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El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa
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Reviews (411)
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Reviewed January 12, 2007

1. The hotel is isolated. This is both good -- you aren't exposed to the poverty of Costa Rica, and you're in the countryside -- but also bad-- it takes a long while to get to anywhere. On the other hand, the hotel is centrally located among the sites

2. The hotel does not publicize its attractions well to its guests. Only when I went home did I discover that there are hiking trails.

3. The restaurant is only fair. Service is slow -- but keep in mind that this is Costa Rica, where service is always slow by American standards -- and the menu is limited.

4. You will find fellow Americans if you are outgoing and say hello to anyone who speaks English.

5. There is no air conditioning, as far as I could tell. OTOH, the hotel is at fairly high altitude, and so the area doesn't get too hot.

6. There are tours available at the hotel. Talk to the tour representative who sits around the corner from the reception desk. I took one tour through this representative (through the Cana Negro wildlife refuge) and enjoyed going through the refuge by boat and seeing birds.

7. There are many steps at this hotel. I was on the third level, and I counted ninety steps between me and the pool.

8. The front desk people were friendly. Knowledge of English was pretty good.

9. People who took the massages and other spa activites seemed to like them.

10. Oh, you want to know about the room? It was OK; a little small by American standards. Everything worked and the bed was comfortable. The place seemed pretty quiet. Note that you have to flip the switch by the door to "on" if you want to use electricity in the bathroom.

11. I got this room by signing on to a tour with Destination: Costa Rica. Their American representative is way to go latin america tours. If your budget permits, you might try a more expensive tour.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled solo
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2  Thank SouthjerseyCraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2006

I traveled to Costa Rica through a school Spanish trip and this hotel was absolutley amazing. It is set into the forest with trees overhanging and a river snaking around the grounds. The pools were gross and not really swimmable, but we went down into the river. It is heated by underground springs and has both warm and cold spots. Careful though, they change fast and a cool area can become boiling in a second. Incredibly scenic though, and worth it to wake up quite ltierally in the jungle.

  • Stayed: April 2004
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank Skifree141189
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2006

This was my first trip to Costa Rica. I also stayed at a hotel on the Pacific coast. The amenities at Tucano and it's isolation in the jungle make it a true serene paradise. You can enjoy the quiet ambiance interrupted only by a variety of exotic birds in the morning (have to love waking up to Toucans!!!), or you can take a bus tour to a variety of experiences in the area. It is high enough in elevation where it is quite cool at night and the springs and pools are pleasant as well. The dining area is huge and has an amazing assortment of food, especially for breakfast. I plan to stay here again soon!

Stayed: January 2006
6  Thank falcatus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2006

We absolutely loved this place!

Quite remote and very little signs to point you in the direction of the hotel (as per pretty much any place in CR!) But once we found it is was well worth the drive down the driveway at night with the lights. Not a whole lot to do in Augas Zarcas except check email maybe, but the drive up to Poas Volcano wasn't too long from the hotel and a very scenic drive.

Front desk staff was excellent, they knew our names by the first night we were there and never missed a wake up call.

Restaurant wait staff were amazing, they dote on you like I have never experienced before! Food isn't all that great tasty but its definately edible! Breakfast buffet was good too. Menu is a little small but familiar to North American Tourists with items like clubhouse sandwiches and spaghetti.

Room was excellent, very clean. One random cockroach in our room but we think it probably just wondering in when housekeeping had the door open cleaning.

Had a full body relaxation massage at the on site spa - heavenly!

The pool was wonderful and warm, there were very few other guests so me and my husband were able to celebrate the first nights of our honeymoon in this nice, large, clean warm pool with some quiet music from the restaurant playing while it rained.. The natural heated sauna is awesome too! The whole resort has a rather quiet and calm atmosphere, if you are looking for a place to party you would be disappointed.

- Has a lawn chess board and mini golf so quick easy distractions. The stream that runs next to the hotel sounds and looks beautiful when you are sitting on the balcony for supper and drinks.

- Frank who runs the tour desk at the hotel is a great guy, he set us up to do some white water rafting and along the drive talked our ear off all the way then bought us lunch! Would definately recommend you book a tour through him.

- I fell down some stairs going for breakfast one morning, totally my fault as I just wasn't paying attention. Staff seen me fall and came over to make sure I was ok, got me some ice and I had quite the sympathy "are you ok?" from almost every staff member..

We were so, so, so pleased with this place. We checked out after 3 nights to tour the country a little more but no other hotel we stayed at compared to here, every other resort we stayed at we found ourselves saying "its nice.... but not as nice as el tucano..."

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled as a couple
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
7  Thank megalomaniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2006

I spent 3 nights at the El Tucano in mid-June, 2006 and was pleasantly surprised. The hotel had very, very few people staying at it when I was there, so that was nice. The hotel is surrounded by rainforest and a stream and is quite picturesque.

The rooms very fairly simple (no air conditioning though - just a fan). I think all rooms at this hotel have 2 double beds. The bathroom is quite large with a big shower and each room has a little patio with a table and 4 chairs. Everything was very clean. I wouldn't stay here for the rooms alone, but I think the surroundings really made the hotel a neat place to stay.

There is one main pool, plus another smaller pool and a couple hot tubs. There are also some natural steam rooms which are nice. The water in the pools was warm, but not too hot.

I did 3 treatments at the spa - a 30 minute massage, a volcanic mud mask / mini facial, and a pedicure. All were nice and the ladies in the spa were very professional. Spa treatments were quite cheap. The mini facial and the pedicure were USD $20.00 each.

There is only one restaurant at the hotel. It's quite large and has about 7 or 8 tables outside on the balcony overlooking the rainforest and the stream (which makes for a great dining view)! I was pleasantly surprised at the prices of the food. I assumed that since the hotel was so isolated that the food would be very expensive since you had nowhere else to go. Not so. A full chicken dinner was about USD $8.00 as were most other entrees, soup was about $3.00. I think the most expensive thing there was about $12.00 for a seafood meal. The menu isn't very big so the food gets a bit repetitive, and I didn't think that food was anything great, but it was all right. Drinks were pretty good and quite cheap as well.

The volcano is about an hour away, which we did as a night tour. There is a tour desk in the hotel and it is run by Frank of "Frank Tours". He does private tours from the hotel which very similarly priced to group tours. Plus this way he works around your schedule and asks how long you want to stay at the volcano, where you want to eat after, etc. He also does various other tours from the hotel. He was a nice guy/good tour guide and I would certainly recommend him to anyone. We also found that tours operated by Costa Rica's Temptations were very good.

This is a great hotel if you want some peace and quiet, but I wouldn't recommend it to people who want to be busy. I would definitely go back, but I probably wouldn't stay more that 3-4 days.

8  Thank kristin7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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