Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
What We Love
- Tabacon’s pièce de résistance: natural thermal springs that wend their way through the gardens
- Mud wraps and top-notch massages at the Grand Spa (for an extra fee), reachable via a footbridge that crisscrosses the springs
- Even the swimming pools are naturally heated by the hot springs, which means sitting at the swim-up bar in hot tub–temperature water
- Looming views of the Arenal Volcano, one of the most active in the world, from your guestroom
- Tabacon caters to all sorts: families, honeymooners, tour groups, singles
- An all-ages water slide into the main pool, which is a short swim from the Arenal Wet Bar
What To Know
- The hot springs are a decent walk (down a hill and a series of steps) from Tabacon’s guestrooms, but a free shuttle is available
- Nonguests can purchase day passes to the springs, so that area can get packed in the afternoons; day-passers must leave by 6 p.m.
- Guests are required to wear a wristband, handed out at check-in, for the entirety of their stay
- The roads coming from the west toward Tabacon curve around the mountains and narrow for certain bridges and crossings
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
With a stay at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in La Fortuna (Arenal Hot Springs), you’ll be convenient to Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Baldi Hot Springs. This 4.5-star resort is within close proximity of Ecotermales Fortuna and Ecoglide Arenal Park.
Make yourself at home in one of the 103 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and plasma televisions. Cable programming and DVD players are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms with showers feature designer toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include phones, as well as safes and desks.
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. If you’re looking for recreational opportunities, you’ll find hot springs, an outdoor pool, and a waterslide. Additional amenities include complimentary wireless Internet access, babysitting/childcare (surcharge), and gift shops/newsstands. The shuttle (surcharge) will take you to the nearby beach or shopping center.
Grab a bite at one of the resort’s 2 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a swim-up bar. Buffet breakfasts are available daily for a fee.
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a computer station, and express check-out. Free self parking is available onsite.
How to Get There
Check in was seamless. Our room had a magnificent view of the volcano. The bed was extremely comfortable. Room was clean. The grounds of the hotel are beautiful and well maintained. The person who arranged tours was very helpful
Three years ago, a friend told me he was taking his girlfriend to Tabacon in Costa Rica. From the moment he showed me pictures of this resort, I have had plans to travel to Costa Rica just to come here. That’s why, when my husband and I decided to travel for his birthday, Tabacon was the very first place I thought of. Everything was booked except for the Honeymoon Suite, but because I had longed to come here for years, we decided to splurge and book it anyway along with the “Natural Passion” package (which includes a welcome drink, a little welcome surprise in the room, daily buffet breakfasts plus an in room room service breakfast for a morning, one adventure tour per person - rafting, waterfall hike, horseback riding, zip lining, etc. - an 80 minute couples massage followed by a warm soak, and a multi-course private dinner). All of this sounded too good to be true but I honestly can say that the experience exceeded all of my expectations.
The arrival process was a little rough (we drove to the resort and clearly said we had reservations, but were directed down to the springs anyway where we parked and then were sent back UP to the resort) but immediately upon getting out of our car we knew we had arrived somewhere special. Immediately we were greeted by multiple staff members who grabbed our bags, brought us drinks and cool towels, and explained in just enough detail how everything works. No confusion, no snags. When we arrived to the room they had a lovely assortment of handmade chocolates waiting for us and soothing music playing on the TV.
As far as the room is concerned, we were astonished - it looked even better than the photos. Any pics just don’t do this place justice - you have to see it in person. Our room had a giant jacuzzi bath tub you could fit five people in (if that’s your thing - ha), a plush king sized bed, and gorgeous, unobstructed jungle views (with a view of the volcano as well). Little luxuries like incense, a delicious in room espresso machine, giant closets, and spa quality toiletries added a nice touch.
The service here is incredible. The moment we arrived we were made to feel really important. I have never stayed at a hotel with staff that made me feel so appreciated and respected. Just an example - it was discovered by the Bell hop that our door lock was broken when we arrived to our room. It was fixed within ten minutes of our arrival but they still felt they needed to apologize - the next morning there was a bottle of Cabernet and a note apologizing for the inconvenience. That was literally the only “snag” during our stay here. Everyone greeted us with a friendly “Buenos Dias!” anytime we passed by. We were constantly checked in with to see if we were happy. So refreshing!
Our visits to the hot springs (which is just a couple minute walk down the road - or you can take their shuttle) was the best part of the trip. You have to see it to believe it! Gorgeous waterfalls and pools, and the water is as warm as the water you’d use for a bath. The Shangri La Gardens is the more private part of the springs that is reserved for hotel guests. Despite traveling to Tabacon in peak season there were not many people there, so we got to enjoy our own little pool and waterfall. It was incredible. When we got too hot there were plenty of little shaded nests with pillows to rest in and have some amazing poolside cocktails.
I had the best spa service I have ever had at the Springs. On arrival we were personally led into the facilities to change into robes and sandals. Before the massage we relaxed in the hot tub in the common area and were brought a green drink and this yummy cold oatmeal type snack. The aromatherapy couples massage we purchased was held out in a bungalow surrounded by the sights and sounds and smells of the forest. Best massage I’ve ever had (even better than any massage at the Fairmont hotels, Miraval, Canyon Ranch, etc). My therapist, Laura, had the most caring and purposeful touch - made me realize what I’ve been missing with other massages. She was truly trying to heal with her hands - and she accomplished just that. She was incredible. As the massage came to an end, we were directed to a lovely warm bath that smelled of lemon grass. We soaked in the tub, as dusk started and we could hear the sounds of night in the jungle. We even saw fireflies dancing around as we soaked. Truly awesome.
The most memorable night of our trip was the private dinner as a part of our package. A few minutes before 8:00 PM we were greeted by one of the staff members at our room who took us via golf cart to the lobby, where we were then walked to a private little bungalow. There was a glass table adorned with rose petals and beautiful music playing. Here we had our own dedicated chef and server who orchestrated the best meal ever. They made us a custom meal tailored to our preferences - vegetable and mushroom ramen, smoked salmon, a tostada with octopus, the most perfectly cooked beef tenderloin, roasted duck, and a delicious fudge tart for dessert. All of this was paired with great wines and beer. We absolutely loved the personal experience and will never forget it!
Speaking of food - breakfast was included and comprised of some of the most delicious food we enjoyed in Costa Rica. We loved loading up our plates with fried plantains, Gallo Pinto, and the most AMAZING mango you’ll ever eat in your life. The French press coffee was super rich and decadent. They even offered several varieties of fresh juices (watermelon and green juice, for example).
Over the years I have had the good fortune of staying at a lot of hotels, many of them pretty darn nice. The Fairmont Orchid in Hawaii. Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. The Fairmont in Monaco. I’ve been to Miraval and Canyon Ranch, world renowned spas in my hometown of Tucson. And hands down, without any hesitation, my experience at Tabacon beat out all of these places by a landslide. Never have I been treated so well. The staff here REALLY cares about making you feel like royalty. Not because it’s part of a script or because they have to do so - you can tell they all genuinely want to make you feel welcome. At the hotel and the springs you’re treated like you’re the most important person in the world. It did a lot for my soul to be treated so well as admittedly I think I arrived here a little burned out from the daily grind back at home. I will forever urge my friends and family to visit so that they, too, can have an experience of a lifetime.
THANK YOU, TABACON, for the most memorable and luxurious traveling experience I have had to date! My husband and I hope to be able to come back here one day.
If you picture paradise, you'll think of this location. The staff were WONDERFUL...the grounds GORGEOUS...the Springs FANTASTIC ...get the picture?? It's an amazingly beautiful location and we wish we had booked an extra day or two. So...we'll just have to go back... SOON !!
Lovely resort. Staff very accommodating & welcoming. Senator suite is immaculate w/2 bedrooms and a half bath. Grounds superbly maintained. Shuttle takes you to thermal river. Excellent breakfast buffet included, dining a la cart, great service.
The room was wonderful, the service was great. It was our anniversary and a complementary bottle of Californian bubbles was it our room. Hotel restaurant was great for breakfast and the evening A la Carte menu. I would not recommend the buffet dinner at the Spar restaurant.
; the price was $40 pp, the food selection was poor and it was or what was available to us cold, and cheap junk food, cold pizza, cold bbq chicken, cold everything, except the beef soup, that was hot! This was not value for money. The upper restaurant was way better valve. Otherwise, the whole Spar experience was fantastic. The hot pools, the hot streams and beautiful lush gardens were amazing. . In summary, everything was great, but the buffet meal. Stay away from that.