My fiance and I traveled to Tabacon in November 2009 and stayed there for 3 days. The only flaw in our plan was that we didn't stay long enough! We splurged for the $140 private transporation from the airport (there is a $30 option available but it only makes two trips a day). The shuttle was great because you can stop along the way. We stopped at a gift shop and also at a grocery store (to get some snacks for the room). The driver was knowledgeable and friendly. We were greated at the resort with cool hand towels and a tasty drink and then taken to our room. We got the cheapest room available and it was fantastic (big screen tv, huge bed, beautiful view of the gardens, very spacious). The staff does a great job of cleaning the room and brings chocolates by every night and offers free turn down service.
I highly recommend taking some of the tours too. We took the volcano tour which takes you up the side of the Arenal volcano (no, you don't get to see lava but its still exciting) and the hanging bridges tour which takes you through the canopy of the rainforest (where we saw tucans and howler monkeys). The tours were only $40-$50 per person and were completely worth it. I also recommend going into La Fortuna (the neighboring town). We went one night and spent a few hours shopping at the great local stores and got a great dinner of local cuisine for only $37 including drinks. It costs $20 for a round trip cab ride. Another tip, no need to exchange money. Everyone takes dollars (although you might get Costa Rican money for change).
I also loved the pool at the hotel. It was the perfect temperature and I rarely ran into any other people down there. It was a great place to unwind at the end of the day (and its open until 10pm).
The hot springs and spa were also fantastic. I was amazed by the sheer size of the hot springs (the website does not do it justice). My fiance and I spent an entire day there soaking up the sun and relaxing in the springs. Although its beautiful at night the main pool does sort of turn into more of a nightclub but you can definitely avoid the crowds by wandering off to one of the many secluded hot springs. I did not realize that the hot spring is not attached to the hotel. You can either walk or take the complimentary shuttle.
The spa was amazing. They give you this great drink when you first step into it and its very peace. I splurged and spent about $450 there on a chocolate scrub, mud wrap, and 90 minute couples swedish massage. It all took place outdoors in a secluded little pegoda. It was great getting a massage and hearing the sounds of the rainforest all around you (tucans, the waterfall). Both of the treatments are followed up with either a dip in a private hot tub or a private hot spring (lovely). The inside of the spa itself is gorgeous and 5 star. After our treatments the staff put us in a quiet, private part of the spa and gave us juice and snacks and then we took a dip in the hot tub. The best part about getting a spa treatment is getting access to the hot tub in it. Wish I would have stayed in there longer and soaked it up.
The food was pricey. We ate dinner at the hotel one night and it came to $87 with drinks and dessert but I thought the food was good and the atmosphere was worth it. We also ate at the hot spring one night which was a bit cheaper and not as good (the also have a $30 buffet available every night).
Overall we had an amazing time. I honestly just wish we would have stayed longer. We set aside 5 days but it took us one full day just to get there and back (from the Washington DC area). I've already recommended this trip to many of my co-workers and friends.
- 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