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“Unique, beautiful resort”

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Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Casselberry, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unique, beautiful resort”
Reviewed 18 August 2009

This was the second time we stayed at the resort and the third time we visited the water park. This place is probably unique in the world with a hot river right off Arenal Volcano.
The landscaping around the river in stunning, rooms were fine as was the food. This location is second to none - unless you want the beach. Great place for a honeymoon!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank rgproctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Kansas City, MO
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2009

I have never stayed in a 5-star resort before, but I can confidently say that I have stayed in nicer hotels. I think this hotel gets the 5-star rating only because of the beautiful hot springs (which were very relaxing and worth visiting). Our room was big, but it was not very pretty and had a weird moldy smell. We asked about moved to another room, but they only had smaller rooms available. The staff was decent, but not the warmest of people we encountered in Costa Rica – besides the lukewarm greeting with a drink and towel, it really felt like checking in at a Super 8. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but at a 5-star resort I guess I thought I was going to feel a little more welcomed and valued. The food was really pricy there (approx. $50/person for dinner, $25/person for breakfast and lunch) and honestly the worst we had the whole trip. It wasn’t horrible food, just very average – definitely not the 5-star cuisine they boast about on their website. The price and quality of the food made it worth spending the $20 round trip taxi to go into LaFortuna to get a tasty, cheap meal. A little tip - they put fresh fruit out (for free) every morning in the fitness center. To be fair, we did not do any of the spa packages. We were looking more for an adventure/tour/exploring type of trip and this was not the best choice for us. If you are looking to relax and stay at the hotel (and have the extra cash to fork out for meals), Tabacon would be a decent choice. If you are looking for excitement, don’t waste your money and look for a hotel with a little more to offer.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jdubyakc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2009

I definitely recommend this hotel. The staff is beyond great, they are friendly, knowledgeable, and anything you need will be handled promptly and with a smile. I loved starting my day there with those wonderful guys greeting us with the 'Pura Vida' saying and a smile.

The room was what I'd expect from a nice hotel here in the states. Comfy beds, state of the art Plasma, dvd player. Everything was spacious, clean, and well maintained. I had no issue at all with bugs at this hotel.

We had a very nice dinner poolside at the hotel's restaurant. My husband and I both loved our food. The service was top notch. I don't know if its something they do often but we were treated to about 4 additional courses on the house- all small tastings but really delicious and something we didn't expect to enjoy. Dinner for 2 came out to about 65 with tip. Too pricey for us to enjoy regularly, but a nice 1 time experience

Most of our meals came from La Fortuna. We ate at The Lava Lounge- loved it there. Very affordable, tasty, cool vibe, owner is form Santa Monica so its American infused cuisine. We loved the Plantain/ice cream and fudge dessert... Mmm.. Also had delicious Pizza from Pizza Vagabondo. A hidden jewel recommended by locals. Also had the typical Costa Rican food at several spots in La Fortuna and all were tasty and CHEAP. We drove there daily, about 10 mins, in our rental car. Parking is easy and we had no issues getting around.

Must do: drive around to the back of the volcano and take in the view at night. Hope for a clear night and wow is that an amazing view. We were extremely lucky and saw Arenal completely exposed- what a sight with lava bubbling out of the top.

Tours: I booked 2 through the hotel. The Aguas Bravas class 2-3 white water rafting (enjoyed, wished the water was rougher though) and the Canyoning. Canyoning was AWESOME. Do it, do it, do it. You rappel down several waterfalls, most professional tour company I've ever seen. Amazing experience.

On our own we booked the zip lines (canopy tour) through Sky Trek. Another MUST DO. Out of all the tours we did this was our favorite. The views are breathtaking and its just so much fun and so easy. I was scared at first but went for it and wow was it great. We also did the Hanging Bridges on our own. If you get there yourself you can pay just $22 and go around and enjoy it. Otherwise its about 55/pp with a tour.

All of the above was done while staying at Tabacon. I will be back. It was an unforgettable Honeymoon, I can't recommend it enough.

We visited the Hot Springs twice, once in the day and once at night. I really enjoyed it at night. Less crowded, and the water had settled so it was completely clear. In the day I found it to be too murky (maybe due to all the people trekking in and out of it). The Bar there is PRICEY. Stick to beer to save on $ if that's a concern.

Final recommendation for you are just take it all in. Get INTO it. Costa Rica is great to explore. Bite the bullet and do the tours, become an adventurer! Oh, and rent a car, its an adventure just to drive around but GET GPS!!!

Happy travels...

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank shila16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2009

Tabacon was great! At first we had a hard time justifying the price, but it was well worth it. The hotel was very nice and clean, the staff was great (they will call up to the Arenal Observatory for you to see if it is clear), and the breakfast buffet was the best we had (the fruit table alone is amazing). Sitting at the swim up bar with gorgeous views of the volcano was one of the highlights of the trip. The drinks at the bar are expensive, but overall the value of what you are getting - good room, AMAZING hot springs, great food - is great, especially if you are coming from a more expensive city like NYC or San Francisco. We also got the Tabacon Spa Package, which was well worth it. I didn't see it advertised on the website, it might be offered only to guests of the hotel. My one recommendation is that you check out the type of room you want on the website, so you know the different options when you call. We saved $30 by asking if there were any Forest View rooms (the lowest price rooms) available - the receptionist didn't mention them until I asked.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LCSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
1 review
Reviewed 9 August 2009

the hotel employees are very friendly and wil give you anything you want. They give you free drinks as soon as you check in. The springs are amazing. The only setback is that there are 1 or 2 bedbugs that bite where we stayed and there is a lot of noises from the bugs and birds. Besides that two thumbs up!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank koolkoala16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2009

The Tabacon Hot Springs has an amazing set of hot springs without a doubt. The springs come from the jungle and fall down through a tropical paradise of different pools, streams and falls. They all end up at a large swimming pool with a swim up bar. That is where the dream dies. A Mojito cost me almost $12 at the pool bar. That is more than a club in South Beach.
It is about 20 min. drive to a town where you can eat, so they kind of trap you there and milk you. A pretty good buffet was $27, outrageous for a country where you can get a great meal on the side of the road for $2. I spent more in extras then I did on my room for two days.
The rooms were nice as expected, but there was nothing special about them. The internet cost an extra $10/day and when I was there was very slow and intermittent.
I think they know they have the best game in town and take advantage of the fact.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank rsimons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san jose
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 3 August 2009

Very nice place, an excellent customer service. Be careful and preparee againts the mosquitoes

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank hupertech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Property: Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Address: 13 Km Northwest, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, 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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Business 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
#6 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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