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“If Eve hadn't eaten that apple.....” 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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GreenLeadersGold level
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
98 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 134 helpful votes
“If Eve hadn't eaten that apple.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

If Eve hadn't eaten that apple, Tabacon Hot Springs is what the world would look like and Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is where God would put up guests from out of town. When you first arrive and enter the tropical feeling open air lobby you are handed a cold towel for your refreshment and an icy drink in a stemmed glass, and this is the point where you hear the first strum on angels' harps. By some miraculous fluke, we ended up in a King Tabacon Suite -- our luggage delivered to the door by cart -- and when the floor-to-ceiling drapes were pulled aside and we could look across the jungle to see the full frontal view of Arenal, the heavenly choirs began to sing. The room itself was magnificent. It was enormous with soaring ceilings and an unobstructed view of jungle and Volcano. Several times during the night I got up just to watch the moonlight on the shifting jungle mists and on Arenal. It was unforgettable. The four poster bed with curtains is most comfortable and has the whole angel-down works: pillows, comforter and heavenly soft sheets and duvet. Robes. Spa slippers. Luxury amenities. Handsome wooden boxes, one of tea selections and the other of coffees. Couch, huge TV, work desk, dining table and chairs, and enough space to accommodate all of this without crowding. Ah! and the bathroom? There was a tub large enough for a birthday party with a "rainforest" shower head and windows that opened wide to jungle views. Don't ask how this was private, but it was. A TV in the bathroom, for heaven's sake. For the tech demons among us, theTV came with BlueRay, and BlueTooth. There was a laptop computer on the desk and a great internet connection.....so if you really, really had to maintain contact back down on earth, you could. In the evening, turn down service also includes a refill of your ice bucket, slippers appear bedside, and of course, what would heaven be without that piece of chocolate? Service throughout the resort was so accommodating that If it would have made us happy to have the staff jump back flips, I believe they would have. When we first arrived at our room, we found a beautiful cake on the dining table wishing us a happy anniversary -- our 47th. How great is that? The pool was being renovated but it was the hot springs we were most interested in. It is a short (6 minutes), pleasant walk away on a paved garden path that parallels the highway but feels tropical and a nice experience in itself. The hotel will shuttle you but I preferred the walk.. At night, the path is lighted and makes a nice little stroll after a day spent at the springs. I peeped into the standard rooms and found them to be more similar to a standard hotel room, although they were handsomely furnished and had full length jungle views out the window at the end of the room. If cost is an issue, consider that the room price includes a day pass to the springs and for two people, that would be $120 per day so you can mentally knock that off the price of the room and what remains is certainly not unreasonable. The restaurant deserves a review of its own, as does the Springs complex, so look for these on TripAdvisor as well.

Room Tip: As usual, you get what you pay for. Suites are larger, have views of Arenal and more luxury ameniti...
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  • Stayed April 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
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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 17, 2013
Dear Diamondqueen

Thank you for taking the time and share with us your valuable review. Your noticeable and very gracious ability for writing is impressive, we loved your comments and we shared it with all our staff. Tabacon´s main philosophy is to offer a memorable experience to all our guest, our wonderful location in the middle of the rainforest and at the base of the impressive Arenal Volcano combines with the natural beauty of our natural thermal mineral springs and it becomes part of your vacation experience. We are glad to know we met your expectations and that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our suites are the perfect complement to take your vacation to an unparalleled level. We are really glad to learn that your visit to Tabacon was a success, we are looking forward to welcome you soon in our Resort in the near future. I personally want to thank you again for your review since it is really engaging and you shared all the details of your visit and the service we offer.

With Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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2,202 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 (332)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

This resort was one of our stops in Costa Rica & it was definitely one of the highlights of our whole trip! We travelled there in March/April '11 with our three young children & they loved it! Room was great, nice & clean. We had a great view of the jungle from our deck. The resort also offers a babysitting service, which we used some evenings to enjoy the hot springs as a couple too - that was great! Being from the west coast of Canada we've been to a lot of different hot springs (man-made resorts, to purely natural areas). These Costa Rican hot springs were amazing! Like nothing I'd ever been to - low lit paths through the jungle, connecting the different natural pools, hearing the jungle sounds, soaking under a hot waterfall, or tranquil hot pool....wow, unbelievable. Then you also have your typical tropical swim-up bar & other pools & water slide which we loved using in the daytime. Fantastic resort! Food was delicious too!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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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 17, 2013
Dear tlrtravel

We are thankful for your comments. We are glad to hear that you and your family enjoyed your vacation in Costa Rica and we were extremely honor to receive you as our guest at Tabacon. We are glad to know that you got some romantic time to share with your husband in a completely natural and relaxing setting. We appreciate your preference and we look forward to your next visit.

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PR
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

This place is beautiful but the entrance fee to the hot springs (we stay in another hotel) is not worthy. First of all, if you don't want to get your feet dirty, bring water shoes since the bottom of the natural pools are soil, therefore it feels dirty (personally i don't like this). We got the all day pass and it includes lunch or dinner. At the entrance they ask if you want lunch or dinner and the specific time you will be going, really? I arrive there at 10 am and I was not thinking about eating. This is ridiculous, you eat when you get hungry!!! We chose lunch at 1:30 pm and when we got there it feels boring and sad, there were not enough food to choose from, and it looks the servers were not having a good day at all. They were not happy to be there and there were no smiles!! I just want to run away from there quickly! Although the food was not bad. After lunch, the place was FULL specially of locals, people screaming, speaking very loud, not a happy, quiet and peaceful place at all. We head to the pool bar and the drinks were from $10 to $15 and beers were $5 and up. Also, the main pool, the one with the bar, was very dirty, lot of things floating in the water. All at all we were so disappointed and regretting we lost a day in this place.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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 17, 2013
Dear Javohx

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and tell us why our service failed to meet your expectations. As we take very seriously your comments we forwarded your concerns to our management team immediately. Our resort sits over a completely natural setting, with a thermal mineral spring river in the middle of the rainforest with pools, ponds and cascades surrounded by majestic gardens. As you enjoy a natural river the use of water shoes are strongly recommended. We do offer more than 20 different pools as well as an adult only area for total relaxation that is located in the upper part of the resort. As you chose a special package including lunch or dinner it is really important for our operation to know your preference about this service, we apologize if this caused you an inconvenient since our aim is to serve you the better way and be able to reserve a space in the restaurant. Your comment about the main pool was sent to our maintenance manager for revision, please notice that the water we use in the resort main pool comes from the thermal river and it do not stagnant since the water continues flowing regularly by gravity, as per our operation standards we also have daily maintenance and cleaning of the pools. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again and offer a memorable experience.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

we were in 200 series room. dirty and smelling. swimming pool was under maintenance but could have kept it cleaner. not worth the money. hot springs were fantastic. would give five star. but should have stayed in another hotel and visited the hot springs.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 BALA P

Thank you for your review. We are glad you spent a wonderful time at our completely natural hot spring resort where relaxation is the main part of your vacation. We apologize for the inconvenience you had with your room, we will inform about your comments to our maintenance manager and housekeeping division to immediately revise your comments and if necessary take action to improve.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

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
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 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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Canada
Level Contributor
97 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 286 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
Level Contributor
118 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#2 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#12 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*
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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