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“Expensive but well worth the price” 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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Pensacola, Florida
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
136 helpful votes 136 helpful votes
“Expensive but well worth the price”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2005

My wife and I stayed here in the low season (October), so our view may be somewhat different than those who stay here during the high season. With that being said, we loved our stay here. The staff was friendly and helpful, the rooms were clean and nicely decorated. The beds were the most comfortable that we had during our two week stay in Costa Rica. The food was good although I thought a little overpriced. The hot springs were nice, but somewhat crowded, even being the off season. For the hot springs, my wife and I both prefered Ectamales hot springs. If you plan to be in the area, it is worth it stay here at least one night.

Stayed October 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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Ohio
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2005

I scheduled this vacation spot with a skeptical mind because of all of the reviews. I came to find that it was an unbelievable experience. We got there on October 15th with an absolutely amazing volcano view. Our check in went smooth, we had no line and we were served a cocktail and handed a cold towel as soon as we walked in. The hot springs were amazing, yes they did have a lot of people at them, but after 8 PM there were not many people there at all, but who really wants to go in the hot springs in the middle of the day either when it's 80 degrees outside!! Our room was very clean (room # 425) with somewhat of a volcano view (there was a tree blocking it). We experienced wonderful service at both of the restaurants. The breakfast that was included was wonderful. I did read in past reviews complaints about bees, well yes there were bees on the syrup bottle, but it's outside, you swoosh them away and they're gone, or one of the employees will help you if you're scared. They had four different kinds of fresh squeezed juices to choose from. The lobby bar had excellent service. We did the Venando Caves tour, the Sky Trek tour and the Hike to Arenal tour and I loved every one of them! I just totally overall thought this hotel and their services and of course the volcano views were spectacular! It was a wonderful anniversary treat! If you have any questions I would be happy to answer any so please email me with the subject of Tabacon in the the subject line.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2005

My wife and I stayed at Tabacon Resort as the first stay on our honeymoon, and let me say, we thought it was fabulous. We did not know what to expect, and we were delighted when we checked in. The employees were nice, the lobby is comfortable, and the flora on the grounds is breathtaking. We loved how the hotel took the time to put a sign up in front of each bright colored plant or flower on the pathways around the hotel so you could know what each one was. Our room was a Volcanic view suite, with our own private jacuzzi on our back deck. Well worth it! Literally, we spent the first night of our honeymoon soaking in our jacuzzi and watching red lava flow out of the top of the volcano. It was like nothing my wife and I had ever experienced, or will ever again until we go backto Tabacon!

The hot springs, of course, are the main reason to be there. They are all they are cracked up to be and more. Its a very brief stroll downhill from the resort, so we would usually walk to the springs and then ride the free shuttle service home. We also each had one of the massages and loved that, too. On our second night, we took a cheap cab into town, Fortuna, and had dinner at a quaint local place the concierge at Tabacon had recommended. Fortuna is a little town, but all the people were nice and we enjoyed our dinner. I would recommend doing this as we both had a healthy portion of food and wine, and my bill was like $23 dollars (A lot cheaper then dining at the resort). We got back at 8:30pm, and put our swim suits back on, and went back to the springs. It was awesome at night, and is open until 10pm. The best times in the springs are early in the morning and when the sun goes down, because there arent any tour groups and you pretty much have the place to yourself.

Overall, I would give the hotel a 10. The room was clean. The people were friendly and jovial. Anytime we called for the shuttle they were there in less then 5 minutes. A few helpful hints: First, if you go to the springs, bring aqua-socks or cheap flip flops that can get wet. There are all sorts of rivers and streams to explore if you have shoes you can wear in the water. Obviously they arent required, but make it easier to explore. Second, if you get the massage, with your loved one, they have some special couples massage that is kind of expensive. So all you have to do is buy two individual massages and ask to be in the same hut. You'll save money that way, and have the same experience.

That is all I can think of. Hope this helps. Seriously, if you go to Costa Rica, you have to go to Tabacon, and stay at the resort. It is not to be missed. We spent the final five days at an all inclusive beach resort and the people there that had gone on a day trip to Tabacon, said the four hours they spent there wasn't nearly enough. I was so glad we chose to stay there, and know you will as well.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2005

I just signed on to this site so I apologize for the late review. I stayed at this resort to celebrate my 30th b-day and my friends and I absolutely loved it. At that time, they just opened up the rooms right outside the lobby and we were one of the 1st guests to stay in that area. On our 1st night we just walked around the grounds and ate at one of the restaraunts. The food was very good, and the grounds are B-E-Utiful!!! The pictures on their website are true to form. I have a ton of pics if you'd like to see. The next day, we went on the volcano tour. It was ok. I wished we could've gotten closer to the lava, but they had some incidents earlier where some tourists were severely injured and a little boy died. So I didn't mind not getting too close. Later, we had body treatments at the spa. LOVED IT!!! I mean I'm not an exhibitionist, but I became one after the volcanic mud body wrap. And that means a lot since I am an Esthetician (skin care specialist for those who don't know, :-)). The best part, for me, was the hotsprings. After your treatment, you're led to a private spring to rinse off. Ofcourse I knew the wild life was watching me, but the water was so relaxing, I didn't want to get out.
Later that night, we ate at the restaraunt near the springs. Our visit was at the end of their rainy season, so it was a bit cloudy at night. But we were lucky that the clouds cleared a path and we were able to see the lava from the restaraunt that evening. I took it as a sign since it was my b-day. When we returned to our suite that night, we had monkeys right outside our patio. One fell out of the tree and the other jumped down because we were screaming so loud from excitement (ok, one of my girlfriends was screaming from fear,lol). Then the horror set in the we slept with our bathroom window open and one of them could've gotten in our room. But they didn't come in and we were very happy.
All in all, I didn't want to leave and I know that I am going back again. There are many tours available. I'm not sure about the night life, but if you want to just unwind and experience nature, it's the place for you!!!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Segundo, CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2005

In my previous review of the Tabacon I forgot to respond to all the complaints of the Tabacon being too crowded and having to wait too long to check in or check out. We did not encounter any of these problems during our stay. Perhaps it was because we stayed during the low season, early September. When we first arrived there was absolutely no one waiting to check in. We walked right up and our check in was hassle free. Best of all we were an hour early for check in yet our room was available and we moved right in. Check out was also pleasant with no wait at all. There were no mistakes to our hotel bill. The hot springs weren't very crowded, again because it was low season, but it must be experienced no matter what. I can't say enough good things about the Tabacon. Its a magical, romantic place you must stay if visiting Costa Rica.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MD
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2005

This was our 2nd stop on a three stop honeymoon that also included the Four Seasons and Tamarindo. We thought the hotel was average. Yes it is overpriced, but we didn't see any good alternatives in the area. And after the Four Seasons it actually seemed cheap. However, the staff here aren't great, and don't seem too concerned with helping out. Also they are currently repairing the hotel pool and resuarant, which meant we had to walk 15 minutes to the springs to eat. No big deal, but you would expect some compensation.

The rooms were nice. Expect a bit of a musty smell and some bugs in your room, but your in the rainforest, so it's understandable. If you're worried about a few bugs you definalty shouldn't be in this part of the country, or CR at all probably. I would recommend staying in the cheapest room possible. I paid the extra to have the hot tub on the balcony. But I soon relaized sitting in a hot tub on your balcony at night in the jungle, is like asking every mosquito in the area to come visit. So I decided against that. Also I wouldn't pay extra for "Volcano view" since it was clouded over the whole 2 days we were there.

The springs down the street were very nice, although it's hard to spend more than 30 minutes in water that hot. The spa and couples massage was amazing. We also went white water rafting on the Rio Toro, with Desafio Company, which was great. If it's rainy season I would probably avoid Arenal/Tabacon, there's better places to see.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2005

If you must stay in this hotel, go to the hot springs first, as they will make your room feel cleaner. I'd rather sleep in a sandy bed and smell the last guy's suntan lotion than keep swimming in a tinkle pond. Imagine hundreds of people drinking...in the pool. At first the idea is neat, but after 10 minutes you realize no one leaves the pool...and they ash cigarettes in it too...wait..it's not a pool. It's a hot spring, no chlorine. Ah, back to the hotel, where the dinner in so bad it was laughable. Service was fine, but I'm not sure that was a meat of anykind, let alone cow. Rubber, tar, leather...maybe. hurry on to the next hotel, for a shower. Scrub the tabacon off you.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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 ( 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
#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
#11 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#15 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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