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“Spa visit only” 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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Scottsdale, Arizona
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Spa visit only”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012 via mobile

As far as visits to a hot springs go, this is definitely a good one. The grounds are beautiful. The pools have man made additions to enhance the asthetics but are mainly natural. The water isn't deep. Finding a natural or man made "seat" in the pools is hard to come by. The water temp was tolerable - not one pool was unbearably hot. The cold pool was a standard tiled pool you find at any resort. It wasn't cold, though. A buffet dinner was included in my package and it was delicious. Everything tasted amazing! The cocktails are pricey - ~$11US for a fruity drink that doesn't have much alcohol in it. Beers are expensive, too - ~$6US for a can of Bavaria.

Stayed September 2012
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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 The-New-Mexican,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write us your experience here on TripAdvisor. It is a pleasure to read that you had a nice experience visiting our grounds. The Hot springs are difficult to find again in the world, as of its location at the base of a Volcano, with a hot water river and the tropical gardens. Each of our guests can find in the various different sized and temperature pools their favorite. For me it is a pleasure to read that you enjoyed our service during your stay with us.

Best regards,

Daniel Pape
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1,982 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (289)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2012 via mobile

I have been here many times and it just keeps getting better. Rooms are comfortable and it is an easy walk to the hot springs if you don't want to take the shuttle. The spa is A-MAZ-ING! The restaurant is way overpriced and you should just do your meals in town instead.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 4 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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dpape, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, September 24, 2012
Dear Queensoftheroad

Thank you very much for taking the time to share with us your experience here on TripAdvisor. I am glad to see that the constant improvements we are doing are making your experience each visit better. As you mention that it is a short walk down the from the Hotel to the Resort I would like to comment that even on this short walk our clients sometimes have the chance to see a Coati or a Sloth. This reminds us that the property is in the middle of the rain forest. Our Spa is as well in the middle of this natural paradise, in between two rivers and therefore the background sound is the water going down the river.

Best regards,

Daniel
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We visited the Tabacon hot springs for a full day pass including lunch and dinner. We got there and the check in was fairly easy and had lunch right away. The waiter was very keen on us getting drinks and we were under the impression that they were included in the lunch. He never told us that they weren't or that they were RIDICULOUSLY overpriced. It was a bad move on his part and left a very bad impression on us. They didn't even have steak knives. I think my fingers almost got cut up trying to eat my horrible piece of steak. WE had 2 alcoholic drinks and a pop for 26 dollars and he was a horrible waiter. I don't know where these people get off charging that kind of money for their mediocre food and bad service. It's terrible to see how badly these places overcharge because they know they're a popular destination. The hot springs were beautiful regardless and the grounds were very nice and well kept. I guess just don't get ripped off with their drinks!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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, October 3, 2012
DearQueenS91,

first of all I want to thank you for taking the time to write us about your experience, we do appreciate to receive your feedback as it helps us to improve. It is a pleasure to read that you had a nice time in our Resort area. The different sized pools we have in the middle of a big tropical garden ensure the perfect relaxing atmosphere. Indeed we have a big team of gardeners and maintenance staff to make sure that our customer live a nice and soothing experience. I am sorry for the inconvenient you experienced in our Restaurant. We have implemented a standard operation procedure in order to avoid this situation in the future.
It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in the near future to be able to show you that we took your comment very seriously. Best regards

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

the thermal waters are spectacular...the service is great, the rooms are spacious and luxurious.....the vacation is nice for a couple, singles or families as well. lots of great activities all around
The atmosphere is so relaxing..the food is great,,,,,you must take some tours to a wonderful places like volcano, horseback riding, white water rafting, zip line etc etc etc

Room Tip: the newer rooms are great!!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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, October 3, 2012
Dear Noegucovschi

Thanks for writing about your visit to our premises. It is our pleasure to become aware of your stay at Tabacon and the cheerful experience you have had. Tabacon is located at an ideal spot location with all main attractions nearby, this helps our visitors enjoy our property and at the same time the tours and main attractions of La Fortuna. All our accommodations and services are always updated in order to be of full comfort and enjoyment for our customers. Tabacon is definitely a must do experience. We sincerely wish to welcome you back shortly.

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garden Grove, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

My experience staying at Tabacon had been horrible…HORRIBLE. First of all, Tabacon is the third of five hotels that I was staying during my trip at Costa Rica. Due to rave reviews that I have read about this place, I had decided to splurge a little and give this place a try. It started out with checking into this hotl when we arrived, we were received very coldly when we arrived. Nothing special and I do not feel super welcome like how it was when we visited the other hotels. Essentially, there was no costa rican touch at all. When we checked in, I confirmed my reservation through jet setter for 4 people, staying in two rooms requesting 2 queen beds. However, upon checking in, Erick from the hotel who helped me checking in told me that I made reservation for only ONE person per room requesting 2 queen beds per room, AND they need to charge me for additional person per room because I only made reservation for one person per room. First of all, who on earth would reserve a room with 2 queen beds if only one person staying and it is basically the industry’s standard to allow maximum 2 occupancy per room, as stated on jet setter policy when I made the reservation. In addition, when I made the reservation via jet setter, I reserved the room with actually no of people staying. However, when I printed my confirmation, it did not specify no of people staying. After much explaining, Erick still insisted that I need to pay additional $68/room/day. I decided that I needed to talk to the manager and requesting for a meet. He immediately was on the phone with the manager and received alignment from manager that I will not be charged for the “additional” person. The manager of conde nast recommended hotel with “5 star” rating and part of “world best leading hotel series” was too busy to come up to the front desk and resolve this problem with its guests after the hotel messed it up. Erick hastily sent us to our rooms after one of the most unpleasant check in I have ever had in my life and embarrassment that I had to endure especially when I was also bringing several guests with me. To top it off, the hotel did not even try to make an effort to compensate for the mistake that they have made to the guests.

Having had unpleasant check out experience, I decided that I should wait till checking out to address this issue when asked about my stay in the hotel as many of other hotels do. Unfortunately, during our stay with Tabacon, we also experience an earthquake during the day time. An earthquake of a magnitude of 7.6 hit Guanacaste and we experience the ripple effect of the earthquake. I was walking in a corridor of the hotel at that time and decided to make a run to an open space expecting staff of hotel trying to evacuate all its guests to a safe evacuation area and try to maintain calm with their guests. Instead, what I see was guests running towards open area without any guidance from hotel staffs. Hotel staffs run to open area, looking confused and very panicked and instead of issuing emergency evacuation drill like what I would expect any leading hotels staff would do in an area with a volcano, they were talking among themselves
Instead, looking panicked and confused.

After the horrible stay at Tabacon, I have compiled all the issues that I have during the stay and would love to discuss it with the hotel staff or manager when I check out. Unfortunately, when I checked out, the staff did not even mentioned and asked how was my stay, instead, she was more concerned if I took anything from the minibar and discussing numbers and figures and not customer satisfaction.

All in all, I was extremely disappointed with my stay with Tabacon. I expected so much more from a hotel which has received so many recognitions. I received so much more comfort and welcome from other supposedly “less recognized” hotel.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

We just checked into Tabacon thermal Hot Springs resort , Costa Rica what a beautiful place there was a 7.6 earthquake when we arrived but there was no damage in this area the hotel is beautiful the Hot Springs are wonderful natural Hot Springs plenty of pools areas for couples to just lounge around and hear all the beautiful birds and animals in the trees. The staff was very pleasant upon arrival the rooms are very very nice rooms BUT bring your own pillow. We went to the Hot Springs bar and had one appetizer and 4 drinks the ck came to $110 and they measure their shots. so I would suggest bring your own alcohol. We haven't experienced any excursions yet due to the earthquake but we are going to zip line ...water rafting ..and quads will give you updates after excursions

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Brooklyn
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

When I first arrived at the hotel, I was unimpressed. The pulling-up-and checking in process was less warm-and-easy as the Costa Verde and duly less interesting than the Peace Lodge. I thought the lobby and check in process was a but cheesy, and yes, just another Britt gift shop.

However, after settling into my room and the neighboring grounds, I became at ease. It wasn't until we eveninged in the Tabacon Spa, ate the Tandoor menu foods, and bathed in the various waters was I to understand this is a 5 star location and a 5 star destination. Some places offer the luxury in the room, glossy setting or great pools. Tabacon has a volcano (and the attendant hot springs) in its backyard. Impressive, to say the least. Don't walk, run to this place. But remember you are not in Key West or something. Be nice, learn a few words in Spanish, and relax. It's a slower pace place. Bring snacks, the minibar is an overcharge.

Room Tip: I had an upper floor in the regular room block (406 approx) turned out to have a Volcano view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 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, September 15, 2012
Dear OliverBrooklyn,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review on Trip Advisor. We truly appreciate your feedback regarding your stay with us. It is nice to know that your experience went far beyond your first impression. Tabacon is a place to be tasted and experienced. It is indeed beautiful at human sight, but to have the real personal experience of swinging all around the majestic natural hot springs born at the feed of the Volcano, it is just unbelievable. Our gardens are the perfect place to relax and to experience a real connection with nature. It gives our clients the possibility to experience something that is difficult to describe with words or pictures. I hope to be able to welcome you back soon.

Best regards

Daniel Pape
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#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 
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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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