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“Simply stunning” 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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Kansas
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Simply stunning”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

My family of five stayed at The Springs for 2 nights in March 2013. We all wanted to stay longer and would return in a heartbeat.

The resort is beautiful and serene. From nearly every location you have a gorgeous view of the Arenal Volcano. The many pools are wonderful.

My kids (ages 14, 12 and 9) also loved the activities floor with the open-air pool table, dart board, chess board, and more.

The rooms are beautiful and spacious, but the patios with private hammocks are the cherry on top. My husband said that waking up in the luxurious room with that gorgeous view of the volcano made him feel like he was Mick Jagger.

The only minor complaint is that a very strange set-list of bad 1980s pop music played in all the public areas. Aside from that, the resort is perfection.

The breakfast buffet was terrific and well priced. The other meals were fine. Drinks a the various bars were quite good!

Our only Club Rio activity was tubing. It was just our family of five plus the two guides who were personable and fun.

We drove from Liberia. The roads were nicely paved. The switchback curves made the kids feel carsick but overall the drive was no trouble.

Room Tip: All rooms have a gorgeous view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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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1,406 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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Alabama
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

The Springs resort is difficult to review because it presents a real conflict. On the one hand, we were put off by the atmosphere, which makes you think you’re at the Polynesian resort at Disneyworld. There is no authentic Costa Rican flavor here -- it is totally Americanized. Even the signs around the resort are exclusviely in English.

On the other hand, it is a very nice resort. We had a two-bedroom suite, which was amazing. It was very spacious, easily accommodating a family of five. Very nicely done, with modern amenities. We were very pleased.

The staff was unfailingly polite and courteous, with everyone speaking English very well.

The grounds were beautiful, although the sheer size of the place can be a little intimidating. Simply navigating around the main building takes some practice before you can comfortably know the layout. There are many pools, heated by nearby Mount Arenal. The kids loved that.

The resort has an activity program, which includes rafting and horseback riding. We did not participate in that program, however, so I cannot speak to quality or expense.

Dining at the resort was not its strong suit. Again, it’s like eating at a Disneyworld hotel. Breakfast buffets got a little old after two or three days, although we did love the copious amounts of fresh fruit. Dinner at the informal restaurant was disappointing. While there is a more formal alternative, we instead opted after the first night to have dinner in the nearby city of Fortuna.

On balance, this is an expensive but easy alternative, especially for families visiting the Arenal area. Don’t look for authentic Costa Rican atmosphere here, however.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

Our week at The Springs one of the most amazing weeks of our lives! I simply can't say enough about this place in one review!! The rooms were stunningly beautiful, each having a spectacular view of the volcano. They were late with a wonderful bathroom, all travertine. Huge shower & bathtub. Every detail was thought of! The restaurants & meals were fantastic, there was not one disappointment. We loved the sushi bar & ate there most often. The grounds are probably the most impressive aspect of the entire resort: hot springs filled daily.. (No chlorine!!) and there are SO many of them! Over 30 I believe. One even has a water slide. We almost made the mistake of not going down to the riverside area, I'm so glad we did on our last day.. Breathtaking. More hot springs & so much beauty. We were able to see all of the animals who had been rescued from poachers & were now living in the beautiful zoo. On an ATV ride we were able to see sloths hanging out in the trees & got to really see the countryside of Arenal. This place holds a special place in our hearts and we will definitely be returning. We truly fell in love with Costa Rica and the people at the Springs!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Arlington, Virginia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I am currently staying at the resort from March 24-27 with my wife and 2 daughters. This is a jaw-dropping, beautiful, one-of-a-kind property. I have stayed at top resorts all over the world to compare it to -- Bali, Amalfi, Phuket, you name it. This wins hands down.

The property is laid out so not matter where you are you have a panoramic view of Arenal which is a VERY impressive volcano. I was in Sorrento last summer with a view of Vesuvius and believe me, Arenal blows it sideways. First of all, Arenal is enormous. It is over 5,000 feet shooting straight up with smoke billowing from the summit.

The staff at The Springs has been wonderful, a very "can-do" attitude about everything. We had a minor glitch here and there (i.e. they didn't have record that our 2 children were coming with us so no rollaways were available) -- so what did they do? They brought an entire king-sized bed to the room for the girls. They're laying in it right now looking out through the panoramic glass window at the volcano.

We had lunch yesterday at the swim-up bar and they let you eat while sitting in the pool. We had drinks throughout the afternoon. All were good. Last night we ate dinner at the Ventanas restaurant -- pricey with entrees ranging from $22 up to $50 but worthwhile. Excellent service that you would find with any four star restaurant.

The most impressive thing about this property are the grounds. There are 2 separate areas of pools with what seems like endless spring-fed warm pools cascading one into another. The water has the minerals of the surrounding landscape in it so your skin feels soft after you get out. The upper pool area is just at the base of the main lobby/building, and each pool has a sign indicating how warm that pool is. Some go as high as 103 degrees. There are waterfalls throughout that you can just stand underneath and relax (or sit).

The lower pool area is secluded in the forest and has a "monkey slide" that is about 150 feet long -- you sit on a mat and slide down it into a warm pool. There is an attendant at the top at all times to make sure safety is followed. My girls couldn't get enough of it. There is also a bar in the lower pool area to serve guests down there. Altogether there are secluded bars seemingly throughout the property -- not noticeable if you don't want them, but turn around and they are there when you do.

We are in a honeymoon vista room #220 which is at the base of the right-hand building with rooms (down the hill a bit from main building which has no rooms). All rooms face the volcano, and ours has a hot-spring-fed jacuzzi. The room is very large and has a really nice bathroom with sizeable area, double-sinks, huge tub, separate stand-up glassed in shower, separate room for toilet, etc. The room is done in a dark-ish wood that seems to echo the rainforest outside.

There are only about 44 rooms in the whole resort, so almost no matter where you go it seems "private" and feels very exclusive. We never waited for anything -- the spa was easy to make reservations and we have 2 facials scheduled for later today.

The drive to get to La Fortuna from San Jose -- your perspective on the drive will depend on what other driving you have done in other parts of the world. The road that we took was newly paved for most of it, but somewhat windy and not very high-speed (60-80km/hr). It is a beautiful look that you will get at the passing Costa-Rican countryside. The hotel has directions in it that you will want to follow, although there did seem to be one wrong direction from what our GPS showed us so we made the correction manually and it worked out. The ride took us from 8:45am to 12:15pm and we were moving along at a decent clip but had 2 bathroom stops and 1 stop for sodas. I would not say that it was "dangerous" at any time -- i.e. you aren't ever driving around cliffs or anything like that, just through rolling hills. Keep it slow because there are transit police all along the way and I was told that if they stop you the fine can be up to $600. If you do get stopped, DO NOT pay the policeman directly. Take the ticket and the rental car company will pay it for you when you return your car. Also, I was told that if you are in an accident DO NOT move your car. Wait until the police arrive.

All in all this property has far surpassed our expectations. We will be bringing friends here in the future. The town of La Fortuna itself is a nice little town with many places to eat, a well-manicured square, and a stunning view of the volcano.

If you have decided that the affordability of The Springs is too challenging (i.e. it is too expensive), we did pass a number of resorts along the way just outside of La Fortuna towards Arenal and up the road towards the Springs Resort that looked like they would be nice places to stay. Many had hot springs, albeit not as extensive as The Springs but probably at a fraction of the price.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

A great experience for our family (2 adults and a 9 year old). We stayed for 3 nights and it was the perfect length. The staff is spot on. We booked several activities in advance through the resort, and they all were top notch.. The numerous hot springs are great, and our son loved the waterside.

Our activities included zip line, and I have to say it was very safe and well run. My son went with the guide, and although he was nervous at first, he quickly became confident and had an amazing time. I felt completely comfortable for him at all times. The staff at Club Rio rocks. We rode horses and went tubing. Finally, they also arranged for my son and I to fish with Captain Ron in Lake Arenal. He is a great guide for families and was amazing helping my son. It poured on us the entire trip, but we had a great time.

Quick notes- the location is way out there and the road bumpy. Let resort arrange your transportation. Our drivers were great. If you want to visit volcano better to overnight here than take tour from coast. And if on a bus or in van, sit towards the front to avoid carsickness!

Room Tip: It is a long walk from the rooms to dining area.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

When we decided to get married in Costa Rica, we had a difficult time deciding what type of wedding we wanted; beach or rainforest. The first area we stayed in Costa Rica 3 years ago was the Arenal area, so the area had a special place in our heart and hence we made our decision to get married in Arenal.

After researching some of the best hotels in the area that could handle 30 or so guests, our wedding planner and us decided on The Springs. We went for a site visit for a few days last April and the staff made us feel so welcome and the resort itself was far superior than the website/pictures made it look. We felt confident in our decision to have The Springs as our host hotel for our guests and to have the wedding ceremony and reception on the grounds.

The wedding was this past February and we couldn't have been more pleased. The entire staff made us and our guests feel like we were the only one's on the resort. They knew our guests by name, knew their likes/dislikes and made them feel like royalty. Our guests still marvel at the service they received from the staff and the superb accomodations of their rooms. The rooms are all spacious, clean and have an unobstructed view of the volcano.

The resort has so many hosting options we had the welcome cocktail reception, rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and post-wedding brunch all at different locations. The food was incredible for every event. Their menu options were so vast, we always had something different served. Our guests also got to experience the entire resort as many of them took part in the various activities at Club Rio.

The wedding ceremony and reception were postcard worthy. The backdrop of the Oasis Springs behind us was ideal for our photographer and videographer. The photo options at The Springs were so plentiful, we had an 'adventure photoshoot' the day after the wedding. Our photographer was like a kid in a candy store as he had my wife and I rock climbing, on horses, sitting in the hot springs with our legs over the waterfalls, all while my wife was in her wedding dress and me in my wedding suit. The look on guests faces as they watched us waist deep in the hot springs was something to see.

All in all we couldn't have been happier with our decision to have the wedding at The Springs and would highly recommend anyone that doesn't want to have the typical 'beach' wedding to have it at this venue. Since we plan to vacation at The Springs many times in the future we hope to observe many weddings during our visits.

  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

My husband, myself and 13 year old son stayed at The Springs Mar 14-18. It is quite an adventure to get here, but so worth it. The staff was friendly, efficient & courteous from our check in to our meal servers to house keeping. Our room was the Alta Vista room on the second floor and the scenery was breath taking. What a spot to have your morning coffee or evening cocktail. We went on 3 adventures arranged by the hotel-Club Rio, the Safari float, Ecoglide. Again all amazing.
We really felt we were experiencing Costa Rica. The Springs has mastered customer service and this was even more obvious after experiencing The Westin the following week.
Somehow we will find our way back to The Springs in the future. It was truly a trip of a lifetime for us.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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 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
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:
#1 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Romantic 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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