You are greeted at the check-in desk with a fabulous fruit drink and warm cloth to wipe your face. We stayed in a garden view superior room which was nice...but, nothing special. We booked the room through Travelocity which was cheaper than going through the hotel's own website ($185 per night).
Spa: We got a special promotion rate which included 2 $75 certificates for spa treatments. I got a pedicure and my husband got a 1/2 hour back massage. Both treatments were fully covered by the certificates. During the treatments we got a glass of champagne and a small plate of fruit. The spa was wonderful and there were many, many treatments to choose from...all at what I felt were reasonable prices.
Water: There is a water cooler to fill up your water bottle around the corner at the front desk. This is also a good place to get hot water for tea. Your tea will have a coffee taste if you use the coffee pot in the room to make your hot water.
Internet: The Internet is very slow...you won't be able to upload or download videos...we tried to send a webcam video home...no go. Plus, it costs $5 per hour or $10 for the day. We got Internet for one day hooking up to a cable in the room. They have wireless Internet in the lobby but the charges still apply. They also have computers in the lobby you can use...but, you guessed it...the charges apply.
Extras: The room did come with some nice extras like a robe, slippers (which you can take home with you), blow dryer, and complimentary welcome fruit platter. There is also a safe in the room you can use for free.
Refrigerator: There is a refrigerator in the room but it is filled with sodas, beer, snacks, etc. all of which are outrageously expensive.
Checking Out: When checking out, they will ask you if you are sure everything is out of your room. Then, they will send in a maid to check and give the OK. I assume she is checking you didn't damage anything, steal the robes, take snacks/sodas, etc. Take note that there will be a $3 per day "Community Develop. Fund" charge on your bill. This is not a tax and you don't need to pay it...just ask them to remove it from your bill.
Souvenirs: We went to quite a few gift shops in La Fortuna and found the Tabacon Resort to have the nicest selection.
As a guest at the Tabacon Resort, your admission to the hot springs is included. Had it not been included it would have cost $45 per person for the day. There are evening only rates but I don't know what they are.
Buffet: We had the International Buffet for lunch at the restaurant at the hot springs. It cost $30 per person (tip included). The buffet included fried fish, pork chops, chicken, fresh fruit, variety of cheeses, fried bananas, soup, pasta, various desserts, etc. We found it to be a good value. Since the tip is included, the waiters will try to run up your bill. Since water was our only beverage, our server brought us a huge bottle of spring water....everyone at the tables around us got water from a pitcher for free...it never occurred to us to specify we wanted that water.
Avoiding the Crowds: Be sure to go to the hot springs during the day and at night...the experience is very different. We went on a Wednesday night and the springs were not crowded at all...we had one of the pools to ourselves for quite a while. It seems as if buses come from 5-7PM so avoid those times if you can. Friday in general also seemed a little busier than Wednesday and Thursday.
Water Shoes: If you have water shoes, bring them. The bottoms of quite a few of the pools are pretty rough on bare feet and people don't stay long is these spots because of it. We were among the vast majority that did not have water shoes but if we had some we could have had some primo spots absolutely to ourselves.
Private Lounge Chairs: Directly outside the women's locker room, there is a stone wall. Look over the wall and you will see some lounge chairs. One set of chairs has an umbrella. This set of chairs is a good place to camp out if you are staying for the day. They are generally available because it is not intuitive how to get to them. The umbrella keeps you and your stuff dry during the frequent down pours. You are close to the bathrooms and water cooler (where you get/return your towels). It is private because it is hard to get to. And, you can read even after dark because of the lights from the spa.
Bringing in Food/Drink: They don't check your bags so you can bring in drinks/food if you want although not a lot of people do (including us). We saw one person get a can of beer out of their bag. But, the best idea we saw was to bring one of the tall plastic sip cups with the long built-in capped straw. You could put whatever you wanted in it and you could take it along into the water.
- 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