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Tabacon Resort junior suites and superior rooms: Need info

Tabacon Resort junior suites and superior rooms: Need info

Jan 6th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Tabacon Resort junior suites and superior rooms: Need info

I'm choosing between Tabacon Resort, Arenal Paraiso, and Montana de Fuego for our family of 5 in June.

5 is the unlucky number for hotel rooms! I imagine we might need 2 expensive rooms at Tabacon Resort. Tabacon's web-site says you get a king bed or 2 doubles. First question: Does anyone know if this means literally a double bed, or could it be a queen? (I notice some Costa Rican web-sites are using double and queen interchangeably!) Also the web-site says the junior suite holds a maximum of 4 adults, while the superior standard only holds a maximum of 3 adults and 1 child. Huh? Is that because of bed size?! Anyone know what beds are in a junior suite at Tabacon?

Do you know if there's much difference in the view between a junior suite or a "superior standard" room? It sounds like the "standard" rooms have the worst views.

I did a search on this fodors web-site for Tabacon, and found some helpful info.

TripleSecDelay: are you there? You seem to know something about the rooms at Tabacon with the best views...Do you know if they are junior suites or "Superior standards"?

I added up the price of staying at Tabacon versus staying in "superior" rooms at Arenal Paraiso and paying $29 for 5 people each day for use of the Tabacon hot springs. The prices are actually similar.

But if we stay at Arenal Paraiso we would need to pay a taxi, actually 2 taxis because we have 5 people, to get from Arenal Paraiso to Tabacon hot springs, right? Does anyone know how far apart the 2 hotels are? And does anybody know what that taxi fare might be? We'd have to pay to get a taxi both ways... If you stay at Tabacon I don't think you need a taxi, they have a shuttle to get you from the hotel to the hot springs...

However at Arenal Paraiso we might have better views of the volcano from most cabins? Whereas at Tabacon some rooms don't have volcano views?

If anyone is curious high season includes June 14 to September 5 at Tabacon! so we'd be paying high season prices in June, $229 for a junior suite or $184 for a superior standard. (Has anyone tried a "Superior Jr. Suite" for $264?!)

Is breakfast better at Tabacon or Arenal Paraiso? Both are included.

One last question: Has anyone stayed at both Montana de Fuego and Arenal Paraiso? Which one is better? Apparently they are similar and owned by brothers, but the Montana de Fuego's web-site is more confusing. I am trying to find a room with 2 queen beds (NOT 2 double beds) for my son and 2 daughters, or else a room with 3 beds, which is a rare find.

Gracias! Details...

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Melissa, I can probably answer just a few of your questions.
We stayed at Tabacon in a superior room and at Arenal Paraiso in a superior cabin. It is too far to walk from Arenal Paraiso to the hot springs at Tabacon, you need to take a taxi (but check to see if Arenal Paraiso has a shuttle for the guests). From Tabacon you can actually walk to the springs; the shuttle is nice for coming back (up hill) or if the weather is bad.

The views are just a bit better from Arenal Paraiso (at Tabacon the base of the volcano is obscured by vegetation and buildings, from Arenal Paraiso you have a full view) but comparable. I think some of the standard rooms at Tabacon do not have a volcano view.
Breakfast: Arenal's was very tasty with an egg station. Tabacon has a bigger selection of foods.
If I remember correctly, the beds at Arenal are double beds and the beds at Tabacon may be queen (don't hold me to it, it has been a while). We are a family of 3 (2 adults and a child) and were very comfortable in both.
Iza is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 04:39 PM
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Iza, thanks for your reply. How handy to have info from someone who has stayed at both Tabacon and Arenal Paraiso!

Interesting to know that the view of the base of the volcano is obscured by buildings and vegetation at Tabacon and that you have a full volcano view at Paraiso...

This is probably a tough question, but all things considered, which did you like better overall, Tabacon or Arenal Paraiso?

I did give in to temptation and made a phone call to Tabacon...their junior suites have 1 king bed and 1 sofabed, and they will take a maximum of 3 people in that room according to the person who answered the phone. However, their web site says the room holds a maximum of 4 people. I think the price for the room only accounts for 3 people as far as breakfast/hot springs use, etc. Confusing!

I have 5 people anyway! My husband and I, 22-year-old son, and 2 daughters, 18 and 19. So I would need 2 rooms. I just don't think I want to give Tabacon that much money, for 2 rooms, upgraded to superior for the view...$264 for a "superior Junior suite" in high season, and $184 for a superior standard. Apparently you have to book a "superior" to get the view, according to the guy on the phone...

I keep changing my mind but I'm leaning towards Arenal Paraiso or Montana de Fuego... Also I was thinking if we stay at one of those two, we could spend the $29 per person on one day to visit the Tabacon hot springs, and then visit one of the other cheaper hot springs in town on the other day.

I can't figure out why Montana de Fuego is highly recommended in the fodor's guide but Arenal Paraiso is not mentioned, but fodors travellers on-line love Arenal Paraiso... Does anybody know if Arenal Paraiso is newer? What's the difference between the two of them?

Thank you so much!

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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Melissa, not having stayed at Montana de Fuego, I can't really compare it to Arenal Paraiso, but they are located in very close proximity with similar views of the volcano. My impression was that Montana de Fuego was a bit more upscale than Arenal Paraiso (which is somewhat rustic).

As to the Tabacon to Arenal Paraiso comparison: Tabacon feels more like a standard American hotel (Holiday Inn type), our superior room had two beds and was spacious with a very nice bathroom. I think your 3 kids could share it easily. We had a good volcano view from our rooom. Arenal Paraiso's superior cabins are more rustic in character, all done in wood and not as light or spacious as the room at Tabacon, but still sufficient for 3 people. I myself was not that impressed with Tabacon and preferred Arenal Paraiso, mostly because it had more character, but my husband liked Tabacon much better. With the price of the admission to the hot springs, Tabacon may make more sense for a larger group. I think if I went back to Arenal, I would probably try to find yet another place to stay (I would probably give Montana de Fuego a try, or there is a new resort called Lost Iguana that looks really good).
Good luck!
Iza is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Iza, thanks for your thoughts on Arenal hotels. I am leaning towards trying the Lost Iguana now. They have a terrific web-site, probably the most helpful hotel web-site I've seen so far for costa Rica. www.lostiguana.com Also the owner has e-mailed me twice so far, answering all of my questions personally.

From what I can determine, the Lost Iguana seems to me like the nicest resort in Arenal, and I think we'd be very happy there. Elaine has some good suggestions for us as well. I asked about driving at night to see the lava flow and she suggests if we stay at the Lost Iguana and the skies are clear, we could have dinner over near the cluster of hotels which currently have the best lava view (Montana de Fuego, Arenal Paraiso, etc.) But you can also see lava flow from the Lost Iguana as well, she says. Actually the beds are arranged so that you can view the lava flow from your bed, and all the rooms at the Lost Iguana have a volcano view apparently.

If anyone is reading this, I haven't been there yet! I'm just reporting info I've gathered.

The more I look into the Lost Iguana, the more I get the feeling that Elaine is tuned into what her guests need, and takes a personal interest in providing it.

Basically I think I'd like the Lost Iguana best overall. I want a place I'll still enjoy even if the volcano is clouded over.

Wow, as you can see I'm talking myself into the Lost Iguana!

Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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is having a view of volcano from your room that essential? I'm just curious b/c we don't have a view (at Tabacon)..hoping we won't be too disappointed..
jessy123 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Jessy123, I'm planning our first trip to Costa Rica. I think whether you need a volcano view from your room is a personal decision. but it's hard to make that decision, isn't it, when you haven't been there yet?

If it's too late to change your reservation at Tabacon then don't even worry about it. If you still have time to change it, I'd suggest typing in "Tabacon Resort" in the search box and read other guests reports on staying at Tabacon Resort. Then type in "Lost Iguana" and also "Arenal Paraiso" and read those guest's accounts. Some of them will talk about having volcano views from their rooms. That's the best way to decide, I think.

I have read that sometimes there's lava flow at night, so it's very handy to see that from your hotel room.
Melissa5 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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Hi-Arenal Pariso and Tabacon are not far apart at all-just a few minutes. Breakfast at Paraiso was great-lots of variety. I found Tabacon disappointing-and the food was nothing to write home about. Paraiso also have their own hot springs now, and most (if not all) rooms have volcano views. That is not the case at Tabacon. We went to check out Montana de Fuego, and based on the rooms (much smaller without direct views) and the amount of construction, we stayed at Paraiso and were happy with our decision.
tanya0070 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Tanya0070, thanks for the tips about Arenal hotels. When did you check out the rooms at Montana de fuego? What are the hot springs like at Arenal Paraiso?

Melissa5 is offline  
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