Tabacón Grand Spa
Thermal Resort is in the interior of Costa Rica, where active travelers
flock to the Arenal National Park for both its volcano-warmed thermal waters
and adventure, including aerial tram rides, zip line canopy descents, Hanging
Bridges treks, plus hiking, horseback riding, kayaking and ATV rentals. Easily
accessible via a half-hour flight from
Tabacón—a word that names a plant and a river, as well as
the hotel, resort and spa complex—is a member of The Leading Hotels of the
World. This winter, its spa was recognized with membership in Leading Spas of
the World, the only one in
A picture-perfect river—complete with hot springs and waterfalls—flows through the adjacent thermal resort, offering about twenty mineral pools, plus swimming pools, a bar and a restaurant (Ave del Paraiso) for both hotel guests (who enjoy unlimited access) and day guests (who pay a $55 daily entrance fee).
The expansive Tabacón Grand Spa, which features mineral pools, is completely private to guests with spa appointments. Under the direction of Director General Uwe Wagner, who can be reached at 506-460-2020 or director@tabacón.com, the sprawling spa has been completely reconstructed using predominately indigenous products, such as roofs lined with local caña brava (it looks like bamboo), lighting within volcanic rocks and limestone bathroom accessories.
The open-to-nature spa experience is very personal: A valet
escorts guests from the reception area to the locker room, to the multi-level
lounge (with its curved walls, arches, hot tub) and to meet the therapists.
They guide clients along curved slate paths to one of eleven thatched roof
pavilions, each with its own Jacuzzi tub and its own verdant, secluded spot. It
features back-to-basics elements such as volcanic mud, which is washed off
under a waterfall; clever design, such as a sloping spiral leading into the
Watsu pool next to its waterfall; and indigenous rituals, such as a foot bath
in a hollowed-out wooden bowl. A Yoga pavilion and a shaman who performs the
ancient Temazcal ritual and Native American weddings add authenticity. Spa
Director Paulina Perez (email@example.com,
506-460-8583, ext. 8060) can arrange for the private spa bungalow where two to
four guests receive five treatments each ($500 per person) and a gourmet
dinner. A new spa entrance, boutique, fitness center with sauna and steam and
locker rooms are all under construction.