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Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, La Fortuna, Northern Lowlands

Editor's Pick
Costa Rica, Central + South America: at the base of Volcán Arenal, Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort in La Fortuna has
La Fortuna
Costa Rica
Tel: 877 277 8291 (toll-free)
Tel: 506 519 1900's insider take:

If you're seeking some serious R&R rather than an eco-lodge, this 114-room resort near Volcán Arenal in the Northern Lowlands is perfect for a spa vacation au naturel, thanks to its natural hot spring–fed pools. There are waterfalls where you can get an outdoor massage; if that's too exposed, the Grand Spa can arrange an alfresco rubdown hidden among tropical flowers. There's the requisite swim-up bar at the main pool, but El Palenque, down the hill in a secluded corner of the hot springs gardens, is a less-crowded watering hole, and all the better for it. The Los Tucanes restaurant serves international fare (roasted salmon with truffle-oil mashed potatoes) and opens onto the pool landscaped with boulders and tropical foliage. The rooms are luxurious, with Georgian-style dark-wood furnishings made by local craftspeople and modern touches such as 40-inch flat-screen TVs. Junior suites have private gardens with whirlpool tubs, but superior rooms have the best views of the volcano.—Updated by Christopher P. Baker

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.