Four of us spent three days celebrating a 40th birthday. Two of us are from Costa Rica and had been to the Arenal area multiple times, two others came from the US and were visiting Costa Rica for the first time. None of us had never stayed at The Springs.
The hotel has excellent rooms, pools, bars, restaurants, and a breakfast area with a great view. I would liken it to a Ritz-Carlton or Four Seasons, except it is isolated in a mountain-side in the middle of Costa Rica. If you would like to experience the Costa Rican countryside without having to experience rough accommodations, this is a good place for you.
The hotel can be your launch point. There will be plenty of opportunities to go water rafting, engage in all-terrain vehicle adventures, or even fish in the La Fortuna-Arenal area. The hotel has a pre-screened list of providers or you can select from any you might find on your own. Most providers will happily pick you up at the hotel since it is known for having high-income guests that will pay top dollar.
Given the high-end experience I think it appropriate to warn you about one incongruent item to the whole "top-of-the-line" experience. The hotel is probably the most isolated of all the hotels in the La Fortuna area. This is mainly so because after veering off the main road there is still a ~3km ride to the hotel through a half-finished, rough, pot-holed road. This is only the hotel's fault in the sense that they selected such an isolated area to place their hotel and have not been able to convince the local government to upgrade the road out to them. Still, it hardly seems fair to have you travel to Costa Rica and not experience some rough roads. After all, you are supposed to be nature-loving people, looking to "rough it" when you come to visit the country.
Finally, although we did not have our children with us, I can see how the resort's animal rehabilitation center, rock climbing wall, horseback riding, water-sporting area, and many pools of thermal waters would be entertaining for kids. They also have a game room area where kids will find a Nintendo Wii, a ping-pong table, many board games, and some regularly scheduled activities. There was also a golf simulator for adults, but it did not seem to work properly when we were there so don't count on it being anything more than a short-term patch for a golf addict in your party.
To summarize, this is a top-level hotel with good service and decent meals. Although I would not normally consider it to be an all-inclusive destination, I also live in Costa Rica and can drive myself around. For most foreigners the isolated nature of this hotel will mean they should probably consider it more as a destination than simply a place to rest your head at night.
- 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