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“Nice Hotel - Fabulous area” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

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Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   13 Km Northwest la Fortuna de San Carlos | Arenal, Alajuela, Costa Rica, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
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South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel - Fabulous area”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2007

My husband and I just returned from Tabacon. We were there for only two days but it was absolutely wonderful. The mineral springs and spa was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. The Tabacon hotel was very nice and the room was roomy enough, however the resort is under renovation so we were awakened very early borth mornings by hammering and sawing. It you should go, ask for a room away from the construction as it looks as if the renovation might take some time to complete. One morning I was having Costa Rican coffee (the best ever) on our balconey when I saw a white faced monkey hanging from the trees. The wildlife and follage are truly unbelievable here. The Tabacon is very expensive so we went to La Fortuna every evening for dinner and had some amazing dinners for very little money. The two best restaurants in La Fortuna are Don Rufinos and La Choza . We also looked at some other resorts in the area and found them to be comparable to Tabacon for about half the price, so shop around it you want the best deal. Also, do not let anyone discourage you from renting a car and driving to Arenal. The roads are in pretty good shape right now (not many potholes) and we did not get lost once. The drive up to Arenal is very scenic, however, we were told that it was a 3 1/2 hour drive from Liberia Airport to Arenal and it took us about 5 hours due to the winding roads.

  • Liked — Thermal springs and spa
  • Disliked — Over priced
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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1,916 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Raleigh NC
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2007

What a wonderful, magical place. This truly was the highlight of our Costa Rican visit. We have been to Costa Rica several times, but this was our first visit to this area - and we cannot wait to go back. We are just sorry it took us so long to get there...

The room was wonderfully spacious and very very clean, with luxurious bathrobes to lounge in (pink for her - blue for him).
The staff could not have been more polite or accommodating - it seemed as if they took it personally to ensure that we had a good time. This is a 5 star resort and you must expect to pay their prices - if you want a cheaper place, then all I can say is that there are plenty around - and you will soon notice the difference, The local people are unfailingly polite, but it is considered extremely rude to raise your voice to them - you never hear them shouting at each other - and why visitors think they achieve more by shouting at the staff is beyond my comprehension.

The hot springs with the waterfalls and rushing river - and the lush grounds and the Grand Spa are all magnificent, and really should not be missed. If you cannot afford to stay in the hotel, then do visit Tabacon Springs for the day. The cost is $55.00 per person (or $70 if you include the supberb buffet luncheon)...pricey but worth the experience just once in your life.
For those on a tight budget, the admittance price is $40.00 after 6:00pm - the swimup bar and restaurant are open until 10:00pm
and towels and changing rooms are available.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

Very average hotel with very average service. We couldn't see the volcano from our "volcano view" room because of overgrown vegetation. The lava flow is on the other side of the volcano any way. The grounds were nice but the restaurant served awful food for $$$$. The hot springs are very nice but they are open to the public and get quite busy. It is a 1/4 mile walk along a busy road to get to the hot springs, For the price I was expecting much more. You can do much better in the La Fortuna area.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baltimore, md
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

This place is amazing. I was a little hesitant given some of the previous reviews. But after residing there for two nights/three days as a part of my honeymoon, I can't do anything but rave about this place.

The grounds are incredible; the hot springs are heavenly; Our room was spacious and clean. However, warning, if you use the jacuzzi tub, you do have to fill it and run the jets a while to get rid of the stagnant water smell. We went into La Fortuna and bought a little bottle of bleach, filled the tub, then ran the jets. We drained the tub and after that, no problems with a smell. We suspect it's because the tub is unused and the waters just stands stagnant.

It's not really a big deal because it's an easy fix and probably if you ask the staff, they will do it for you. The dinners (buffet and ala carte restaurant) are pricey. I would forego dinner there and take an $8 taxi into La Fortuna where you can eat like a king/queen for less than $30 - yep, that's appetizer, main entree, dessert, and a drink or two for two people. Incroyable!!!

It's nature's paradise - no problem with bugs or anything. I would definately recommend this place and stay there again.

  • Liked — the room and location
  • Disliked — food is pricey
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2007

Tabacon is a wonderful hotel with truly great service and people. My husband and I stayed at Tabacon for three nights and from the moment we checked in we were greeted with smiling faces and helpful people. The room itself is pretty much a standard hotel room. However, we stayed in a junior suite which had a large backyard in which we saw numerous squatees (racoon type animals) and which had a nice hottub.

The hot springs are really fabulous and included in the price of a Tabacon stay. Moreover, although people who are not staying at Tabacon
can come for the day to the hot springs, they do have to pay for the privilege and are not given robes or extra time in the hot springs. We
did not find the hot springs to be overcrowded, but did find them to be extremely relaxing. Also, as a guest at Tabacon you are provided with quick door-to-door shuttle service to and from the hot springs.

The concierge at Tabacon was extremely helpful and efficient. The sky tram and sky trek zipline tour, which the concierge booked, was a highlight of out trip and extremely organized.

We also had massages at the Tabacon Spa which were amazing. They were outside in a beautiful cabana with the sound of water flowing all around you.

Additionally, Tabacon arranged for ground transfers from San Jose to Tabacon and then from Tabacon to Manuel Antonio (about a 5 ½ hour drive). The transfers were amazing with really comfortable vans and knowledgeable and friendly drivers who spoke English. The drives were more of a tour than a transfer as our drivers were great about stopping at interesting spots and pointing out cool wildlife and nature.

We liked the food at the Tabacon restaurant[ (we only ate breakfast there though) which overlooks an amazing pool. Again, we found the people there to be more than helpful and very friendly.

Finally, Tabacon offers its own taxi service from the hotel. In other words, if you request a taxi to go into town, the taxi is there within
a minute or two and you can be on your way. Additionally, the town is only a 5-10 minute drive from Tabacon which is very convenient.

Our only complaint about the hotel is that the beds are not that comfortable. Our one suggestion to the hotel to make an incredible experience even more enjoyable would be to upgrade the mattresses.

On a final note, check-out and check-in could not have gone smoother and we made calls to the US and were charged only $1.70 per minute.

We truly enjoyed our experience at Tabacon and would recommend it to our friends and family. We hope to be back.

  • Liked — Incredible service
  • Disliked — Beds
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2007

Went here for 3 days of honeymoon. Booked a Volcano view room which was not a volcano view as could only see v top off volcano. When I asked to be moved the staff were initially rude but a senior member moved us to the view that they actually show on the website. The Tabacon is quite a rip off. The thermal spas which any one can use even if not staying at hotel is fantastic. The hotel room is insipid. You could be in a hotel room anywhere in the world. The staff are inpolite which is the complete opposite to what I have experienced in Costa Rica.

You CANNOT SEE THE LAVA FROM HERE. The lava reversed its flow several years ago and it can't be seen from Tabacon. Stay on the other side of Fortuna where you might see it at night.

Food in restaurant was poor and cost an absolute fortune, whereas a cheap meal in the town was delicious.

I used the telephones in the reception with my credit card. I phoned someone in th UK 3 times and got and answer machine which I hung up on immediatley. For this I was charged $200. Yes $200!!! Am in process of trying to retrieve. They are unbelivable.

  • Liked — gardens
  • Disliked — now lava view and ripp off
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Vernon
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2007

We were informed a couple of days ago that our reservation, made in May of '07, was not being honored so that they could do some remodelling. Our stay at Tabacon was to begin on the 19th of Nov. When we said that this wasn't a good practice to treat customers this way, they said "We are always full". It sounds as if Tabacon takes its customers for granted...

I can't believe that a service oriented entity such as Tabacon would have so little regards for their customers...

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Address: 13 Km Northwest la Fortuna de San Carlos | Arenal, Alajuela, Costa Rica, 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 Beverage Selection 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#7 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#12 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#16 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 102
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of the tropical rainforest at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano in the northern Region of Costa Rica. This five-star carbon neutral resort offers a unique blend of nature, adventure and relaxation. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Tabacon provides luxurious accommodations, services and amenities in a picture-perfect natural setting. The resort's unique healing thermal mineral spring river emerge from the volcanic earth, cascading to form waterfalls, streams, tranquil pools and ponds. Explore Shangri-La Gardens an hotel guests and adults-only hideaway, delight your senses with world- class cuisine inspired by local fares or surprise that special person with a gala dinner in the middle of the rainforest. Inside the gardens is the resort's Grand Spa, member of The Leading Spas of the World which combines a beautiful location with a singular spa experience, where treatments are rendered in open air bungalows all of them with private jacuzzi. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Tabacon Grand Hotel Thermal
Tabacon Grand Resort Thermal
Tabacon Resort
Tabacon Hot Springs
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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