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“Awesome location and great rooms” 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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Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Awesome location and great rooms”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013 via mobile

In Feb 2013 we stayed at a suite at the Tabacon spa in Costa Rica. Our room was spectacular suite overlooking the jungle and with an enormous bath tub. The resort is clean and very well located. Limited areas for dinner and bit expensive. If you want to go to town (la fortuna) is a $10 taxi ride.
The hot springs are just amazing and a must do in Costa Rica.
Service in the hotel is not up to par with the $600 per night rate. We got misinformed on several aspects and the check in was very cumbersome. There are several other good hotels in the area but nothing as close to the springs.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Dear Gemsinvestments
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, we are glad that you had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica and stayed with us. Our aim is to offer a memorable experience. We were blessed with a completely natural setting and the natural hot spring river makes Tabacon really unique. We are glad you enjoyed your suite and the rainforest view. Our aim is to improve every day and we would appreciate if you contact us directly at customerservice@tabacon.com to provide more details about your check in experience.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (234)
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Toronto
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

This was truly a magical day for my boyfriend and I - we opted for a full day pass, including lunch and dinner, and were certainly able to fill our time from 11am to 9pm. The review below is therefore based on being a day pass guest and not staying at the hotel.

My biggest tip would be to bring water shoes with you! Several of the pools have quite rocky bottoms that may cause your feet to be sore, or make you explore them very tentatively. I wish someone had told me to bring mine! You've been warned!

Highlights:

1. It was a bit rainy earlier in the day, so the hot springs were quite empty. it was perfect to have several of the pools empty to ourselves. i recommend spending as much time in the pools around meal times, while other visitors are at the restaurant.

2. Definitely find your way to the adults only area towards the back of the property. The "shangri la gardens". There are plenty of towels that are easily available (a nice change from the strict towel rules they communicate at the entrance), a bar, lovely 'sultan like' tents, and modern lighting that changes colors at night. It was magical, and perfect for a mid afternoon nap.

3. The drinks at the pool bar are quite expensive relative to other hotels/options. $10-12 each for daiquiris, mojitios etc, $7-8 for beer. Since there is no mention of outside food or drink policies in the rules posted at the resort, I'm sure that if you were discrete about bringing in snacks and even your own beer you could.

4. The spa looked AMAZING! There are private treatment rooms/cabanas in one area, and although I didn't have a treatment, peaking into the rooms was impressive. I would however note though that prices reflect the surrounding. Costs were at least 20-30% higher than the other spa resort I stayed at. 1 hour massage would be cheaper at 5 star hotel in Toronto or New York instead of Tabacon.

5. The meals were GREAT! Lunch in the full day package is plated - options from quite a few local as well as "north american" options. The risotto looked amazing, I had the crusted Tuna and was blown away. Dinner is a buffet style, which I believe changes themes daily - we had Moroccan, which was fairly good - but not as impressive as lunch. Free freshly squeezed fruit juice/smoothie of your choice is included at both meals - a nice touch. Wine menu is pricey, but there are some affordable options instead of $11 - $12/glass, try $22/bottle rose, or $39/bottle options.

While we had a great time, and have TONS of lovely photos, a few considerations for them to improve upon:

- Hotel guests come to the hot springs with their robes. I wish they would offer this for day guests.
- There is only 1 central bathroom location (main change rooms), so you have to walk a long way around winding paths to reach them. I'd think more easily accessible bathrooms would prevent people from being lazy and possibly using the hot springs as a bathroom (I got the feeling some people stayed in the pools way too long to not have to pee).
- change rooms are nicely appointed but can really get packed when large tour groups come and go. you then feel incredibly cramped.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 vacation_girl_canada

Thank you so much for your appraisal, it is very rewarding to be informed about the pleasant experience you and your boyfriend enjoyed during your stay with us. We are glad you had the opportunity to relax in our natural thermal mineral springs and also take a nap at Shangri-La Gardens. Our thermal springs are in a completely natural setting that's why wearing water shoes is strongly recommended. Every single night we have a different theme buffet at Ave del Paraiso Restaurant with traditional and international dishes. The Grand Spa is one of the top eco-spas in Latin America and we offer a completely different experience from regular spas, all treatments are rendered in open air bungalows surrounded by nature all of them with private Jacuzzi, there is also a relaxation area where a thermal Jacuzzi and special amenities as our special fruit therapies smoothies are included during your visit. We would love to receive you as our guest in the near future!

Warm regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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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
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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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
84 reviews 84 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 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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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
#15 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#18 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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