We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Magnificently breathtaking” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 10 more sites!
Save
You added Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort to your Saves list
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   |  
  |  
Hotel website
  |  
  |  
Hotel amenities
Announcement
Click for details
Bountiful, Utah
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Magnificently breathtaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2012

After staying at Tabacon, my wife told me this is probably her favorite place we have ever stayed. They have managed to carve out a beautiful luxury retreat in the middle of a jungle setting. The photos on line do not do this place justice. In fact, I was not going to stay at Tabacon, I was going to choose another location. I ended up booking Tabacon because a friend of my Wife’s told her she has to stay at Tabacon, because it is a very special place and one she will never forget. Surprisingly, I say this because we have stayed in many places, the friend was right.

Honestly the rooms are very nice, they have plenty of room. We had a standard room, it came with a nice very comfortable bed and sofa area. The hotel it’s self was clean, and inviting, but it was nothing spectacular. The thing that puts this hotel over the top is the hot springs area. I will talk more about that in a minute. As I said the rooms are great, I could not complain at all about them. The staff made us feel welcome. The breakfast buffet was very good and the service was exceptional. However, the price is outrageous. I don’t mind paying money for food, but I think the breakfast buffet was $24 each and there is not another option. In fact all restaurants, there are two, were extremely expensive. We got in fairy late, and asked about dinner. We were informed that there are two choices, one is a restaurant in the springs area. It is a buffet only dinner and each night was theme night. That night the theme was Italian, which under normal circumstances would be fine. However, in Costa Rica it seems there restaurant selections are very slim. They have an over abundance of Italian, typical food, which is Costa Rican, and BBQ, which is just grilled meat. That is really the extent of your selections. We had been in Costa Rica for 4 nights and felt we had enough Italian food, by the way Italian to the Costa Rican’s means pizza. The price for the buffet was $42.00 per person. This seemed high to us as well, so we asked about the second option. They gladly told us about their dining room which was an alacarte menu. This menu was more of a steak house with a selection of seafood, but the pricing was at least $42.00 per person. In fact I believe our bill came to well over $42.00 each. Honestly, I love food, and I don’t mind paying for it sometimes. I just don’t want to be forced to buy expensive meals each day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel they should have another restaurant, one that offers more café type food. Over all the food in Costa Rica is extremely expensive, please be for warned, not matter where you go the prices are very high.

The springs are unbelievable. They are a short walk, about 5 minutes, or the hotel offers shuttle service that will pick you up and drop you off at your room. There is a newer adult section, one that limits anyone under 18 from entering. This is so relaxing, but I recommend walking through the springs during the day to get the full picture. We were so busy the first two days that we could only utilize the springs in the evening. It is not the same trying to walk around at night, you cannot grasp the whole concept like you can during the day. On the third day we spent a few hours at the springs and found them to be spectacular. There are probably 25 pools, that are fed from a natural river of hot water. The further up the hill you travel the hotter the water gets. At the bottom of the river there is a swimming pool and a swim up bar. The adult section, as I mentioned earlier is newer. It has multiple decks with shade so during the day many people can enjoy the sun and the warmth of the natural pools. Because of the springs, this place is truly exceptional and a one of a kind. Magnificently breathtaking, is how I would try to explain this experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Travelin4funfools, we are glad you ended up staying at Tabacon and your time here was memorable. Being at Tabacon is an experience that cannot be missed, cause any picture would ever express the real magnificence of the heavenly Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. It is always recommendable to visit the Hot Springs both during day and night time, exploring and enjoying the different pools as well as the Shangri Lá Gardens (adult area) at the upper part of the resort is a must go when visiting our Hot Springs, due to its beauty and natural charm. Regarding food and beverages options, we also offer snacks and drinks at both of the bars which are at a reasonable price. Tabacon is looking forward to your next visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

1,918 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    1,087
    502
    190
    84
    55
See reviews for
374
983
31
23
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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (273)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Pedro, Belize
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

It was only by chance that we drove by Tabacon as we were exploring the Arenal area. We were only planning on staying one night and then continuing on our non itinerary trip but we ended up staying a week!

Have faith and just go. Don't even read the reviews. This spa is without compare and words cannot describe the total beauty, peace, and excellence you will experience at Tabacon.

Room Tip: All rooms are exquisite!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Mr. David G thanks for your comment. We are very glad you got the magnificent opportunity to visit Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Our customers are the ones that with honest feedback can express how really Tabacon is and let others know about the enchantment that grows in this glorious natural paradise.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

This is a lovely resort property. Don't be scared off by the higher pricetag - your room rate includes admission to the Tabacon hot springs (at least $60 for a full day). The room was very comfortable for three adults. I'm a fan of hotels that change the duvet cover and have a mattress pad - and this one had both. The beds were comfy, although squeaky (my only complaint). We ended up spending three full days at the hot springs as you get a full day admission on the day of your check out. I would definitely stay here again!

Room Tip: We had a garden room, which weren't rated as highly in the travel books, but it was lovely!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Pearlwhite we are sincerely glad that your experience at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort was enjoyable and memorable. Tabacon is the best choice travelers can do, hotel guests always get unlimited access to the hot springs with no additional charge during all stay and even the same check out day they can use the Hot Springs until 10:00pm. We absolutely invite to relive a new extraordinary and unique experience at this Tropical Paradise.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nutley
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012 via mobile

We are currently on our honeymoon. We enjoyed the buffet breakfast this morning which we initially thought to be expensive but found to be well worth the money with the vast breakfast spread including but not limited to an omellette station, fresh fruits and fruit juices, delicious pastries, etc. We have sheduled a private dinner for two with a private chef tonight and hope to have the same experience.

We also had the opportunity to visit their beautiful hot springs.

That said, our room is not worth $400 nightly and I would not give it 5 stars. We do have a little view of the volcano which is not spectacular but nice. My main issue is the mold in the bathroom. At $400 a night, mold should be removed before guests arrive. I'm allergic to mold and asthmatic. They gave us a dehumidifier and cleaned the bathroom with bleach so I am breathing in bleach now as I write this.

I read in other reviews that honeymooners were upgraded to a honeymoon suite with no charge. We only have two nights left at this hotel but they could not do the same for us.

Overall, the hotel is not terribl but the room is a disappointment of you expect a 5 star room. We are now forced to leave the room because the bleach is making our eyes burn and my asthma is starting to act up.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Tampa, FL
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

The hotel is lovely and the rooms spacious and clean! The bathroom in our 2 bedroom suite was so luxurious. Only thing missing was a door! Good thing we were a close family:-/ The staff was very accommodating. The food in the restaurants we heard was quite good, but expensive. Since we had a car we ate in La Fortuna restaurants which were so much more affordable. Entrance to the hot springs is included in your room rate which makes this a wonderful value, and there are shuttles to take you or you can make the 5 minute walk up and down the hill which is not bad at all. I really liked the tropical drink offered upon arrival. Very nice touch! We ate at "Just Good Food" in La Fortuna. Pizza and burgers type food owned by a Russian immigrant. Great service and just great food!! We also ate at L Bararista (?sp)...it was delicious! Even though recommended by the hotel we did not care for our meals at La Choza del Laurel:-(

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Vsquared13 we are so delighted to be aware about your enjoyable trip to Tabacon, all staff and facilities are aimed to all guests comfort and complete satisfaction. On your next trip we highly recommend you to try our food and beverages broad and gourmet selection. Hope to welcome you back promptly!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, NY
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

If you are staying at this hotel and are an adult, you must go to Shangri-la. You practically have the springs to yourself. Private, you must be a guest of the hotel, and enjoy the benefits of the springs without a ton of people around.

Room Tip: The Rainforest rooms are to die for, I think worth the extra.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 24, 2012
Dear Didibklyn, it is very significant to know our visitors enjoy our premises. Look forward to your next visit to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012 via mobile

When we arrived at the front desk, full of enthusiasm [Short-lived], we were greeted with a less than friendly front desk attitude. Quickly asked, do you have a reservation? Once we said no, we were asked to go outside and we would be helped at the window. A man with glasses surfaced quickly to immediately ask "are you nationals?" with a smile. The instance we told him we were not locals, his entire demeanor changed and that fake smile went away.

He then proceeded to tell us very rudely how locals pay 50 percent less than tourist. When we explained that tour retailers offered us a lesser value for the same package, he replied "Well, not my problem speak to them" mind you, this conversation is taking place at 7pm on a Saturday and the best he can offer is for us to go away.

We then asked about securing our property, and who covers liability. His immediate response "that's why we charge more" and my reply was "I did not ask for justification of charges". I simply need to know the policy. The man became even more rude at this point.

"Clearly, he lacks enough intellect [Smarts] to understand that tourists keep this country going, that tourist keep him employed"

What a real shame that such a beautiful spa is staffed with such unfriendly and unprofessional people.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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
#4 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#7 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#11 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, BookIt.com, Tablet Hotels, Cheap Tickets, Amex, Tingo, Priceline, Hotels.com, Travelocity and Odigeo so you can book your Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.