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“Beautiful and relaxing - a unique resort.”

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El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in San Carlos
Reviewed 2 August 2014

An Olympic size freshwater pool, natural thermal spa, Blue Morpho butterflies that flutter by at regular intervals and a delicious breakfast buffet! This hotel keeps you coming back....I've been here several times and it is still one of my favorite resorts in all the world!

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are air conditioned, others are not...the location does not require air conditioni...
  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank Casa C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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62 - 68 of 334 reviews

Reviewed 2 August 2014

We, a family of three, stayed here for a night and wanted to experience the hot springs. This hotel aims to be a luxury hotel. Apparently, one attempt to reach this aim is that you are treated with one these ugly coloured wristbands upon arrival - something characteristic of cheap all-inclusive resorts in southern Europe and entirely superfluous here. Our room (junior suite) for 157 $ was OK, but not more. There is a 3 Dollar per day surcharge for usage of the room safe, which we found ridiculous. The hotel features a hot pool, a colder pool and to jacuzzi-like hot "tubs". The restaurant - an enormous hall which reminded us of "modern" Chinese hotels - features a nice balcony overlooking the nearby creek which, however, is so fast-flowing and noisy that conversations over dinner are a bit difficult. Therefore we had breakfast inside. Food quality of our dinner was OK, but nothing special. The buffet breakfast was a sad experience with only a limited choice of items (e.g., with only the ever-present pineapple jam as choice). Staff are professional, but not exactly friendly. We placed an international phone call from the room telephone which was a true rip-off with a $ 75 charge for 10 minutes talking to friends in Germany - avoid in any case! Wifi is available only in the reception and restaurant areas.
Most guests appeared to be well-off Costa Ricans. We would rather recommend the nearby Termales del Bosce - cheaper, rather simple rooms, but hot spring pools nested right in the rainforest, giving the place a very special atmosphere. The only reason we did not go there was a 30 person student group checking in when we were looking at the place. This would have reduced enjoying the hot spring pools a bit, though I admit we regretted our decision later.

Room Tip: Rather choose a different hotel.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Soeren D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2014

We spent 5 days at El Tucano. While it is remote, we found this resort to be special. The atmosphere is exotic, in the rainforest with wildlife, beautiful streams and lovely mineral spring pools. The resort staff were beyond awesome. We felt like we made friends for life. I was impressed with their attention to cleanliness of the pool/spas. They cleaned them often. The closest city for attractions, La Fortuna, is an hour away. Renting a car is a must - with a GPS! But we did not mind the drive at all. You see so much of the countryside and the people. It does help to know a little Spanish, but at the resort, most staff spoke fairly good English. The dining accommodations at El Tucano were nice. The food was good at all the meals we had there. No complaints at all. They had free wi-if in the restaurant and the lobby which was nice. All in all, I recommend this resort for the adventure traveler. A few tips -watch out for the one lane bridges and the signs, CEDA - you must yield. And watch out for cattle roaming the sides of the roads.

Room Tip: The room we had was quaint. Nothing elaborate but nice and clean. We did not see any other room opti...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Patricia K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We've stayed at this hotel before, when it was under different management. The location is great with the hot springs and river. There was a mix up with our rooms however, that was quite frustrating, especially since I had personally booked the hotels rooms over the phone and by fax with management months in advance. The hotel was full the night we arrived and our rooms were given to other people. They did give us a discount and moved us the 2nd night but we were only there for two nights. the breakfasts were great. We would visit again, but only because of the hot springs, river, and pools. Other than that this resorts is nothing special. Rooms are outdated and bathrooms are so-so.

But again, we will be back.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Amanda_and_Javier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2014

The spa is great - the thermal spa is clean and hot! The pool is good too. The staff were great and we enjoyed our stay. The rooms are horrible and dated. They have flat screen tv and fan only, tho this wasn't a problem in February.
Quite location.
Our room Had a shower that is a step into bath that has a hand hold for less mobile customers.
Only stayed one night but there is not much to do so I wouldn't think this was a long stay location. Very worthwhile tho.
As an English speaker it was a little hard but the barman was good enough to help.

Room Tip: All rooms are dated I reckon
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank CKE80Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2014

This hotel was the highlight of my trip to Costa Rica 24 years ago. It is still relatively isolated, beautifully landscaped, the thermal pools are clean (the hot one is beautifully hot but there are two others to choose from), and the staff is very accommodating. Yes, the rooms show the age of the hotel, but they are clean and even charming in their "past era" way. The dining room is well staffed, but I wasn't overly impressed by the food. The utterly BEST part was lounging in the thermal-spring-fed river which runs past the pools -- warm rapids and "hot spots"

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sue K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2013

After a 2 ½ hr. trip by bus and taxi we arrived at this hotel. The entrance is beautifully landscaped with palms, flowers and various water features. The people working at the front desk were very friendly and accommodating; however upon being shown to our room, we were immediately very disappointed. I would equate it with a 2 star hotel in the U.S. –in real need of renovation. The grout in the bathroom was dirty, the TV was very small (about 14” tube style), nails and small sharp pieces of metal scattered on the back porch: overall it was dingy and depressing. The view consisted of looking out over the tile roofs of many other units before the backdrop of a small area of forest. The restaurant has a few tables outside overlooking a rushing stream-very enjoyable; however the food was very average and not cheap. They use water from the hot springs in the area for the pools, but it appeared they do not filter it as the water is not clear. It is in an isolated location: not much to do after 1 day. Needless to say, we will not return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank tropicstravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa

Address: Aguas Zarcas | Alajuela, San Carlos, Costa Rica (Formerly Occidental El Tucano & Spa)
Region: Costa Rica > Province of San Jose > San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in San Carlos
Price Range: £51 - £106 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 87
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Tucano Hotel’s main guest is Mother Nature. The hotel has 87 rooms, including two luxury suites, though the real luxury is the chance to take a bath in its thermal waters. Featuring a 500 people capacity restaurant and conference halls for 200 people, both areas are surrounded by the primary forest housing a countless variety of flora and fauna. El Tucano Hotel has one of the most complete spas in Latin America where all the visitors renew their body and soul thanks to the communion received by the gifts of nature. In its extension of almost 7 acres of land and 9000 m2 of construction are produced 80 liters of water per second flowing from the 7 springs of thermal waters. The hotel has three hot springs pools recently remodeled and a hot water river with wonderful waterfalls and natural pools (surrounded the whole property), guests can swim in and let the river take all its problems while they get renew with its powerful energy. There is also a tennis field, several trails through the forest and mini golf area, though the best activity to practice at El Tucano is relaxation while contemplating the great masterpiece that surrounds it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Tucano Resort & Thermal Hotel San Carlos
El Tucano Resort And Thermal Spa
Occidental El Tucano Hotel
Occidental El Tucano Resort
El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa Costa Rica/San Carlos

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