My friend and I traveled here in June of 2013. I'll address some of the things we noticed in list form so that you can skip to what you'd like to know about.
We stayed in a standard room with 2 queen beds. The beds were very comfortable except they squeaked when one would toss and turn through the night. That was annoying. The bathrooms were fine. There was a little mold/mildew around the caulking of the bathtub and calcium deposits on the showerhead, which should’ve been taken care of. It has to be noted that the toilet paper IS scented because that can be an irritant for some. We read this ahead of time and brought our own unscented TP with us, so that wasn’t a problem.
Dinner: We ate at the restaurant on the property several times. Never ate at the buffet at the springs. The restaurant on the property had great food. It is a bit expensive, but no more so than you would pay for a great meal in the states…about $30 each. For that we had dinner and dessert as well as some tasty samples the staff brought around. We were very pleased with dinner. However, we did choose to eat in town on the other nights for variety. The price was not that much cheaper. We averaged about $20 - $25 each for dinner in town. We had a rental car so access was simple, but I’d imagine if one had to add in the cost of a cab it might be worth it to stay at the hotel and eat.
Breakfast: We had the buffet breakfast every day and thoroughly enjoyed it. We filled ourselves at breakfast so that we were able to skip lunch daily and we were completely satisfied. Breakfast had some staple items (waffles, corn tortillas, fantastic coffee and freshly made juices, fresh fruits, plantains, cereal, yogurt, omelets…) along with some different items each day for a bit of variety. It was well worth the $30.
Hot Springs and Spa:
This part of the hotel made the stay a 5 star experience!!!!! I cannot express enough how incredible the spa and hot springs are. I have had spa treatments all over the world (from the U. S. to the Mediterranean) and none have compared to the experience at Tabacon. We were lucky enough to go during the low season so it wasn’t crowded at all, and even when it rained (once while I was in the hot springs and once while I was having spa services) it added to the delight of the entire experience. The springs are free to guests of the hotel, which is a great savings. The spa is costly ($120 - $250), but worth every penny! Do splurge on a treatment if you can. I must say that the rainy, cooler weather during this season was perfect for the hot springs. Hotter weather may have made the springs too hot to stand. We took the short walk to the springs each day and took the shuttle back. The shuttle never took more than 5 min to pick us up. The distance from the hotel to the springs is the equivalent of the distance from one's room to the beach on an expansive resort in the Caribbean.
Getting to Tabacon:
We rented a car and drove to the resort. If you are up for an adventure, this is the drive for you. Be sure to rent a navigation system and be ready to drive on 2 lane mountain roads (one lane coming and one lane going), which go up beyond the clouds. You are literally looking down on the clouds at some points during the drive. Also be prepared for winding roads (where you can't see past the curves), fast drivers, and sharing the 2 lanes with tractor-trailers, busses, bicycles, and pedestrians. It’s a tricky drive, but unforgettable! If you're a bit shaken by adventure on the road, hire transportation.
- 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