The Springs Resort and Spa at Arenal
What We Love
- Guests save 10 percent at the Club Rio Outdoor Center and tours booked through the concierge
- Despite its secluded isolation, the Springs offers easy access to the Arenal region’s vast array of adventures and eco-tours
- Beautifully designed and decorated rooms, all with hammock-strewn private patios
- The 14,000-square-foot spa, which offers massages using tropical botanic oils
What To Know
- Arenal volcano is often cloaked in clouds
- The Springs is isolated—about 25 minutes from the town of La Fortuna
- Rent a car to explore the area
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
Whimsical rain forest escape, with volcano views, thermal pools, a spa and a riverside adventure playground
The road to the Springs Resort & Spa winds its way through the Costa Rican countryside, farms and towns interspersed with crashing waterfalls and swaths of rain forest. In this magical setting, the Springs Resort & Spa unfolds down the steep hillside from the red roofed main building to scene-stealing thermal pools. A short shuttle ride away, Club Rio is the resort’s adventure playground beside the Arenal River, with bike paths, animal enclosures, stables, rock climbing, and tubing and kayaking on the river. Echoing the main building’s soaring cathedral ceilings hewn from gleaming tropical hardwoods, all guest rooms have a unique, organic look, with Costa Rica–made furnishings, delicate woodwork (designed to evoke the rain forest), and many with private terraces with hammocks and volcano views. The star of the show is the 28 sculpted thermal pools that cascade through the rain forest. For an alternative water world, adventure seekers can get their fix a mile down the hillside at Club Rio, the Springs’ riverside club for tubing, kayaking, biking, and climbing adventures, as well as animal encounters in the sloth, toucan, monkey and wild cat enclosures. On the dining front, options range from gourmet buffet fare at the all-day Tres Cascadas, Japanese cuisine at Ginger Sushi, and international and Costa Rican favorites at signature restaurant Las Ventanas (tip: ask for a table by the windows for panoramic views of the jungle canopy). For some vacation indulgence, work your way through the five eclectic bars or book a restorative massage treatment in the 14,000-square-foot spa.
In the Area
If there’s a chance of seeing the mountain, book an afternoon trip to Arenal Volcano National Park. Lava flows can’t currently be viewed from the hotel property, so make sure your tour includes sunset from a better vantage point. The Arenal area offers several options for exploring the rain forest, ranging from serene hanging bridges to view-packed cable cars, to one of several zipline canopy tours. Alternatively, enjoy fishing, birding and other water sports either on sparkling Lake Arenal (scenically situated at the base of the volcano) or at Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, which protects a pristine natural waterway. Hikers will enjoy the steep path down to La Fortuna Waterfall or rappelling Lost Canyon’s cascade.
How to Get There
Did 2 nights here with teens in Apr2019. Very nice hotel - beautiful entry with great view of the volcano. Hot springs are plentiful - actually wanted a few cooler pools. Great swim up bar at main pool.
1) Rooms - had the vista deluxe - great large room BUT our room was in the annex - they have a large annex which is fine but it's about a 8 minute walk from the main lobby - not a huge deal but if you're trying to run back and forth it's not ideal. Try to get rooms in the main area. Very nice balcony with great views of the stars and volcano. Lots of room.
2) Pools - all very good - great monkey slide that was fun for all ages. My two teens loved it. Some good privacy at different pools. They have about 8 different hot spring pools right at the main area. Then a 5 minute walk to the Vernal Springs where there's a monkey slide and another 8 or so. Club Rio, bus ride down, has the other 5 or so springs.
3) Club rio - fun but nothing awesome. Tubing is okay - you get two runs of about 15-20 mins each - get to the bottom and bus drives you back up for second run. Wildlife sanctuary is worth it - $15 and you get to touch the sloth. we did not do cat feeding - it conflicts with the sunset horseback riding. Horseback riding - great, daughter does a lot of riding at home and loved the horses, trail and the guide. Climbing wall - it's fine - not much to it.
4) Other games - mini golf at the main hotel which is fun. Great game room for everyone - pool, ping pong, darts, great blackjack table. Good bar to watch sports in. Good kids club with Wii and some other electronic games, a huge assortment of AG dolls - daughter was impressed.
5) Restaurants - breakfast was just okay - nowhere near as good as Andaz or Nayara - more your typical American type but not too expensive. They offered a continental selection as well. Sushi at the swim up bar is actually pretty decent - very edible. We did not eat at the formal place. Food at Club Rio is okay.
Overall impression is that this hotel is fun - fun for kids. It really is Disneyfied and seems a bit out of place if you really want the Costa Rica experience. Nayara is a much nicer hotel for about the same price. It was fun for 2 days and was my kids favorite hotel. We booked on Orbitz about 9 months out and then checked again a month out and prices had dropped 20% - was able to change.
The road in is no big deal so if you want to go zip lining or out to La Fortuna at night it's quite easy.
This is my third visit to the Springs. I love Costa Rica and this resort takes advantage of all the views of the Arenol volcano. Fun swim up bar with great food. The staff is helpful and friendly. I visited the spa and had the most amazing massage. Club Rio offers many activities for the whole family. I will definitely be back. You won't be sorry you stayed, but you will be sorry to leave!
Great help from everyone getting my 4yo prepped and excited. Prompt and friendly in sending pics and videos even when we'd left the Springd resort already. Fantastic experience. Thanks to everyone at Club Rio.
The Springs resort is fantastic. The property is beautiful and the hotel blends into the surrounding jungle. The rooms are beautiful. The springs are warm and inviting. The activities in the area are wonderful. I highly recommend the zip lining with sky adventures. Overall, this is one of my favorite resorts of all time.
My family stayed at the Springs Resort for 4 nights and we would not recommend this resort to family or friends. You pay top dollar for a luxury resort but the service is substandard and disappointing (with the exception of the maid service). First the pros: Amazing views of the volcano, well appointed rooms, lots of hot spring pools and a fun monkey slide and game room for the kids. The Cons: Don't eat the sushi. I was sick for 1 1/2 days after having sushi and missed some of our tours (my husband and kids didn't have sushi and they were fine). Downright terrible, disinterested service at the restaurants and front desk. For the majority of our meals, the servers never came back to check and see if the meals were OK or if we needed anything (they had the order wrong and my son gave up on the meal that never arrived). And I was downright ignored trying for 10 minutes while trying to get a drink at the bar near the monkey slide and I finally gave up. It gets old paying $4 for a coke and $75 for a breakfast buffet (2 adults and 2 kids) when the service is substandard. Overall, The Springs feels more like an American theme park resort (sans the service) than an authentic Costa Rican experience that is as warm and friendly as its people.