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The below post is the second part of our two-part series about the Springs Resort. For the purpose of our series, the Springs Resort property has been divided into two sections:
#1. The Club Rio Outdoor Center (i.e., everything below the “Club Rio” logo noted on the below property map)
#2. The Springs Resort Hot Springs, including the hotel, facilities, and hot spring pools (i.e., everything above the “Club Rio” logo noted on the below property map)
[CONTINUE READING BELOW FOR] COSTA RICA’S SPRINGS RESORT SERIES – PART 2: THE SPRINGS RESORT HOT SPRINGS
Everyone has an opinion about which hot springs in Costa Rica is the best to visit, especially with respect to the multitude of options available in the La Fortuna region, where thermal pool development is as constant and predictable as an order of rice and beans on any Tico menu.
This being said, from the pool of hot spring attractions to choose from (pun intended), there is reason to suggest that the Springs Resort’s offerings make the biggest splash. Even without consideration for the resort’s recent creation of their onsite adventure park titled “Club Rio” (for information about our time at Club Rio please see our related blog post Costa Rica’s Springs Resort Series – Part 1: The Club Rio Outdoor Center), our feelings toward the property have long been positive ones as a result of the unmatched experience that the attraction provides. Succeeding at crafting an algorithm that serves its visitors with both comfort and class, the Springs Resort offers many features worth considering when trying to decide which hot springs best warrants attention, time, and money.
IN SEARCH OF A UNIQUE HOT SPRINGS EXPERIENCE
Spending a few hours at a hot springs attraction is an easy way to add ambiance and indulgence to your Costa Rica trip. But, this general statement is true for the act of soaking in a hot spring itself, regardless of which specific hot springs site is visited. When we consider the majority of hot spring options available throughout Costa Rica and evaluate each in comparison to its greatest competitors, difference is great and obvious. Beyond the information we provide and the conclusions we draw in our related blog post The Best Hot Springs In La Fortuna / Arenal, Costa Rica: Baldi, Ecotermales, Tabacon, Or The Springs Resort?, we believe that the Springs Resort’s exclusivity is its best selling point as the property excels at abundance and opulence; two factors that–when combined–give the Springs Resort an edge over its fierce and bountiful competition.
THE SPRINGS RESORT HOT SPRINGS
Some Costa Rica travellers may not realize that the majority of hot springs attractions exist onsite at popular hotels. This means that at many hot spring properties, use of the pools is shared both by hotel guests and local visitors/residents who purchase access via the use of a hot springs day pass (or, as the Springs Resort call theirs, a “one day tour” pass).
The Springs Resort is no exception to this rule. Fortunately, given its significant land size, its hot spring quantity, and the fact that its individual hot spring pools are spaced out across the property, the resort hardly feels busy. Unlike past visits to other hot spring attractions which are geographically smaller and offer a lower hot spring count, our time at the Springs Resort felt private and uncrowded. Perhaps more importantly, although we recognized our role as visitors, we never felt like outsiders impeding on “hotel guest” territory.
For those who are considering an overnight stay at the resort, we support your interest 100%. In a word, it is gorgeous, and although the purpose of this post is to highlight the hot springs–not the hotel–the following are a few features (and photos) to tempt you toward further research.
The Springs Resort offers:
- Elegant, yet natural, room accommodations
- Five restaurants
- Five bars
- Full-service spa (fourteen thousand square feet)
- Fitness center with steam and sauna rooms
- Game lounge
- Gift shop
- Outdoor center and wildlife preserve (Club Rio)
- Twenty-eight hot spring pools
- Gated/secured entrance
- Panoramic view of the Arenal Volcano
- Ample parking
- Plenty of lobbies, nooks, crannies, lookout spaces, and platforms to rest and relax at (with accompanying rocking chairs and chaise lounge chairs)
HOT SPRING POOLS
For all other travellers who plan to stay elsewhere in La Fortuna but who still wish to experience the Springs Resort’s hot spring magic, a “one day tour” pass will do the trick. Reserved in advance, the pass provides visitors with unlimited access to the Springs Resort’s onsite restaurants, bars, and hot springs between 8:00am and 10:00pm. Depending on who you reserve your pass through (such as Pura Vida! eh? Inc.), lunch, dinner, and/or a free second day of hot spring use may be included. If you opt to make a reservation through the Springs Resort directly, the pass does not include a meal. In all cases, transportation to/from La Fortuna and area hotels is not automatically included with the pass but it can be provided by the Springs Resort at an extra cost.
- If you are at all interested in the Springs Resort’s Club Rio Outdoor Center, know this:
Travellers who purchase a Springs Resort hot springs day pass do not automatically receive the Club Rio Multi-Adventure package with their purchase. However, travellers who purchase the Club Rio Multi-Adventure package automatically receive a Springs Resort hot springs day pass with their purchase. If you have no interest in visiting Club Rio and participating in the adventure center’s onsite tours and activities, and if your interest is to relax at the Springs Resort’s hot spring pools only, then the Springs Resort day pass would be the best choice for you. Alternatively, if two of Club Rio’s onsite tours and activities interest you, and you plan to visit a hot springs attraction during your time in La Fortuna, consider purchasing the Club Rio Multi-Adventure Package; doing so will not only allow you to participate in the two tours or activities that interest you, but you will also receive access to the Springs Resort hot springs for free.
Assuming you have decided to visit the resort, let’s take a look at what you’ll do there. Sure, lounging in a pool and soaking in mineral water saturated with volcanic material hardly warrants a lengthier description, but the Springs Resort’s various pools do.
Excluding the hot springs located at Club Rio, the main building is home to a variety of pools spread out across two levels, each with an incredible volcano view. Some of the pools feature swim-up bar access, and all are a two-minute walk from the resort’s bathrooms, change rooms, towel desk, and lockers. Popular favourites include the “Laguna” and “Lower Laguna” pools, as well as the pool at the base of the “Cascada Grande” waterfall (the “Big Cascade”). Personally, we prefer the pools on the east side of the property. For some reason, when visitors leave the bathrooms/change rooms, most exit to the right (heading west). This causes the “Burbujas” jacuzzi-esque pool and the “Cascadas Calientes” pool to be less visited than the main building’s other pools, and if you swim all the way around to the small waterfalls located at the resort’s easternmost point (nearby the “Treetops Grill”), you’ll find one of the quietest and most unfrequented spaces the resort has to offer.
“Personally, we prefer the pools on the east side of the property. For some reason, when visitors leave the bathrooms/change rooms, most exit to the right (heading west). This causes the “Burbujas” jacuzzi-esque pool and the “Cascadas Calientes” pool to be less visited than the main building’s other pools, and if you swim all the way around to the small waterfalls located at the resort’s easternmost point (nearby the “Treetops Grill”), you’ll find one of the quietest and most unfrequented spaces the resort has to offer.”
~ Nikki & Ricky,
Costa Rica Travel Blog
In addition to the main building’s pools, the Springs Resort is home to the “Perdidos” hot springs (or “Los Perdidos”, for short). This additional collection of hot spring pools is located on the same property, however an approximate five-to-ten-minute walk (on sloped pavement) from the main building. Set within a lush forest landscape, “Los Perdidos” offer the resort’s most natural and private soaking spots. Features including a bar, a volcano lookout space complete with complimentary lounge chairs, and a mountain waterslide demonstrate the Springs Resort’s versatility; not only can one find relaxation, enjoyment, and romance as a result of participating in one of Costa Rica’s most loved activities–hot springs visits–but there is plenty of indulgence, extravagance, comfort, and fun to be had at the resort.
At the base of the “Los Perdidos” springs is the free Monkey Slide; a curvy waterslide (which can be run with or without the Springs Resort’s provided slide pads) that is no doubt a fantastic feature for kids, and apparently, thirty-something-year-olds…
LUNCH OR DINNER
Whenever we offer travellers a Springs Resort “one day tour” pass, we always do so including a meal (either lunch or dinner may be included with the pass, and there is no need to decide which of the two meals you would prefer to have until you check in at the resort upon arrival). Without a meal included, travellers are left to purchase food and drinks off the menu at one of the Springs Resort’s onsite restaurants which typically costs more overall. Since visitors are not allowed to bring their own food or drink onto the resort’s premises, and since the resort is situated an approximate twenty-minute drive from La Fortuna, the best option for dining during a hot springs visit is to opt for the meal included with the pass.
For our visit, we chose to include dinner, and we’ll admit, we were half expecting it to be sub-par given that the meal included with the “one day tour” pass is ordered off a specific menu. Instead, the dinner was one of the best we have had throughout our travels. Tasty and light, our appetizers (choice of soup or salad), main courses (choice of one entree across five staple dishes; vegetarian option included), and desserts (tres leches cake on the day of our visit, in true Costa Rican style) were topnotch and easily the biggest surprise of the day. Of course, it helped that we dined at the resort’s “Tres Cascadas” restaurant which features an open-air design, a front-row view of the Arenal Volcano, and soft, live, background music (don’t forget to tip the guitarist!); there, enjoyment from the experience came easy. While day pass visitors are not limited to the day pass meal included at the “Tres Cascadas” restaurant (they may choose to dine at any of the Springs Resort’s restaurants if they prefer to pay the menu’s prices, or else they may order off the “Tres Cascadas” restaurant’s non-day-pass menu at an additional charge, if preferred), we are not convinced that many would.
- Arguably a progressive resort, the Springs Resort has released a new menu that caters to those with vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, and/or gluten-free meal preferences. Here’s a sample of what they’re cooking up (at the time of writing this post): The Springs Resort’s “Special Menu“
- The best time to sit down to dinner at the Springs Resort is between 5:30pm and 6:00pm. Since it gets dark around 6:00pm in Costa Rica, dining at this time allowed us to take in the breathtaking view of the Arenal Volcano from our table before the sun set, while also take advantage of the restaurant’s intimate nighttime atmosphere shortly after dark. If you arrive at the “Tres Cascadas” restaurant earlier than 5:30pm (note that dinner is served from 5:00pm onward) or else long after 6:00pm, you may only capture one of these two advantages. Regardless of the time you decide to dine at, plan your attire accordingly; swimwear is not permitted in the restaurant.
While it is an understatement to say that we have seen and done a lot of what Costa Rica has to offer, we haven’t always liked–let alone loved–each experience. Upon leaving the Springs Resort however, we both couldn’t wait to go back, which is our telltale sign that we stumbled across something worthy of our time, our money, and most cautiously, our recommendation. Ideal for most travellers, regardless of whether they are in search of a calming retreat with a loved one or some family fun with kids, the Springs Resort’s abundant offerings and opulent quality should not be missed.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Have you been to the Springs Resort hot springs? What tips can you offer future visitors?
Don’t miss our Club Rio and Springs Resort Hot Springs discounts:
If you’re more of a visual learner, take a moment to view our gallery photos below from our most recent visit to the Springs Resort hot springs.