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“Absolutely 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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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Absolutely stunning!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We were blown away by how cool this place is. Every design, every detail, is just amazing. Our room was spectacular, as I'm sure all the rooms are. The hotel itself has any number of interconnected pools, and waterfalls, mostly all heated, both outdoors and through the hotel.

The food and service was also exceptional. There are plenty of dinging choices. The Club Rio at the river is also very well done. We lazed in hot springs by the river, and did the rock climbing wall.

We got a really good deal on our room during low season. I understand high season rates are about double what we paid. In any case, we will be back and I recommend this hotel without any hesitation.

This is the type of hotel I love to recommend. I can only wish them the best - they deserve it!

Room Tip: They're all good!
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,350 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (350)
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We are currently here at The Springs with our extended family of 11 including 5 kids ages 3-13. I will break my review into the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good: The resort is absolutely beautiful and meticulously maintained. The rooms are spacious and gorgeous with breathtaking views of the volcano, and excellent wi-fi. The waitstaff in the restaurants could not be more wonderful or accommodating. You could conceivably never leave the resort with its abundance of pools, activities, spa, and restaurants so the convenience can't be beat. My kids also loved the water slide.

The bad: At almost $1000/ night for our accommodations, I feel like this resort misses the mark compared to other resorts we have stayed in. They did offer a welcome drink upon arrival, but no cool washcloths, or ice water and coffee in the lobby. Sorry, but these are touches that I would expect from a resort of this class. Considering that coffee is Costa Rica's #3 export, it seems like a coffee bar in the lobby would be a small effort to provide great pleasure to their guests. We were also very surprised that small water coolers were not provided in the rooms. We have stayed in ecolodges in remote Tulum and treehouse in the jungles of Belize that did not fail to provide this convenience.The food in the restaurants is mediocre at best. We did not find the prices to be outrageous- $5.00 for a couple of pieces of nigiri sushi, $15.00 for the breakfast buffet, but we did not have one meal at any of the restaurants here that we would consider great. The hot springs are very artificial and just not that hot in general. I am fairly certain that the pools are artificially heated and they just can't compete with other hot springs we have visited in La Fortuna and around the world. If you want a true natural, volcanic hot springs experience then I highly recommend a day pass to Tabacon. The water even feels and smells different at Tabacon compared to The Springs.

The ugly: I simply would not stay at this resort if you have children. It is green/ rainy season here in Costa Rica so we were absolutely prepared for our afternoon activities to be cancelled. The problem is that they do not open the game room for the kids in low season
( which was not mentioned when we booked the resort). We were told upon arrival that they would try to open the game room because the resort was full and they had quite a few kids on property. Sure enough, we found the game room open on the first night with 4 rude preteen and teen boys using it. We were promptly told that they were the only ones allowed to use the room that night and we would need to leave. The second night the exact same thing happened. When we inquired about the exclusive usage of the game room we were informed that "They were the manager's kids so they were allowed to use it, but no one else could because they did not have the staff to supervise the room." Mind you, we were not asking to leave our kids alone in the game room, we were going to play in the room with them but were told "Sorry, but absolutely not." The game room does have a very nice selection of puzzles and board games as well, but when we inquired at the front desk about checking Candy Land or a puzzle out, we were told, ,"Sorry but they are only for use in the game room," which of course only the manager's sons were allowed to use during our stay. Simply not a family friendly resort.

The Springs may be for you if you are looking for a pretty, convenient resort that you do not need to leave for the length of your stay,but we decided to check out Nayara Springs while we are here, and that would definitely be my choice in La Fortuna for a romantic getaway.

Room Tip: Our adjoining room 418 smelled very strongly of mold. If you are mold sensitive, I would not book th...
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

What a welcome surprise after a long day of travel from the cloud forest and a rainy trek across Lake Arenal....we were welcomed with a cold drink in a fancy glass, checked in and given a tour of the property which was beautiful.....There were a couple of challenges during the stay with air conditioning (something you don't want to be without) but we felt was addressed by management and we checked out after three days really feeling like we had a terrific experience.....Great place if you have kiddos ! Food was great, service was great......would go back.

Room Tip: We had a two level family suite on a corner it was in the middle building which was just enough dist...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Northridge
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

This was our second visit to The Springs, and was even better than the first. The property is luxurious and relaxed at the same time, with beautifully executed details and excellent, hand-made craftsmanship. Between the hot pools (which are spectacularly romantic, especially at night), and the "Club Rio" resort area, you can easily spend three or four experience-filled days without leaving the property. The staff is exceptional - sincerely warm and friendly, and truly professional. We have traveled throughout much of the world, and we rarely return to the same place, but after our second visit, we are already planning our third!
The Club-Rio resort area is really fantastic - the hotel owns its own section of river, which you can enjoy for fishing, tubing, and kayaking with very experienced and safety-conscious guides (ask for Gerald, Jose, or Roberto - they were wonderful, but all guides there are great). Also at Club Rio is an animal experience that is great for kids and adults alike. My wife and I are animal lovers, so we are very concerned about how animals are treated. All animals here are rescues from bad circumstances, and hence have been given a new lease on life. The habitats are gorgeous and so obviously designed with love that we were heart-warmed. You will leave The Springs with an idea of what paradise might be like, assuming that paradise has great views and room service!

Room Tip: All rooms are great - the villas are exceptional.
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My husband and I stayed at the Springs for 7 nights in early September using Groupons that we purchased. We are a couple in our early 30s who have traveled a fair bit. This was one of the best vacations we have ever taken. Here are our thoughts:

Resort:
As everyone said, the resort is gorgeous. The views are outstanding and everything is tastefully styled. Others have commented that the resort is kind of "Disney", but we never felt that anything was tacky or over-the-top. It is on a hill so there is a some climbing involved, and it might be a challenge for those with mobility issues. We were there in the off season and felt like we had the resort to ourselves. This was the only placed we stayed in CR, so we can't compare it to other resorts.

Rooms:
WOW! We stayed in the Alta Visa room and the views were amazing. The room was spacious and comfortable, and the balcony with rocking chairs and hammocks was wonderful. The doors have screens so we often slept with the doors open, and woke to the sounds of birds, frogs, cicadas and howler monkeys. The bed was huge and very comfortable. A/C worked great and free wifi was nice if slower than in the US (not a big issue as we were on vacation). Coffee is included in the room and was restocked daily (not for an extra charge as the previous reviewer claimed), and the water from the tap is drinkable (we both drank it the whole trip without incident). Little touches were great, like the turn-down service with chocolates and the umbrellas and flashlight available in the room. They really seem to have thought of everything. There is a fully stocked minibar (beer, wine, liquor, soda, juice, milk and snack) but we thought the prices were a bit outrageous and instead bought our own drinks in town.

Food:
We knew in advance the food would be pricey, especially for dinner (if you email the resort, they will send you copies of their menus including prices). We only ate a handful of meals at the resort and instead had most of our meals in town. Our first night we ate at the Sushi restaurant, which was ok (although we live in California so maybe have high expectations) - bill was ~$60 for edamame, two rolls, two beers and some sake (we were still hungry). We enjoyed Treetops Grill and ate a couple of meals there (the chifrijo was yummy and so much food!) and the staff was always wonderful (meals here were ~$10-15). We ate breakfast one morning at the main restaurant ($15 pp for the buffet) and found lots of food to choose from. We also enjoyed the fancy Las Ventanas restaurant, and thought it was good but not amazing (bill came to ~$115). Service was fantastic though. Much of the food is catered to American tastes, which is a bit of a let down in Costa Rica. I wish the restaurants offered more "fusion" style dishes that incorporate Costa Rican flavors. Considering we had amazing inexpensive food in town, this was the one disappointment for us. It would be nice if the resort at least included breakfast in its rate. Keep in mind that in CR restaurants (including those at the Springs) are required to charge 13% tax and a 10% service fee - this adds up!

Hot springs:
Amazing. So many different pools at a wide range of temperatures (ranging from I think 88F to 104F). There are 3 sets of pools - the main pools up by the resort which offer great views but are less private. Perdido Springs in the rainforest, which felt more intimate, and the set of springs down by Club Rio which are more "natural" and set back in the forest. We tried and loved them all, although we liked the Perdido and Club Rio springs the best for their privacy.

Club Rio:
I'm going to admit, I was pretty skeptical about this and thought it might be a little tacky. I was wrong - we loved it! The bus is an easy jaunt down to the river, which is gorgeous. We didn't pay for any activities but spent time swimming in the river rapids which was a lot of fun. There are some rocks in the river so watch your feet (or have water shoes). The hot springs down there are amazing - we followed the hiking trail through the rainforest and saw some cicada molts, poison dart frogs and lizards. The hot springs smell more and are cloudier because they are from a more direct source, but the pools are more rustic feeling, some with dirt bottoms and built in the natural flow path. We also did the animal rescue tour and were really impressed. The animals are all rescued from the black market or had been injured and couldn't return to the wild. Our tour guide (Marvin) knew so much about the natural history of the animals (we're biologists and everything was accurate and informative!). Surprisingly enjoyable.

Arenal Area:
Definitely rent a car if you plan to leave the resort - everything in the Arenal area is very spaced out, and the driving is not too extreme (except for the unpaved roads). If you aren't great at driving manual, make sure you get an automatic as many of the roads are on strong inclines and unpaved. We flew into San Jose after flying overnight and left for the Springs around 1 pm. The roads are in great shape (except for some big pot holes) but they are windy and narrow. We had a fair bit of fog on the way in which made it a bit more stressful (on the way back we left around 7am and had no fog, so the ride is definitely easier in the morning). Took us about 3 - 3.5 hours on the way there and 2.5 - 3 on the way back. We were worried about the road to the resort - yes, it is unpaved, bumpy and long, but so are many of the roads going to remote locations in the area. It took us about 15 mins to get to the main road each time (and about 25 mins total to get into town). We had a small SUV with 4 wheel drive, which was nice but not really necessary (although it might have been a different story if we got caught on that road in the rain). We drove into town at night (even once in the rain) and the road is not well-lit but we took it slow and never felt unsafe (high beams were enough). Having a car is nice because we could go do activities on our own schedule without having to pay the higher prices to do it through the resort (or the surcharge transportation fees). Even though we were there in the rainy season, and it rained almost every day, this never really affected our vacation. Rain usually rolled in around 1 or 2 pm and hung around until early evening, so we would get up and do activities in the morning, nap or soak in the hot springs while it rained, then head into town for dinner. In La Fortuna we ate mostly at local sodas and less touristy restaurants (see our other reviews) and everything was good and inexpensive. We weren't in town much except for food and to shop at the grocery stores (where we picked up beers, Cacique, juices, breakfast foods and snacks). Being able to buy our own drinks and snacks saved us a ton of money (and allowed us to enjoy them in the privacy of our rooms).

Overall:
Definitely an amazing resort for those willing to pay for it. We could not have afforded the full rate but with the Groupon it was a wonderful deal. For us, it was critical to have a car, and we didn't mind driving into town to eat or sightsee (despite being outside town, the Springs is actually closer to most sites and activities). Service was mostly wonderful and having constant access to hot springs is such a luxury. We loved it and would definitely recommend it to others (with the caveats about the pricey, slightly underwhelming food). An amazing vacation!

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Location in nowhere land!
Whatever you do, it cost a fortune! Everything (selfmade coffee in room, regular drinking water) YOU GET CHARGED FOR!!!!! They let you wait before every tour. If you complain, they say: take a drink at the bar. Of corse you spend more money! You are the only guests in that hotel! And still they dont clean your room right. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, make sure you are rich or fastening! The bill at the end of the trip will make you faint! When you book a trip they charge for the driving extra, but didnt told us that before. They didnt advise me not to book this adventure because i am pregnant. I went there, got charged, but couldnt do that. We are deciding to leave this hotel and even for the transportation to the airport they are trying to rip us off!!! DON'T GO THERE! I never saw such a rip of place like that!!!!

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited The Springs with our 6 month old baby using the day pass option in early September. The road into the hotel seems very long since you can't go very fast due to all of the ruts and curves in the road. Once you do arrive, you've reached paradise. This hotel is incredibly beautiful and the trees, plants and flowers on the property are just gorgeous! Upon arrival we paid our fee of $50 per person (baby free) and got on the bus immediately to Club Rio to take the free animal tour that was included with our day pass. It was great to see all of the animals and then we soaked in several of the small hot spring pools in the club rio area. We grabbed a couple of cans diet coke for $7.50 which I thought was a little ridiculous before heading up to the main building for lunch. The food in the restaurant was delicious and the prices were not too bad. And you can't beat the view!! Unfortunately the volcano was a mostly clouded over during our time at the resort but it was still beautiful. We then soaked in the main pool and several small pools before heading down to the "Perdido" springs which were a little bit lower. They were so pretty too! And we found a water slide where you could slide through the trees into a hot spring pool! It was so much fun! The staff was all very friendly and nice - couldn't have asked for better service. Wi-fi is free throughout the entire property. I can't talk about the rooms since we were only there for the day but if you are looking into this option, I'd definitely recommend it because it's so incredibly beautiful! The absolute definition of paradise!

Stayed September 2014
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#3 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#7 Top resorts 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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