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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
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Reviews (3,813)
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Reviewed July 3, 2014

So this is star rating is a little off - I'll break it down below

HOT SPRINGS = 5 stars
Ummm, amazing. The whole place is brimming with natural hot spring rivers that pool in areas and you walk around dipping in and out of said pools as you wish. Some are natural (leaves, dirt etc) and some are clean, chlorinated (or something) fully manmade areas. All of them are nestled amongst trees, ferns, waterfalls. Seriously amazing. They also have one big classic hot pool with a bar that did the best Pina Colada's we had in Costa Rica. I highly recommend the hot springs.

HOT SPRINGS RESTAURANT = 0 stars
DO NOT EAT HERE. Awful. It is a buffet and we had Chinese night and all we could taste is salt.

HOTEL = depends how you rate things...
Personally it was a 1-2 star experience for us. It wasn't clear when looking on their site or when booking the hot springs are a 15 minute walk down the road. The hotel itself is made up of building blocks with fancy rooms racked and stacked in them. The staff were sweet and helpful, but it felt like a big old waste of money form our perspective. I like a bit of decadence, the rooms were clean and plush, but this just felt soulless. We didn't eat here or use the pool on the property but based on the food at the hot springs I definitely didn't feel like we were missing out... We splashed out on a night here and (if it wasn't for the distance) would have preferred to stay at Mystica Lodge where we had been.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GingeTrix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TabaconGuestService, General Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 13, 2014

Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the Hot Springs. They are actually the only natural hot springs in our area. We take note of your experience at the Ave restaurant in the hot springs. While there may be different palates for different people, we have received many compliments for our Asian night, which includes sushi, tai and chinese entrees. We are nonetheless, reviewing our menus to make sure it adequately addresses all culinary needs. Traditionally, however, chinese/asian food is spicier than usual but we would have been happy to make the necessary adjustments, at your request.

It is regrettable how some our guests perceive time and distance. The Springs, all part of our property are exactly 800 feet away from the Suites or a maximum of a 4 walk, if one stops and smells the orchids and other tropical plants on the little rustic pathway. It could never be any more than that.

We are happy you enjoyed the rooms and service and look forward to welcoming you again soon. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly so I can assure you receive you loyalty/return guest package.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed July 3, 2014

I was skeptical given the poor reviews of Tabacon on this site, but I have no idea what people had to complain about. Our stay was perfect! We read that Tabacon is rated as one of the best hot springs in the world. I am convinced that it must be. You cannot even imagine how beautiful the springs are until you are there. And being able to be on property was a luxury.

We started our trip here, but I recommend ending here for the ultimate in relaxation. We stayed for 3 nights, but I would have preferred 4-5 nights.

I traveled with my husband and 2 small daughters, and 2 close family friends. Our time at Tabacon was perfect. The hotel itself is lovely. Rooms are well appointed and clean. Housekeeping was fantastic (our housekeeper hugged our daughters when we left-she was so very kind). The bellmen were polite, helpful, and great all around. The front desk staff was polite and efficient. The grounds are beautiful. The beds were heavenly.

Given that the daily cost for the hot springs runs around $80. we thought it absurd to stay anywhere else but the Tabacon Resort. We had a package with breakfast included. This is a must! I e-chatted through the resort website in order to have many questions answered and received a better rate than was published. Please keep in mind that we went during a lull in the season, so this may account for the amazing rate.

The breakfasts were amazing and delicious. I loved that they had both Costa Rican fare and typical "American" options. It was a good mix.
We ate dinner at the resort restaurant, Los Tucanes, each night of our stay and was not disappointed. The food was delicious (remember, to ask for the bill-it's considered rude in most places for a restaurant to run you out by placing the check on your table). Prices are comparable to fine dining in my hometown of New Orleans. I thought prices were quite fair for quality, presentation, and taste. They have children's options upon request--just ask.

Late June-early July was great. Not too hot, not too rainy, and not too crowded. Most days we had the springs practically to ourselves. It was a fantastic family place, but also great for couples.

I should have bought gifts at the gift shop, but I thought they were perhaps overpriced. I was wrong and I still regret not buying gifts and souvenirs there for my daughters.

We did only 1 tour of the animal rescue center, Proyecto Asis, which is not to be missed if you have children (little ones - teens). We did the half day of tour and animal feeding.

I had a difficult time finding tipping guidelines, so I'm including what I did/learned here:
Everyone relies on tips, even self-employed tour operators. Great tour guides charge the same as bad ones in order to remain competitive. So just tip if you have a great guide (about 15%) so that they can earn what they deserve. Be sure to be prepared to tip housekeeping (about $3-5./day/room), concierges (about $100-$200/week), waiters (10% is automatically added in, but leave and extra 8-10% IN CASH). Most transport drivers work for companies that pay modest wages. Be sure to tip them about 15% to them. Bellmen receive the standard $2.-5. per bag, depending on weight and distance they must be transported.

Roads to San Jose are paved, but windy. Take dramamine if you get carsick in the least.

Happy travels!!

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank lkn123
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 reviewResponded July 4, 2014

Dear lkn123

Thank you for choosing Tabacon during your visit to Costa Rica, we appreciate your review. Our aim is always to provide our guests a high quality service and create unforgettable memories during your stay. We firmly believe that every single detail is part of Tabacon experience. From the beautiful Costa Rican scenery, a warm welcome with the tropical cocktail, room details, our food and beverage selection, our friendly staff and the hot springs are key moments in which your experience becomes more enjoyable. For a wellness and relaxing experience we have the natural hot springs at the resort that as you mentioned has been recognized as one of the top thermal resorts over the world. Los Tucanes Restaurant is our fine-dining option in the heart of the rainforest, our chef creates a culinary experience with the most succulent ingredients. We appreciate your detailed review to share your wonderful experience with us. We are totally grateful for your preference we look forward to serve you again in the near future.

Sincerely
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager

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Reviewed July 2, 2014

Beautiful resort. Great staff and enjoyed the thermal springs very much. The food was very good and the drinks. The hot springs is very romantic. Must try zip lining and white water rafting. Overall excellent vacation spot.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Millie S
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 reviewResponded July 4, 2014

Dear Millie S

Thank you for taking the time and share your feedback, we really appreciate it. We are pleased that you were able to explore more than 20 different thermal water cascades, pools and ponds with a high mineral content immerse in a natural location, providing a romantic and relaxing moment. As you mentioned Arenal area is also ideal for guest that love adventure and our concierge is always there to serve you. We have a tour operator located at the hotel lobby with a special tour menu including a variety of mid-day and full-day tours depending on your preferences. We are sincerely thankful for your visit and hope you will come back soon.

Cordially
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager

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Reviewed June 30, 2014

Everything was excellent from the time we arrived. Because of an issue with the room we had reserved, i was upgraded to a better room. The service was alsways top notice. Good breakfasts. The pool and hot springs were great and not crowed. My granddaughter like the swim-up bar where she could order a smoothie like adults.
Would recommend for anyone

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank bubba65
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 reviewResponded July 1, 2014

Hello bubba65

We appreciate your time for sharing your comments with us. We are glad to know you enjoyed the upgrade, you could notice we do our best to offer a memorable experience to our guests. At the resort you are able to explore more than 20 different cascades, pools and waterfalls all of them of natural thermal water with a high mineral content immerse in a natural location. It is really rewarding to know your granddaughter enjoyed the smoothies and the swim up bar. We look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Warm regards
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager

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Reviewed June 30, 2014

We came with 12 family members and had only 1 reservation problem which was taken care of to our satisfaction. Rooms were spacious and comfortable and stocked with a great mini bar and wonderful room service. Restaurants on site pricey but being able to go to the springs any time was worth the extra cost. We included the breakfast with our room rate and were happy with those buffets.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank ladyfalcons
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 reviewResponded July 1, 2014

Dear ladyfalcons

We really appreciate your comments! We are extremely happy that you spent your family vacation at Costa Rica and decided to visit Tabacon. We are glad you enjoyed our buffet breakfast where lots of choices including traditional Costa Rican dishes are included. In regards to cuisine, we offer different options: buffet, a la carte, and special menus for snacks so you can choose between different price ranges depending on your personal desires or take advantage of our packages if staying multiple nights. As you mentioned our hotel guests receive complimentary access to the hot springs. We are sincerely grateful for your visit and hope we will have the honor to serve you again in the near future.

Cordially,
Yendry Espinoza
Resort Manager

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