We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Are there two Tabacons, because my experience was BEAUTIFUL!”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 1 April 2010

It truly hurts my heart to read some of the negative reviews about Tabacon because I had a WONDERFUL time! I knew going in that the room would be expensive, especially considering I traveled to Costa Rica alone and didn't have someone with whom I could split the bill. I booked a Standard room and chose to upgrade for only $25 more to the Standard Superior. It was the best decision I made. The room was not only spacious, there was a mosaic-tiled Jacuzzi and a small outdoor patio with two chairs and little table. Let me give this advice: opting for a Volcano View IS A WASTE OF MONEY! Keep in mind that the peak of Arenal Volcano is almost always socked in by clouds and the constant rain and humidity almost ensures you'll rarely get a chance to see it. And if I'm being honest, I never sat outside my room and could have cared less about seeing the volcano.

The king-sized bed had a featherbed on top and my sleep was very restful. The room included a flat screen TV with a DVD player. I never saw nor experienced bugs but I agree that at first I never got hot water in my shower. The person at the front desk informed me that the hot water comes from the springs and sometimes you need to let it run for about five minutes until the hot water starts flowing. Not ideal for if you're in a hurry, but I had no problems after waiting a while. Regarding Wi-Fi, I intended for this to be a vacation and never once felt the need to get online so the additional fee never affected me. I found the staff to be courteous; they allowed me to borrow one of the yoga mats from the fitness room and use it in my room to complete a fitness DVD and when I asked if I could check out at 1pm there was no problem. I had my entire trip planned down to the day three months prior, so there was no need to ask the concierge for recommendations. I try to avoid asking them for their help because most often they refer you to operators they have a relationship with - which doesn't always translate into value or being the best in the area. I would recommend you review a Frommer's guide which gives an unbiased opinion on what is in the area and how much it costs. Los Tucanes restaurant is a little overpriced and the food isn't that spectacular, but when I went into La Fortuna one night with a couple I met on the trip (to Don Rufinos), they paid $15 driving in and I paid $11 to return. I figured it wasn't worth the additional $25-30 to go out of my way.

My most memorable experience would definitely be the hot springs. I had planned all day excursions and it was wonderful for the evenings. It can get very steamy in the hot springs and it's like sitting in a wet sauna - meaning I could only take it for about 10-15 minutes. The chlorinated pool is warm and I loved the small waterslide and swim-up bar. Please make sure you budget for at least ONE spa session; it's a shame to read reviews of people who flew all the way to Costa Rica and couldn't splurge on a $135 treatment. Massages are done outdoors under cabanas and the sound of falling water is as relaxing as can be. I tried the Thai massage (loved it!) and the Volcanic Mud Wrap. That's definitely my recommendation; they use warm mud from Arenal Volcano and you rinse off in your own private pool of the hot springs. Unfortunately the water wasn't warm when I was there, but I plan to do that treatment again on my next trip. Overall, I would highly recommend!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank appetite4trvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (3,640)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

2,446 - 2,450 of 3,640 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2010

This resort is AMAZING! The Hot Spring are breathtaking! The buffet was incrediable. Really enjoyed our stay here. We wish we would have stayed at this place longer!

Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
Thank KristenLopes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2010

We're pretty avid travelers and have been around the world. We also used to the nicer things in life. We got to Tabacon early in the morning, checked in, and decided to hit the hot springs for the day. Absolutely amazing -- I will upload some pics when I download them.

We ate in the restaurant, Los Tucanes for dinner. Dinner was overly expensive, however the food was excellent. I wish the resort had an option to dine for a bit less. Dinner wound up costing us around $120 abd we didn't even drink a lot!

The real surprise didn't happen until that night. My husband woke up really early in the morning with bites all over his body. We did a bit of exploration and we found bed bugs. We pulled the bed away from the wall and there they all were. And there were TONS of them.

The worst part -- we called down and the staff denied these were bed bugs and said: "this is a rainforest, we get all kinds of bugs here."

Not only were they terribly rude to us, but they wouldn't refund our money.

What a horrible place and a horrible vacation.

I would not recommend Tabacon resort to anyone.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank hagersammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2010

In a nutshell, I have to say that overall we enjoyed our time at Tabacon. My opinion of this resort is that they are relying way too much on the natural hot springs for their 5-star rating.

With that said, The hot springs are incredible! There are many many pools that you can get into all up the mountainside with the very top having a great view of the Arenal volcano on a clear day. The water feels great and the spa service was very relaxing, although expensive ( but what spa isn't?).

This leads me to the hotel... The hotel has a 5-star rating and although in our experience it was very clean and the rooms were't lacking, I was disappointed with the overall experience in relation to the money we spent to stay there. My wife and I were visiting on our honeymoon and one of the reasons we chose Tabacon, besides the hot springs, was because it was a 5-star hotel. The room rates were a bit steep but we were prepared to splurge a bit because we were celebrating! Once we arrived, our room wasn't to be ready for another 2 hours so the gentleman at the front desk offered to have our luggage looked after and told us we could go explore the hot springs and have some lunch if we'd like. He even offered to let us change into our bathing suits so we could enjoy the springs. We decided that we would just walk down and do some exploring and have lunch, saving the hot springs for later that evening after we'd settled in and had some dinner. The area where the springs are is just a quick little walk down the hill, no more than 5 mins (the hotel will drive you in a shuttle and pick you up if you request). After we explored and took some photos we went into the restaurant for some lunch and this is when the sticker shock began. ... My wife and I each ordered a sandwich, nothing fancy (I had a hamburger and fries) and some water, the bill was $50. Unbelievable. You have to be aware if visiting that all the prices on the menu at the restaurant and the buffet include a 13% tax PLUS a 10% service charge. Remember when I said we were prepared to splurge, we were, so this wasn't anything we were too upset about at first. When we finally got to the room, it turned out to be nothing special at all. A bed, a TV with cable, a mini-bar w/ $6 cans of Coke, and a bathroom. The resort offered 24hr room service which is convenient but expensive and not that fantastic.

If you remove the hot springs, and rate this hotel on value by itself, it's not worth the money. I've stayed in many 3-star hotels that were nicer than this one.

The down side to Tabacon is, once you're over the beauty and experience of sitting in the hot springs (and it really only takes 2 or 3 trips down there before it's not exciting anymore) there isn't anything else to do at the resort unless you're getting spa treatments.

There are many tours available in the area and I recommend booking some tours through Costa Rica Wonderland. They offer a lot of different activities! If you like wildlife, there is a river tour that begins just 2 miles south of Nicaragua in Los Chiles, or zip-line through the jungle, check out the La Fortuna Waterfall but be prepared to climb your way back up! There is also a hike to the base of the volcano where you can see/hear it erupting all the time. We also loved the hanging bridges tour! Ask for Jairo (pronounced Hy-Doh) at Costa Rica Wonderland, he's an excellent tour guide and speaks very good english, and he's very knowledgeable!

If you're considering Tabacon, I would recommend staying at a different resort in Arenal and making a day trip to the Tabaon Hot Springs. Paying the day-time entry fee (I think $65) just one time is well worth avoiding all the extra costs for a mediocre hotel room and outrageously priced food an drinks just for the unlimited access to the hot spring. After all, you can probably get a mediocre hotel room for much less at another location!

Don't get me wrong, Tabacon is a nice hotel and we had a decent experience there, it's just not a good value for the money. You pay way too much for what you get, and then you pay some more.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank 00WaWa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2010

Arenal is such a great place to stay for a few days! Tabacon is beautiful although it is a little expensive. The restaurant too was a bit pricey too, but luckily there are some great options a few miles down the road. Also, admission to the spa is included in the hotel price so definitely take advantage of the springs as for as long as you can!

We also did the temazcal at the spa, which is kinda like an indigenous sauna which was great right after New Year because it's a form of spiritual rebirth. Very interesting experience - I would definitely go back and do it all again!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ECG25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near La Fortuna de San Carlos
4.6 km away
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Spa & Resort
The Royal Corin Thermal Water Sp...
#6 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
2,378 reviews
5.1 km away
The Springs Resort and Spa
The Springs Resort and Spa
#6 of 65 in Arenal Volcano National Park
2,494 reviews
4.2 km away
Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
Nayara Resort Spa & Gardens
#2 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
3,424 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
3.9 km away
Volcano Lodge & Springs
Volcano Lodge & Springs
#15 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
3,091 reviews
5.1 km away
Arenal Manoa Hotel
Arenal Manoa Hotel
#11 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
1,906 reviews
4.6 km away
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort & Spa
Baldi Hot Springs Hotel Resort &...
#24 of 59 in La Fortuna de San Carlos
888 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Address: 13 Km Northwest, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#2 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#4 Green Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Spa Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#9 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#13 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $412 - $717 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 103
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Agoda, Booking.com, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing