We just returned from a 5 day getaway to the Springs Resort. It was our first time in Costa Rica and we didn't know what to expect. What we found was a spectacular experience from start to finish. The pickup at the airport (arranged by the hotel) was flawless. Our driver, Minor, was very welcoming and accommodating on the 3 hour ride from the airport to the hotel. The drive to the hotel gave us a good view of much of Alajuela province and some beautiful towns along the way.
From the time we arrived to the the time we left this 45 room hotel, the service was flawless. We were given a tour of the facility and a delicious drink upon arrival. All of the staff, from gardeners and maintenance staff to the guest facing staff, always said hello. Any of the staff who interacted with us remembered our names from that point forward and greeted us by name. Octavio and Renso were particularly friendly, although all we encountered were helpful and nice.
The rooms were gorgeous. Normally, when I see a picture of a room on a website, I assume that what I find in reality will be about 1/2 as nice. In this case, as beautiful as the rooms seem on the website, they are even nicer in reality. Beautiful woodwork throughout. We booked a room with the vaulted ceiling (room 216) and absolutely loved it. The bed was incredibly comfortable (wish we could have taken it home with us) and the rest of the room was well appointed in every respect. Best of all was the full window wall that looked out to the balcony (two rocking chairs, two hammocks, table and 2 chairs) and gave us a perfect view of the Arenal Volcano. We were there during rainy season and fully expected not to see the volcano at all. Instead we saw some or all of it every day -- awe inspiring.
Soaking in the water from the hot springs in the beautiful surroundings of the hotel made all other cares go away and brought a sense of utter peace and tranquility. Truly delightful.
At the spa, Mayra gave me the best massage I have ever had and Ruby gave my wife a terrific facial and neck and back massage. The aromatherapy that accompanied the massage and everything about the setting of the massage was perfect.
We loved our meals at the Springs (which is a good thing because unless you have a car, it is not easy or cheap to go off the property for meals). The empanadas served at the Treetops grill were to die for and the arroz con pollo was excellent. Prices for meals were equivalent to what you would pay in many places in US. Breakfast buffet roughly $20 per person, lunch $10-20 and dinner $30-40 per person (before alcohol). Service at every meal was excellent. Again, when there are only 45 rooms on the property, they can give everyone a lot of personalized attention.
The property is well positioned for spectacular views of the volcano and the surrounding valley from a whole host of vantage points. Because it is situated on a hillside, there are views from many different levels of the main building as well as the residence buildings. Speaking of the hillside, this is not a property for someone with significant mobility impairment. Going from the rooms to the main building requires a walk up a gently sloping ramp, some stairs and then some more stairs or an elevator.
Since we only did one experience at Club Rio (the twilight tour) we can't comment on those activities, although guests we spoke to who had done them liked them a lot.
The concierge desk was very helpful in arranging off-site activities. We did a zip-line adventure and a trip into the nearby town of La Fortuna.
The housekeepers were great. Our room was always clean, cleaned early in the day, and we always had some very intricate towel creature left on our bed. Oh, and then there was the fresh flower arrangement in our room each day. Amazing.
I saw one comment about the "Disney" nature of the facility. I think what the writer must have meant is that the property is not built around existing springs but pumps the spring water into the natural-looking pools that they have built. In that sense, the environment is one that was created rather than found, but because it is well done, it feels natural, especially with wild howler monkeys, turkey vultures, toucans, hummingbirds and more in and around the rainforest that surrounds the property.
In short, we had one of the most relaxing and enjoyable vacations we have ever had and would recommend this hotel to anyone, especially if, as we did, you get your room through a vacation discounter like Jetsetter.
I have three small suggestions for management: First, I think the gift shop is a bit overpriced and is not open late enough in the evening. Second, I was surprised at checkout by the request to add a tip to be shared among the front desk staff. I was not used to this custom and had assumed that their compensation would come fully from the hotel. If the hotel wants people to add a gratuity at the point of checkout, I think they should mention it somewhere in the materials so it does not come as a surprise. Third, I agree with the suggestion I saw in another review to have Las Ventanas open at lunch or at breakfast so that one can appreciate its spectacular view in the daylight.
- 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