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The Tabacon Story

THE SPIRIT OF A TRUE NATURE LOVER LIVES ON!

Our story is the one of a nature lover that became a legend in Arenal. Costa Rican born Jaime Mikowski was a trained and board-certified architect involved in projects that ranged from low-income housing developments to single-family luxury homes. Mr. Mikowski had a knack for thinking outside the box. His hobbies and life interests led him to distinctive personal goals that included running coffee farms, starting Costa Rica’s first vineyard, launching a solar water heating company, and designing hotels all over the country.

In the late 1980s, Jaime fell in love with a property at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano, where a stream of hot springs ran through a marsh and grasslands. He convinced the local owners to sell him a share of the company that owned the land and spent the next few months persuading friends to invest with him on a wellness spa concept developed around the idea of a natural encounter.

In January 1991, the original Tabacon pools and restaurant complex closed for a complete make-over, which took more than two years. Mr. Mikowski’s project aimed to reforest the existing pastures that surrounded the pools and restaurant.

The river was given some form so as to transform the marshlands and have them resemble what it could have been like before the cows grazed here lands, decades prior. The pristine thermal waters now flowed into waterfalls, cascading pools and hidden bathing spots. Mr. Mikowski planted acres of native flora, which gave way to Tabacon’s beautiful botanical gardens. The restaurant and kitchen were expanded, locker rooms were added, a small spa was built and, on April 13, 1993, Tabacon opened as a day destination. Finally, in late 1997, the hotel was inaugurated, with 42 comfortable guest rooms. This marked the official beginning of Arenal as an international destination. And travelers around the world responded quickly, once word of Arenal’s unique beauty got out.

Tabacon is set on more than 900 acres of lush tropical reserve, home to Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs. Tabacon offers 103 luxurious guest rooms and suites; two restaurants; four bars and a world-class spa.

 

Awards & Accolades

Tabacon has been recognized over the years by some of the most reputable industry groups and respected publications focused on luxury hospitality and experiential travel. We constantly receive accolades based on guest-originated recognition. This is a direct reflection of our commitment to deliver world-class service. Here are highlights of the more recent awards and accolades Tabacon has received:


  • Ongoing

    Present

    • Member of Signature Travel Network
    • Member of Virtuoso
    • Member of Ensemble
    • Five-Star Designation – Costa Rican Institute of Tourism
  • 2019

    Hotels.com, Loved by Guests Awards 2019

    • – Most Wanted Award – Excepcional 9,6

    Condé Nast Traveler – Reader’s Choice Awards 2019

    • – Top Resorts in Central America (#6)

    TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards

    • -Top 25 Hotels in Costa Rica (#17)

    • – Top 5 Hot Springs around the world

    Spa & Wellness Mexicaribe

    • – The Best Spas of Mexico, The Caribbean & Latin American
  • 2018

    Trip Advisor, Traveler’s Choice Awards

    • – Top 25 Hotels in Costa Rica (#13)
    • – Top 25 Hotels in Central America ( #16)

    Hotels.com™ ,Loved By Guests Award 2018

    • – Top 100 Spa

    Spa & Wellness Mexicaribe

    • -The Best Spas of Mexico, The Caribbean & Latin American

    Condé Nast Traveler – Readers’ Choice Awards 2018

    • -Top Resorts in Central America (#8)
  • 2017

    Trip Advisor

    • – Certificate of Excellence, 2017

    Organic Spa Magazine (Wellness Travel Guide)

    • – Best for International Thermal Mineral Springs & Healing Waters

    Trip Advisor, Traveler’s Choice Awards

    • – Top 25 Hotels in Costa Rica (#15)

    Spa & Wellness Mexicaribe

    • -The Best Spas of Mexico, The Caribbean & Latin American

    Condé Nast Traveler – Readers’ Choice Awards 2017

    • – Top Resorts in Central America (#8)
  • 2016

    “Best of +VIP Access” Expedia

    • – Best +VIP Access hotel

    Wellness Travel Awards 2016

    • – Best for Hot Springs

    Trip Advisor, Traveler’s Choice Awards

    • – Top 25 Hotels in Costa Rica

    Travel + Leisure 2016

    • Best International Destination Spa #3

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Country Winner

    • Costa Rica: Best Luxury Destination Spa
    • Costa Rica: Best Luxury Resort Spa

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Continent Winner

    • The Americas: Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa
    • The Americas: Best Luxury Day Spa

    World Travel Awards 2016

    • México & Central America´s Leading Green Hotel
  • 2015

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Continent Winner

    • The Americas: Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa
    • The Americas: Best Luxury Day Spa
    • The Americas: Best Luxury Spa Manager

    World Travel Awards

    • Mexico & Central America’s Leading Green Hotel

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Country Winner

    • Costa Rica: Best Luxury Destination Spa

    Costa Rican Tourism Board

    • Certification for Sustainable Tourism 5 leaves (highest level)

    Trip Advisor, Eco-Leaders Gold Level

  • 2014

    Travel + Leisure World´s Best Awards

    • Top Resorts in Central and South America (#9)

    World Travel Awards

    • World’s Leading Green Resort
    • Mexico & Central America’s Leading Green Hotel
    • Costa Rica’s Leading Spa Resort

    Trip Advisor, Travelers`s Choice

    • Top 20 Luxury Hotels in Central America (#15)
    • Certificate of Excellence 2014

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Continent Winner

    • The Americas: Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Country Winner

    • Costa Rica: Best Luxury Destination Spa
    • Costa Rica: Best Spa Manager

    Top 10 Organic Spa Awards

  • 2013

    SpaFinder Wellness 365, Readers’ Choice Awards

    • Country Award Winner – Favorite Spa in Central America
    • Category Award Winner – Best for Mineral or Thermal Springs

    World Travel Awards

    • Mexico & Central America’s Leading Green Hotel

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Global Winner

    • Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa

    World Luxury Spa Awards – Continent Winner

    • The Americas: Best Luxury Resort Spa
    • The Americas: Best Luxury Day Spa

    Travel + Leisure, World’s Best Awards

    • Top Hotel Spas in Latin America (#3)

    Trip Advisor

    • Travelers`s Choice Top 10 Luxury Hotels in Costa Rica (#8)
  • 2012

    World Travel Awards

    • Mexico & Central America’s Leading Green Hotel
    • Mexico & Central America’s Leading Luxury Resort
    • Costa Rica’s Leading Spa Resort

    Organic Spa Magazine

    • Top Ten Organic Spa Awards

    Trip Advisor – Travelers`s Choice

    • Top 25 Relaxation/Spa Hotels in Central America
    • Top 25 Luxury Hotel in Central America

    Condé Nast Johansens, Awards Finalist

    • Most Excellent Resort
    • Most Excellent Spa Hotel

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Global Winner

    • Best Luxury Mineral Spring Spa

    World Luxury Spa Awards, Country Winner

    • Best Luxury Destination Spa
    • Best Luxury Resort Spa
    • Best Luxury Day Spa
 

How to get here

Tabacon is happy to help arrange private transportation to and from the airports and other hotels in Costa Rica. Additional charges may apply according to destinations. Please make arrangements in advance. For assistance contact us at sales@tabacon.com

Driving Directions from Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) in San Jose

Take the Inter-American Highway North to San Ramon. Exit in San Ramon and drive through town. Continue past Los Angeles, Balsa, Bajo Los Rodríguez, Santa Clara, Javillos, El Tanque. Once in La Fortuna, stay in the main street to Arenal Volcano National Park. Continue for 8 miles (13 km) to Tabacon

Driving Directions from Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, Guanacaste

Drive north to Liberia. Turn right towards Cañas / San José on the Interamerican Road South. Turn left in Cañas and follow the signs to Tilaran. In Tilaran turn left in the main intersection towards Arenal Lake. Continue around the Lake past Arenal Dam. Drive for approximately 15 minutes to Tabacon.

GPS Coordinates – 10°28’43.18″N y 84°44´07.62″W

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