Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa (Costa Rica)

Old Nov 1, 2023, 12:00 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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We had a recent 3-night stay here. Agree with everyone else that the hot springs area is just lovely. We were there at exactly 8AM each morning for an hour, and then would go back for another hour in the afternoon/evening. The mornings were completely uncrowded, and the evenings weren't too bad in the hotel-guest-only Shangri La section. We alternated between walking (5 minutes downhill to get to the springs, 7 minutes uphill to get back!) and taking the shuttle.

The buffet breakfast was fine but I'm not a huge fan of buffets in open-air restaurants with flies & small bees buzzing around the fruit & cheese sections. We didn't eat dinner onsite - we had a car so decided to spend less $ on food. The nearby El Novillo restaurant is less than 1km away but you'll still need a car/taxi as it would be unsafe to walk. Their menu looked very similar to the Tabacon dinner menu but at half the price. We ate there twice. Another night we ate at Que Rico which was just a bit farther. The pizza was fantastic.

The day pass for Arenal Observatory grounds is up to $15 but well worth it. It's a 20 minute drive from the hotel. We spent a couple of hours walking around. It was pretty drizzly or we'd have spent more time. You could spend an entire day here if walking/hiking is your thing, with a break for lunch in their lodge.

As previously mentioned, the drinks are resort expensive - $16-$19 which includes tax & service charge. But there are several bars on the property - one in the lobby, one in the restaurant, and two at the springs, and each had its own special menu. You can look at the menus online in the room on a tablet to decide which bar you need to go to to get the drink you want! They make their own infusions & syrups and dried fruits. I took a mixology class which was very fun. At $95, it was about 50% more expensive than a similar class at Rio Perdido. It was worth it on a rainy afternoon though.

We were offered a suite upgrade for $80/night which we accepted. We loved the room in building 600 which had a rainforest view. It was very spacious with a huge covered patio. It's too bad they don't give suite upgrades to Globalists. The room also had a Nespresso-type machine (Britt coffee pods though) and housekeeping gave us as many pods as we asked for.

Overall a lovely stay and we'd go back.
ehallison is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2024, 7:26 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 33
We stayed there as a family of 4 in 2022 April for 3 nights and loved it! I'm planning to go back for SB 25. But after checking random dates and I'm not able to find any availability for points. Are they stingy now on point bookings?
E46M3 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 2024, 7:31 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 95
Originally Posted by E46M3
We stayed there as a family of 4 in 2022 April for 3 nights and loved it! I'm planning to go back for SB 25. But after checking random dates and I'm not able to find any availability for points. Are they stingy now on point bookings?
when I tried random dates in March/April 2025, I see that its 29k points/night, but it says to contact hotel. That appears to be new.
msfrugalista is offline  
Old Feb 3, 2024, 1:47 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 33
Originally Posted by msfrugalista
when I tried random dates in March/April 2025, I see that its 29k points/night, but it says to contact hotel. That appears to be new.
I think it's because it's more than a year out? I tried any dates within the year, no luck!
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Old Feb 12, 2024, 3:59 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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I was able to book two rooms on points a couple days ago for this coming July. Surprised as it was after the announcement of SLH/Hilton.
pickles1107 is offline  
Old Feb 17, 2024, 8:08 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by pickles1107
I was able to book two rooms on points a couple days ago for this coming July. Surprised as it was after the announcement of SLH/Hilton.
I guess this is the end of this opportunity? Glad I got to visit. I assume it will be a zillion points with Hilton.
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Old May 7, 2024, 2:12 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 475
I just got an email about our upcoming stay (booked with Hyatt Points for July).

They said they are honoring the reservation (we knew this based on the announcement when Hyatt/SLH terminated their agreement), but breakfast will cost an additional $35 per adult and $18 per kid. We are a party of 6 with two rooms so this is a disappointing development considering all hotel guests receive free breakfast.
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Old May 7, 2024, 3:54 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by pickles1107
I just got an email about our upcoming stay (booked with Hyatt Points for July).

They said they are honoring the reservation (we knew this based on the announcement when Hyatt/SLH terminated their agreement), but breakfast will cost an additional $35 per adult and $18 per kid. We are a party of 6 with two rooms so this is a disappointing development considering all hotel guests receive free breakfast.
That's not very nice behavior on their part, but I'm not too surprised. During my visit, I could sense that they were bottomline oriented. They'd rather bill you than surprise and delight you.

FWIW, I don't think their breakfast is worth $35. For Costa Rica, it's a good breakfast. For America/Europe, you'd expect more from a fancy hotel. Food is fairly cheap (but not usually inspiring) in Costa Rica, so you could easily eat breakfast decently for much less off-site. The well-reviewed Soda La Palma (I ate there for lunch one day) is a mile away and will serve you a full and tasty breakfast for less than $9. A ham and cheese omelette with toast is about $4.
iahphx is offline  
Old May 7, 2024, 8:52 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by iahphx
That's not very nice behavior on their part, but I'm not too surprised. During my visit, I could sense that they were bottomline oriented. They'd rather bill you than surprise and delight you.

FWIW, I don't think their breakfast is worth $35. For Costa Rica, it's a good breakfast. For America/Europe, you'd expect more from a fancy hotel. Food is fairly cheap (but not usually inspiring) in Costa Rica, so you could easily eat breakfast decently for much less off-site. The well-reviewed Soda La Palma (I ate there for lunch one day) is a mile away and will serve you a full and tasty breakfast for less than $9. A ham and cheese omelette with toast is about $4.
Thanks for the suggestion, would definitely plan to eat offsite if they dont relent.
How did you like the hotel overall? Weve been to Arenal before as a day trip only and only drove past the hotel on the way in and out.
pickles1107 is offline  
Old May 9, 2024, 5:14 am
  #40  
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Originally Posted by pickles1107
Thanks for the suggestion, would definitely plan to eat offsite if they dont relent.
How did you like the hotel overall? Weve been to Arenal before as a day trip only and only drove past the hotel on the way in and out.
I think I briefly reviewed the hotel after my stay last year. It's a nice place, but the reason to stay is access to their thermal area, which is extremely nice. They charge $100 per person for the hot springs, which I would not be willing to pay, so the award redemption was excellent for us. But after 2 days of "hot springing" we were ready to move on. The overall problem with Costa Rica is that it's overrated with often first world prices for second rate experiences. They charge foreigners high prices for every nature opportunity, and have below average food.
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