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“Lovely stay, gorgeous hot springs!” 4 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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Fort Myers, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Lovely stay, gorgeous hot springs!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

We stayed at Tabacon for four nights just two weeks ago and loved it! From the moment we walked into the lobby we were pampered. Check-in was a breeze and they gave us a nice complimentary welcome drink within minutes. We upgraded to suite #604 which was clean, spacious and modern, although a bit sparse on furnishings. We had a mini frig which came in very handy for keeping the cerveza and vino cold! The bed was rather comfortable but the bathroom was the best part of the room. Nice big shower, jetted tub, dual granite fish bowl sinks, separate toilet/bidet room, decent size closet with safe, luxurious bathrobes and a flat screen TV.

The grounds were immaculate and beautifully landscaped. We saw some rather large birds on the property and there's a couple secluded pavilions nestled within the grounds around the forest, perfect for a quiet outdoor retreat. I've read other reviews about the staff being rude or not so friendly, but we didn't experience that at all. Every staff member we encountered could not have been more friendly and accommodating. The concierge was also very helpful in booking tours.

The hot springs are magical. Incredibly romantic. True, some of the waterfalls are man made but the natural cascading river that runs through the property along with all the lush vegetation, soft lighting, etc., will make you feel as though you're in the garden of Eden. There's gently slopping cascading waterfalls everywhere and if you can access it, you can wade in it. You can actually sit behind one of the waterfalls. The waters are heated naturally from volcanic activity and vary in temps from rather cool to over 100 degrees. There are several little nooks and coves if you're looking for a little privacy in the springs. If you stay elsewhere, you can buy a day pass to visit the hot springs but the beauty of staying at Tabacon is that you get the springs to yourselves in the morning and in the evening before they open/close it to the public. There's also a section called Shangri La which is exclusive only to hotel guests. There's a small private outdoor bar, several private cabanas and nice, more secluded hot springs areas. Lockers near the main entrance to the springs make it convenient for securing your valuables. The main pool has a fun water slide for the kids and a swim up bar for the adults. :) To reach the springs, you can take the shuttle from the lobby (runs on demand) or it's a about a 5-10 minute walk down the fairly steep hill.

The spa is great. Small but very nice and tranquil. We did the idyllic couples massage which I highly recommend. It really is "all that" and more. It's rather expensive ($225 person) but totally worth the amazing hour+ full body massage in an outdoor bungalow around the springs, topped off with a volcanic mud mask and private milk bath with champagne and fruit afterwards. A must do for couples and honeymooners!

Cons: The food. We had dinner there our first night which was decent but overpriced for the quality. The continental breakfast was rather steep at $17 per person, simply for coffee, a croissant or toast. The breakfast buffet will set you back a whopping $30 per person. While it's a nice buffet with ample tasty fresh fruit, egg station, meats and cheeses, it's still way overpriced. It would also help if they opened the breakfast room at 6:00am instead of 6:30am, to give guests a little more time to eat before catching early morning tours.

Taxis into La Fortuna aren't cheap either. Plan on paying about $25 each way. There are some decent local restaurants in La Fortuna but it will cost you some coin to reach them.

If you must have in-your-face views of Arenal Volcano, consider staying elsewhere. You can see the volcano from the springs, but not at its finest. However, the gorgeous hot springs more than make up for that, and we had plenty of opportunities to see unobstructed views of Arenal while touring.

Over all, a great stay. We would definitely go back to Tabacon!

Tip: Get a room with a frig or buy a styrofoam cooler and stock up on some breakfast food/snacks/drinks at a local supermarket.

Room Tip: Suite #604 was spacious, clean, quiet and extremely close to the lobby. Mini frig, great bathroom.
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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SAINT LOUIS
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Very nice place. Had a day package where we spent a day at the Springs with lunch and Supper included. It was fantastic. September is the off season so we had the place to ourselves. The design is such that you can choose from a large variety of secluded pools. These are fed from volcanic springs and have varying degrees of "hotness." You can use lockers on site, and towels are provided dor a refundable deposit.

The meals were very good, but the portions were too large.

Overall, I would highly recommend

  • Stayed September 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We stayed here 6 nights to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Got a great off season rate, and were upgraded to a corner, ground level honeymoon suite with a view of lush gardens and Arenal through expansive patio doors- the nicest hotel we have stayed in! The staff is extremely helpful and courteous. I tipped them on arrival for the luggage, but never felt pressured to do so all week. The hot springs are awesome, and the bartenders make good drinks. Food and beverages seem pricey at first, but more acceptable after learning that a 13% tax and 10% service fee are added on to everything. You can't order drinks at the pool next to the restaurant on site, but the swim up bar at the springs makes up for it. Would stay again in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: ask for an upgrade to a corner ground level suite
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
San Francisoco
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Overall a nice hotel, have to take a 2 minute shuttle to the springs. The springs are truly fantastic, though they do get crowded after 6 pm as the people on day passes come in. Restaurant prices are a bit steep. $120 for lunch for two adults two kids. Service fairly slow at the pool bar. Still a very nice place, just did not quite get to the 5 star level. Rooms are reasonable in size.

Room Tip: Great restaurant five minute walk away. "baby cow"
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Our fifth visit here and the front desk did not have record? .... Anyway we love it here .... We come off season 1. Because we can 2. Pricing more affordable. 3. Can enjoy the springs so much more! Last year we tried another resort and were not as happy :(. Our room near the pool, and a view of the tropical gardens was nice. We always find the food wonderful and the staff accommodating. I did lose a very favorite pajama bottom, and I am sure the cleaning service took it with the dirty linens, I felt they did not try to find them even after I explained I wore them to sleep and I now they are no where to be found??? And as one of the reviewers mentioned I found the bell men eager for a tip... When the front desk and other staff I encountered did not :) overall I love it here and any one going to Costa Rica I tell them they must go to tabacon!!
Dina s

Room Tip: I love the rooms on the second floor compared to the ones right outside your parking spot
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited Tabacon only for hot springs as we were staying at a hotel nearby.
Tabacon springs are undoubtedly beautiful, a fantastic mixture of natural and crafted pools make this a very enjoyable experience.
We went for the evening session that included a buffet dinner, the food was good, typical Costa Rican cuisine with loads on offer. The waiters in the restaurant were not actually that friendly which was a shame as everything else was great.
it was raining hard when we were there which cooled the temperature of the springs a little so if you can go on a clear evening or in the day time it might be better.
And be sure to explore the whole place, there's lots of gorgeous little hidden pools that are much nicer than the main pool by the bar.
It's not cheap but is worth a visit.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Sophs8,

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your visit to Tabacon. We are glad to know you enjoyed a nice evening at the hot springs. In regards to food and beverage, we loved the fact that you enjoyed our typical buffet at Ave del Paraiso Restaurant! Our hotel guests receive complimentary access to the hot springs during their stay, this is a saving of $ 60 per person per day, we also offer hotel packages where you can take advantage of special prices including some meals or spa treatments. We look forward to serve you again in the near future.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, AB
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

So first off the hot springs are amazing and a beautiful place to unwind. If you stay at the Tabacon resort it is included in your room rate. We stayed for 2 nights with 2 teen aged children. The people that work there are friendly and run to you to help you but they all expect a tip for doing that. So when you arrive a guy takes your luggage (tip 1), a guy takes your keys (tip 2) - who parks your vehicle 20 feet away, then a guy greets you to take you in (tip 3) - you get my drift... The process to get signed in is quick but again someone takes your luggage to the room (tip 4) - sorry I will get over the tip thing! So when our room was booked it was accidentally booked for 2 adults and no children so an additional fee was charges ($208 for 2 nights which was a discounted rate - regular $280 - this was a nice gesture as this was my fault) and they said they would bring more towels and bath robes for the 2 additional people. Had to call again the next day for these and also noticed they also had no face clothes. We forgot our pizza in the vehicle so you have to call to get in the vehicle and the guy brought it to our room (tip #5 - it was raining but he was in a gold cart) and this is all in the first hour. The rooms are beautiful but at $400 a night I am expecting a bit more - standard nice hotel room - bathroom was large. Went to eat at the diner buffet at night and the charge is $39 per person and the food was just okay. The waiter was great and even removed 2 of the plate charges as my daughter was sick and did not eat much and my wife also ate just a little - tipped him nicely for that (tip 6 but he deserved it). Next night we were having a beverage and wanted some ice - checked the book and we were to have ice in a bucket filled every day - our wasn't - so we called down to see where the ice was (stated in book we could get it ourselves) - they said don't worry we will get it to you (so they get the tip?) - they never arrived. So we went to the hot springs and had a wonderful couple of hours. Went to check out the next day and decided that I wanted to bring my concerns to a manager - he came right away and said that he could remove my meal charge of $78 - I accepted it and he apologized for the inconvenience - it was a pleasant experience. I left still thinking it was not sufficient but wanted to get to our next destination. The rest of our vacation in Costa Rica was amazing. When I got home I started to think more about the situation and decided to send the manager another email stating that I feel I was not compensated sufficiently for this situation. He took care by refunding the amount of the extra charges for the 2 teenagers. I feel I was taken care of for my situation. This is a great place if you are just a couple and stay in your room and maybe trek to the hot springs. If you want some good food at a reasonable price take a short 5 minute drive into the town La Fortuna and there are many restaurants with friendly staff with authentic cultural food.

Room Tip: Rooms don't have a patio (the one we stay in) and it was to face the volcano but the clouds prev...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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

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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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
#7 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#13 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*
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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