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“Amazing Hot Springs, Hotel Overrated” 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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Brooklin
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing Hot Springs, Hotel Overrated”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We spent one night in the Arenal area on our vacation, and it was highly recommended that we stay here. I'm glad we did, the place was beautiful and the hot springs at Tabacon we indescribable! I would highly recommend it for at least one night.
Our room at the resort was a bit of a disappointment since this is supposed to be one of the leading hotels in the world. The bathroom was poorly cleaned and it certainly lacked luxury.
The breakfast buffet more than made up for it though.... It was amazing! The food was delicious and there was a lot of variety.
It would probably be worth paying to spend a day at the hot springs and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Lisa3452

We very much appreciate your review! Tabacon´s main philosophy is to offer a memorable experience to all our guest in the middle of the rainforest, the natural beauty of our hot springs and the sounds of nature become part of your vacation experience. Regarding to the rooms, I understand we did not met your expectations and it will also be very helpful if you could contact me directly to customerservice@tabacon.com if you would like to share additional feedback about your experience, since we take all your comments very seriously and we include your recommendations in our renewal plans.

Best Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Tabacon resort for one night in March. We got a deal on bookit.com for $220. Considering access to the hot springs is $65 pp and we were going to visit their hot springs regardless, it was an incredible price to stay the night with unlimited access to hot springs.

HOTEL - Room was more than expected, very clean, house coats were the best I've ever had, very spacious, huge bathroom
RESTAURANT - Open air restaurant, service and food were 5 star. I had the fish, my husband the steak. On the expensive side though (expected)
HOT SPRINGS - Absolutely gorgeous. They even had a man made warm pool with slide and swim up bar. Was easy to charge our drinks to our room bill from here. We used the springs at night (closed at 10pm) and in the morning, felt like we had the area to ourselves despite it being high season in Costa Rica. I'm sure this is different between 10am-6pm when tour buses visit.
RESORT- Nicely laid out, easy to get around, very clean. Beautifully landscaped, plenty of open sunchairs around the pool, english speaking, great customer service and feel. The staff are at your disposal. Easy to get to, no dirt roads
Didnt use the spa since we only stayed one night, walked past it, looked just like it does in the photos

  • Stayed March 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Sunchaser 1104

We deeply appreciate your review, we loved the fact that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you took advantage of the complimentary access to the hot springs that is include in all our room rates. We firmly believe that every single detail is part of Tabacon experience, our natural environment helps turn vacations into moments of perfect relaxation, where hotel, food and beverages options, the hot springs, customized service and the spa creates a perfect combination for a memorable vacation. Our country is full of surprises we are glad you get to see Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort as part of your Costa Rica Trip. We look forward to receive you again at the resort in the near future!

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Montreal
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

This five star spa built on the Tabacón hot springs is beautifully laid out with amazing natural & artificial pools to take in the thermal baths. The waters have no sulfuric smell which makes it very pleasant. As you go downstream, amid waterfalls and pools the temperature lowers.The gardens are superb with fountains, exotic flowers, terraces with tented lounges, swinging benches and patio chairs. The Shangrila section is reserved for adults. The pool area has several options at varying temperatures with a waterslide. There is a pool bar and terrace restaurant that offers excellent meals, including evening buffet. A small gift shop offers snacks, clothing and souvenirs. The spa is part of the hotel complex but we just went for the day. We found the setting beautiful, the ammenities first class. Recommend water shoes.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear MajaMontreal

Thank you for taking the time and share your review with us, we appreciate it. At our Resort our guests are able to enjoy more than 20 different natural pools, ponds and waterfalls surrounded by lush tropical gardens that makes their experience so unique. We offer different meal options at the resort including Arenal Pool Bar and our Ave del Paraíso restaurant that offers a wide range of dishes and also a theme buffet every night with the most delicious blend of traditional and international flavors. We are sincerely grateful for your visit and we hope to receive you at the resort soon.

Best regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
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 March 9, 2013

My friend and I stayed at the Tabacon Hotel for two nights in February. After a long bus journey it was lovely to be greeted with a drink and have a golf buggy take us to our room. The twin room we stayed in was very nice with two double beds, air conditioning, a hairdryer, massive TV, a safe, dressing gown and everything else you could possibly need! Additionally to tidying your room in the morning, the maids also prepare the bed for you in the evening and leave a chocolate, which is a very nice touch. Breakfast was not included in our price, and is expensive. You can either pay for a buffet breakfast, or there are some a l carte options. The Toucan Restaurant at the hotel is lovely, though, and over looks the pool area.The spa is a short walk down the road, but if you ring reception they will organise a van to pick you up from your room and take you. Welcome to paradise! The spa consists of a restaurant and pool area, with a pool bar and water slide, a spa treatment centre and an adult only Shangri-la garden. The majority of the spa consists of the hot springs. Some pools are natural with pebble bottoms (probably best to keep flip flops on) and others have been tiled. It truly is magical bathing in one of these pools being surrounded by rainforest. The spa is open until 10 and they have lights all around so you can continue to wander round the paths, stroll over little wooden bridges and soak in the springs well into the evening. The Shangri-la gardens are located right in the middle of all the springs in a secluded area and provide a quiet place to relax out of the water, with big comfortable seats and chair swings. Food and drink can aslo be ordered here. All the staff were extreamly useful and the reception staff even helped us plan our journey to our next hotel. The only negative point I can say is that the food is expensive, but overall the whole experience was amazing and I would love to go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Sophie G

Thank you for your review, we are pleased that you and your friend decided to stay with us and live Tabacon experience, having the opportunity to relax in our natural thermal mineral springs for total relaxation. In regards to cuisine we offer different options: buffet, a la carte, and special snacks menus so you can choose between different options depending on your personal desires or take advantage of our packages if staying multiple nights. Our open-air facilities are surrounded by manicured gardens and primary forest so nature is always present during your vacation. We would love to receive you at our resort soon!

Sincerely
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

There are many nice places to stay if you want to visit the Arenal area, and Tabacon is one of them. Is it the fanciest? Not in my book unless you stay in a honeymoon suite or one of their two bedroom suites. What makes Tabacon special is the access to the Spa and Thermal Springs that others have to pay for. The rooms at the Nayara Hotel are much nicer but you have to pay to visit the Springs.
In fairness to the resort, the staff is great, the food in the dining room is very good, although somewhat spendy. Charging $7 for a bottle of water in the room is a bit much. At the same token, internet access is free which is important to many of us that have to travel a lot.
Would I stay there again in the future and is there value there? YES. I am going back with clients in November and hope that while we are there the rain forest is dry!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Reumann

We appreciate your comments, we are grateful for your visit. Tabacon has 102 guest rooms and suites divided into 7 different room categories, all them with different designs so our guests are able to select the most appropriate room depending on their preferences, our hotel rates includes free access to our award winning thermal springs and also internet. It will be an honor to receive you again in November, please let us know if we can serve you in any additional way prior to your visit. We look forward for your next visit.

Kindest regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Milwaukee
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We were committed to the Tabacon before my husband and I read the Trip Advisor reviews which promised unfriendly and unhelpful staff and surly waiters.....oh, oh. Well, during our visit to the Tabacon nothing was farther from the truth! Each person we encountered at the hotel couldn't have been more helpful. We signed on for a package in celebration of our 20th Wedding Anniversary so enjoyed the Honeymoon Suite, couples massage, gala dinner, breakfast buffet and unlimited use of the thermal springs. What a great romantic package.

Breakfast offered a great deal of variety. I especially enjoyed having the opportunity to sample local Costa Rican dishes. There were also traditional US offerings including omelets, pancakes, eggs, bacon etc. The friendly wait staff were quick to offer coffee and juice. By the way, Costa Rican coffee is great, but if you ask the "locals" they recommend the "1820" coffee brand and you should definitely buy it at the grocery store in La Fortuna. The gift shop did not have 1820 brand and what they did have for sale was much more expensive than the local grocery store.

If you are going with your significant other, save your pennies and get the couples massage offered at the spa. My husband and I routinely get massage, but this experience was unique! Done in a tropical "open air" bungalow with a trickling stream right next to the bungalow, we opted for no music in favor of the beautiful sounds of nature. The big two person bubble bath, after the massage, was a great surprise to us both. We enjoyed the thermal springs but apparently we were not gaga about it because we only visited it once.

Our gala dinner was also a wonderful experience. Offered in an open air bungalow with a private chef and personal waiter....couldn't have been more romantic and the food was top notch.

Our room offered a great view of Mt. Arenal (which was worth the price of admission}. Great bed, good linens. There were a few things that required maintenance attention and the water pressure wasn't great, but we were very comfortable in our room. I have to make one comment about the room that I found odd. While we had patio doors there was no patio or veranda to step out on to? Thought it would be fun to sit out and have my morning coffee, but.....

We found the concierge to be very helpful and friendly, offering information and following up with us to make sure everything was okay. The hotel had arranged transportation for us from the San Jose airport to the hotel. When weather delayed our flight we called and they were able accommodate a much later pickup at the airport and a much later arrival at the hotel.What a relief for us!

We would definitely recommend the Tabacon if you are visiting Costa Rica.

Room Tip: The honeymoon suites all seem to face Mt. Arenal and you definitely want that view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Trying2Retire

We appreciate your comments. First of all let us congratulate you for your wedding anniversary and for taking the decision of celebrate it in Costa Rica, it was an honor to received you as our guest at Tabacon having the opportunity to be part of this memorable occasion in your life. We are happy that you enjoyed every single detail of your vacation, we are glad you took advantage of our packages that include the most marvelous things for the most romantic escape. We are glad that you and your husband enjoyed our couple idyllic massage in the most relaxing setting surrounded by nature at our award winning Grand Spa. Our signature Gala Dinner invites you to enjoy a very special culinary event in an open air bungalow with your private chef and server, beautiful decoration with rose petals or tropical flowers on and around your table creating an aura of romance as the two of you enjoy a candlelight setting like no other. We wish you love and happiness for the years to come..

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

I stayed at the hotel on 12/21/2012 and there was a lot of bed bugs in
the bed that bit me. I made a complaint to the management and they look
at the bed bugs in my bed and they said they are sorry, and they will
take care of it later 2 maids came in with the vacume and they start
vacume the bed bugs from the end sides cornerof the bed, there was a lot
of bed bugs on each side. No one attempt to clean the room, only used a
vaccum. The Nurse and the manager inspected my Bed Dugs Injury and
pictures were taken as evidence

Room Tip: very bad customer service
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Dear Dave B

At Tabacon we appreciate feedback and reviews that our guests continuously share on Trip Advisor as a tool to improve our services, however, in this specific case we must vigorously deny the existence of bed bugs infestation in Tabacon´s facilities. Tabacon is an internationally awarded destination and highly ranked among the most luxurious and recommended resorts worldwide with high quality service and operational standards to offer a memorable experience. We documented your claim and the protocols followed attending it at the property, same as every response that we have provided to you, however, we will gladly explain again as it is our aim to provide with suitable information. First, we have encountered that the word bedbug has been misled from its real meaning; as not every mosquito or small insect is a bedbug. It is important to clarify that Tabacon is located in the middle of a rainforest an due to our natural surroundings sometimes insects are part of environment. To minimize guest concerns, we have properly equipped all our guest rooms and suites with high quality nets in windows to avoid insects to enter the rooms. To prevent from bedbugs, we use special mattresses and bed covers as well, technical information will be sent to your personal email to confirm what we have been explaining to you. Also we vacuum your bed again as per your request, however that is part of the deep cleaning procedure of every room at Tabacon, which is properly documented. Please feel free to contact our general manager, Katherine Carter at kcarter@tabacon.com if more information is required, as she has been the one following your claim since your stay at Tabacon and conducted the analysis that confirmed the inexistence of bedbugs and she will be very glad to clarify any information.

Kindest regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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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 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
#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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