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Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort

At a Glance

    Pros

  • luxurious hot springs
  • great volcano views
  • good restaurant

    Cons

  • crowded with tour groups
  • breakfast costs $30
  • music sometimes too loud
  • two-night minimum stay required

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort Review

At one of Central America's most famous and compelling resorts, hot springs, a lovely spa, landscaped gardens, and attractive, tile-floored rooms (suites are some of the country's finest lodgings) customarily draw visitors inland from the ocean with no regrets. All rooms have a terrace or patio and big bathrooms. Some have volcano views; others overlook the manicured gardens. The hotel's intimacy is compromised by its scale and its popularity with day-trippers—a reservations system for day passes has improved that situation greatly—but it has some private areas for overnight guests only, including a dining room and pool.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 13 km (8 miles) northwest of La Fortuna on hwy. toward Nuevo Arenal, La Fortuna, 21007 | Map It
  • Phone: 2479–2000; 2519–1999 in San José; 877/277–8291 in North America
  • Website:
  • Location: La Fortuna

    Hotel Details

  • 74 rooms, 28 suites.
  • Rate includes no meals.
Updated: 04-08-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort Review

    My family enjoyed a nice stay at Tabacon Grand Spa only to have it marred by theft. We used the in-room safe (the kind where you enter a 4-digit code) to store our valueables including my cash. We always double chedk that the safe is locked and the room’s door is closed and locked. One day I noticed my money clip was reversed (I always load the bills the same way) and subsequently discovered five $20 bills missing. I mentioned this to my brother who was in another room a few doors down and when he checked his cash he found $200 missing. The hotel staff can access the room for a variety of reasons and these in-room safes all have a master access code. We allege (I have to say that because the hotel’s lawyer insinuated legal action if the hotel’s name was disparaged, especially since it’s a “world-class” resort) that someone at the hotel with knowledge of the master code for the safe entered my and my brothers rooms and stole cash from the locked safes. Perhaps they did the same to many other rooms. We got no satisfaction from the manager or the lawyers response. They said it was our fault, or we were mistaken, etc. No matter how nice the hotel, don’t trust the security of a locked door or safe. I know one thing for sure, this “world-class” hotel did not show respect for at least two of its guests.

    by rog735p, 4/5/11
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    Tabacón Grand Spa & Thermal Resort Review

    This resort is definitely not five star as it states it is. Yes the springs are amazing but the rooms are far from desirable. When we arrived our room had a very funky smell, and no sheets on the bed. If you are coming here for the hot springs it is very convenient but do not expect anything but the price and the springs to be five star. The spa was ok, nothing beats the atmosphere being by the springs, however, the treatment was mediocre at best.

    by elm35, 8/13/10
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    Tabacón Grand Spa & Thermal Resort Review

    Awful hotel infested with BEDBUGS!!!. We came on our honeymoon and had to move at 3am to another hotel because the mattress was infested....it was digusting and the hotel did nothing...except offer us 3 more rooms that were also infested with bugs...so gross! It ruined our honeymoon and we had to decontaminate for 2 days after coming back into the us. If you bring one bug back into your house, your whole house will be crawling with bugs. This is so disgusting and so unsanitary. TABACON refused to reimburse us and now we are way over budget on this vacation due to having to pay 1000.00 extra for the other hotel and thousands to decontaminate our luggage, buy new clothes and safeguard our home! I would recommend everyone to AVOID THIS HOTEL!

    by hotelgal17, 3/4/10
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    Great Place

    We stayed here in 6/08 with our 2 kids for 2 nights and which we would have stayed 3. It is hard to see the volcano but we were able to see it the second day. The hotel concierge arranged someone to drive us to the other side of the volcano one night to watch the lava flow which was amazing. Rooms were comfortable for our family of 4 but we were without hot water and a shower for the 1st day. The hot springs and grounds are fabulous and great to wander through but you can't stay in them longer than 15-20 minutes at a time due the the temperature. Las Tucanes Restaurant is has wonderful atmosphere, service and food and should be utilized rather than attending the buffets at the hot springs.

    by jacarroll4, 6/25/08
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    has to be the best in the area

    if you are going to visit the hot springs in this area - then these are the best. they are pricey - but included for free if you stay this resort, which makes it a deal. don't count on seeing lava even with a volcano view room. Most nights are cloudy and when it is not - at least last week - the lava was oozing on the other side (so you can't see it from your room). Nice grounds and nice service. Special place with a lot to do in the area.

    by goinggoinggone, 3/30/08
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    Count yourself lucky if you see the volcano!

    Tabacon is actually a very nice resort at the base of Arenal Volcano, but only certain rooms have a view of the volcano. We did book one of these rooms hoping to see the red lava at night, but that never happened (apparently, the lava flows down the other side). Also, we were fortunate to actually see the volcano at all - turns out that it is only visible about 60 days a year (it is usually covered by fog). That being said, the rooms were comfortable and the mineral hot springs, just a short walk away and included in your room rate, are great. Very beautiful landscaping at both the hotel and the hot springs. There is a restaurant at the hotel with excellent service and atmosphere and another at the hot springs - both with very good food. The hotel has a pool with a waterfall that is heated by the volcano. There is also an incredible spa at the hot springs with exceptional service and amenities - services there are a little pricey, but totally worth it for everything that you get while you are there. Room service was sketchy and our order was missing a number of things. We booked a river float tour through the hotel and it was excellent. The staff was very helpful with directions to our next location. All in all, a great start to our honeymoon!

    by OCDiner, 7/25/07
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    Heaven on Earth

    Tabacon is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the people who work there must know this because everyone on staff is so friendly! Their Spa is just amazing and any treatment is given in an open air bungalow right in the middle of the rainforest. O.M.G., we highly recommend the Idyllic couple's massage, exquisite!!

    by Spabug, 6/20/07

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