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“Overpriced” 3 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 Francisco
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Overpriced”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

We are a family of four that stayed here in April. We booked direct with the hotel and were attracted to the hot springs boasted by the resort.
The rooms were decent. Spacious and clean but not luxurious for the $. The restaurant by the main pool serves excellent dinner.
Pros: good location to volcano, wifi throughout resort, small fitness facility, friendly staff
Cons: hot springs were nice but loaded with tourists, and a bit commercial, restaurant at hit springs not the greatest food, the resort itself is not as large as pictured.
I think there are many places to stay near the volcano. For the price I may have stayed elsewhere.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, Gerente at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 16, 2013
Dear SanFranciscoMarie

Thank you for your review. We are glad you chose Arenal for your vacation to Costa Rica, it was a pleasure to received you at Tabacón. The property is spread over 872 acres of lush rainforest, this includes the hotel facilities, the hot springs resort and the spa area as well. At the hot springs we offer more than 20 different pools, ponds and cascades with different temperatures and a high mineral content. It will be of great help if you contact me directly at customerservice@tabacon.com and provide your room number as well as additional comments about your culinary experience, so we can consider your comments for our updating programs. We continuously update our guest rooms and suites as well as our different products, therefore your comments are really valuable.

Kindest Regards
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 (233)
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Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
234 helpful votes 234 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2013

When researching where to stay in La Fortuna I realized how expensive admission to the Tabacon Garden Hotspring's was. This Hotsprings area was recommended to me so I really wanted to visit for the evening. Since we were travelling in the off season we were able to make a reservation for just 1 night (usually a 2 night min here). The rate was also considerably less than during high season. Since we were going to visit the Hotsprings anyways, we decided it was a fairly good value. After being here, I can honestly say that I would never pay the 'regular' price to stay at this resort.

The Resort and the grounds are very beautiful and well maintained. We stayed in a Superior Room with 2 beds. The room was nicely appointed and large. There are 2 robes, slippers, mini bar (charge), safe, toaster, large tea selection, coffee and coffee maker. Bathroom has nice amenities also. We had a garden view out the back with patio doors. Beds were very comfortable. Room was very clean.

Getting to the Springs is less than 10 min walk or a provided shuttle. The Springs area is stunning, they have kept it in a very natural state. There are many different pools of varying hotness. They provide towels, locker keys, water cooler with cups to stay cool. The pool area with waterslide and swim up bar is also very nice. This is the area where the Buffet Restaurant is located.

The food at this resort is outrageously priced! The problem is that this resort is located approx. 10 minutes outside of La Fortuna, so if you do not have a car you are essentially 'trapped'. I think the Resort is really taking advantage of guests in this situation. The taxi to town is a set rate of $15 each way so to drive to town for a meal is $30 before you even eat. Just out of principal I did not purchase any food or drinks at the resort. We were able to pay the $30 taxi fare, eat a good meal in town & still pay less that we would have eating at the resort. For example: the breakfast buffet at Tabacon is $30 per person! I'm sure it is delicious, but that is a rip off. The cheapest food I could see here was at the lobby bar you could order a basic sandwich for $16. I recommend the resort lower their prices and more guests will choose to stay onsite to eat. I do not enjoy feeling like I am being taken advantage of.

Would I stay here again? Possibly if I was able to get a discounted rate. I can not fault the hotel at all it is very beautiful and worth visiting just for the Hotsprings alone.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, May 16, 2013
Dear momtravelswith3

We appreciate your comments! We were extremely honored to receive you at Tabacon as our guest. Our staff is always working to provide high quality service and pay attention to every detail in order to provide memorable experiences to our valuable guests. We are glad to know you enjoyed the grounds and the hot springs, that are recognized as one of the best hot springs worldwide where the wonders of nature combine to offer an unique ambience for total relaxation. We are happy you enjoyed the room amenities during your stay as well as the complimentary access to the hot springs that was included in the room rate. In regards to cuisine we do offer different options: buffet dinner with different themes each night, a la carte menu, tandoor food and special snack menus so you can choose between different price ranges depending on your personal desires or take advantage of our packages if staying multiple nights. We take seriously our guest comments, last year we received some comments about our fine dining restaurant and we decide to vary the offer including different options and offering a range price that actually satisfy our guest. At this moment our food and beverage team is working in a new selection of dishes and new preparations to extend and vary the options, we will also add traditional ingredients to the recepies to include part of Costa Rican culture to the culinary experience. We really look forward to receive you again at the resort.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

The hotel itself is about a four star in comparison to other hotels where we have stayed, with an extra star added just for the natural volcano hot springs. These hot springs are an engineering and landscaping marvel, and it is the first time my wife and I have seen such a huge and well organized set-up. The rainforest setting (we saw an iguana and numerous geckos and birds around) with lighted paths at night was very pretty. For those more into the mainstream, they have a large hot pool with a walk-up bar, as well as a couple smaller cold water pools. Location of the springs and spa is a 5 minute walk from the main hotel, with door to door shuttle service also available. Having said so much about the hot springs, I would add it may not be for everyone. Think of a jacuzzi, which I can only enjoy for about 15 to 20 minutes, before feeling dizzy. It was the same here, where after about half hour I felt the need to go into cold water. If one is paying a good price for the hot springs, one should be ready to fully enjoy them. We only had breakfast at the hotel which was good, if a bit on the expensive side ( like every other good hotel in the world). A la carte and buffet available. We had a very active holiday, hiking, zip lining, hanging bridges, caving, so we did not spend a lot of time at the hotel during our 4 night stay. The front desk/concierge were top class with their suggestions and directions. Overall, I would rate our stay in the La Fortuna area as excellent and we would definitely return. Best thing: activities in the area, hot springs. Worse thing: room price

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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 2
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, May 16, 2013
Dear Sohail M

Thank you for your review. We are glad you chose Arenal Region for your vacation in Costa Rica, it was an honor having you as our guest at Tabacón. We are pleased to know you enjoyed our completely natural setting, with a hot spring river coming from the majestic Arenal Volcano and forming more than 20 different pools, ponds and cascades all of them with different temperatures and with a high mineral content. We are glad to know you had the opportunity to explore the beautiful region, where the adventure is always present in the local attractions. Our hotel room rate include free entrance to the award winning hot spring resort during your stay and we are happy you explored the hot springs at day and also with the mystical ambience it offers at night. We really appreciate your preference and look forward to receive you again at Tabacon.

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I recently traveled to La Fortuna for 5 nights. Although we stayed at another property we came to Tabacon for the hot springs. We had the buffet dinner that was excellent. It was the best meal we had the entire time we were in Costa Rica. The hot springs were amazing! We spent three and a half hours just soaking in all the different pools and meeting a few new people. We highly recommend Tabacon if you want to go to a great hot springs resort.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Telluride, CO
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I recently stayed two nights at Tabacon. I was with a group of travel professionals touring Costa Rica. I loved the property, the service was good but not over the top great. I stayed in a superior room, which is their lead in room category. Nothing special, the beds were very comfortable and I liked how there was wireless internet in the rooms.

The hot springs are amazing. That is the best part of this hotel, as most of you already know. The gardens are well maintained, and the pools are delightful. I also enjoyed the Shangra La Gardens, the adults only section.

What I didn't really care for was how expensive the food and drinks were. A can of Imperial was $6.00 plus tax and a mandatory 10% service charge. Imperial is the local lager, nothing special just a regular old beer. Also the dinner at the a la carte restaurant was over the top expensive. Not saying that this would change my mind staying here, but I wouldn't eat at the restaurants. I would go to town.

Overall the experience was great, I would come back and stay again.

Room Tip: Rainforest Suites are amazing!!!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 trvlkid,

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 an important part of Tabacon experience and the thermal mineral springs surrounded by the rainforest provides a unique ambient. As you mentioned all our hotel guest receive complimentary Internet access. We informed our managers team about your comments in regards to our service, we take very seriously all your comments and this help us to improve. We are glad you spent a relaxing time at Tabacon and we look forward to receive you as our guest in the near future.

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Syracuse, Indiana, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

It is one of the most beautiful places. The hot water streams, waterfalls. are some thing every one should try. It is like being lost in the rain forest.
The hotel staff is so nice and goes out of their way to help you. I had a health scare there and the manager was right there to see what needed done and went out of his way to check on me through out our stay. Room are clean and roomy. Food was good. Keep pool very clean. Hope to go back ..

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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, May 10, 2013
Dear Kris F,

Thank you for sharing your comments with us. At Tabacón we strive to always provide unforgettable experiences, that's why is a pleasure to know that you enjoyed a memorable time with us, we are blessed with a marvelous natural setting and our facilities are in harmony with the rainforest offering the opportunity to our visitors to have direct contact with nature and explore the richness of Costa Rica's flora and fauna. We are sincerely grateful and thankful for your visit and we hope to receive you at the resort soon.

Best regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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miami,fl
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I really enjoyed my stay at the Tabacon hotel. At first we were given a room located in the 200's cabins, that were surprisingly big and had a direct volcano view. The space was more than I expected and had a good size bathroom, but it was a little bit dark and the bathroom had a bit of an odor problem. Unexpectedly, the staff switched us to a different suite- a tabacon suite- located in the actual hotel lobby area. This suite was massive and had an amazing bathroom with views of the forest.

I didn't have a chance to check out the pool in the actual hotel property, because when we checked in they said it was temporarily closed, but the tabacon springs where the actual hot springs are (it's separate from the hotel property) had a pool too, so it was fine. The gym in the hotel is clean and efficient. The food was good overall and the room service was efficient.

The tabacon springs area is beautiful with a zen like feel and everyday you discover another area to relax in and soak in. I really liked the adult only section. If you have a chance to go, even for a day or night pass, definitely check it out. The area is well maintained, clean, and the facilities blend in nicely with the surrounding nature. The spa is also in the hot springs property. The experience here was really great. There's also a restaurant in the hot springs propety, so you have the option to the stay all day and have a meal or drink there too.

Overall, I really enjoyed it and would go back.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear poysoniv,

On behalf of Tabacon team we would like to thank you for taking the time and share with us your valued review. Furthermore, our service is aimed to always be the best, guaranteeing the highest quality service to all guest, who are our reason to be. We are glad you enjoyed the Tabacon Suite with impressive forest views, with a beautifully designed bathroom and in-room jacuzzi. Our restaurants offer world class cuisine. Our natural setting and the hot springs as well as Shangri-La Gardens our adult-only hideaway offers a relaxing experience giving our guest the opportunity to forget for a while about the world around. We are sincerely grateful for your visit and hope you will come back soon.

Warm 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
#16 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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