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“The only place to stay” 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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Long Beach, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The only place to stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

We stayed for two nights, which gave us three days to explore and enjoy the Spa and Resort. After the long drive it was nice to have a cool drink and then head over to the water. My husband enjoyed a massage and we found a secluded spot to unwind in the incredible warm water. The next day we sat at the Spa pool (hotel pool under construction with caution tape) in the morning and found the Shangri-La gardens with a private cabana facing the volcano in the afternoon. Prior to leaving we walked the grounds one last time and took more photos of flowers, lizards and the river. I can't think that there would be nicer Spa/Resort grounds--they were much more developed than I had imagined, large and very well taken care of.
The only down side was the view of the closed pool from the restaurant, and the hefty food/beverage prices.
There was a coffee maker and toaster in the room and the pre-ordered room service breakfast did provide an option to the buffet breakfast (which was good.)
I would book it again!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 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, May 10, 2013
Dear Rene

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, we are glad that you stayed with us. We are really pleased that your husband enjoyed his massage at The Grand Spa, this is a unique experience. We apologize for any inconvenience you had due to one pool closed at the hotel because of maintenance but we are also glad you had the opportunity to experience our 872 acres resort, with over 20 pools and cascades of thermal mineral spring water and different temperatures that is functioning under normal operation. We would love to receive you at the resort as our guest in the near future.

Sincerely
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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1,909 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 (269)
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Cambridge Springs
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Tour we did included lodging at resort, and use of the hot springs amenities across the street. The resort hotel is excellent, but the Hot Springs section is just super awesome. Beautiful at night, bunches of hot water falls to soak in, great landscaped gardens, good food at the main buffet at the springs.... Restaurants at the resort are upscale/pricey as you might expect. This resort/spa is rated as one of the top 5 in the world, and I can see why.. I would recommend at least a two night stay on your travels through Costa Rica minimum.. Internet service was good from rooms, etc.

Room Tip: Small lobby bar has good food at reasonable fees. Views of Arenal Volcano from rooms on the 2nd floo...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear CharlieB24

We appreciate your valuable comments. We are pleased that you have decided to stay with us and live Tabacon experience. Having the opportunity to relax in natural thermal mineral springs and get some rest in a comfortable room is the perfect mix for total relaxation. We do offer 2 different restaurants, Los Tucanes Restaurant located at the hotel premises that is our fine dining restaurant and Ave del Paraiso located at the hot springs with buffet options. You can also select a snack menu in our Arenal Pool Bar or Caña Barva lobby bar. We would love to receive you again at our resort soon!

Warm regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Bronx, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

Everyone at the hotel are very attentive. The hot springs are not in the hotel as you would expect although they are not far away. It's about a 15min walk or a free shuttle to get to. I just feel that they make it seem that the springs are right where the guests stay which is not accurate. The hot springs are awesome there are so many that you can pick a secluded one to spend some alone time w your mate if you so chose. They also have an adults only portion called shang hai which was extremely relaxing and had the best club sandwiches & the guacamole was pretty good as well. Expect to pay $150-200 per day on food and drinks. If you decide to go off the property for dinner they have private taxis which run $15 each way, and dinner for 2 with drinks will be about $50, which is way less expensive for dinner at least. Breakfast runs about $18-23, or the buffet which is $30. All in all the rooms are nice and have twinnings tea & cafe britt at no fee. Also they give you plenty of bathroom amenities, including robes, colgate toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, shaver, etc. which is a nice touch. Also you can see arenal volcano from the hot springs although I couldn't see it from the hotel property. Hope this helped.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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, May 10, 2013
Dear ShortyLee

Thank you for sharing your review with us! We are glad to know that you enjoyed your visit. At Tabacon we firmly believe that every single detail is important to offer our guests a memorable vacation. A warm greeting, a tropical welcome drink, amenities at your room, an impressive view of the rainforest and our natural hot springs is the perfect combination for relaxation.

Warm Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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NJ
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in Tabacon Resort, Superior rooms. Although you find better reviewed hotels, staying in Tabacon hotel gave you the free pass to the springs which could cost as much as $60 per person by itself. We really made a good use as we used it 3 times. . Staying in the hotel gave the flexibility of walking in and out anytime I wanted. If I had to pay it separately, i would have stayed for at least half a day.

Negative things I wish I knew or researched better before booking:

- Hot springs is in a separate complex from the hotel. You have to take a 2-3 minutes shuttle or walk. But walking involves crossing the main busy street and probably 10 minutes walk, outside the hotel and parts uphill walk coming back.
- The hotel has a pool but was closed when we stayed
- We had 3 superior rooms. One of them had a sewage smell the whole stay. AC / fan or opening doors didnt help. This room was missing the sofa. I could have asked for another I suppose but I thought the smell would go away after leaving the AC cranking for whole day. Came back late and didnt feel like moving everything and also being far from the other 2 rooms. The superior room is clean but dated. Take out the good view and you would think you are in Holiday Inn.
- Food is OK but price is outrageous! room service sandwich $19. You can imagine the price for the restaurant. If you dont have a car, then you are almost stuck.
- Hotel ground is not as extensive and worth any hiking as others in the area.

I have to admit we were coming from staying in the Springs Resort, so it was a huge letdown. But the Tabacon Hot springs made it up for us. The price was faily good considering the included pass.
I dont think we wil stay here next time. We will choose one of the hotels in the Volcano side of the street, not across for even a better view and proximity to the volcano, and pay the entrance fee to the hot springs. If the hot springs value price is not the whole reason you staying here, why stay in a dated average place when you have to take a shuttle to to springs anyways? Without the springs, in a superior room, it is a 3 star hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear MasterDJ

We appreciate your comments and we are definitively working on them, we have addressed your concerns to management immediately. Tabacon sits on over 872 acres of lush rainforest and all our thermal springs comes from the majestic Arenal Volcano forming cascades and natural pools through the property, since part of our philosophy is to keep nature as an integrated part of Tabacon experience we do offer the natural pools at the resort. Free shuttle is available for hotel guest and there is also a trail that connect the hotel and the thermal springs area.
In regards to cuisine we offer different options: buffet, a la carte, tandoor and special menus for snacks so you can choose between different price ranges depending on your personal desires or take advantage of our packages if staying multiple nights. We are glad you enjoyed the hot springs and took advantage of the unlimited access to the thermal spring resort that was include in your room rate.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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LaPorte, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

The service was superb from the front desk, spa staff, concriege and wait staff! We had a two day experience in a lovely, spacious room that was so romantic and special including a chef prepared dinner for two in our own dining space as well as a nearly 2 hour message. The thermal pools, too, are a wonderful retreat expecially the quiet and calm of the Orient area. Every detail was far and above the expectations.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Audrey56461

We very much appreciate your review! Tabacon main philosophy is to offer a memorable experience to all our guesst in the middle of the rainforest, the natural beauty of our hot springs and the sounds of nature become part of your vacation experience. We are glad to know we met your expectations. Our signature Gala Dinner invites you to enjoy a very special culinary event among the beauty of our lush gardens in the middle of the rainforest. In a private bungalow, your private server and chef create an evening of culinary magic with a menu pre-selected by you. At The Grand Spa we take relaxation to its maximum level, a massage in an open air bungalow is the highlight of your Costa Rica trip. We would love to receive you soon at the resort.

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

I spent three weeks in Costa Rica in February, each week in a different part of the country. Arenal and the Tabacon hot springs were great...it is well worth a visit here for 1-2 days, but better to go on to the coastal parts of the country after that.

The accommodations were nice and well maintained. Tabacon hot springs resort was a little expensive for Costa Rica but worth the cost.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 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
    • 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.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear SkyDreamer22

Thank you for your review, we are extremely happy that you spent a marvelous vacation at Costa Rica and you decided to visit Tabacon, we appreciate your preference. Exploring the thermal springs is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing experiences. We are glad you enjoyed our accommodations our aim is to offer our guests unforgettable memories. We are sincerely grateful for your visit and hope you will come back soon.

Cordially,
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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slo
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

We stayed there one night to be able to use the hotsprings. Rooms are expensive and you don't get breakfast included like all of the other hotels offered. There were many rules such as you couldn't drive your car to your room yourself. Or we were told to sit down in the lobby and wait to be called to check in (not before 4PM even if a room was ready at 2 PM). When we checked in they handed us a letter saying, oh by the way we are working on the electricity tomorrow and there will be only TV and computer after 8 AM. No airconditioning when it iwas almost 100 degrees and no conpensation offers either. The free warm juice and wet towel did not take away the bad taste of the 2 irritable check-in people we met and the letter but the hot springs were lovely. To be fair, all of the men driving the vans to the rooms and the pool were very friendly and the bed was very comfortable.

Room Tip: Look on discount sites for a special and spend one night here and the other nights in a user friendl...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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
#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
#13 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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