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“Garden of Eden Hot Springs - Hotel average” 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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GreenLeadersGold level
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Garden of Eden Hot Springs - Hotel average”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at the Tabacon. The main attraction of this hotel is the hot springs and gardens. The hotel itself is nice, but average. You have to take a shuttle or drive to the hot springs and gardens which are a mile or so up the main highway. The hot springs are like the Garden of Eden with gorgeous lush flora! Definitely a must, if you visit La Fortuna, Arenal area. We didn't feel the restaurant offered the kind of quality of food that the price justified. The breakfast buffet was $28. per person, the mexican buffet theme night $42. per person (they also add the 13% tax and 10% gratuity on to that price, which is done throughout Costa Rica). Not the best value, nor the best food. We had dinner twice at the Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens, the dinner was beautifully prepared and phenomenal (was surprisingly an awesome value, would have had to pay twice as much at Tabacon for lower quality food/service). We would recommend staying at the Nayara Spa & Gardens and buy a pass to the Ecotermales hot springs or a day pass to Tabacon hot springs. We stayed at the sister property to the Arenal Nayara Spa & Gardens, the Rio Celeste Hideaway which was absolutely exquisite. In all, we stayed at five different hotels on our trip to Costa Rica. The staff at Tabacon were friendly but not hospitable or personal. We have stayed at many hotels, large to boutique style, and have had impeccable service at both types. Tabacon seems to cater to the crowds vs. the individual. The hot springs while beautiful, were overcrowded, at times. They sell passes to bus loads of tourists. We were able to find some of the "adult only" springs unoccupied which made up for the overcrowding in the main springs.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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, September 27, 2012
Dear 5womack,

we really appreciate you have taken the time to share your opinion with all of us. The feedback of our clients is what helps us to improve. Our Tropical Rain Forest Gardens and all natural surroundings create heavenly landscapes and some customers even describe it with the Garden of Eden. The natural river we have on our property is something no other property nearby can offer and to have this same water in all the rooms reduces our carbon output a lot as we do not heat the water additionally. I appreciate the comments of our Food and Beverage Service I will speak about the points you mention with our F&B Director.
In our resort area we do welcome day tours as well, but we always make sure we do not have too many customers on site.
It is a pleasure to know that you had the chance to see all the other properties in the area and still describe our property as Garden Eden.
Hope you will have the opportunity to visit us again soon.

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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2,296 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (349)
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English first
Newtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We stayed 3 nights at Tabacon Resort in early August. Wonderful experience with different restaurants and hot springs. A great trip to Arenal with the family. The resort upgraded us to a honeymoon suite with a volcanic view and provided a rainforest suite for my 2 adult sons, since we are members of The Leaders Club. Every night the hotel treated us with a assortment of gifts - cake (my wife's birthday), a bottle of wine and fruits and a assortment of pastries on the last day. I would highly recommend this hotel/resort. The entire staff at Tabacon treated us as their special guest and since my older son is a assistant to a reputed director in Hollywood, we were treated royally. As it rains in Arenal, Costa Rica every day around 4 Pm, the hot springs was the star attraction for every evening. I would love to go back again........ Excellent service indeed. P.S. My sister is travelling to Arenal in October and she is also requesting a honeymoon suite.

Room Tip: Get a room on the second floor (honeymoon suite) with the volcanic view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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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, September 28, 2012
Dear Mr. Narenmehta,

We appreciate that you took the time to write this review and share your experience with all of us. At Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort all visitors are special to us, we always give to provide nice and personal treats that would make you feel as comfortable as possible. That makes us become a great destination with the comfort, accommodations and recognized service that all our customers deserve, making you feel as special as you are.
The climate is indeed often rainy in the afternoons, but we do need the rain here to be able to have all this beautiful Flora and Fauna all around us. Indeed as you mentioned the Hot Springs are best to enjoy in the evenings.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you all back on a future birthday celebration.

Best regards,


Daniel Pape
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Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
108 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

I really love this resort. The resort is really beautiful, and the Tabacon hot spring is awesome. The hotel is beautiful and the room is perfect with a nice view of gardens. The staffs speak English very well, and very friendly. The room is very comfortable with a sitting area and safety deposit box. The bathroom was well decorated. The restaurant at the hotel is really great. The breakfast buffet is great with diverse fresh juices and fruits, and the al-la-carte dinner is also great with wonderful atmosphere and wonderful music.
The Tabacon hot spring is a must with a really fantastic view and awesome hot spring waters. It is really amazing. The pool area by the hot springs is also great. There are various pools of varying sizes and temperatures. The hot springs are a short walk from the hotel, about 5 minutes

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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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, September 27, 2012
Dear Chul A

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to write your feedback and shre it with us. On behalf of Tabacon`s staff I will like to thank you for the warm and positive comments regarding your stay! Our aim is to always give a superior customer service and I am glad to see that the team members went above and beyond to make your stay more comfortable. I will post this comment, as well as the other comments on our blackboard and share your feedback with them. Every area of the Hotel mentioned on your review; gardens, resort, pools , rooms and the restaurants are well kept by all the employees.
We have been promoting our new a-la cart menu at our Restaurant los Tucanes and your comments encourage us to keep improving. As well the live jazz music is relatively new in the restaurant and our clients love it.
The Hotel has its own pool right next to the Restaurante Los Tucanes, but 5 min walking down the road we have our resort area with many different pools, in size and even in temperature all surrounded by the rainforest. The resort is difficult to describe, for sure unique in the world, the combination of the location and the flora and fauna. Best is to experience it…..
It would be a pleasure to welcome you back in the future.

Best Regards,

Daniel Pape
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

This hotel isn't like any other hotel you will come across.

The hotel style is more than any other hotel and the uniqueness of the hot springs. They are naturally and there are so many that everyone finds his own magic spring.

The service here is beyond what you even can imagine.

My wife and I have been here for honey moon on August 2012.

I highly recommend this one in a life hotel. I'm sure I will come back here very soon!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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, September 27, 2012
Dear Kobizu,

Thank you very much that you took the time to write us your experience. The feedback of our clients gives us a very important orientation on our performance. It makes us happy to read that your experience in Tabacon made your honeymoon an unforgettable stay!
It is our aim to ensure all guest at our Hotel enjoy the service and atmosphere as you have. It is our aim is to give a superior customer service and I am happy to read that the whole team exceeded your expectations to make your stay more comfortable.
It is nice to read that you are planning to visit us again in the future, it will be a pleasure to have you again with us.

Best regards,

Daniel Pape
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Austin, Texas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

We spent our honeymoon at Tabacon and expected more from the staff, food and rooms. I feel like we were just another number upon greeting. You are given a plastic wristband that you must keep on your entire stay. It made us feel like we were at a theme park. We were not given any kind of ground tour, just a map. We stayed in the rain forest suite, which was spacious and fairly comfortable. It felt like a regular hotel. The bedding is made with goose down feathers, and the humid climate does not do well with feathers. We felt like we were sleeping on wet smelly feathers with no support. We were really looking forward to a romantic bath, but the tub would never fill up past .25 inch. A couple days the hot water wasn't working, although once we told them, it was fixed. They let us check in right after someone else left, so the bathroom amenities were never replaced. Good thing we had our own. The food was just ok. I honestly barely ate because it wasn't flavorful or interesting. And way overpriced for the quality. We tried both restaurants and the bar and never loved any meal. I didn't like feeling pressured to fill out survey/comment cards directly after meals or spa treatments. We should be given the option at the end of our visit, not bothering us so they can have good reviews on the spot. The one thing that saved our trip was the actual hot springs. They were incredibly beautiful and relaxing. We also had to find our own way to the springs by walking about 5-10 minutes down the street. It would be nice to have staff show us around and what to expect. I think they try to be accommodating, but they may just be too big. If you are looking for a beautiful location, this was great...but if you are looking for a welcoming comfortable stay, I can't highly recommend. We also had spent the previous 6 days at a lovely place in Santa Teresa and were spoiled with staff and comfort and food. So this was a hard transition.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, September 27, 2012
Dear Mr. & Mrs. ValerieHB,

Thank you very much for taking the time to writte and share with us your experience. We do appreciate a lot your feedback regarding your stay with us.
I'm very sorry for the inconvenience you experienced in our room and Restaurants I will address your concerns with the Director of Housekeeping and the Director of Food and Beverage to ensure this kind of situations is avoided in the future. During your next stay with us, please do not hesitate to call down to the front desk and inform them of the situations as they will be happy to make sure we give you a sight inspection and a room attendant addresses your room right away. In cases the food is not as expected it would be a pleasure to prepare the food as expected after a private conversation.
I hope you give us the opportunity to surpass your expectations on your next visit!

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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Los Angeles
Level Contributor
35 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

The Spa and the hot springs are amazing, amazing, but the hotel is just average. The hotel doesn't feel like a 5-star but maybe that's just costa rica for you. We didn't have any fresh towels upon check-in and we had to call the front desk twice for towels. The beds were comfortable and the view of the volcano from our room was beautiful. The bathrooms were very dark. The internet connection throughout the hotel was pretty good.Good fresh coffee in the lobby every morning and nice gym area. The food there is extrememly expensive and your only options are super expensive restaturant or a super expensive buffett. If you want to see something different, take a 15min cab ride into La Fortuna or go to the restaurant next to the resort, up the street from the hot springs. That place was great.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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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, September 27, 2012
Dear Trojanheart05

Thank you very much for taking the time to write us your feedback and for sharing it with us. We do appreciate your feedback is very much as it helps us to improve. I apologize for the situation you experienced when housekeeping did not refresh your room with clean. I will address your concerns with the Director of Rooms Division to ensure this situation does not happen again in the future. In regards to our Food Menus it is a pleasure to inform you that our F&B team made some actualizations of the Food menus. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back on your next trip to Costa Rica, to give us the opportunity to surpass your expectations on your next visit!.

Best regards
Daniel Pape
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My 16-year old nieces and I just spent three days at Tabacon and had a wonderful experience.

We were fortunate to get connecting rooms in the 300-331 set of sweet, which have a direct view on the volcano. I have included a picture to show how cool the view is!

We found the rooms to our liking. The rooms were spacious and nicely appointed. The beds were good, the bathrooms large, nice chocolates as part of the turn down service, wifi was fast. For the little time we spent in the room, no complaints about the room. And did I mention the view?

The only downside is that the room package only provided one free internet connection per room. With two teenagers, a personal phone, work phone and laptop, you can imagine how many devices require wifi capabilities. As a general comment for all hotels (especially luxury hotels) build in free wifi for all into your pricing. Having to hear teenagers working out who gets to use the wifi at what time is not a relaxing aspect to a vacation.

Every night we went to the spa – rain or shine. We started with the pools and then explored our way around the thermal pools on the campus. It is amazing to be sitting in a warm pool staring at stars on a crystal clear evening. You cannot get such a view in the north east of the U.S.! We must have spent 3 hours each day in the spa area (the Japanese spa area is the most relaxing).

Since the cost of the hotel was $195 a night and the cost of the spa is $60 a day, the free spa entrance may make Tabacon the best value hotel I may have every stayed at. The pools were a huge hit with my nieces! Considering that you would spend $300+ a night in New York and not come anywhere as close to these amenities or $400+ a night at the Breakers in Palm Beach and have no thermal pools, I am surprised at the hotel room cost comments?!?!

My nieces liked the buffet dinner offered at the spa (Abe del Paraiso Restaurant). As commented by others, I think the buffet is a bit over priced. Especially for the amount of food offered at the buffet. While I am not expecting the buffet spread offered by a Vegas casino, for $40 a plate, there should have been more appetizer and entree offerings. The second evening we found out there was a less expensive buffet option for the teenagers, but the meal was still expensive. The dessert table is top notch (and favored by teenagers). The coffee table was a bit weak – I would have expected better coffee. I would say $25 would be an good price point for the food that was provided.

There have been several comments about the friendliness of the staff. I found all the porters to be very friendly. When we arrived, one staff member gave my nieces binoculars to see the monkey and the sloth. And when I turned around we had a welcome fruit drink. One porter, Juan, took special care of us during our stay. He offered great local advice on what to see and where to go. Other staff members stopped what they were doing to drive us around in golf carts when it was raining. The shuttle driver to the spa turned around when one niece left her cell phone at the restaurant. All in all, great service.

I have already recommend Tabacon to my friends.

Room Tip: For a great volcano view: Ask for Rooms in the 300-331series. Pretty sure any room in that building...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, October 3, 2012
Dear Palestra_1988

it is very significant to be noticed about the outstanding and enjoyable time you have spent at Tabacon with your nieces.

Tabacon is a great family destination for sharing and spending exceptional times to always cherish. We sincerely appreciate your review and would like to let you know that your commentary regarding WIFI is being analyzed.
As mentioned by you, our rate is really low since it has included the entrance to our unique hot springs. Also, it is important to mention that you can use our resort even the day you check out until 10:00 pm as an added value to our guests.
We have different buffet every night, including Costa Rican, Mediterranean, Mexican buffet, among others.
In regards to your comment about the friendliness of our staff, I really appreciate you allow us to know this positive feedback. You can be totally sure that Juan will be aware about your remark.
Please keep in mind that you, your relatives and friends are always very welcomed any time you wish to come.

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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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 Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#13 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#15 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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