about it.
The staff drags in everyday and most of them seem cautious and nervous about doing something wrong in their interactions with the guests. There was a big city feel when dealing with the staff, and suffice to say that they definitely were not as relaxed, wlecoming and kind as the staff was at Peace Lodge. The food at the Springs was dreadful--without doubt the worst we had on our trip (which is unfortunate because it costs you $40 RT to catch a ride to La Fortuna where you can get a decent meal). The Springs is located at the end of a long, bumpy and horrible dirt road, and so it is miserable to leave there even if you don't mind spending the money to escape.
There are some great tours to take off property (ziplining, hanging bridges (fantastic), and a couple of river cruises (our favorite was the closer river tour where you float down in an inflatable yellow canoe--the wildlife viewing opportunies were incredible). The tours are not run by The Springs, but by various local tour companies. Do NOT bother to take the miserable bus ride down to The Spring's Club Rio--it is the biggest bunch of nothing you could imagine.
Would I recommend The Springs? Maybe to a couple who are in the early stages of their relationship and who want to be able to really focus on one another. But honestly, I would probably suggest instead that you spend a few nights at Peace Lodge, and then look for a different resort in Arenal.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

We came here after a great experience at a nature lodge (Bosque del Cabo), and the two places could not be more different. This is a five-star type resort with amenities up the wazoo. In the end, I liked the eco-lodge experience better.

Pluses: Our room was just beautiful, and really large. We were in a "family suite" which was not a suite like hotels here in the US, which usually means two rooms of some sort. This was one large room with a loft area. The loft had a king bed (plus we put in a rollaway) and a full bathroom. The main room below had a king bed and a super-big bathroom with separate jacuzzi tub and shower. The room had a large picture window looking out over Arenal volcano, plus a big balcony with a table, chairs, and hammocks. As seems to be usual, the volcano was shrouded in mist our entire visit other than the afternoon we landed. The volcano also has not been active for over a year, so no lava flow to go and see. A nice touch was that the hotel put fruit out in the area beyond the balconies to attract birds, and lots of beautiful birds came to eat. Each balcony also had a hummingbird feeder, and they were visited frequently by several different types of hummingbirds. The bathrooms were really nice and the beds (other than the rollaway) were very comfortable.

The hot springs were nice, though pretty crowded at times. There are many springs of varying temperatures, so you can move around from one to another if you get too hot or cold. The weather tended to be very cool and damp when we were there in late December, so it was quite chilly getting out of the springs.

The overall design of the hotel was very pretty and they kept it in very good condition. We were offered nice cool fruit drinks when we arrived, and we got a tour of the hotel right after we checked in. The place is huge. We did not use the spa or fitness center, so can't comment on that.

Minuses: The hotel is very big, and built into a hillside, so you are constantly climbing up and down many flights of steps to get from, say, your room to the front desk. The outside steps and ramps could be very slippery. The elevator was not working one day we were there (that only covers about three floors in the main building, still have far to walk to the rooms).

As others have noted, every day several big buses drop off hundreds of people coming in on day passes to use the springs. This makes the springs much more crowded than they need to be. Some guests took our towels and moved our belongings that we had left on lounge chairs. I suppose that the Springs offers those day passes as a way to make more money, but it cheapens the hotel and the experience of the paying guests.

My biggest beef is the extremely poor quality of the food for a resort that is trying to be super classy. Our family paid about $645 per night for our room, and we still had to pay about $20 each for a buffet breakfast. There was no other choice, just the buffet at a set price. Why breakfast wasn't included in the price is a mystery to me, especially if it was a buffet. The food was no different than most hotel buffet breakfasts, other than the tropical fruit. Certainly not worth the cost. Lunch options were likewise limited, and the "Treetops Grill" which serves burgers closes at 5, so no way to have dinner there. Dinner choices are either sushi, the fancy "Windows" restaurant, or a relatively expensive dinner buffet that all the day trippers also eat at. We ate one night at the Windows and were quite disappointed in the service, though the food (once they finally got all the orders right) was fine, but nothing great. We ate out in town the next night and had great local food for a fraction of the price, but had to spend $40 to get a cab into and out of town. One night we got room service because we got back late, and they totally messed up our order and items were not as described on the menu. Another fail.

Really, one of the things I disliked most about this place was that I felt nickel-and-dimed the whole time, beyond their outrageous room prices. If you used the hotel to book a visit to the hanging bridges, zip lines, or to one of the other tourist sites, they always charged $5-$10 more than if you simply went yourself and bought your own ticket there (and this higher fee was not simply for transportation, which was always extra). I'm glad that we booked all of our own tours and attraction visits! Perhaps because we didn't plan on spending all day every day by the pools, we should not have stayed at this hotel. Lesson learned.

On our last day, we asked at the front desk if we could tour the "zoo" at the very lowest end of the resort property (Club Rio). No problem, we were told. Took the trolly ride down there, and of course there was no one there to show us around (they won't let you go around yourself for some reason). We asked the one employee there if she could call up to the hotel and get someone to come, but no one did. Finally the trolly driver felt sorry for us and he walked us around the little zoo, explaining things to us in Spanish. Overall, it was very unprofessional for such a ritzy hotel that was touting its new "Club Rio" as a great addition to the resort.

Back on the plus side, we did have two great drivers that we used several times while we were there (I believe they were both employed by the hotel, but not sure of the exact arrangements). They were the best part of our stay there, particularly Gravin, who didn't just drive us to the local restaurant in La Fortuna, he parked, walked us in, spoke with the owner, and made sure we got a table. He then waited in town for us until we were done with dinner, and took us back to the Springs, after stopping off at his favorite ice cream shop. He and Eric drove us several times, and Eric drove us all the way back to San Jose (for a large fee, but way cheaper than flying for a family of 5), stopping at the Doka coffee estate along the way.

So, the room was beautiful and there were lots of hot springs, but I absolutely do not think it was worth the price we paid. The activities in the area around Arenal were great (zip lines, hiking, bird watching, etc.), but I would choose a different base the next time I go. If all you want to do is hang out at the pool for a romantic vacation, then maybe this is the place for you, but you will still have to deal with lots of day-trippers.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Hanover, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

This place was amazingly incredible, especially for our honeymoon!!! We stayed at the palm bungalow with our own golf cart which was awesome, to get around the resort areas. The pools and bars and springs were wonderful and right in the middle of the rainforest. Every where you swam or ate, you had a view of the Arenal volcano, which was glorious. We found the service to be exquisite - we felt like celebritites. The bell staff and waiters remembered our names and went out of their way to make us feel accomodated. Our favorites were Juan and Raul ... so great. The facilities were amazing - the wood everywhere and layout were luxiourious. We couldn't have asked for a nicer facility. Our bungalow was awesome as well, with an outdoor shower and our own jacuzzi pool. As for the excursions, we did everything and the tour guides on every one were superb. We did the waterfall repelling, the ziplining, the white water rafting and the 2 hour ATV tour through the rivers and mountains ... I would recommend them all. The food was good, but a bit overpriced. I get it, because we are at a 5 star resort, but it could have been a bit better. They did have quite a selection, however, I would have preferred a place where I didn't need an entree at every meal - ie... somewhere where I could have gotten a taco, quesadilla or burger for $6 or $7. Otherwise, everything was delicious and worth it. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a romantic getaway - it doesn't get any more sexy than this resort. However, I personally wouldn't say it is a family resort only because the cost of food and drinks for 4 or more people could run you bankrupt. Honeymoons or anniversaries or just a vacation for the couple needing that perfect getaway --- this is your spot. Enjoy and I hope you have half as much fun as we did.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, do the palm bungalow. It is private, the bathroom of a lifetime, an outdoor s...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

Disclaimer: my wife and I don't see eye-to-eye on this one. While the facilities overall were great, really nice and new and clean, aspects of the design and such just rubbed me the wrong way. A lot of the pools and such just felt too fake to me, like those landscape photographs that have been Photoshopped/tweaked just too much. We still had fun in the thermal pools and stuff, especially my wife, but it just felt too out-of-place with the surroundings for me. We stayed in the Palm Bungalow which was quite nice. Definitely a splurge experience, but the personal golf cart, hammock, and that bathroom oh my goodness... Thinking about food, the breakfast was one of the bigger spreads, but the lunch and dinners disappointed a bit, the value was totally not there and that food was so-so. I paid how much for a tiny Caesar salad? Moreover, the food-related service was the worst I experienced in CR. Not attitudes, but just how slow can you be? really?

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Additional Information about The Springs Resort and Spa

Also Known As:
The Springs Resort And Spa At Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
The Springs Resort And Spa At Arenal Hotel
The Springs Hotel
The Springs Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
Address: Near Montana de Fuego, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Springs Resort and Spa 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A world class luxury resort featuring spectacular Hot Springs, picture perfect views of the Arenal Volcano from every guest room and four restaurants including our famous Ginger Sushi Bar and Las Ventanas fine dining. Enjoy our 18 mineral-laden, artesian hot springs and our 14,000 square foot Spa and Fitness Center. On our exclusive 165 acre rain forest and riverfront property we offer horseback riding, river activities, ATV and hiking tours. ... more   less 
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