After almost five years in Costa Rica as a tour guide, and having been a fan of "La Paz Waterfall Gardens" before it was damaged by landslides on the occasion of the January 8th earthquake (which incidentally I recently inspected and was informed by the owner that the target date for La Paz to reopen is June 15th, 2009 - "Hooray!"), I have finally found the "Complejo de Chicklets" destination. Allow me to explain. "Chicklets" is the Costa Rican word for chewing gum (which I like very much). Getting it stuck to the bottom of your shoe in the positive sense keeps you in one place longer than usual, therefore the term: "Complejo de Chicklets" applies regarding "The Springs Resort & Spa - Arenal, Costa Rica"... Each part of the resort is so fantastic that you get attached to it, stay there longer than usual, and forget that there is so much more to experience! That's a good thing! For example, there are many hot springs pools, cascading from one to the other and romantic couples nestled or playfully giggling in various corners of the pools, or behind waterfalls, even a water slide. Some pools have in-the-water chairs in front of pool water level bars serving tropical drinks.
Upon arrival, we were served cool tropical drinks on a platter by a native smiling Tico named "Alan" as we checked in at the front desk, a great start. We were hardly finished with the drink when "Alan" escorted us to a golf cart to take us to retrieve our luggage and a wonderful orientation tour by "Alan" of the Resort & Spa. It was overwhelmingly wonderful. The rooms are tastefully detailed, including jacuzzi in the large bathroom, Satellite TV mounted above the 10 foot wide picture window framing volcano Arenal, an active volcano. DVD movies can be selected and picked up at no charge from the front desk and enjoyed on the high-quality screen in a huge plush comfortable bed. Hammocks and Leather rocking chairs are on the patio surrounded by tropical plants and flowers. The safe is electronic and when I reported a low battery, the helper arrived quickly and replaced the batteries after which I used the safe and had peace of mind, although I have no reason to think that any of the friendly workers are anything but totally honest and trustworthy, qualities hard to find these days. One worker even let me win at a game of "eight-ball" in the billiard room. :)
I highly recommend the restaurant on the third of five levels called: "Tres Cascades" (three waterfalls). We enjoyed appetizers such as Mantego cheese & Japanese beans, grilled salmon salads, and main courses such as chicken curry, not to mention delicious cheesecake for desert.
Those are only some of the many positives of the experience which greatly outweigh any negatives such as a strong lacquer smell from the newly finished exotic woods in the rooms which smell will go away soon; the volcano was enshrouded in clouds and we only saw the bottom half, but we could imagine that a longer stay would be an absolute must in the future; and the power cut off during our evening meal at the "Tres Cascades" restaurant, which was outweighed by the excellent response of the generator turning on, of the staff running to bring six candles to our table as well as handheld light sources and a free ride on the golf cart back to our room, not to mention handing us a flashlight to use in the room itself. The power came back on an hour later, not too bad. I just stayed up a little later watching a DVD movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Becall, and all I recall is wanting to stay longer than usual in each of the wonderful attractions including the humming birds, the cat's exhibit and the monkey exhibit, I didn't want to leave... a "complejo de chicklets" which is a good thing!
- 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