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“Pricey but you won't be disappointed”

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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Georgia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Pricey but you won't be disappointed”
Reviewed March 5, 2008

We stayed at Tabacon during a recent vacation in Costa Rica. It was definitely worth the drive to Arena and we enjoyed staying in the resort. We opted for the cheaper garden room suite with no view of the Volcano. This worked out perfectly as the volcano had cloud cover at the top throughout our three day visit. You can also see the volcano from all over the area, so I don't feel like we missed out on anything. Our room was spacious and very clean. We had a large plasma TV (this worked out well for watching a DVD during a rainy afternoon). We enjoyed walking to the hot springs each day. I would say that it is worth paying the extra to stay at Tabacon for unlimited use of the hotsprings and avoiding the $55 per person charge. We would walk over there at the end of each day for some relaxation before dinner.

There was a lot to do in the area and having our own car we were able to do several trips and without using the "tourdesk" service and incurring the extra cost. We visited the hanging bridges, Arenal National Park and did an ATV ride. If it hadn't been raining during our visit we would have done a lot more as there was plenty to do in the area.

We also ate most of our meals in Fortuna rather than in the resort which saved us some money.

I would certainly stay here again if I visited the area and would recommend it to friends.

  • Liked — Hot Springs
  • Disliked — Restaurant a little pricey
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DellaLouise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Washington, DC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2008

I don't know why so many people hated this resort- WE LOVED IT!!! My boyfriend and I wanted to stay here for one night before heading to Quepos to spend a week with my family. We researched a lot about Tabacon and decided to stay at the resort and not somewhere around it. We were so happy we made that decision.

The drive was incredibly terrible- I recommend the shuttle. The roads are windy, few signs, sometimes one way and very hard to drive, especially since most of the cars are manual. You have to drive here during the day!!! We drove in the evening and I was exhausted, frustrated and hated Costa Rica by the time we arrived at Tabacon.

Then I actually broke down at the front desk. They were so nice and gave us cool lemony scented towels to wipe my tears. They not only escort you everywhere- they will pick you up at your room and drive you wherever you want to go. The robes are so incredible, the rooms are enormous, the tv was awesome and the spas are to die for. We live in DC and are used to overpriced food and drinks and thought the food and drinks were more than reasonable at the wet bar. I tried like 6 different mixed drinks and I loved the Nutty Colada the best!! They gave us maps for hiking around Arenal, a free late check out and the Costa Rican hospitality which made me love the country.

We were so happy we went to Tabacon- we only wish we took the shuttle!!!!

  • Liked — Friendliness
  • Disliked — Location
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
2 Thank shempp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
De Haan, Belgium
Level Contributor
91 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2008

Our room in building # % had an open air jacuzzi on the terrace with a view of the Arenal volcano. (The superior level rooms in building # 3 also have a volcano view but few rooms have a terrace or balcony). The rooms are relatively dark with poor electric lights. The beds should also be replaced. Daily room housekeeping was very good.
The Tucanes Restaurant with the buffet breakfast and dinner service was superb. The Mexican chef L. Cortes who had his training in Europe, prepared excellent, truly gastonomic meals (including amuse bouche and sherbet). For breakfast, a choice was offered of all the Britt specialty coffees (Turrialba, 3 Rios, Poas...).
The hot springs with a temperature just above body temperature are on the other side of the road, they can be reached on a footpath or the hotel shuttle can drive you there.

  • Liked — room with terrace and view, restaurant
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank mundus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ivins, Utah
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2008

We were very disappointed with our experience at Tabacon and I wish to alert future travelers of the problems that they may encounter. We had read that this was a 5 star hotel and the basic room cost $245.00. When we walked into the room, the alarm on the clock was going full blast and the only way to shut it off was to unplug it. This was only the beginning. The fan in the ceiling didn't work, the bed lights didn't work, there was no screen on the window so you couldn't open the window. It was advertised as a garden room with balcony - there was no garden or balcony. The workers were hammering most of the day. I do have to say that they did move us eventually to an upgrade which was nice and really was the room described by Fodor's as typical of all the rooms. So beware of the lower end accommodations at this resort. We also found it very touristy and crowded at the springs. Dinners start at a flat rate of $32.00 per person. If you are going to Costa Rica, stay at La Paz Waterfall gardens - that is what a 5 star hotel should be like.

  • Liked — The view of the volcano
  • Disliked — the room accomodations
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank club0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 3, 2008

So, I must say that one of my main criteria for evaluating a hotel is the quality of the food and dining facilities. Tabacon certainly did not disappoint in this respect. After some travel delays my wife and I did not arrive until dinner time and we were both famished and cranky. The atmosphere of the Los Tucanes restaurant immedeately smoothed out any wrinkles that we had and the food went above and beyond satisfying our hunger. Being the extreme carnivore that I am, I went straight for the grilled lamb chops which were exquisite, and my wife, who only eats fish, had an amazing seafood risotto. We enjoyed a glass of wine on the balcony of our room after dinner, had a great nights rest, and awoke to a great buffett the next morning. This was definitely a great stay and I'm sure we'll be back the next time we have the chance.

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank cherrygord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC Mountains
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2008

Tabacon was a bit "over the top" for us. The check in people were sort of officious, but were still efficient. Our room was nice at first look, but dark and musty smelling. We could not read anywhere except the bathroom because the lighting was terrible. The bedside lamps had 40 watt bulbs. We asked for more light, but no one helped. There was no lamp by the sofa, either. The buffet at the Hot Springs was $32 for guests at the hotel, and was a free-for-all with people in bathrobes and less putting hands in the food. The lunch was severely overpriced--at $12 for quiche. Breakfast buffet was great. We were so turned off by the lunch prices that we chose to go to La Fortuna for dinner each night. (Don Ruffino is good.) Door staff was great and friendly--especially Juan Jose and Franklin. Gardens, birds, and animals very nice. Springs overcrowded and almost amusement park like. Would not stay there again.

  • Liked — Gardens and layout
  • Disliked — Dark room, overpriced lunch
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank fairleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2008

Well I wanted to stay here becuase of the luxury aspect and at the end I am glad I didn't. We came to the Tabacon for the springs and dinner as a tack on to a volcano hike instead of staying there. Well the locker room was like a mosh pit. There were so many wet people in there, the place never seemed to 'get clean'. The springs are nice, but again, too many people. Took forever to get a drink at the bar. After the springs we again braved the locker room for showers. Well imagine when the hot springs resort runs out of hot water for showers. Kind of ironic. Dinner was just ok. I kept thinking that hotel guests have their own springs, but I don't think they do. I think the hotel guests are thrown in with the day trippers (of which there are many) and that's that. So, given I've heard negative things about the staff at Tabacon, I am glad I stayed elsewhere. Even the hot springs experience was not stellar. Nice resort, just too crowded.

  • Liked — The actual springs were nice
  • Disliked — For day trippers, the locker room was like Grand Central Station
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AnaMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Property: Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Address: 13 Km Northwest, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, 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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#9 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#13 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 103
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 Thermal Resort & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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