Full Disclosure: I did not actually stay at The Springs but I did spend two full days at the resort.
The original title of this review was going to be something like: "How to Enjoy a $600 a night resort for $25 a day." While that title seemed a bit long and wordy, it should accurately describe the amazing deal we found at the Springs.
The Springs Resort is flat out amazing on so many levels. It is gorgeous. It is beautifully maintained. The service is excellent. There are enough different pools you need at least a couple days to enjoy them all. I've heard the resort described by some as "artificial" or "disneyesque" but I'd have to disagree. The place is simply incredible.
The one problem with The Springs however is the cost. In season, when we were in La Fortuna, you're looking at around $600 per night. I realize there are probably deals to be had if you plan ahead but unfortunately this was a last-minute kind of trip so we were out of luck to actually stay at the resort. Never fear however as the resort offers a day pass program that makes it possible for cheapos like myself to enjoy this amazing place.
For $50 you actually get full use of all the pools, hot springs, bars, and restaurants for two full days. Apparently there are a total of eighteen different pools so having two days is definitely a good thing. In addition to the pools and restaurants, your $50 also gets you a tour of their wildlife preserve. I have to admit I was a little skeptical of what I'd get for my "free" tour. I pictured a few cooped-up animals that would leave me more depressed than when I got there. Luckily the preserve is anything but. There is a wide variety of animals all kept in a beautifully maintained area. It was as good as many small zoos I've been to. Even better is you actually get to go in with the Toucans; an experience not to be missed.
Also during our time at the Springs we checked out their Club Rio area, a place best described as an outdoor adventure center crossed with a zoo. There are many activities available, kayaking, a climbing wall, horseback riding and several others. We did the river tubing and had a blast. It's not what you'd call extreme. It's about 500 yards of Class II rapids that you actually do twice. We actually took our mothers along with us, aged 68 and 72, and they loved it. Club Rio also has their own set of hot springs plus a bar/restaurant so it's a place you could spend an entire day if you wanted to try out several of the activities.
To give some idea of how relaxing and luxurious The Springs Resort is, on our last (half) day in the La Fortuna area we had two options:
1. Actually do the volcano hike in the national park, the main activity we drove 4.5 hours from Potrero to do.
2. Spend three more hours in the hot springs and pools.
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that it wasn't much of a decision to make, the springs were just too good to pass up. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed by this resort I want to go back to Arenal; not to visit the volcano, but to compare and contrast the other springs at Tabacon and Baldi. Maybe next time. :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A World Class Luxury Resort featuring Spectacular Hot Springs, Picture Perfect Views of the Arenal Volcano from every guest room and Four Restaurants including our famous Ginger Sushi Bar and Las Ventanas fine dining. Enjoy our 28 mineral laden, artesian Hot Springs and our 14,000 square foot Spa and Fitness Center. All of our amenities make The Springs Luxury Resort & Spa a great destination for Costa Rica vacations, weddings, or a honeymoon. Our 27,000 square feet of event, convention and meeting space have also made us the leading Costa Rica conference hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Springs Resort And Spa At Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
- The Springs Hotel
- The Springs Resort And Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park