Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is a breathtaking resort adjacent to the active Arenal Volcano in central Costa Rica. With three thermal hot springs running through the resort, this maybe the most natural yet luxurious resort you’ll ever experience.

Hotel Review: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Arenal, Costa Rica

Photo Credit Kristi Trimmer

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is nestled in the hills next to the active Arenal Volcano in central Costa Rica. This is nowhere near your typical resort in Costa Rica! This resort has three thermal hot springs coursing through it and they converge in the middle of the property at the Tabacon Hot Springs area. If you’ve always dreamed of relaxing the day away in thermal hot springs, Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort might just be your dream destination.

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The Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort was unlike any resort that I had been to before. During check-in, they have a tropical fruit juice waiting for you as well as a cold towel to refresh you, especially if you are not used to the humidity. The staff was very warm and inviting, graciously answering the questions about the area with a smile.

What Works for Families

One of the best parts of Costa Rica is the diverse combination of rainforest and nature to give kids a chance to go on quite a few adventure activities. Tabacon is perfect if you have older children, as they will have a blast playing in the thermal waterfalls and hopping from pool to pool or sliding down the water slide into the cooling pool. They won’t get bored in this natural playground! Tabacon is a carbon-neutral resort and shows kids first-hand how to take care of our planet.


The resort has over 500 different types of flowers and plants. Not only that but don’t be surprised to see many species of birds and hear the howler monkeys throughout the day. This is great for an educational learning opportunity as well as just for fun and variation in your day. Looking for a bit more adventure instead of pure relaxation? You can schedule off-property adventures including ziplining or a chocolate tour, which are great to get off-site or burn a little bit of energy if you are feeling cramped or want to leave the grounds.

Tabacon offers babysitting services for a day, a night, or for various parts of your entire stay. Tabacon chefs will prepare or puree fresh fruits and vegetables for your baby—now that’s fresh baby food!

Just in case you or kids need to stay connected while on vacation, there is free Wi-Fi in all of the guest rooms. Each room has a large plasma TV, and you can borrow an XBox game system and movies from the front desk.

What Doesn’t Works for Families

Tabacon is a nice resort that is very family friendly. There were no unruly or loud kids there during our stay. If you have children that can get a bit out of hand, this might not be the ideal place for them as it is a relaxing resort designed for peaceful stays.

Tabacon also takes a bit to get to. You can take an hour-long plane ride from San Jose, or hop on the shuttle or schedule a private driver, which will take close to 3 hours of driving time. The drive is beautiful, though, and a perfect choice if you have the extra time available.

Room Cost: $$$ off-season and $$$$$ in-season

The rooms are simply amazing. The suites are huge and have a king bed by default, or you can choose double beds if needed for the size of your party. The bathrooms have a jetted tub and dual-showerhead shower—and let’s not forget the bidet (I love a bidet!). Every part of the room was expertly designed and in one word, breathtaking. The windows look out over the gardens where birds flew by and you could hear the gentle flow of water from the waterfalls off in the distance.


Tabacon has quite a few different options for dining. For fine dining, head over to Los Tucanes Restaurant, which is open-air dining and has the volcano on one side and beautiful gardens on the other. This is also where breakfast is served in the mornings. The Tabacon Restaurant is located in the hot springs area and has an international menu with daily chef’s specials. They also make some amazing mixed drinks! The first swim-up bar in Costa Rica is the Arenal Wet Bar, which is fed by the thermal springs 100F water.

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort is the place where you want to go with your family to escape the craziness and relax. It is a resort that can cater to all of your needs and will exceed your expectations. It is a little slice of paradise in the heart of Costa Rica.

Hotel Review: Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort in Arenal, Costa Rica