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“The worse place in Costa Rica”

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Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
Berlin, Germany
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The worse place in Costa Rica”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2013

I have stayed at Baldi during Christmas and besides the pool area (which are definitely not Hot Springs) I can not say a one good thing about this place.
- unfriendly service and Manager
- they are running scams to make money (watch out for your towels)
- I am not sure if what they serve at the restaurant is actually food for people
- drinks are overpriced
- rooms are moldy and old

I would recommend Tabacon if you really want to experience Hot Springs.

Helpful?
4 Thank JanaDia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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783 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
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Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

You can get a day pass for pretty cheap from tour operators. MUCH cheaper than at their front desk. It's a great place to spend the day. The food was good and plentiful. There are good pools for kids and adults.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marshall W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2013

After attending a conference and sitting for five days about 20 of us headed off to Baldi Springs to enjoy the hot springs.

This is a fun spot. There are many pools to enjoy. In all there are 25 natural mineral water pools, with 12 different temperatures (some are cold but the warmer ones were 93, 100, 102, 104, 109, 110, 113, 116, 152º F). The waterfalls, tropical gardens and pools have all been landscaped and the gardens are all well maintained and clean.

Some of the pools have bars you can swim up to with seats submerged in the water so you can sit and relax while enjoying a beer or drink at the bar. All the pools are kept nice and clean. Most of the pools have some sort of waterfall which I used to massage my back and neck. It was wonderful!

The waterslide that was operational was lots of fun!

It is important to note that there is a $10 deposit on towels and $3 charge for using the lockers.
If you are thinking of staying at the hotel I’d recommend you take into consideration the time of year as this is a day resort as well and I imagine it could be quite busy in season. It is located about 5km (3 mi) outside La Fortuna so a cab ride should not be too expensive.

We ate lunch at their restaurant and ordered from the menu. The quality of the food was very good and tasty. We were given a fresh salad, fresh fruit juice and dessert. The restaurant staff were polite, friendly and helpful.

I recommend taking your own towel and bringing shoes or sandals that you can wear in the water as some of the pools have some sharp stones. Although the stones did not cut my feet it was uncomfortable and a little painful. I would also recommend that you do not run a tab but pay for each drink or round as you order to avoid any "misunderstanding" that could cost you more.

All in all I absolutely loved the day at Baldi Springs. It was a great place to swim, relax in hot spring pools and have fun! I highly recommend it for a day visit.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CraigDuffield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
274 reviews
85 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

If you can stay in one of the top resorts in the area, do that. Stay here only if you can't find another option.

Location
This hotel/hot springs is at the base of the volcano. It's a US$150 cab ride from San Jose or the airport. It's about a $6 cab ride to La Fortuna. You can't beat the location if you want to stay next to a volcano.

Weather
It rains a lot in 10 minute bursts -- downpour for 10 minutes then nothing for ten minutes. Check the weather and be prepared. I didn't see the volcano until the last day.

Entrance
A guard greets you when you arrive. They're very nice and guide you to the front desk. But there are no bellmen to help you move your bags until after you check in. Then they take you in a golf cart to the hotel which is about a 100m walk.

Check In
There are two sides -- one facing the entrance and the other around the corner. When I arrived there were maybe 20 people standing in an unorganized queue and three front desk people doing nothing. So I had to go around everyone to ask to check in. Turns out the counters aren't well marked. The first one is for people who want to go to the hot springs and they literally come in by the bus load. Around the corner there is never a queue but you have to figure that out yourself. The front desk people will help you but they don't do it with a smile and they're not very helpful most of the time. When you check in you get a bracelet with your room number which gets you in everywhere.

Food
My room wasn't ready so I was offered to go to the springs or to eat. There are two places to eat -- one at the entrance and one in back that is a buffet. At the front I sat down and was shocked by the prices -- entrees for $25, appetizers for $10-15. After a very expensive meal I found out that they had a "snack" menu which included lunch items that were much cheaper. I felt ripped off. They should have offered the other menu as an alternative. You have to ask. The other menu is half the price. There are terrific restaurants nearby so go try them instead.

Room
This is a 4 or so story high hotel/motel on a gorgeous property. The hotel is old -- feels like 60s or 70s era although it has probably been renovated in the past 5-10 years. It has big screen TVs and relatively new furniture. I would call it pottery barn style. Problem is that it's in an old building that feels damp and moldy. Sound also carries easily. To get to your room you have to take stairs or a ramp and the tiled path is almost always wet which makes it hazardous. I found the rooms to be clean but they felt damp.

Views
Be sure to book a room with a view. The reason to stay here is the view. Incredible.

Spa
There is one. I didn't try it.

Hot Springs
It's all man made, but it's gorgeous. It's well landscaped and maintained. It's a sprawling complex with maybe 10 pools -- at least three of them have swim up bars. The place is packed in the afternoon when the tour buses stop by. But at night the views and lighting are spectacular.

Sick
I got sick on the first day. Can't tell for sure where it came from, but I ate on site, had a drink at the swim up bar and swam in the hot springs.

Summary
You can tell the owner has put a lot money into this project. I recommend that they get a new customer service program and ideally build a new hotel. If you go to the springs after a long day of hiking you will love it.

Room Tip: Get a room with a volcano view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank angmohgao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

The good and the bad.

First the good: The pools/grounds are nice. 25 pools with different temperatures complete with water-slides, caves, walking trail (not jungle but nice). Go in and look around and maybe pay to swim but DO NOT stay in the hotel.

Second the Bad: The hotel has no elevator and is old and cheap. Musty, stinky, dirty, overall low low quality. Cheap fan in the window of the bathroom that stinks. No cold water, so shower and the toilet wouldn't work. Had to take a shower and flush the toilet with a bucket of water from the sink. The breakfast was included, bugs all over the table and on the food at the bar, quality was low. Charged me $4.50 for a can soft drink witch made me finally complain.....their answer "we still have to charge you for the drink".

After one night we moved across the street to Royal Corin which was not that fancy but was at least nice and clean.

Room Tip: Want a good room? Go somewhere else.
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Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank jenny2232
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

We did not stay at the hotel but visited the hot springs for the day. The pools and gardens were nice, not much to complain about there. The drinks were very expensive but they were good and we pretty much expected expensive drinks at a place like this. I do have to say that the included buffet was horrible and I was only brave enough to eat a little fruit and salad. There were flies everywhere and the food just looked old and like it had been sitting out for a while. They also told us we only had an hour to sit down, even though the place was far from crowded...I thought that was a little obnoxious.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2012

Before visiting Baldi we totally expected to be in natural hot springs, not a man-made water park. That being said, I enjoyed our visit. Some of the pools were super, super hot and we could barely stand them for seconds. Others were cool and others were just right. There is so much variety that you can't be disappointed.

Food in the restaurant wasn't that good - definitely not worth the high prices, but that's to be expected.

The setting is beautiful, even if not natural.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LyndsayK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa

Property: Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa
Address: Del Centro De La Fortuna 4 Km, San Carlos 83-6151, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa is located in the heart of Costa Rica, at the base of the Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna, San Carlos. This is the perfect family get away that offers 25 thermo mineral hot water pools flowing naturally from the base of the volcano. These medicinal hot springs waters are certified by NAL (National Water Laboratory) from the Government of Costa Rica. You will enjoy pools ranging in temperatures from 93, 100, 102, 104, 109, 110, 113, 116, 152 º F, a combination that is suitable to all of our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa Costa Rica/San Carlos

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