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“Relax in paradise” 5 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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San José, San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
“Relax in paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Tabacon Grand Spa exceeded all of my expectations. I have lived in Costa Rica for several years and visited many hot springs, but Tabacon is above and beyond the rest. The grounds, with their exhuberant botanical gardens, are a feast for the eyes. The river with it's terraced waterfalls looks like something from a movie set of the Garden of Eden, and the hydromassaging waterfall soothed my aches. My children loved the thrill of the water slide, and I enjoyed escaping to Shangri La for a bit of quiet adult-only respite in the peace of luxurious settings. I highly recommend Tabacon to both couples looking for a romantic interlude and families who want to spend a relaxing time together.

  • Stayed December 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear Shannon,
We really appreciate all your feedback in regards to your visit, we are happy to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. Nature is important part of Tabacon experience and the natural thermal springs surrounded by the rainforest provides a unique ambient. We are glad you spend a relaxing time at Tabacon and we look forward to your visit soon!
Kindest Regards
Maricela Durán
Customer Service Director
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (239)
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English first
Sallisaw, OK
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This was our second trip to Tabacon, and the first for my sister and brother-in-law. It was my first trip in the winter season. Got to see the cloud forest area with the clouds in the forest. It sheds a whole different light on the area. The resort is fantastic. The rooms are spacious and clean, with daily cleaning services. The most comfortable beds we found on our whole adventure. Internet, TV, and phone are available. The spa continues to be one of my favorite places. It is just hard to beat sitting under a hot waterfall or in a hot water pool. While landscaped, the owners have done a good job of maintaining the integrity of the forest. It was a little cooler, and wetter, than during the dry season. Couldn't see the volcano during our trip, and the monkeys weren't around either. Los Tucanes restaurant serves a good breakfast buffet, if a little pricey. It is one of my favorite places to visit.

Room Tip: This is not your typical Costa Rican location. Its very upscale.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Chafraho,
We appreciate your review and we thank you for your preference. It is really nice to know you had the opportunity to visit us again with your sister and brother-in-law to get a relaxing experience at Tabacon. What makes Tabacon so unique is nature so we appreciate your comment about our conservation efforts, this is part of Tabacon Green activities and we are glad to share this with all our valued guest.
Warm regards Maricela Duran Customer Service Director
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed for two nights in a deluxe room. We decided to stay here for the free entry to the springs, as we had planned to visit them anyway, and the cost of accommodation elsewhere in a similar standard of resort was comparable.

The rooms are well appointed and clean, and maintenance in good order. Like any good five star hotel, any extras were charged at high profit margins. Our room had a fantastic view of the volcano, and there was a sense of privacy and seclusion which was delightful.

The food at the in-house restaurant was of an excellent standard, and the staff at the restaurant paid great attention to small details. For instance, our dessert on the last night, the wait staff noticed that it was our last evening there, and they wrote a brief farewell message on the dessert place in chocolate sauce. It's this kind of attention to detail that separates a great service from a good service. Prices, however, were very much on the high side.

The major failing of this resort is that it's located well away from town. It's too far to walk, and the cost of taxis and the charge for the hotel's shuttle discourages you from leaving their premises. This is great if you want a resort to spend time at, not so great if you want to explore the town under your own steam.

I concur with the dominant view of the springs - somewhat priced on the high side, but good for what you get.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Nerdag
Thank you for taking the time and share your review with us, we appreciate it. As you mention all our hotel guest has unlimited access to the hot spings resort during their stay so you are able to enjoy different natural pools, ponds and waterfalls sorrounded by lush tropical gardens that makes the experience so unique. Tabacon`s main objective is to offer a world class service and attention to details makes the difference so we constantly customize our guest experience as the beautiful example you share in regards to the dessert. We do offer 2 different restaurants one located at the hotel that is our fine dining restaurant and a second one located at the hot spirngs area where you can get snacks, buffet options with a range of prices. We really hope to receive you again at the resort in the near future.
Cordially Maricela Durán Customer Service Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

The one drawback we had (which wasn't much to complain about) was that the hot springs weren't right outside our door.

Tabacon was our stop on the first leg of our Costa Rica Adventure. We got a deal on the room through Expedia. The resort was nice, the staff was pleasant and well, uh oh... the AC didn't work in our room & the Fan was broken. We called to complain and maintenance came right out to check it out and could not figure out the problem. We then asked for a new room, unfortunately there were no more rooms like ours available so they did the only decent thing they could do - UPGRADE. We were brought to a super duper deluxe suite and were floored. It was a beautiful room with a patio, rain shower, his & hers sinks, jacuzzi & bubble bath. Also, this was by far the most comfortable bed we slept in - in Costa Rica.

Next to the hot springs. There was something like 17 springs and you can get lost trekking through the maze trying to find them all. They are beautiful, hot and so relaxing to sit in and let a waterfall batter your shoulders like a great massage. It wasn't too crowded (could be because it was a slow time of year). The springs are down the road a bit. you can walk there - no big deal, not a long walk, you can drive if you have a car or they have a shuttle that can bring you down there. If you are staying with the hotel, you have unlimited access to all of the springs, spring fed pool and swim up bar - don't forget to try the waterslide. :-)

overall, if you want a nice relaxing, adult experience and want to splurge a bit, you must check this place out.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Briguy We appreciate your time for sharing your comments with us. We apologize for the inconvenient you had with your air conditioner during your stay we already pass this information to our operation manager to follow out and avoid this situation in the future. We are glad to know you enjoyed the upgrade, as you could notice we do our best to offer a pleasant experience to our guest. In regards to the hot springs area, as you notice this is a natural river that goes through the property by gravity, this makes Tabacon so unique and I totally agree with you that all our guest must try the waterslide, it will be a lot of fun. We look forward to welcome you back in the near future.
Warm regards Maricela Durán Customer Service Director
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United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

This is an amazing property! I can't say enough good things about this site. The rooms were beautiful and clean, the staff was extremely attentive. The food on the grounds was good. Everything at the hotel was expensive however, this is a tourist area. I would highly recommend this property, especially for a honeymoon destination. I would not recommend this for children though.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Travel12US We very much appreciate your review. Tabacon main philosophy is to offer a memorable experience to all our guest and we are glad to know we met your expectations, the hot springs and the rainforest make our resort a great place for honeymooners as you mention and we love to share with the couples this important ocassion. We also have special packages for families as well some children love the hot springs. We really look forward to receive you as our guest again in the near future.
With kindest regards
Maricela Durán Customer Service Director
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Plantation
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Our stay here made our Costa Rica trip a trip to remember. We were upgraded to the Tabacon Suite for our 8 night stay and LOVED it. Our last night we were then upgraded to the Master Suite which made our stay even more memorable. This place aims to please and serve. The customer service is genuine, warm and very attentive. The resort itself is luxurious and breathtaking. The hot springs are surreal and so clean and beautiful. The spa experience is worth the trip alone. Unique bungalows in the rainforest, equipped with a jacuzzi tub make the experience romantic and so relaxing. The food is fantastic, a little pricey, but well worth it. We'll be back here for sure.

Room Tip: I was able to see all the rooms they had to offer and I think my favorite one (other than the Master...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Ashley F
On behalf of Tabacon team we would like to thank you for taking the time and share with us your valued review. We are really glad to learn that the visit to Tabacon was a success, we are looking forward to welcome you soon in our Resort in the near future. In the meantime, please let us know if there is anything you would love that we provide to make Tabacon experience even better, feel free to contact us directly at guestservice@tabacon.com if you would like to share with us any additional feedback.
With Kindest Regards
Maricela Durán Customer Service Director
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Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

At $400 a night, maybe my expectations were too high. But I don't think so. It is true that the night manager did switch us to a brilliantly large suite after I complained about the quality of privacy in the standard rooms (there is no sound proofing protection). The extra space helped as we are a family of four, however, we encountered the same privacy challenge in the newer, larger suite. So, no matter what you pay, you will probably include the conversations of your neighbors in your holidays,

A couple other disappointments were that the hot springs are actually completely man made (hot water is pumped in to flowing cold water streams) and that there were no activities at all for children. No trails to walk on their 700-acre property. No game room. Just bars in/out of artificially heated water water and overly expensive restaurants where the service is hit or miss (I actually had to request a manager to not include the service charge on one occasion after the waiter failed to refill our waters or even acknowledge our calls).

In summary, shop around for other hot springs close by to see if you can get a better deal. You might have to deal with the same challenges that we did at Tabacon, but at least you will pay less for them.

Room Tip: State that you require a sound proofed room.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
TabaconGuestService, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
Dear Ajtraicoff Family Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and tell us why our service failed to meet your expectations. We have addressed your concerns to management immediately. I understand your frustration in regards to sound proofing protection, and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to you. We would really appreciate if you contact us back to guestservice@tabacon.com, and let us know your room number, in order to address the sound proof problem and also follow up your personal concern. On the other hand, after reading you comment I feel you were not able to visit all our property, as the area you are mentioning, seems to be the kids pool area, where cold water from a second river is added to the hot springs river, into man made pools seeking to lower temperature, as most kids enjoy. The 100% natural hot springs river, is located on the upper side of the property, following paths into the rain forest where natural pools and cascades from Tabacon River are surrounded by majestic gardens. In other words, we do not heat water artificially, there are two different rivers that are born in our property and we mix the water of these two rivers in order to get the different temperatures of the pools. Tabacon hot springs are really unique and natural, due to the magical and relaxing ambiance colored up with the tropical rainforest, indeed people can decide either to swim in the pools or at the natural river, which unfortunately I think you missed, but we hope to have the pleasure of serving you again in the future; so that we can restore your confidence in Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Cordially, Maricela Durán Customer Service Director
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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
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
#14 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#17 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*
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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