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“Best Views in 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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London, United Kingdom
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Best Views in Arenal”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

We've stayed at quite a few properties in the area and the Springs is the best by far. Service is great, facilities are top notch and there are amazing views from all the public spaces and many of the rooms.

Here are a few things that make this property unique:

1. Land: The property is built on a giant land estate and thus has a definite feel of privacy. They've used this land wisely in keeping it forested and creating a great small zoo on the property. The only downside is a long winding gravel approach road - but we like that!

2. View: Every hotel around Arenal has some view - but only the Springs has "The View". This isn't just subjective. From the dam of Lago Arenal, the river winds down a valley towards Fortuna. A majority of hotels are located here including the famous Tabacon. These hotels are near the road and built on the same slope between the peak and the river near the bottom of the valley. So the views are craning your neck up and looking through trees. There are a few properties on the opposite side where the elevation rises on the other side of the river but they are still close to the road. There is only one hotel where one has to cross the river and climb up the opposite hill for a long distance. This gives the Springs close, unobstructed and powerful views. The hotels on the north shore of the Lake also have similar views but they are are 4-5 miles further away.

Please note that the top of the mountain is often cloudy for days - so the view is dependent on weather.

3. Springs: These "Springs" are beautiful. Sure they are artificially placed, but the water is real (pumped from hot springs), the rocks and vegetation have all grown in nicely and the hidden pools, slides, bar make it great for kids during the day and couples at night. The best thing about these Springs are the crowds - there are none. The upper springs are built wonderfully into the hotel - you can hang out with non bathers, get food and drink easily and watch people and the lower springs are in the Jungle. The Springs are the perfect compliment to the much larger (and more crowded) Tabacon. Do them both but definitely stay here.

4. Service: Amazing service. True 5 star service.

5. Rooms: Modern with rain forest decor. Its not over the top cheesy but nicely done. His and her hammocks on the balcony with a view over the Volcano - priceless.

South Asian Tips: Fish is very good. Vegetarian was sufficient but limited. For multi-generation trips, elderly will struggle with long walks to room from lobby/restaurants. Call for a cart which takes you around behind the parking lot to the top lobby.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 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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1,544 reviews from our community

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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
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Boca Raton, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

The Springs is amazing. A lot of couples and families, but also so much fun for a girls trip. 4 of us spent 4 nights. we reserved the 3 bedroom suite. One of the rooms was not connected to the other ones. it actually worked out nicely for us. The staff at the hotel could not have been nicer. anything they could possibly do for us was done and they exceeded any expectation we had.

The food was fantastic. We dined at Ventanas one night and each of us loved our appetizers and meals. The other nights we ate at the main restaurant where a variety of food is offered, including sushi. Perfect for our group!

The hot springs were so nice and there are so many to choose from. Awesome to come back to after a day trip adventure. One had a water slide which we decided is great if we had our kids with us.

We tried to book for massages together at the spa and was told only two were available. Five minutes later, the woman at the desk at the spa, made two more happen for us. As I said, our expectations were totally exceeded. Spa is very nice and massueses were excellent.

CLUB RIO....DO NOT MISS...what an awesome facility. First we went kayaking. So much fun. we had three guides with us and they were so awesome. the river was perfect for us and we enjoyed it immensely. After kayaking the guides took us to a spring behind the cliffs and we had fun putting mud on our faces.

Then we did the rock climbing walls. another great time. They also offer horseback riding, tubing atvs, and there is wildlife tours. we finished club rio with a delicious lunch. There are no lockers offered and your belongings are stored in the "warehouse" next to the horse stables. There are changing rooms with showers.

The concierge was great. he booked our day trips and transportation to and from hotel to airport, making everything easy for us

All in all a great trip. So happy we picked this resort and we will be back!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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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Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

My husband and I stayed there for five nights for our anniversary, and I truly cannot see how anyone can give this place a negative review. By the second day there we had seen probably eight different waiters and waitresses, and the every time they saw us thereafter there was a spark of recognition in their eyes, a smile on their faces, and a warm greeting. The housekeeping staff was outstanding as well; each day the room was cleaned and re-stocked perfectly. Yaneily & Michael (wait staff), and Oscar the bartender were definitely worthy of special mention. As were George Palacio, (technically our guide for the jungle cats rescue center, but we rode the transport down to Club Rio three different times and each time he managed to find unique and different things to show us and tell us about.) Our driver to and from the airport, Eric, was also very upbeat, talkative, and informative about things on the way to and from the airport. Although this is obviously how these people make their living, their smiling faces and warm greetings always appeared genuine, and it was a pleasure to be around such happy people. The views from the hotel itself are breathtaking. Whether in the main building, which consists of five floors of restaurants, a spa, and pools (both natural hot springs and two chlorine pools), or from the room. We stayed in an Alta Vista room, and had a remarkable view of not only the Rain Forest (you are in the middle of it), but the Arenal Volcano, which is a spectacle of nature all its own. I would definitely recommend going to Perdido Springs (probably 20 additional hot springs located right beside the hotel, but the property is so immense we didn't know about it until our third day!), and Club Rio. Club Rio is located 1 km below the resort, and has a restaurant/bar, horseback riding, ATV riding, kayaking, tubing, and just some great trails to take a relaxing stroll along while you choose which one of the many hot springs located down there as well. At the Treetop Cafe we saw monkeys on two different occasions as well as toucans. All in all, an unforgettable anniversary. Thank you, thank you.

Room Tip: The Alta Vista Rooms have an amazing view!
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  • Stayed November 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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Tampa, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon at The Springs. Even though the weather was rainy, our room had great views, and we hit the pools every day. We would highly recommend to couples or families looking for relaxation in close proximity to the adventure tours. The staff were all very friendly, and really made the difference between a good experience and a great one. Only points it would lose is for cost/quality of food and drinks. You are in the middle of the jungle, but when everything else is 5 star, it's the only thing lacking a bit.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

My husband and I stayed here the last two nights of our honeymoon and it was AWFUL in comparison to the first five days in Costa Rica. Prior to arriving to The Springs we stayed at Nayara (check out my review for there for more details) and let's just say The Springs left us begging to go back to Nayara from the moment we arrived.

Arrival: We asked upon arrival if we could cancel our transportation to the airport two days later because we arranged for other transportation. We were assured this would be done. During check out on Saturday we had two drivers show up for us- the one we tried to cancel through The Springs and the one we actually wanted to take. We felt bad for the driver we cancelled but it was yet another mistake on The Springs part, not ours.

Staff: Not friendly, little "costa rican culture" presented, they don't ask your names or even offer theirs, they rarely reach out to say hello to you- we said hello to almost all of the staff first, they never asked us how things were going, and when we had an issue we had to wait until our last night around 6 p.m. to see the manager.

Dining: Yuck, that's all I can say. I didn't get sick at all in Costa Rica until I ate at The Springs. The first night we paid almost 80 dollars for an appetizer, a salad, and a sandwich- all of which were mediocre at best. During this dining experience we had FIVE waiters, yes FIVE. The woman walking around with bread went to every table BUT ours to offer free bread and we had to inform our 3rd waiter after waiting forever that we wanted to order entrees after our appetizers. We knew NONE of their names, none of them asked us how our food was, and again, the food was NOT worth the price.

Room: I went out onto our patio area (in one of the vista's) to enjoy some peace and quiet before dinner when we started to hear banging and drilling. It went on for over an hour so as we walked up for dinner we stopped at the front desk to speak to someone. They had NO idea what we were talking about but said they would get a manager to speak to us. We returned after dinner to speak to the manager and he was still no where to be found. They did however inform us that they were installing cameras on the outside of our building "but no one knew about it". WHAT?! At this point we were annoyed beyond belief and told them to have the manager come speak to us immediately. They assured us he would. We waited for 2.5 hours and were getting tired. We called the front desk again and they said he would call us back in 2 minutes. 10 minutes later, no call. We called again. Finally we got someone else who stepped up in place of the manager to come speak to us. He upgraded our room to what they called "the honeymoon suite". Correct me if I'm wrong but do you usually bring your children on your honeymoon? This “upgraded” room was the same as our first minus having an additional handicap bathroom and bedroom with two twin sized beds. Again- not honeymoon.
After all of this we decided to clean the slate and try to relax. However, when we tried to turn on music it started to make a terrible grinding noise that echoed throughout the entire place. We tried to fix this the next day and had to wait for hours for someone to repair it. When they came they spoke little English and had to have two guys take care of it before my husband just suggested they take the one out of the 2nd bedroom and we’d just use that one- so they did that…. 45 minutes later and we had music (this was on our last day it finally got resolved).

Other cons:
Hot Springs are extremely fake and the rock “paint” flakes off into the pool. I felt dirty just looking at it.
The whole place is pricey for being so mediocre.
Their breakfast buffet is NOT worth the $20+ dollars they charge- yuck.
There were no real lockers down by Club Rio- they held your stuff in a “warehouse”.
The gym has two treadmills that face a giant mirror so all you are looking at is yourself the entire workout. I’m training for a marathon so running 8 miles each day we stayed there was on my program and they were some of the most boring runs I’ve EVER had due to the circumstances of this gym. They have giant windows in there why can’t they move the treadmills over so you can look out at the ONE good part about the place- the view (which we hardly saw due to weather).
I got sick after the first day there and the second night I bought crackers from the gift shop to try and sooth my belly. Sick.

Overall review- NO THANK YOU! Never, ever, ever again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

I will preface my review by saying that my wife and I stayed at Nayara before regretfully going to The Springs for a few nights and part of the reason for our lackluster opinion likely stems from comparing it to Nayara. Given that The Springs is more expensive, we expected the experience to be as good if not better.

The Good- The grounds are pretty and the vistas that can be viewed from the main building are pretty incredible. There is a cool bar that might have the best view of the Volcano in the area. The hot springs were kind of cool but the novelty wears off rather quickly. In addition, like other reviewers have indicated, this place is incredibly fake. The whole time we were there we kept joking that it felt like we were on the set for The Flintstones movie. Given that everything is fake, particles and chunks of the “rocks” have a tendency of getting into the water creating a less than sanitary feeling.

The Bad- The food is not good and incredibly overpriced to boot. At dinner our first night, we had 5 different waiters and none of them displayed any semblance of personality. In fact, when one of our new waiters came by to take the menus off our table, I had to tell him that we wanted to actually order food.

The Ugly- We arrived to our room only to encounter the lovely sounds of a hammer and drill. The perfect complement to any honeymoon. It took an act of Congress to find the manager and only after repeated attempts did another person with any authority call us to apologize and offer us a room upgrade. We accepted and were transported to our new room, turned on some music to relax, and were immediately hit with what sounded like the noise of a cat in a blender coming from our broken stereo system. While we were over The Springs at this point, the comedy of errors continued. Upon checking in, we cancelled our prearranged return transportation. However, despite being assured that this would be taken care of, the driver from The Springs still showed up and we had to pull to the bags out of the van and explain to every worker at the hotel that we cancelled our transportation and had other transportation.

While none of these complaints is overly egregious or terrible, it is not what you expect for a place in their price range. It is beyond overhyped and I am disappointed to have wasted money staying there. I guess they are content living on the notoriety of hosting one of the Bachelor shows.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

This hotel is perfect in nearly every way - breathtaking views, lush, vibrant tropical foilage, soothing (and romantic) natural hot tubs...the list goes on and on. The drive to get here is indeed long and rough at times. For that, I am glad - it means no crowds to spoil this remote paradise. The food could be a bit bland and unappealing at times, but it was a small price to pay.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Springs Resort and Spa

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
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:
#1 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 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*
Number of rooms: 46
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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Also Known As:
The Springs Resort And Spa At Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
The Springs Hotel
The Springs Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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