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“wish i could´ve stayed longer” 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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Bogota, Colombia
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“wish i could´ve stayed longer”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

we only stayed for 3 nights, and i wish we could´ve stayed longer.
the good: we stayed in one of the suites and it was amazing; you could´ve fit and entire football team in one room! theres a tv in the bathroom area, for those who like that, nice shower, really nice tub so you can relax...... the beds are super comfortable, and a complete mini bar with all sorts of goodies, including a toaster and coffee maker.
the staff is super friendly and very accomodating! the hotel itself has one pool, which is really nice. the food is really good: dont miss the nachos and the asian buffet.
although i didnt use the spa myself, someone in our party did, and they couldnt say enough about it!
the awesome: the hot springs are either 5 minutes away walking , or you can take the shuttle; they are just around the corner! there are endless little trails you walk on, and each one leads to a different hot spring and each one is at a different temperature. there´s even a section for adults only, where it is super quiet, there´s nice music, and you find people just taking it easy! the main pool has a slide for the kids to enjoy, and the bar tenders at the wet bar are so friendly, it makes you want to sit there all day!
we met so many different people from all corners of the world.... it´s just a happy place!!
the ugly: my daughter did not like the hot springs at all, so my time under the water falls and some of the other springs was very limited. remember this is in the middle of a rainforest, so you run into all sort of crickets, butterflies, lizards, etc...... pretty!

suggestions: dont miss the springs late in the afternoon or as the sun sets; as the temperature drops, the hot springs become unbelievably delicious!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (219)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

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.

Room/bathroom:
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.

Restaurant:
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.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Warrenville, South Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

I highly recomment this resort if traveling to Costa Rica. The place in general is very nice, the views are amazing, and the staff is incredibly sweet. I was stunned by the many pools of hot/warm/cold springs; there is something for every taste. My husband and I enjoyed the "adult only" area because of the quietness and romantic setting. If you're going on a honeymoon this is definitely the place; although, if you have a large family, like us, this will be most exciting. I enjoyed seeing my 5 and 6yr old niece and nephew have a blast. I have nothing but good memories about Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, and I'm looking very forward to going again soon.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

The amazing part of this hotel is the natural hot springs pools. This is a must if you're going to Arenal / LaFortuna. Extremely relaxing and beautiful. The hotel is a bit far from the town, so if you plan to visit town, it will be a cab ride. The food is good, but seems expensive for the area; I would give the overall rating as a 5 if it weren't for the food prices. I was able to get a room for under $200 via expedia - which is a good price for this hotel. I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Tabacon Resort is the utmost of everything. Go deluxe and you'll be glad you did. The property is absolutely gorgeous and the hot springs are truly magical. We watched the lava flow at night from the soothing waters of this eden fantasy. A must do at least once in a lifetime or everytime you come to visit! Pura Vida

  • Stayed May 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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New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I highly recommend this hotel for anyone traveling to Costa Rica. The hotel was very nice, but the most amazing part about this property are the Hot Springs and Gardens. It was stunning and totally worth the price. It's paradise. If you're traveling to Arenal/ La Fortuna area, this is the hotel to stay at.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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Melbourne Beach, Florida, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

My wife and I planned a 12 day trip to Costa Rica and spent a lot of time researching resorts/hotels/B&Bs for our trip. I had heard some good things about Tabacon, but the initial pricing I was quoted was well beyond what I wanated to pay ($400+/nite). When it came time to book all of our lodging, I saw a deal for Tabacon at $195 a nite, given that my wife wanted to enjoy the Hot Springs I booked a two night stay.

The property is very nice - beautiful gardens, nice rooms, guarded entrance, etc. Beds were comfortable. We had a limited view of Arenal from our room, but just a couple steps outside our back door ( on 1st floor) we were able to get a nice view of the top 1/3 of Arenal.

The biggest disappointment for me (not my wife) is that the Hot Springs are NOT located on the same property as the hotel. The springs are located about a 1/4 mile down the road from the hotel entrance; not a terribly long distance, but given our room was towards the back of the property it was not something I was willing to walk at night after driving nearly 6 hours from Quepos. The hotel is very accommodating and will pick you up at your room in a van and drive you to the hot springs - short drive of less than 5 minutes. The return took a little longer as we had to wait 10 minutes for the van. Once again, this may not be a big deal for most folks, but my expectation was that I could walk out the door w/o my shoes and only a towel and swimsuit and hop in the springs - this expectation was not met due to my lack of reading all the details about this hotel/spa two property arrangement.

The Hot Springs are beautfiul, and very nice to enjoy - unlike my wife I can only stand about 20 minutes in the hot water, then I need a cool-down. I was looking for the pool w/the swim up bar 15 minutes after jumping in the hot springs.

We did not eat any meals at either the hotel or the spa. We each did have a Margarita at the swim-up bar, a slightly less than average size, not terribly well prepared margarita for $17 each - OUCH! I did upgrade to Don Julio Repasado Tequila, but the bartender said it was only a couple dollars more than the regular margarita.

In the end I was glad we went as my wife enjoyed the hot springs both nights of our stay( Happy Wife - Happy Life); I will likely not be staying at Tabacon again as I don't believe it was worth the $195/nite, even though that was a 50% discount on the room. Of the four properties we stayed at in Costa Rica during our 12 day trip, this was the second most expensive and felt like it had the least value for our $s.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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
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

Also Known As:
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Hotel
Tabacon Grand Hotel Thermal
Tabacon Grand Resort Thermal
Tabacon Resort
Tabacon Hot Springs
Tabacon
Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park
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
#4 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#19 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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