Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa (Costa Rica)

Old Apr 18, 2022, 6:45 am
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Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa (Costa Rica)

Has anyone stayed at Tabacon Resort? Looks like a really nice option close to Arenal. We are planning a few nights there followed by a few more at the Andaz - curious if anyone has any recommendations or advice for the resort or the area.
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Old May 9, 2022, 9:43 am
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The free continental breakfast was actually a buffet with an omelet station (reservations required). The springs open at 8am for hotel guests and at 10am for day passes. Arenal Observatory Lodge has some nice trails and they sell a day pass for $10.
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Old May 10, 2022, 2:19 pm
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we liked el castillo area south with some activities there.. hanging bridges park close to lost iguana resort was fun even in driving rain.. plenty of ziplining rafting etc places..
overall food is likely to be much cheaper and tastier than what you find around andaz
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 7:00 am
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Wrapping up a 6 night stay at Tabacon and thought I would write a mini-review.

Booked the stay on points (17k a night), and consider that a steal. When booking with Hyatt points, only the King room is available, however the property didn't have any issues blocking a two queen room for the four of us (including two kids). No further upgrade, but the room we got was wonderful.

Our room was on the top floor of the 300 building with a direct and mostly unobstructed view of the volcano. This is the best location at the resort for the view and convenience to the restaurant and pool. The standard rooms are large and have a somewhat separate small seating area in addition to the sleeping area. Large shower and double sinks in the bathroom. Hot water comes directly from the hot springs.


View from the room

The resort is split into two separate areas - hotel and hot springs down the hill and across the road. There's a steep paved path between the two as well as a shuttle that keeps circling all the time.

The hotel portion has the Los Tucanes restaurant (breakfast and fancy dinner), and a lobby bar. The casual restaurant and more bars (including a swim-up bar) is at the hot springs. Food is probably the only complaint about this resort - it's grossly overpriced and very underwhelming. Having said that, they have proper room service with real plates, cutlery and even a vase with flowers. It's been quite some time since we had real room service.

The hot springs are amazing - we spent hours and hours here. Just something to note - there is only one small cold pool - all other pools, including one in the hotel section are hot water pools.

Service here is absolutely impeccable - this is truly a 5 star resort property, and overall has been absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended (especially without children!)

A few other notes: a rental car is a must given the sad food situation at the resort. The town is 15 min away by car and has a ton of restaurants with very reasonable prices (a third of hotel prices). There's also a restaurant just past the resort that potentially can be walked to, but with no sidewalks and narrow winding road I would not recommend it.

Pura Vida!
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Old Jul 21, 2022, 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by sch_flyer
Wrapping up a 6 night stay at Tabacon and thought I would write a mini-review.
We must have been right behind you, stayed there the 3rd week of June and your review is on point. I do think 2-3 nights would be enough to maximize the springs, and would consider staying elsewhere for days you plan activities for. Breakfast was great, but other food definitely wasn't great. I think we liked the pool menu the best food-wise. Drinks are also pricey $16-19 but were very good, and the 4 bars between the hotel and springs have a varied menu of cocktails that are well thought out. Service everywhere we stayed in CR was incredible, and Tabacon was probably the pinnacle. The staff are simply amazing.

Pura Vida!
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Old Jul 23, 2022, 9:39 pm
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Originally Posted by sch_flyer
Wrapping up a 6 night stay at Tabacon and thought I would write a mini-review.

Booked the stay on points (17k a night), and consider that a steal. When booking with Hyatt points, only the King room is available, however the property didn't have any issues blocking a two queen room for the four of us (including two kids). No further upgrade, but the room we got was wonderful.

Our room was on the top floor of the 300 building with a direct and mostly unobstructed view of the volcano. This is the best location at the resort for the view and convenience to the restaurant and pool. The standard rooms are large and have a somewhat separate small seating area in addition to the sleeping area. Large shower and double sinks in the bathroom. Hot water comes directly from the hot springs.


View from the room

The resort is split into two separate areas - hotel and hot springs down the hill and across the road. There's a steep paved path between the two as well as a shuttle that keeps circling all the time.

The hotel portion has the Los Tucanes restaurant (breakfast and fancy dinner), and a lobby bar. The casual restaurant and more bars (including a swim-up bar) is at the hot springs. Food is probably the only complaint about this resort - it's grossly overpriced and very underwhelming. Having said that, they have proper room service with real plates, cutlery and even a vase with flowers. It's been quite some time since we had real room service.

The hot springs are amazing - we spent hours and hours here. Just something to note - there is only one small cold pool - all other pools, including one in the hotel section are hot water pools.

Service here is absolutely impeccable - this is truly a 5 star resort property, and overall has been absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended (especially without children!)

A few other notes: a rental car is a must given the sad food situation at the resort. The town is 15 min away by car and has a ton of restaurants with very reasonable prices (a third of hotel prices). There's also a restaurant just past the resort that potentially can be walked to, but with no sidewalks and narrow winding road I would not recommend it.

Pura Vida!
I just taxied in and out of town to restaurants the slats time. First time I had a rental car but prefer car and driver to get around and did so my second time.
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Old Jan 20, 2023, 7:40 pm
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This is great to hear that they switched you to a 2 Queen Bedroom to accommodate your kids. I'm in the same position for an upcoming trip and emailed the resort to see if they could do that for us on an award reservation. I really don't want to have to book two rooms, especially given how young our kids are. When I chatted with WOH they were not helpful at all. Hoping the hotel directly can help with this request!
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by msfrugalista
This is great to hear that they switched you to a 2 Queen Bedroom to accommodate your kids. I'm in the same position for an upcoming trip and emailed the resort to see if they could do that for us on an award reservation. I really don't want to have to book two rooms, especially given how young our kids are. When I chatted with WOH they were not helpful at all. Hoping the hotel directly can help with this request!
As long as there's availability and the rates are the same, they should be able to do that - just call the property directly, it may be faster/easier than emailing. They treat Hyatt bookings as any other 3rd party, and since all guests get breakfast, there are no upcharges for the kids. We are still reminiscing about that stay - the only thing that would make it better is leaving kids at home!
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Old Jan 24, 2023, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by sch_flyer
As long as there's availability and the rates are the same, they should be able to do that - just call the property directly, it may be faster/easier than emailing. They treat Hyatt bookings as any other 3rd party, and since all guests get breakfast, there are no upcharges for the kids. We are still reminiscing about that stay - the only thing that would make it better is leaving kids at home!
Thank you! Calling them was a good bet. I was able to get this changed and we are all set. Wish we were staying for more than 3 nights now and I agree, wish we could leave the kids behind also . Thanks again for your trip report along with the responses.
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Old Apr 19, 2023, 6:41 am
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Thanks for the heads up. I'm passing through the area and decided on a quick overnight stay here using my Hyatt points mostly to gain free access to their famous hot springs (I think day passes start at $79 per person, and we probably would pass at that price). I see WoH benefits include early check-in and late check-out at these Small Luxury hotels. Has anyone tried using these benefits? We plan to arrive around noon and leave in the afternoon the next day to get 2 days at the springs (which would seem enough to me). I assume that even if you can't occupy your room, you'd get free springs access on the day of your arrival and the day of your departure?

BTW, I'm guessing the free buffet breakfast at the hotel is quite good?
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Old Apr 19, 2023, 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by iahphx
Thanks for the heads up. I'm passing through the area and decided on a quick overnight stay here using my Hyatt points mostly to gain free access to their famous hot springs (I think day passes start at $79 per person, and we probably would pass at that price). I see WoH benefits include early check-in and late check-out at these Small Luxury hotels. Has anyone tried using these benefits? We plan to arrive around noon and leave in the afternoon the next day to get 2 days at the springs (which would seem enough to me). I assume that even if you can't occupy your room, you'd get free springs access on the day of your arrival and the day of your departure?

BTW, I'm guessing the free buffet breakfast at the hotel is quite good?
Not sure on the WoH benefits, but you would definitely have access to the springs on both days, 2 days would be plenty. Breakfast was fantastic!
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Old Jun 18, 2023, 5:36 pm
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Hey there,

Just wrapped up a 2 day stay at Tabacon.

We left Andaz Papagayo around 8 am on a Saturday and made it in about 2 hr and 30 minutes. We did this for a couple reasons the first was to get some extra time in the springs and the other was to avoid the traffic entering Liberia and turning onto Inter American Hwy. 1.
The roads are paved for all but two stretches of a few miles each. These parts are by the wind turbines. Just like other parts of CR be prepared to pass slower traffic along the way.
Arriving at Tabacon around 10:30 am our room wasn't ready yet but they were happy to let us enjoy the springs until then. No real Globalist benefits and they did offer a paid upgrade of $200 USD per night for a Tabacon suite, which we accepted. Probably wouldn't do this again.
We also had to pay a 3rd adult fee for our teenager with us.
Had lunch on the springs side, nothing to write home about but was good.
Our room ended up being in building 6 which is convenient to the lobby but had a pretty average view. I believe building 3 has the volcano views. I did see a monkey within the first hour from the balcony and the highlight was several Toucans the following morning.
Breakfast buffet is free for all guests and was good. Had a omelette and waffle/pancake station. Be careful they had 4 types of syrups for the waffles/pancakes and I poured what I thought was maple syrup on mine which turned out to be honey. That wasn't a good combo.
Outrageous mini bar prices so stock up at the first mini mart on the way into to La Fortuna. It will be on the right. There is also an incredible spot right next to it to get pics of the volcano. You'll know when you see it.

If you're strictly heading to the area to enjoy the springs, I think 1 night is a sweet spot. I would recommend doing what we did, arrive early and stay until room is ready. Head back in the twilight and transition to darkness, then come back the following morning during the hotel guest only time between 8-10 am. I felt that was more then enough time to experience the springs. Of course if you plan on doing more stuff in the La Fortuna area then you'll probably need more then one night to do it all.

Overall I think it's a one and done experience but wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

If you have any specific question, I'd be happy to answer them.
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Old Jun 18, 2023, 9:58 pm
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We didn't receive any WoH benefits (like late checkout) at Tabacon either. They said they needed the room.

It's certainly a nice hotel. The benefit of staying here is obviously the thermal pools. Not too crowded, as non-guest admission is now up to about $100. The pools are very nice, especially the tropical landscaping.

The breakfast buffet was good, but nothing exceptional. Of course, exceptional food isn't common in Costa Rica -- it's not a culinary hotspot.

If I were back in the area, and I could book an award stay, I would definitely return for a night.

In general, though, I think Costa Rica is a bit overrated and expensive for what it is. It's a developing country with almost first world prices. Tabacon gets closer to a first world experience than most of the country.
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Old Jun 26, 2023, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by fieldfreen
Hey there,

If you have any specific question, I'd be happy to answer them.

Hi did you get late checkout as a globalist? I'm excited but also skeptical reading the 1 star reviews, seems like Hyatt SLH, which are the majority in Costa Rica it seems, seem to be moneygrabby..
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Old Jun 27, 2023, 4:38 am
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Originally Posted by askyamaz
Hi did you get late checkout as a globalist? I'm excited but also skeptical reading the 1 star reviews, seems like Hyatt SLH, which are the majority in Costa Rica it seems, seem to be moneygrabby..
I didn't get late checkout as a globalist. I doubt you will, either. They will tell you they're booked and need the room. I wouldn't describe this as "moneygrabby." I would describe this as not caring enough to give you a benefit they don't have to.
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