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“A rare find” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Termales del Bosque

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Termales del Bosque
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Aguas Calientes, San Carlos | 6 km al oeste de la catedral de Ciudad Quesada, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Gresham, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A rare find”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2010

One of those rare finds while traveling and introduction to an Eco-Hotel. The staff was always willing to go the extra effort to help and serve. The hot springs (down the hill) were great after a long day touring and without crowds. Horseback riding was a special treat for those of us with OAT that were interested.

  • Stayed March 2010
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mississauga, Canada
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

We stayed at Termales one night of our two week trip around CR. I had booked on line, and had paid $110 in advance, through a third party travel agent called Discovery Travel World (D.T.W) who issued a voucher, which was to be presented at the time of arrival. This method of payment (which is fairly common with smaller hotels) and the fraudulent agency appeared, when on the Termales website, and then clicking on "Reservations". When we arrived at the front desk, there was no reservation and no sign of our payment, the staff and management had not heard of D.T.W. After some time and discussion, the desk staff, who were very sympathetic and helpful called the manager and the hotel owner, who then told us to check into a room, relax in the hotsprings, enjoy our evening and we would sort out the problem the next morning.
After having a lovely (included) full breakfast, we again returned to the reception desk, where I made a call to report the fraud to Visa with whom I had paid the $110. The manager appeared and then said that our stay would be complimentary and was sorry for the problem, it seemed that DTW may be hacking into their website, as my reservation paperwork looked legitimate. We thought that this was very nice of the hotel management, as this was not any fault of the hotel themselves. So just a word of warning, if you want to book this hotel, it is advisable to call them by phone directly, definitely do not go through DTW, Termales does not require payment in advance and in fact their posted rate at the desk was almost half of what I had paid to DTW.
Now to review the hotel.......... After receiving such wonderful treatment from the management it is hard to say anything negative about this place, but to be honest I must say a little. The room is basic, has some gaps around the doors where ants and other insects wander in, though everything was very clean otherwise. There were not enough towels though, only 2 small hand sized for the 3 of us. The room itself was stark and dull dispite the large windows overlooking the attractive gardens, it had 2 double beds, TV and A/C, so was functional. The highlight of this hotel is the hotsprings, which are located about a kilometer from the rooms. You can drive down to them yourself, or take the complimentary shuttle to where you then walk down a forest trail (well lit at night) from the parking lot to the springs, there is a security guard at the trails entrance, so we felt safe. The hotsprings are amazing, not as fancy and landscaped as say Tabacon, but we prefered the natural feel that was here. It was very quiet, there was only one other couple and the bar staff, we heard it never gets crowded, so it's a great place for a romantic evening. While sitting in one of the hot thermal pools that evening, drinking cold beer and listening to the sounds of the forest, it started to rain, it was magic!!
This hotel is a little hard to find, you may have to ask for directions, and look for the sign on the left at the entrance to a dirt road, when coming from the town of San Carlos. We came here wanting a hotspring experience, without spending major $$$$$, and this is exactly what you get here.
Thank you to the staff and management of Termales del Bosque, our stay here could have been a disaster, but instead we have some wonderful memories.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Termales_del_Bosque, Marketing at Termales del Bosque, responded to this review, January 20, 2010

I very much regret for this whole situation with your the travel agent that you speak, is a shame that there are people like that.

I'm glad that your stay although started a little "rough" at the end turned out nice for you. I wanted to tell you, through the website or through our mail you can make reservations at this time I am the responsible to respond and make reservations for all those people that maybe were a bit difficult to call our hotel.

We hope to see you again by our hotel

Any adittional Quires please contact me

Laura Arroyo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

My significant other and I found this absolutely fantastic resort after a day from hell. We had taken a trip to the Caribbean side of Costa Rica and was so disappointed we decided to not waste anymore time there and drive on to La Fortuna, which was about a 6 hour drive. After 4 hours in the car, it started to downpour and we did not want to be stuck driving the winding roads in the dark and rain as we had the night before. We planned to stop off and stay by Poas Volcano, until we found that the road to Poas had been wiped out by an earthquake and we had to turn around and continue to drive in the dark! We got out our lonely planet book and looked for a place to stop. The lonely planet mentioned this resort outside of Ciudad San Carlos and we decided to give it a try. We got to the resort after dark and after checking in, drove down to the termales. I didn't realize that there was quite a long walk down to the hotsprings and took out on my own while my significant other changed into his swim trunks. The trail seemed to go on forever through the tropical rain forest and I was getting quite nervous about being on the trail at night not knowing what or who I would find at the end of the trail. The trail was lighted and was very well maintained and as I would find out the next morning, was a gorgeous trail. When I arrived at the hotsprings, I was amazed at the beauty of the termales. The hotsprings are set in a very natural setting, but have a bar and shower rooms onsight. We only saw two other couples that night. The atmosphere was very private and romantic and we couldn't wait to get up in the morning to go back down and see what it looked like in the daylight, which was even more beautiful than it had been at night. We had an incredible experience at this resort and had the best meal that we had the entire trip. Considering we paid $175.00 for the Tabacon Springs the next night, which only included a room and breakfast, we found this to be a bargain. For $70.00 we got an excellent supper, breakfast, and full access to the spa and hotsprings. The service was fabulous. The rooms were basic, but very clean.

The only negative I would say about this resort is that it is a little off the beaten path. It is a great place to stop if you are traveling between La Fortuna and Squirres or the caribbean side. This resort is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours from La Fortuna.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

Although my family did not stay at the resort, I feel compelled to write a review for our visit to the Thermal Pools. My family learned of Termales del Bosque from a Tico (Costa Rican) while at the airport. The Tico recommended Termales due to less crowds and the pools were just as nice as Tabacon's. Well, he was so right!! The pools are amazing, amazing, amazing! We were there on Christmas Eve for 4 hours and 3 of those we had the pools to ourselves. There is a bar and changing rooms by the pools, so we ordered pina coladas the whole time. They also had a massage room and a natural sauna! The pools are built out of rock right next to a flowing stream with a canopy of palm and other native trees...absolutely beautiful!

We did a day trip from playa hermosa (I would not recommend this due to the 4 hour drive...stay the night) and got a day pass ($12) which allowed us to use the thermal pools and facilities by the pools. The overall grounds of the resort were beautiful as well. And yes...they do speak English. We also had lunch at their restaurant which was sooooo good! I would highly recommend this place for a laid back, relaxing atmosphere without all of the tourists!

  • Liked — Thermal pools!!!
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2008

A local that we were travelling with suggested this as our last stop on our business trip. It was a great recommendation and as all the previous reviews has said it is a resort for costa ricans. However the staff does speak English. Would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a great experience at a fair price.

  • Liked — Thermal pools are so relaxing
  • Disliked — Everything was great-no dislikes.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Top Contributor
545 reviews 545 reviews
347 hotel reviews
Reviews in 346 cities Reviews in 346 cities
718 helpful votes 718 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2008

This is a great alternative to the overpriced resorts catering to gringos. Sure, you'll find plenty of gringo guests here -- and enough English speaking staff -- but this is essentially a Tico (locals) resort. Which basically means you'll have an "authentic" Costa Rican experience and not pay the wildly inflated gringo prices of other resorts.

The hot springs here are very impressive. First you walk 400 meters on a well maintained paved trail (lit in the evening) through the rainforest to the jungle baths. The baths are rustic in appearance, but well maintained and very atmospheric. You can find a pool with pretty much any temperature you want, and there's even an aromatherapy steam hut and a cocktail/snack bar. Delightful!

Rooms are very ordinary, but very clean and functional with TVs, hot water and AC. The baths stay open until 9:30 at night, so it's one of the rare spots in the Costa Rican countryside where there's something to do after the early sunset.

Nearby Ciudad Quisada is entirely missable, with the exception of its very good steakhouses (perhaps the best in the country). I ate twice at the Terazzas Restaurant (200 meters north of the northeast corner of the main square) where a delicious grilled 18 ounce "lomo" was about $7. Order some papas fritas and a cerveza and you'll be happy. Breakfast at the hotel was better than I expected, and the staff was universally warm and friendly.

There's also some pleasant horseback riding at the resort. And, once again, no gringo prices. It was something like $14 for adults and $8 for kids for a very nice hour trail ride.

The hotel makes a nice overnight between Sarapiqui and Arenal. You could see Arenal as a day trip from here, but I wouldn't recommend it due to the distance. You probably don't want to spend as much time in Arenal as you think you do, unless you're willing to pay a lot of money for gringo-priced activities. One day there to see the volcano, walk in the national park, due a zipline (consider Ecoglide) is probably enough.

I see a previous reviewer noted the sulfur content of the baths. My wife suffered some minor skin irritation after soaking many hours in the baths (nothing happened to me or my kids), so folks who have such problems might want to "go slow" on their initial exposure. That said, it's very hard to leave their delightful tropical pools!

Stayed March 2008
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Ma
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2008

We found the resort to be relaxing and welcoming. My husband and I traveled with my adult daughter -- we were two couples. Our trek from the airport in San Jose was not easy with bridge construction in Quesada, we did get a little lost. We were very pleased with our accommodation and thought the price we paid was very reasonable. Dinner was delicious and inexpensive. There was also a breakfast buffet that included typical Costa Rican cuisine as well as eggs and toast and lots of fresh fruit. A short hike down the path led us to a series of thermal pools that were uncrowded during President's week. We loved the quiet atmosphere. Most of the people staying there were native Costa Ricans.

  • Liked — The thermal pools and the good typical Costa Rican meals.
  • Disliked — The difficulty in finding the resort in the dark.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Termales del Bosque

Address: Aguas Calientes, San Carlos | 6 km al oeste de la catedral de Ciudad Quesada, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #40 of 63 Hotels in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Termales del Bosque 3*
Number of rooms: 48
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Also Known As:
Termales Del Bosque Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Termales Del Bosque Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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