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“Experience Pura Vida” 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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Cheyenne, Wyoming
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Experience Pura Vida”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

My family has travelled extensively through Europe and to Hawaii frequently and we have never had such a great experience as we had at the Springs. The setting is gorgeous, the facilities increadibly well designed and maintained- everything from the room to the (many) pools and hot springs both at the hotel and down by the river in Club Rio to the restaurants and bars. But what really sets this place apart is the staff - each of whom to a person - seems to embody the spirit of Pura Vida. We felt immediately at home and welcome upon arrival. The head waiter noticed that my son found a coconut on our first day and immediately opened up, put an umbrella and cherry on it to my son's delight! Every day after he had one waiting for him. The twilight hike with Palacios' colorful stories was such a memorable experience. I could go on with individuals who went out of their way to make sure our vacation was perfect.
As for Club Rio, we had such a blast! We went on the best horseback trip EVER ( and we have taken manynridesmin Colorado and a Wyoming that don't compare) -- and again itmwasmthe wonderful guides- who were knowlegeable and attentive -- that helped make it such a positive experience -- thanks Oscar and Nano and crew!!! Kayaking was equally fun- I had never done this on anything but calm water - and was a bit nervous taking my 10 and 11 yr old - but again the guides were fantastic, very capable and very safety-minded and made it a memory for a lifetime.
Everyone talks about Pura Vida, but I feel that I truly experienced it due to the lovely staff at the Springs! Thanks to you all!!!

  • Stayed October 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (332)
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English first
Heber City, Utah
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2013

My mother surprised the whole family with the most memorable trip of my life - and if I didn't have all my children back at home, I would have been one of those people who never got on the plane to return home. My parents and all of my siblings and our spouses/significant others all got to spend a few days in Costa Rica to celebrate my stepdad's 50th birthday. It was the best time of my life.

We stayed at the Springs, and I just couldn't have imagined there being any place better than this. I would say that the number one contributing factor was the staff. From the time we were booking things and the staff was so helpful to the time we were there, I was just in awe at their attentiveness and genuine friendliness. I dealt with Luis, Fabian, John, Alex, and a few others at the front desk. They were all the most genuinely kind and pleasant people I have ever encountered at a hotel. The head waiter, Dennis, was amazing, to say the least. He was there to accomodate ANY needs that we had AT ALL. The spa also hosts an amazing staff. And the housekeeping staff is extremely friendly as well! They all carry themselves with the utmost level of professionalism.

The hotel itself was beyond anything I ever knew existed in this world. The springs are just simply amazing. The slide at Perdido Springs...ahhhhhh...memories that I will NEVER forget. The rooms - WOW - THE ROOMS!!!! The rooms are the most beautiful rooms ever. Do yourself a favor and upgrade your room to one that has the private jet out on your balcony. It's so relaxing and romantic. The view from the rooms is unbelievable. We got the most clear view of the Arenal volcano every day. I loved that every night, we came in to an adorable animal created from towels on our bed, our covers turned down, and a sweet little chocolate on each side.

The experience in the spa was the most relaxing experience I've ever had. They are so quiet, they play the most gentle music, and when they open the windows for you to hear the rain and birds...it feels like what I imagine heaven to be like.

I only have one teeeeeeeeeeny tiny desire for my next trip there...the food was good. I enjoyed eating it. However, the portions are very small. And when you are paying what you are paying, it would just be nice to get a bit more food on your plate. We were extremely active while we were there, and we certainly worked up our appetites. When reviewing their website and planning our meals, we planned to go to Tres Cascadas as it was a buffet. Knowing we had a large group (10) and we were going to be a hungry bunch, we decided to go there after reading this: "Our gourmet buffet restaurant would be appropriately described as a “Tasting” experience. Here you will sample to your heart’s content a complete salad bar with our signature dressings, hot and cold soups of the day, assorted fresh baked breads, and a selection of hot entrée items of which a few will be specially prepared for you right at the buffet. The menu changes daily and may tend toward Italian one day to Asian the next. Our dessert bar offers small bite size portions to minimize your guilt while sampling them all and, of course, maybe returning for an extra piece of your favorite. Fresh fruit juices, tea and coffee are included. Even though it is a buffet you will have a waiter attending to your every need. We like to refer to it as a “Full Service Gourmet Buffet” It was only a buffet for breakfast one day that we were there. It was not a buffet at all for dinner. It was a la carte, and again, small portions. However, it was not enough of a problem for me to not already be planning my next trip there!! Just a desire for the next visit there :)

The one night that we had a private dinner at El Ranchito was just impeccable. Dennis and his wait staff went so far above and beyond to ensure that my stepdad's 50th birthday was perfection...and they sure did accomplish it. For the very minimal charge to rent out that private pavillion, I highly recommend it.

The bellboys were AWESOME! They were sooooo friendly and helpful.

I JUST LOVED THIS PLACE!!!! I have had the great fortune to visit Germany, Austria, Italy, Jamaica, Aruba, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Canada, and 45/50 United States. This is the best place I have ever been, and I am seriously already planning my next trip there.

Thank you to everyone at the Springs for contributing to the most memorable trip of my lifetime!!!!

Room Tip: All rooms were amazing and had an amazing view...but I do highly recommend the ones with the private...
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  • Stayed September 2013, 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodstock, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

We did not stay at the hotel but bought the Club Rio activity pass. The pass allowed us to use the hotel facilities for 2 days, enjoy two of the activities offered at the Club Rio (Horseback ride and kayaking), and the cat tour. Overall the pass was a good value as it also included one lunch at the Club Rio restaurant. The resort and its grounds are beautiful. The pools were very well designed, inviting and clean. The staff was very friendly and helpfulf but at times it felt as though the resort was a bit short staffed. At times we had to wait for the bartender to serve multiple other guests before he could take care of us. A similar situation happened at the Club Rio where we had to wait for the cat tour guide to arrive as he did not show up at the scheduled time of the tour. There was only one server working at the Club Rio restaurant and he had a difficult time keeping up with the amount of guests he got. Again, everyone we came in contact was very hospitable and would like to specifically acknowledge Oscar (horseback ride guide) who made sure my wife felt comfortable. He even stopped to find us a poison dart frog and took the time to take pictures of us. We also want to thank the two kayak instructors. They also made every accommodation possible to make sure that my wife would feel comfortable doing this activity. One other downside of this hotel is the condition of the 2 miles from the main road to the resort. This road is in poor condition. Overall, I would recommend visiting the facilities and based on the common areas of the resort, I would even consider staying there if I were to come back to la Fortuna with my family.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Hollywood, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

My husband and I have traveled to the Caribbean, Canada and to Europe -- and we must say that this is one of the most INCREDIBLE resorts we have ever stayed at -- and most of that goes to the friendliest and caring staff we have ever met.

Our four children and their partners surprised my husband (their dad) for his 50th birthday. And their jaws dropped when they walked into their rooms -- I think they thought it was their birthdays. You looked out your window and balcony to see the Arenal Volcano and the top of it in the clouds. It was magical. The abundant lush tropical vegetation and the wildlife -- the birds, the singing frogs, the swooping bats that come out at night -- I could go on and on.

The rooms were BEAUTIFUL and immaculate, the pools and springs are well -- indescribable (the slide at Perdido Springs was a blast -- especially at 10 o'clock at night -- we were like in our own little water park) -- the resort was AWESOME and as another guest put it -- all of us were treated like royalty. I had a private dinner planned at the El Ranchito Pavillion for an additional very minimal charge (ssoooo worth it) and when I saw how it was decorated I was blown away - I wanted to cry -- their attention to detail and to your requests is well -- it left me speechless -- the table, the flowers, the candles, the cake, the music softly piped in, and the service for our private party of 10 -- the ambiance was first class.

The girls went to the spa for a massage and the massage together with the gentle rain (we are in a rain forest after all) just made you feel like one with nature. You will never want to leave.

At breakfast one morning, one of the servers took the time to point out wildlife and trees and show us with binoculars -- really??? Never had that happen before -- smiling the whole time.

Although it is quite a drive from the airport (approximately 2 1/2 hours) - -the scenery and the small villages you encounter make the time pass by quickly. The 3.5 kilometer trip from the main road to the Resort is what they call "a Costa Rican massage" -- and they are not kidding. But the little bit of a bumpy ride is quickly forgotten the minute you arrive to the open airy reception area and are handed a tropical cocktail to get your vacation started while looking at the views that take your breath away. The huge smiles on all of our children's faces -- I knew I had made the right choice.

We all wish we could have had a few more days at this resort to continue exploring, relaxing and playing -- although really most of us did not want to ever leave -- we all said this was a family trip of a lifetime.

This is truly a find and WE WILL DEFINITELY RETURN to pick up where we left off. PURA VIDA!!!!!!

To be continued .......

P.S. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts to the staff and to the owner, Lee Banks, for his vision of what a resort should be -- can't wait to visit their sister resort as well -- The Peace Lodge

Room Tip: All of the rooms are very similar and have incredible views of the Arenal Volcano. However, the sec...
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  • Stayed September 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.
Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2013

I could not feel any better about myself then I do right now; I just spent three nights at The Springs Resort and Spa, Arenal, Costa Rica. I took home with me a rejuvenated body, lifetime memories and a smile from ear to ear.
Close friends and I arrived at The Springs Resort Sunday evening. Energetic concierge warmly greeted us despite our late arrival. A short golf cart ride later, I entered a remarkable two-story villa and my jaw dropped. Every corner of the room was stunning and perfect, down to the very last detail. Diamond-shaped wooden patterns behind the bed nicely complimented the large castle-shaped custom doors. The bathrooms were immaculate, terraces were spacious and the bedding was to die for.
I awoke to a magical, breathtaking view of the Arenal Volcano. I hopped into a hammock to relax as I took in the enchanting surroundings. Colorful toucans danced among the tropical trees and the sound of waterfalls filled the air. My friends and I spent the day touring the facility. Our amazement grew as we turned each corner. We discovered most of the 26 unique hot springs. I enjoyed, at least 30 wild rides down the monkey slide. We sampled gourmet dishes throughout the day; and had a ball visiting Club Rio’s Wildlife Preserve. That evening I filled the Jacuzzi with steaming hot water and bubbles. I felt peaceful as I soaked in the warm water and my mind replayed my fascinating day.
The next day I ran around the resort with my camera trying to capture all of its charm and beauty. This exceptional piece of property allows all guests to find a private hot spring oasis for an intimate experience. I went to the pool bar to unwind. The tranquil atmosphere, warm water, and sound of waterfalls were very soothing. I greatly appreciated the super friendly staff and impeccable service. Later I dined with a couple of The Springs executives at Las Ventanas, the up-scale restaurant on site. Each dish was well-thought, flavorful, and elegantly presented. The bright personalities surrounding our table made for entertaining, unforgettable conversation. I was making lifetime memories I will talk about for years; I tried to absorb as much as I could as my stay was quickly coming to an end.
Even though I really didn’t want to, we checked out in the morning. My compelling experience has me boosting. I fell in love on this mini vacation, with The Springs Resort and Spa!

Room Tip: Every room is situated to give you a stunning view of the Arenal Volcano
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  • Stayed September 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.
Wichita, Kansas, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2013

This was the most amazing resort and spa that I have stayed at today. The attention to detail the staff provides is top notch!!! We had 9 women on this trip and all of us with different wants. The Springs Resort made sure that each of us were treated like royalty. Anything we asked for they accommodated and they never said "no". The surroundings were surreal and the rooms were breath taking!!! I woke up every morning to a gorgeous view of the volcano and flowers, palm trees, and a well manicured landscape. I loved coming to my room at night and seeing what new towel animal would be left. I tracked mud in from the extreme atv and you could never tell because my room was always immaculate. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS RESORT AND WE ALREADY HAVE ANOTHER TRIP LINED UP FOR 2014. The best place to stay!!!!

Room Tip: Rooms that face the volcano
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  • Stayed September 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.
florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

We had a fantastic experience (in late April)! Airport van service transfer (scheduled thru hotel) was very professional and an interesting ride through from San Jose and through the countryside. Upon arrival at the hotel you know you are in a special (and safe) place. The staff of local people is amazing, friendly and very welcoming. Their English is great (fluent) but remember you are in THEIR beautiful country. "Hola" and "Gracias" or whatever Spanish you know I am sure is appreciated. The views are unreal (from atop a mountain looking across the valley to the volcano) and the attention to the design of the building to "frame" those expansive views is amazing. The landscaping design using local plants is impressive and very tropical. You can tell that they used local materials to build this place. They run things with an "eco" conscious and with a view of helping the local people.

The rooms are new, large, very clean and have quality design details. We were on the first floor. You sit in bed (or on a large porch) and look out at an amazing view (of volcano & nature) with a feeling like you have no neighbors... very private. You have two hammocks on your porch to rock you with the sounds of nature singing in the background. The beds are great. But of course, everyone likes different things. An earlier comment said they were lumpy. There are feather beds on top like at the Ritz so yes, the feathers shift but they are NOT old lumpy mattresses ... they are new. This is a luxury hotel and we have stayed at fine hotels around the world. I am "picky" and I was very satisfied.

Activities ... we did not want to "zip line" and found plenty to do (& could have done more) for 4 days! The Hanging Bridge tour in morning (best time) was fantastic with Luis as a guide (arranged thru hotel). I highly recommend a guide. We would not have seen all we saw without him. We saw toucans, a sloth, monkeys, snakes, red tree frogs, wild pigs, and other birds in which he gave us a close up view with his telescope. We were very lucky though to see so much that day ... remember nothing is guaranteed in nature. But if you miss them in nature you can view much in the animal preserve at the Springs where rescued animals that can not go back in the wild are cared for. You can feed toucans (incredible experience), see monkeys, various "wild" big cats, sloths (soon), etc. These animals are loved and well cared for. It is not perfect but they can no longer survive in the wild so those that criticize must be realistic. We did a Twilight tour which included seeing the rescued animals fed, hiking around the area and hearing about local plants, etc. Club Rio on the property provides a lot of entertainment ... rock climbing wall, tubing, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, etc. They have nice changing rooms and lockers there. There are also a few hot spring pools (some very private) scattered around the Club Rio area ... look for them. We tried tubing which was fun and the guides were great. We also did a 2 hour horseback ride and Nano could not have been better. The horses are beautiful and very well cared for. Our daughter was nervous and he knew exactly how to handle it. He went out of his way to make it work. His expertise on a horse was obvious also. We saw incredible views and enjoyed our chat with him. For the novice or the experienced, the horseback ride can be "tweaked" to your needs. Club Rio has a great place for lunch and drinks under a big "tiki" hut along the river with beautiful views. I could envision the Springs / Club Rio as a great luxury corporate retreat. It also is great for a honeymoon or to celebrate an anniversary. A VERY romantic place. We were with our daughter though and had a great family experience. It is a place that works for all ... plenty of room for various types of travelers to spread out and find privacy. There were no screaming kids running around. The kids that were there were respectful (& older than toddlers). The town of Fortuna is fairly close and we made a quick stop there before heading to the Peace Lodge (sister property). Driving to / from San Jose (Peace Lodge) gives a feel for the area also.

The hot springs & pools at the Springs ... there are so many of them! We were not there during high season / spring breaks and the pools were very private but I can't imagine them ever being too busy. You could easily find a private pool. The slide was fun for my husband and daughter. The springs / pools are scattered though-out the property with landscaping creating private areas. We made a point to try many of them. One night we went and our family was alone with the moon shining thru the trees. It was magical.

Weather ... we had unusually sunny weather. Remember you are in a rainforest though so that is not common. Actually having cloudy & cool days can make the hot springs even more enjoyable and romantic. Think Dian Fossey / "Gorillas in the Mist". There are a variety of pool temperatures to satisfy. You can enjoy the hot springs even in the rain. Bring a raincoat for adventures. Hiking shoes are good though our daughter was fine in her Converse sneakers. For water sports they can provide water shoes or you can purchase in the gift shop.

Restaurants ... We found the food to be very good. Many restaurants / bars scattered over the property offered open air seating ... loved that (as did our daughter). The breakfast buffet had a large selection and they could also make custom omelets, french toast, pancakes, etc. The fruits and juices were delicious (local). The views in the morning were beautiful. Highlights were Ventana where the staff & food was great. Salad with poached pears at the Treetops was delicious. Having afternoon drinks at the swim up bar was fun. Near the restaurants they had a pool table, darts, and a game room with Wii / Xbox, etc for kids. All is casual ... no high heels ... sandals / flip flops fine with a sundress or pants (even nice jeans) in the evening. Collared shirts (polo, tropical, or oxford) nice for men in evening though you could get away with a t-shirt if you had to.

Spa ... We did not have time to experience it but it looked very nice. I have to come back for that! My husband used the gym facility which was nicely equipped.

The (local) staff throughout the place was so accommodating, friendly, and professional. You felt like you met new "friends" that you want to come back to see. Costa Rica was a great experience and the Springs was a big part of it. We all really hope to get back again. You can be very active here or just relax and rejuvenate ... or a little of both! Your choice.

So if you are thinking of booking this, do it with confidence. Wonderful memories await you.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor and had a fine experience and nice view.
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  • Stayed April 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 2
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:
#2 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 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*
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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