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Last updated: 22 February, 2023
Expert travel writer: Alex Robinson

In the late 1980s, long before today’s wellness trend hit its stride, Costa Rican architect Jaime Mikowski recognised the healing powers of the Tabacón Thermal River and the Arenal Volcano and set about developing this 900-acre rainforest resort.

Channelling the country’s largest network of natural thermal springs, he constructed waterfalls and pools, planted lush gardens featuring more than 200 native plants and built sleek, fuss-free rooms with walls of glass to bring the outdoors indoors and offer a confidently pared-back refuge from the 21st century.

This is a spa for water babies: the action centres around the mineral-rich pools, which range from 25°C to 50°C, all heated by the now-dormant volcano. One has a swim-up bar and thermal waterslide, others are dotted through the gardens. To intensify that connection with nature, treatments are taken in open-sided thatched cabins and use lotions made from local plants, blending Costa Rican customs with ancient practices from around the world.

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Key facilities

Airport transfers*
Beach: None
Fitness centre
Fitness classes
Golf course
Hot tub
Kids club
Parking: On-site (free)
Pool (adults only)
Pool (indoor)
Pool (outdoor)
Pool (kids)
Tennis courts
WiFi: Free

Food & drink

All inclusive
Kids menu
Restaurant on-site
Self catering
Additional charge

Room types


Room facilities

Air conditioning
Flat screen TV
Jacuzzi (private)
Pool (private)
Tea & coffee making facilities

Bedding options

2+ bedrooms
3+ beds
Connecting rooms
Rollaway/sofa bed

Bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Other worthwhile experiences in this destination if you have the time or the interest, closest first

La Fortuna Waterfall

La Fortuna Waterfall

Arenal National Park, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica[8.1 miles]

A beautiful 75m-high waterfall that drops into a refreshing, clear-water pool surrounded by moss-covered boulders. A wonderful place to swim.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free

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Overview >
Butterfly Conservatory

Butterfly Conservatory

El Castillo, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica[8.3 miles]

This small centre just outside the Park has atrium habitats housing hundreds of colourful rainforest butterflies, as well as other small rainforest fauna and an orchid exhibit. You’ll leave with a full appreciation of the extraordinarily diverse range of butterflies you may not see in the wild. Open daily.

Best for ages: 4+ | £11

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Overview >

Destination guides including or relevant to this place to stay

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Rainforests, powdery beaches, white-water rivers and towering volcanoes: this relaxed Central American country offers exceptional wilderness adventures in stunning landscapes.

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Round-ups that include this placetostay