Despite the absolutely stunning look of the place, we were underwhelmed. I'm a hot springs snob, I know, completely spoiled, so I was surprised that except for a tepid pool, all the other pools were the same temperature: very warm. None were hot hot. No cold plunge pool. What passes for a cold plunge experience is barely cool. That hot hot to cold cold contrast experience is pretty central to my expectations of a great spa visit. The swim-up bar, although staffed with two very hardworking bartenders, was a bust. We waited 15 minutes and got zero service. It was also rattling in such a potentially relaxing pool to have the noisy intrusion of a big-screen TV over the bar tuned into a sports station. The window casement in our room (where we spent one night) was loose and rattled loudly with every breeze. Reporting to the management via email when we returned home also got a zero response. That said, great for honeymooners -- lots of private alone space in gorgeous waterfalls.
The place up the street, Baldi hot springs, is a Tabacon knock-off and a much better choice in my opinion -- full of busloads of hispanic tourists, a loud swim-up bar but with salsa music, really hot hot pools and cold plunges, lots of variety in pool temperatures, really fun slides and way-hey cheaper all around. Underwhelming all-you-can-eat buffet, but there you are. Amazing to sit under a very hot fountain with water gushing down with enough power to give you a really satisfying massage on your head, neck, shoulders and back.
For a truly quiet, amazing experience, try Eco-Termales. Hot hot to hot to cold plunge pools, two quiet bars (okay to take your drink into the pools), waterfalls, exquisite greenery, a delicious traditional meal served in clay pots, four hours per person for around $45. We were THE ONLY ONES THERE for the morning shift, I think because making a reservation was problematical. Not the busloads type of place. Just show up. It's right down the road from Tabacon.
- Also Known As:
- Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Hotel
- 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
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort is a five stars hotel located in Costa Rica's northern region, at the foot of the majestic Arenal Volcano in the heart of the tropical rainforest. Tabacón provides luxurious accommodations, services and amenities in a picture-perfect natural setting. The unique thermal springs emerge from the volcanic earth, cascading to form waterfalls, streams, tranquil pools and ponds surrounded by lush tropical gardens which create an oasis of peace. The hotel, member of The Leading Hotels of The World, offers 7 different categories of rooms: Ambassador Suite, Senator Suite Tabacon Suite, Honeymoon Suite, Rainforest Suite, Superior Premium and Superior, each room with amenities that will offer all the comfort for an unforgettable stay.As a perfect complement of a relaxing experience, inside the gardens you can find The Grand Spa, member of Leading Spas of the World. The Grand Spa taps one of the world´s beautiful locations to offer an incomparable spa experience. Treatments are given in 11 open-air bungalows, all with Jacuzzi. ... more less
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