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“Surreal experience! Abolutley Amazing!!” 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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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Boca Raton, Florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Surreal experience! Abolutley Amazing!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Tabacon was an absolutely amazing experience! The actual hotel was great! The staff were incredibly friendly and attentive, the property was very nice, theres a very nice gym right on the property.. but the best part of all.. Tabacons Springs!! These Springs compare to no other in the area. Absolutely INCREDIBLE!! This is what I came to Costa Rica for. I could not have even imagined a place this beautiful. I felt like I was in a movie, straight out of Jurassic Park or Avatar, absolutely magical! The first day we arrived it was raining.. which made the place even more beautiful. You can actually see the steam rising from the water. And the place is huge! We literally got lost for about 20 mins, its like the place doesn't end. It goes on and on with many different falls and springs, seating areas, jacuzzis, trees, and flowers.. just incredible !! They have a great buffet/ restaurant and bar, as well as a private bar and "adults only" area among the springs, very romantic !! ;) I cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, February 6, 2014
Dear Jenny L

Thank you for sharing your comments with us, we are glad you enjoyed our resort which in fact has been recognized as one of the best worldwide thanks to its exuberant gardens and our natural hot springs. Our aim is always to provide our guests a memorable and unforgettable experience. Tabacon is located on 872 acres of lush rainforest, our thermal springs emerge from the majestic Arenal Volcano forming cascades and natural pools through the property. Being at the thermal springs while it is raining is the most enjoyable and relaxing experience you can have in Costa Rica, the steam offers a magical ambience. Shangri-La Gardens is our adults-only hideaway. Thank you for your preference, we would love to receive you as our guest at Tabacon soon!

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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2,114 reviews from our community

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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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Cologne, Germany
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

This property claims to be a 5 Star Hotel and part of Leading Hotels of the World - and both it is not in my view. The hotel standard is 4 stars at the best - with mediocre service, uninspiring public areas, tired bathrooms. The staff are not friendly and not inspired to provide service fit to a 5 star hotel. It feels like they know you are just staying for one or two nights (as this is part of any Costa Rica tour) and never come back anyway. So why bother. The worst experiences are that it is mandatory to wear a plastic wristband all the time - like in a 3-star-all inclusive resort. The Thermal Resort is open to the public (which is probably the reason why they make you wear this band - they say it is for security...?) and the changing rooms are dirty and not maintained at all. The Thermal Baths are over designed and not very inspiring but it stopped us from trying the Spa alltogether. Leading Hotels should put the membership of the Tabacon under scrutiny.

Stayed January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, General Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
Sehr geehrter Herr,

es tut mir ehrlich leid dass Sie Ihren Aufenthalt nicht genießen haben. Meine Meinung nach, glaube ich, dass Ihre Kommentare ein bisschen hart waren. For the benefit of all our guests, allow me to continue in English. Kindly, look for a private message in your in box.

I am terribly sorry to hear our service delivery did not meet your expectations. All of us here at Tabacon are passionate about providing the best possible experience to our guests. We strive to exceed expectations and render excellent, seamless service. I am not sure what specific failures you experienced but I would have been delighted to address same while you were on property. As a fellow European, I am particularly attentive to addressing and rectifying any possible shortcomings.

The wrist bands is a security precaution to prevent the unauthorized entry into our Hotel as well as, the use of your private information at the various points of sale. It is for your protection. I am sorry you did not find it useful or necessary.

Tabacon has been a proud member of Leading Hotels of the World for several years, always performing above the criteria and guidelines of that prestigious organization. While we appreciate your opinion and assessment, we will continue to do our foremost to rise above all international standards and surpass our guests' expectations.

Thank you for your attention.
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North Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2014 via mobile

Our 4-hr drive was very worth it! As we arrived at the hotel we were greeted immediately with a champagne glass of cool fruit juice while we checked in. We went straightaway to the thermal springs and changed to our swimsuits. The waterfall with people sitting under it was a welcome sight but we decided to do a walkabout to see the entire place and along the way we took many one-of-a-kind photos...we dipped our toes in along the way to check the temperature of the water which was surprisingly hot!
We tried all the falls and pools which was fabulous.
Our room was all we could hope for...spacious,lots of amenities,very clean. Breakfast in the restaurant was good for a buffet, however, baked goods were not fresh and the pancake & waffle station food was cold and dry. The station preparing the egg choices was very good as was the French press coffee. Staff in all areas was pleasant and talkative, thanks!

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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, February 6, 2014
Dear Margaret B

Thank you for your review, we are extremely happy that you decided to visit Tabacon during your Costa Rican vacation. As you mentioned, our hotel guests are able to explore more than 20 different cascades and pools, all of them with thermal water that emerges from the volcano, providing a romantic and relaxing experience. We are glad you enjoyed our buffet breakfast where lots of choices including traditional Costa Rican dishes are included. We appreciate your comment about the pancake and waffles station, your comments are really valuable for us and we will inform our F&B director. We are sincerely grateful for your visit and hope you will come back soon.

Regards

Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2014

We came to this place during the last couple days of our honeymoon after visiting Drake Bay, and a little bit disappointed by how commercial this hotel is. There are so many cute boutique hotels in beautiful places that this place felt a little bit too touristy and commercial.

The hot springs get too boring after a while. A day is just enough at the hot springs. More than two days (unless you need it for health reasons) would be a waste in my opinion.

If you go here YOU MUST GET A MASSAGE PACKAGE with exfoliate, a shower, massage, then a bath. In the middle of the jungle, it is one of the most unforgettable experiences. We did that two days in a row. The spa is amazing. The service, the fresh juices, environment, everything. Very very high quality and the private cabanas make it very unique.

We couldn't even see the mountain because of the fog, that was disappointing. Also, there is no lava coming out of the mountain anymore apparently...

We visited the local town of La Fortuna. It' definitely worth going. We had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. very very casual, but the yummiest meal we had in Arenal we also bought a few pieces of local art from the shop behind the church. Good stuff.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, February 6, 2014
Dear nbk13

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay at Tabacon. First of all, congratulations for your wedding. It was an honor to receive you as our guest during your Costa Rican honeymoon. I am sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations; please allow me to express my sincerest apologies. Our thermal springs are unique in the area and emerge naturally from Arenal Volcano forming cascades and pools with different temperatures and a high mineral content, our guests love to enjoy them after a day of adventure in the Region where you can take advantage of half day or full day tours for example zip lining, white water rafting, waterfall rappels just to mention a few. Also Shangri-La Gardens is our adults-only hideaway for relaxation. We are really pleased to know that you enjoyed our Spa Treatments where treatments as you mentioned are rendered in a private open-air bungalow in the heart of the rainforest surrounded by natural thermal mineral springs. We wish you love and happiness for the years to come.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Kansas City
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

My wife and I traveled here for one night. We had a bad experience at the springs but Javier at the front desk was quick to make sure we were satisfied and really went above and beyond to make sure our experience was top-notch. The service here is ridiculous. Any time you need to go anywhere you just call the front desk and they send a golf shuttle right away. They have a bus that will take you to/from the springs within seconds.

We had our own car so didn't have to eat dinner at the resort but I can see how people would complain about the prices if they did. Having a car was awesome as there are some really really good local places to eat at in town.

The springs are beautiful and definitely more enjoyable during the day. I do wish they had tiled or hard floors so that we didn't have to walk on tiny pebbles and lose footing - but other than that, great picture spots, nice people, readily available staff, easy to get towels/lockers, and nice bathroom facilities.

Everyone here spoke English which was nice. Overall it's expensive but you actually forget you are in Costa Rica when you are here, as it makes you think you are in a modern first-world country. Kind of defeats the 'authentic Costa Rican experience' but it's hard to complain.

Also, I wanted to compliment Moises at the springs' front desk who gave my wife and I directions. He was awesome, really took his time to draw on our map and make sure we were taken care of. He was the only reason we found our way back to San Jose and we very much appreciate his help.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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 2
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, February 3, 2014
Dear srk2fd

We appreciate your comments! Our staff is always working to provide high quality service, we pay attention to every detail in order to offer a memorable experience to our valuable guests, we are glad to know that you enjoyed the hotel and resort facilities. We really appreciate that you mention the staff names that went above and beyond to make sure your experience was top-notch, we have share this comment with Javier and Moises.
What makes Tabacon unique is nothing man-made is nature, our thermal springs are in a completely natural setting that's why wearing water shoes is strongly recommended. We would love to have you as our guest soon!

Warm Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Boulder, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

Spent 4 nights there for the beginning of our honeymoon. The drive from San Jose wasn't bad (3.5 hours) and we arrived in the evening. The staff was fantastic and always accommodating. Our room was clean, comfortable, and details ALWAYS tended to.

Had dinner the first night at the hotel which was very expensive and not that awesome (5 tiny fries with a mega steak for big bucks cracked us up :). Enjoyed the breakfast there though and sipping coffee by the pool's waterfall.

The hot springs rocked!!! Beyond beautiful with endless waterfalls with black bottom pools and a hot river. The landscape architecture was impressive. The spa was incredible too. Just beautifully designed and the 2 couples massages we got were in a cabana by the steamy river. Can't say enough about that!!!

Going into town for dinner didn't end up much better as it was once again mediocre and way overpriced.

I'd recommend this for sure.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 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, January 31, 2014
Dear emandosk

Thank you for taking the time and share your experience with us, we really appreciate it. Our guests are able to discover a natural paradise of nature, adventure and relaxation. Our thermal resort offers more than 20 different cascades, pools and ponds all of them of natural thermal water with a high mineral content. The Grand Spa provides a romantic and relaxing ambience, unique in the world since all treatments are rendered in open air bungalows in the heart of the rainforest and surrounded by our natural hot springs river. We apologize due to our food options didn't impress you, our culinary team is working right now to launch new menus, we look forward you try our new selection in the near future! We are sincerely grateful for your visit and hope you will come back soon.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Macomb, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

this resort is exactly what you want. beautiful room and friendly staff. the hot springs are so revitalizing and beautiful. we spent 2 days in the springs. there is no beach close by but this is just as good

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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, January 31, 2014
Dear amberd0331

Thank you so much for your appraisal, it is very rewarding for us to be informed about the pleasant experience you had during your stay at Tabacon. Our unique thermal springs flows directly from the volcano to revitalize and relax our beloved guests, providing the opportunity to experience relaxation to its maximum level. We look forward to your next visit.

Warm 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:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#3 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#12 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#14 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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