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“A Once In a Lifetime Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A Once In a Lifetime Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2011

We absolutely ADORED Tabacon Resort. We lucked out and got a very reduced rate because we booked about 4 days in advance to stay here on a whim for our honeymoon. This place was fantastic. We paid a bit extra for an upgrade to a suite (the one right below the honeymoon suite price-wise) and we are SO glad we did. Our room was away from the rest in a block of I think 5 other rooms instead of 20 or so like the other blocks. We'd open our large sliding glass doors and see nothing (and hear nothing!) but jungle. It was the BEST place for a honeymoon ever. The rooms were clean and bug-less (unlike other places we stayed in Costa Rica... understandable but still). We read the reviews about untrustworthy staff stealing things from other people's rooms so we kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and locked our luggage just in case and had no problems. The hotsprings were hands-down the best thing we've experienced... so relaxing and we went on a weekday so they weren't very crowded at all; felt private. And it came with a laptop & free high speed internet, which I don't think the other rooms come with.

The food was good but not worth the money. My advice is to load up on groceries in town before heading to Tabacon (cabs into town are really pricey once you're there). We spent almost $200 a night on dinner which we only did because it was our honeymoon... for any other occasion we would have had heart attacks.

The spa at Tabacon was nice but overpriced. I had a good deep tissue massage but my husband hated his back massage. He said it felt like the masseuse didn't really know what she was doing... and it cost an arm and a leg. The atmosphere was really nice though & we liked listening to the jungle sounds while getting a massage.

Besides that, everything was worth the money. It was absolutely fantastic and we hope to return someday!!

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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmiguelmolina, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 27 June 2011
It is a pleasure to be advised that you did have a spectacular experience with us during your Honeymoon in Costa Rica. Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort has proudly become a great Honeymoon destination, providing several options to make out of our services the most romantic and unforgettable experience. In addition, we offer from Honeymoon Suite room´s to especial romantic and private dinners, the extraordinary ambiance that surrounds us with the heavenly tropical Rain Forest setting plus our natural hot springs with absolutely relaxing sounds of water falling and our world recognized Spa, ranking in the Top 10 Mexico & Central America. Will be waiting for you to return in the near future, and hope to celebrate with you any anniversary.
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3,179 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (494)
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2011

We stayed here for the unlimited access to the hot springs. We were very impressed with the grounds, the service and breakfast. Our room had a spectacular and unexpected view of the volcano. We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CherryBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmiguelmolina, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Thank you very much for sharing the lovely time you have spent at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Consider yourself part of our Tabacon`s family.
Hope to have in the near future again!
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Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2011

The Tabacon was a decent hotel, but not for almost $300 a night. It is an outdoor setting, described by other reviewers as motel-like, but I think it just gives you easier access to the jungle setting. The resort charges outrageous prices for everything from lodging to internet to food and beverages ($6 for beer, $11+ for mixed drinks). We booked through a travel agent, who paid the hotel in advance of our stay and at a much lesser rate than we were charged (which was higher than the quoted rates on the Tabacon's website). For accommodations, the lights in the bathroom were dim and the one in the shower burned out on day two, but the worst was the water temperature - although they say the hot water is from the springs, the springs are jacuzzi-hot while the water in the shower is luke-warm at best. Our bed did not have a top sheet, which we found odd, but didn't mention to staff and during our three day stay, housekeeping never added the missing sheet, so I guess this is normal. We were 'upgraded' to a superior premium room instead of the superior room we paid for, but noticed no difference except $115 per night. We were there for our honeymoon, but I'm very glad we didn't request the honeymoon suite, which is much more expensive. Our room was supposed to have a view of the volcano, but ours did not and the door to the patio led only to a standing area with shrubs 2-feet in front.

Do not eat at the restaurants at Tabacon if you have transportation elsewhere- they are overpriced and mediocre. $28 for breakfast buffet is supposed to include mimosas, but we were only given this one morning. Dinner cost us ~$100 for two main courses, one appetizer to share, and tap water. There are quaint restaurants closer to town that are much better, cheaper, and will fill your stomach. The breakfast buffet is just a rip-off.

At the springs, my biggest complaint is that there was a kid in the springs and in the pools wearing a regular diaper. There was a posted rule against this, however the staff allowed it and the rest of us shared the dirty water from a dirty diaper. On one day, a dead iguana floated through the springs and staff did not attempt to remove it - yes, this is a natural occurence in a river, but for the cost of entry to the springs, the staff should try to prevent their guests from being surrounded by carcasses in the water by removing it, which they did not. The springs are not on the site of the hotel and you have to either walk ~10 minutes to them or take the shuttle, which is inconsistent. Again, this is not a real problem, but something the hotel should inform you of instead of it being a surprise. In most of Costa Rica I felt safe, but around 5pm walking from the springs back to the resort, there were many cars of young men driving around loudly, eyeing us and sometimes honking, and I was concerned for our safety. My only consolation was that they probably knew we had no valuables on us at the time and carried only our room key. The springs are gorgeous, but they have been modified to please tourists. We never did find the cold water pools and many of the trails and sections were closed during our visits.

We had a spa treatment while there as well; the treatment was nice and the spa offered delicious smoothies, but the treatments were very overpriced. On the day we checked out of our room, we were to have access to the springs for the entire day, however once we checked out we were treated as lesser individuals. Suddenly the shuttle wasn't available and we were given old, stringy towels to use at the springs.

The springs ARE hot, and the most enjoyable time we had was the afternoon that it rained. We were the only ones in the springs, and the temperature was much cooler, and this made the hot springs more enjoyable. Hot springs are hard to handle when it is also hot and humid outside.

The main draws of this resort (which we also fell for) are the 5-star Leading Resort of the World rating and the free access to the Springs. Because the springs are down the street, this is not as convenient as it sounds. The 'savings' of $65 per day for access to the springs isn't pure savings, because when you buy access a meal is included; however if you stay at the hotel and have 'free' access to the springs, a meal is not included.

This was the fourth hotel we stayed at in Costa Rica and it was the least impressive (for good reasons, at least). As honeymooners, we were treated much better at smaller accommodations, which were cheaper and friendlier. If we return to Arenal, we will stay closer to town in a smaller hotel or resort that is more appropriately priced and not out to drain our wallets.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kimberlys0428
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmiguelmolina, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Thank you for your preference at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort!
Concerning the appearance of “Jungle setting”, I liked that expression. Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort might have different conceptions in comparison to other Hotels. In addition, we are proudly dedicated to the protection of the environment and sustainable tourism, we love the nature that does surround our property and provides tranquility, beauty and heath to all visitors. Hundreds of unbelievable natural treasures and resources are found at our property.
Regarding our bedding extra sheets are always provided when guest request it.
Wish you the best for your lives together!
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Virginia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2011

I and my spouse stayed in the honeymoon suite for 3 nights.
** The staff: is very courteous and helpful. They are very prompt in service. They have shuttle service to the Hot springs which is 10 mins away on foot.
** Honeymoon suite: was very clean, spacious, luxurious, equipped with a laptop. All the honeymoon suites on upper floor have volcano view. But you will have to ask for upperfloor when you book or you'll be stuck with garden view with little volcano view on the ground level. The rooms on upper floor have a full glass wall with a huge sliding window. You'll enjoy the company of hummingbirds in the morning. We saw a family of Coati one morning.
** The hotsprings and spa area: is like a true Paradise. No words can do justice to the beauty of the Hot springs. We got a 60 mins Deep tissue couples massage at the Spa which is truly a 5-Star facility- the staff, the services, the setting, the health smoothies... make it an unforgettable experience and a must do. We also enjoyed the swim up bar which has suprisingly affordable drinks.
** Very pricey compared to the other resorts like Nayara which have better rooms for much lower price with bathtub on the deck , garden shower, and volcano view. Tabacon on-site restaurants are also crazy expensive. You can buy snacks, drinks, drinking water from the supermarket in town (15 min drive). Even a bottle opener is charged if you'll need one. Local calls are $1 per minute!! Breakfast was included in the room price for us and it was great! But I think it costs $28 pp otherwise. For other meals we went to town where we could taste the local flavors in a more cultural setting.

** NOTE: Check their special packages. We saved 33% on our stay! I would not recommed this place for full price.
PROS: Spa, Staff, swim up bar, free access to Hot Springs
CONS: Expensive food, expensive rooms, 20 mins from the town

Room Tip: Check their special packages on hotel website
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank silverlining2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmiguelmolina, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Dear Customer thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! As we always say, we are very lucky to have this piece of Mother Nature around us. That´s why the Grand Spa is ranked in the Top 10 Best Spa in Central America & Mexico, the kind, type and quality of services are unique. We are definitely proud of being part of Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. Nature, romance, tranquility, relaxation, picturesque landscapes, hot springs, The Gran Spa, and delicious culinary options, are just part of the heavenly experience that people can enjoy during their vacation at our Hotel and Resort. Hope to have you as a guest in the future!
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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2011

My wife and I visited Costa Rica in April 2011 and had an absolutely fantastic experience in the Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. While other hotels in the area also offer great views of the Arenal volcano, none provide the additional experience of the amazing hot springs coupled with luxurious lodgings and service. We had a deluxe premium room that was worth every additional penny, since staying at this five star hotel also includes the $60 daily entrance fee to the hot springs. A beautiful, spacious room, with jacuzzi and balcony, with all the pampering extras. And the hot springs need to be seen to be believed. Cascading waterfalls and naturally heated rainwater pools, and all this in the midst of a rainforest setting. As my wife described it, "this is a glimpse of paradise on earth!". Definitely one of the most pleasurable highlights of our trip, and a definite must for anyone touring the Arenal area.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DNissan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
jmiguelmolina, Manager at Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Dear guest, that´s a very good way to describe our Hotel, just as you did. Thank you very much for choosing our hotel during your stay in Costa Rica
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Additional Information about Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Property: Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Address: 13 Km Northwest, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room 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 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#5 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 (per night): ₹ 21,940 - ₹ 42,271
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/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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