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“Left us wanting more” 3 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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Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Left us wanting more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014 via mobile

Every thing about the Tabacon was "just fine" -- nothing more, nothing less. The room was clean and met our needs. But the beds squeaked so badly that every member of the family was awakened each time another rolled over during the night. The room also did not have a bath tub.

The food was acceptable but over-priced in the typical resort way -- an expensive buffet with a different cuisine each night, a typical poolside bar, and a white napkin dinner restaurant.

The hot springs were great, although we were disappointed to see busloads of tourists dropped off each day armed with "day passes," which made the pool area crowded & difficult to find a lounge chair.

The service was a disappointment. The most helpful person was the onsite tour service employee who booked our excursions. The bell and front desk staff did a serviceable job, but no one went "above and beyond." For the price and reputation, we expected much more.

Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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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 (273)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

We stayed at Tabacon Grand Spa for a few days and loved every minute of it! The hotel room and staff were amazing and we loved the thermal hot springs! We also did the couples massage package at the Tabacon Spa...I only have one word for it...AMAZING!!! I can't wait to go back!

  • 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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Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

The drive to the hotel was so beautiful. Lake Arenal was stunning and I recommend taking your time and enjoying the drive if you get a nice sunny day. It felt going through the Swiss Alps at times- just beautiful. I only wish there were more grassy areas with a view to pull over and have a little picnic or drink.
Tabacon was our only pre-booked hotel on our trip as we knew it would fill up quickly during high season. Everything else we booked was done day prior or day of via TripAdvisor as we travelled around- which I highly recommend doing if you have a rental car and the time.
Tabacon was intended to be a hit of luxury in the middle of the trip to relax and reset before more adventuring . We made an effort to see every type of accommodation as this was an exploratory trip with the intention to gather as much info and return with more family and friends in the future. This meant our rooms throughout the 3 week stay ranged from $47-$300/ night - Tabacon being at the higher end of this range. Arriving from the very remote San Miguel area after a long drive and some very basic accommodations and rustic adventures I must admit it felt a little weird and awkward to pull our completely dust covered Yaris up to the valet parking and be greeted so formally. It was a stark comparison to the outgoing causal easy going rustic and incredibly personal hospitality I had come to appreciate and love during out time in CR. That being said, I very quickly adjusted back to when I saw the massive King size bed with a pristine fluffy white duvet with a nice high thread count inviting me to bed. It was absolute comfort and top notch service from check in to check out. We stayed two nights- the first we arrived late and fell so hard into the lap of luxury we couldn't bear to leave the room and ordered room service. (order the Toucan salad-so good) The room itself is huge, spotless, so comfortable- great bathroom and nice plush robes to wear to the hot springs. The hot springs are amazing. We checked them out the second afternoon after a very long day of hiking and waterfall hunting. It was perfect and our sore bodies really appreciated it. We went at 4 with the intention to stay a few hours but didn't leave until 9. So many pools to try-so incredibly relaxing- built right into the natural landscape and totally serene. We often had the entire pool to ourselves but when we didn't everyone was friendly and chatty. 2 American couples complained that some of the bottoms of the pools were shell or rock or sand but that was what I loved so much- it felt very natural - not fake or man made at all. There were a few that were smooth rock bottom though if thats your preference.
We had dinner at the hotel restaurant overlooking the pool that night. Service was really good. A touch too formal - it's still Costa Rica after all- but it was kind've nice to dress up for dinner, I brought a few things that weren't casual enough for other locations but fit right in here. The server brought little treats between every course and free dessert even though we were stuffed. Beautiful setting and lighting on the pool. All in all, very honeymoon vibe here- quiet and romantic. Perfect little mid trip dose of luxury before we ventured down the Pacific coast.

  • Stayed February 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 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, March 12, 2014
Dear LNicoleRose

Thank you for taking the time and share with us your experience, we really appreciate it. Our country is full of surprises,we are glad you choose Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort as part of your Costa Rican Trip. We are extremely happy to know you enjoyed your room, the amenities as well as the complimentary access to the hot springs that was included in the room rate. Our completely natural thermal springs coming from Arenal Volcano offers a relaxing experience to our guests in the heart of the rainforest. Los Tucanes Restaurant is our fine dining option where our guests have the opportunity to select and combine both international and local fresh products prepared with the highest culinary techniques. If staying multiple nights we highly recommend you to take advantage of our special packages that includes accommodations, some meals, free entrance to the thermal area as well as spa credits. We would be happy to prepare also a customized package for a future visit with your family and friends. It was an honor to have you as our guests and we look forward to your next visit!

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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providence
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Incredibly unique boutique hotel. Stayed for four days and enjoyed the hot springs as well as private pools and restaurant. The breakfast is awesome and staff are very helpful to book excursions. It was also fairly reasonable for the season.

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, March 11, 2014
Hello kingatom

We really appreciate your review, thank you for choosing us as your hotel option during your visit to Arenal. We are glad you enjoyed your stay at Tabacon, having a totally relaxing experience in our natural river that emerge directly from the volcano and goes through the property forming more than 20 pools and cascades in the heart of the rainforest. During the breakfast we offer a selection of International cuisine and also a selection of traditional dishes that always offer you a piece of Costa Rican culture. We would love to receive you again as our guest in the near future!

Best Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

My friends and I stayed here for 3 nights and then drove to stay in tamerando by the beach for 3 nights (do not recommend for a short trip- too much driving in 6 days). The trip from San Jose airport to Tabacon springs took aprox 3.5 hours. The drive is windy but beautiful and scenic but it eats up a big part of your day. I cant say enough about the grounds at Tabocan. You feel like you are really in the Jungle. There are so many different areas that you feel like your the only one's there. It can take hours to explore. I have been to hot springs before these by far were the most amazing springs I have been too! NOW the BAD part .... remember the hot springs are the best @ night when the steam is rising and the lights are twinkling but they close at 10:00PM and are kicking you out @ 930pm. By time you have dinner and get back to the springs its about 8pm. Now take into account the group I was with ranges from 27-35 years old. So maybe others 10pm is just fine. But for us this really was a BIG downfall for this resort. But we found out if you walk just past the Tabocan springs on the right there is a gravel driveway which if you follow leads to where all the locals swim in the springs so where theres a will theres a way !!!(Rememeber- they are natural springs they just dont stop or begin in the resort : ) ). Lastly the buffet is way way over priced and not that great. Also along with the cost of drinks! $$$$ If you go down the road a bit you can eat for much much cheaper and its just as good .

Room Tip: No balconys but most rooms have a view of the volcano.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, March 11, 2014
Dear Danielle0918

Thank you for choosing to stay at Tabacon during your visit to Costa Rica’s Northern Region, La Fortuna de San Carlos and Arenal. Our goal is to provide our guests with the highest level of services and amenities, combined with our unparalleled thermal river that emerge naturally from the Arenal Volcano. Tabacon’s unique natural setting in the heart of the rainforest offer you a memorable vacation and we are extremely happy that you and your friends enjoyed our hot springs experience. Our hotel guests receive complimentary access to the thermal area and it is open as you mentioned until 10 pm, we apologize if this operation schedule was not convenient for you but I am sure you understand we need to establish an operation time for certain services. In regards to the place you mention where the locals swim, although we are relieved you had safe access to the unsupervised area, please note, it has been delineated by the authorities as unsafe and unfit for visitation and use. We appreciate your visit and hope to serve you again in the future.

Cordially,
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

Entering the main entrance blew you away with the tropical ambuance of the garden located at the main entrance. The staff was very friendly and waiting to check in the lobby a waiter came over and handed out a tropical drink with wet towel following aaaaaaaaaaaaah. Entering the suite was so warm and cozy just wanted to relax. The grounds were so breath taking especially the hot springs could not take myself away until sun down. The lunch at the Ave Del Paraiso Restaurant on the premise was delicious and local dishes are served but, be mindful to check your all inclusive package deal info before you sit down or it will cost you a pretty penny. The breakfast was deicious too served at the Los Tucanes Restaurant buffet style. Overall a wonder resort to stay for sevarl day and will not regret

Room Tip: Suite 1st or 2nd floor
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
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, March 7, 2014
Dear Marcia H

We appreciate your comments, thank you for taking the time and share with us your experience. We firmly believe that every single detail is part of Tabacon experience. Check in process, our tropical welcome drink, your suite, our food and beverage options and the hot springs are key moments in which your experience becomes more enjoyable. Our natural environment helps turn vacations into moments of perfect relaxation. We are glad you enjoyed our food and beverage options that features the most fresh and delicious ingredients. Our hotel guests receive complimentary access to our thermal experience as an add value during their stay, you can also take advantage of our special deals if you would like to stay multiple nights, we have several options that includes accommodations, some meals, spa credits just to mention a few. We hope to see you soon!

Warm Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

We stayed here for 4 nights during our CR vacation. I really like this hotel and the main selling point has to be the amazing hot springs. We went every single day. It's definitely relaxing to go after the day activities like canyoneering, horseback riding, hiking, ziplining! We explored all the different pools of hot springs and the adults only area. I didn't find the adults only springs to be hot enough. It was only lukewarm. We did find one hot spring with the big waterfall in the back that's nice & toasty. We went back to that one every day. The grand spa was really good too. I had a massage by Dayana, and if I can put her in a suitcase I would bring her with me back to the states!

Now the room. The room can be seen as bit dated, but it's good space and clean. Minor note is that I notice the flatscreen tv in the room is bigger than most hotels. We didn't really eat at the hotel, but I did have a chance to try the ceviche. I was bit disappointed. I think they can do better with the food. That's the only lacking part.

If I go back to CR, I'll definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed February 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
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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, March 6, 2014
Dear mstravelernyc

Thank you for your preference and for sharing your review with us. It was an honor to receive you as our guest during your Costa Rican vacation. We are glad to know you had the opportunity to explore the beautiful Arenal Region, where the adventure is always present in the local attractions as you mention and after a day of extreme activities you enjoyed our natural thermal mineral springs for a relaxing experience. The Grand Spa is as you well mention, a great place where the treatments are rendered in open-air bungalows offering a unique experience in the heart of the rainforest. Thank you for mentioning the great job that Dayana did during your service, we will share your comments with our spa staff. We really appreciate your preference and look forward to receive you again at the Resort!

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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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
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#7 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#11 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#16 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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