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“Over-hyped and overextended”

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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Over-hyped and overextended”
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Don't get me wrong: this is a very good hotel in an excellent location within walking distance of a beautiful hot spring and spa. The views are beautiful and staff are good. But the rooms are just ok, and the restaurant is quite over priced. It feels like the hotel is resting on its previous awards.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Paul T

We appreciate your comments and we are definitively working on them. We are happy that you decided to stay with us and you had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and our unique natural thermal springs that emerges from the Arenal Volcano. Tabacon is a completely natural setting that turns our guest experience to the most unique and relaxing one. We hope to receive you again as our guest in the near future.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (533)
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English first
Brooklyn, New York
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 26, 2013

A friend and I recently visited Costa Rica for the first time, and we were so thrilled with our stay at Tabacon. The staff was so friendly and helpful, there were so many wonderful things to do and see there on the grounds, and I would definitely recommend Tabacon to anyone visiting the Arenal area of Costa Rica. We enjoyed the thermal springs almost everyday, which were so beautiful and peaceful. We received the aromatherapy massages of our lives at the spa (thank you, Natalia!!) We had one wonderful meal after another, slid down the slide in to the pool where there is a swim-up bar, and had two wonderful rooms, including the honeymoon suite, which Javier was kind enough to upgrade us to for the same price as our previous room when we last-minute decided to extend our stay one more night! Everything was so beautiful at Tabacon. I didn't want to leave! Thanks for the wonderful experience!!

Room Tip: Rooms facing Arenal Volcano are nicer!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Etoillenyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Etoillenyc

Thank you for your review, we were pleased that you and your friend have decided to stay with us and live Tabacon’s experience, our rooms are the perfect complement for relaxation after the hot springs. We are glad you had the opportunity to visit The Grand Spa and enjoy the aromatherapy massage where our therapist use different essential oils which affect and alter the mood, also helps to improve blood circulation, reduces anxiety and enhances your energy. We would love to receive you at our resort soon!

Best Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corolla, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
45 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed here for 3 days and spent the in the hot springs and the spa. Lodging was superior, with a great view of the volcano. Food in the bar, and all the restaurants was first class. Breakfast buffet way too much.. Coffee in the lobby in the morning was some of the best we had while visiting Costa Rica.
Exercise room was a good size. We enjoyed the convenience of the free transportation to the hot springs and back when needed. No need for a car here. Very laid back and beautiful grounds.
Staff was attentive and resourceful. Everyone we met spoke good English. Was the first portion of our trip. Will return

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Trailer Guy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Dear Trailer Guy B

We appreciate your comments, we are glad to read that you had a wonderful experience at Tabacón. Our aim is to help our guest to make their the vacations the most memorable ones with the most quality service and details as the rooms, the food options and the hot springs. We look forward for your next visit, we will be waiting you with our morning special Costa Rican Coffee.

Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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Mooloolaba, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This hotel is out of the way but it is gorgeous. The spa and springs were amazing. Extremely relaxing, just perfect after a day of hiking. the restaurant on site served delicious food although a little pricey for Costa Rica!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicb0304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear Nicb0304

Thank you very much for your valuable feedback, we are pleased to hear that you had a great visit. Every day we work to provide a high quality service to our guests. Enjoying the scenic beauty of the area is part of the Tabacon experience, after a day of hiking the best way to relax is experience the thermal springs that becomes in a mystical place where steam, the sounds of nature and the water temperature are mixed uniquely arousing your senses. We hope to receive you at resort in the near future.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

My son and I spent three nights here to start our father son trip to Costa Rica. While I might agree with some other reviewers that the hotel itself isn't a five star hotel, but the whole experience is. As you you have unlimited access to the hot springs and a free shuttle bus back and forth (we were typically alone and it wasn't crowded) even though they are within walking distance you don't want to lose the complete relaxation you feel after being in the hot springs for several hours. If you don't plan on going to the springs every day this is overpriced, but if you include the fact that it is $60 per person to get into the springs this can actually be a great bargain especially for families. The staff was very nice, spoke fluent English and had many different adventures that you could sign up for.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ted S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear Ted S

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us and for choosing Tabacon as one of the locations for your father and son trip to Costa Rica.. We are glad to know you had a great time at Tabacon, relaxing at the hot springs in a natural ambience is the perfect location to pamper yourself, enjoy with your love ones, have a great time together and find peace of mind and body. It will be an honor to receive you as our guest in the near future.

Kindest regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We stayed at Tabacon for 4 days in March of 2013. Our hotel room was very nice and the staff were completely attentive to every need. The Springs, however, were the main attraction for my husband and I. They are just magical. The landscaping is breathtakingly beautiful, and the springs themselves are so relaxing. If you are a couple without children, be sure to visit Shang-ri-la gardens. It's a bit away from the main area, very secluded and private, with private cabanas and seating areas, and bar service.

Be sure to arrive before dark if you're driving yourself. We were driving a rental car, and because our flight out of Boston had been delayed, we arrived in Costa Rica much later in the day than we had expected. After dark, the fog rolled in, and it was next to impossible to see on the two-lane, unlit mountain roads that have huge drainage ditches on either side and no guard rails. This is not Tabacon's fault at all - just a tip to avoid driving up there in the dark.

When we arrived, we were told that our breakfast was not included, and that it would cost $30 per person. We never ate there at all - we figured if breakfast was $30, what would lunch and dinner be? Since we had a car, we were able to drive to La Fortuna and get a very delicious Tico breakfast for two for $8 total. We ate at sodas and restaurants in the area, where the food was very good and the prices were quite reasonable.

I'd tell anyone to go to Tabacon for the Springs, but find out about the breakfast charges before you arrive!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MrsG53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear MrsG53

Thank you so much for your appraisal, it is very rewarding to be informed about the pleasant experience you enjoyed during your stay with us. Tabacon is meant to be an experience to be cherished and remembered, that is why we focus our efforts to exceed all customers expectations. All our hotel guest have free access to our natural hot springs resort so you can experience the relaxing hot springs all day long and when you want a secluded, adults-only you can visit Shangri-La Gardens. We look forward to receive you as our guest in the near future.

Sincerely
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, Florida, United States
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

I am in agreement with several other reviews. This hotel is over rated. We arrived 15 minutes early for a 4 pm check in and was told the room wasn't ready. A ploy to get you to the bar for $6 beers and $8 drinks. When we did check in we were told the Honeymoon Suite was $629 per night and that 'IT DOES NOT INCLUDE BREAKFAST". OK, then to the spas. It was like a public swimming pool, very overcrowded due to several bus loads. Dinner was at the bar since we could not get into the buffet because we didn't have a reservation. All this, remember at $625 per night. The next day we spent in the spa are and was very relaxing. we anticipated dinner since it was typico(sic). The food was inedible and we were hustled in because they had a large group coming at 8pm. They did remove the charge for dinner, but not the two drinks we had.
When we checked out at 7 am the next day the desk called housekeeping to make sure there were no Cokes missing from min bar!!
I would not go back. I would get a bus tour and saave the $625 per night.

Room Tip: Unless you want to look at the volcano that does nothing, I would suggest a regular room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank George Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, Gerente at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear George Z

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback and tell us why our service failed to meet your expectations. We want to express our deepest apologies for the inconveniences you experienced during your stay. Please notice our check in time is at 4:00pm and our check out is at 12:00 noon. If the room is not ready when a guest arrive or in case our guest would like to arrive prior check in or stay longer the check out day our concierge and front desk are able to storage your luggage and you can enjoy the thermal resort area.
At the resort area we have more than 20 different pools, ponds and cascades, as well as the adult-only area Shangri-La Gardens, where our guest are able to find a secluded spot. In regards to the restaurant´s service feedback we shared your comments to our Food & Beverage Director to improve our service, we would love to receive you again at the resort to have the opportunity and twisted the first impression you had about our resort.

Kindest Regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Green 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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