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Hotel El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

The hotel rooms are nice. There is not AC. The pools are very relaxing and romantic. The green areas are very well kept and there are plenty activities. however, the service is very poor. The bartender, the waitresses and waiters, the people at the front desk, none of them were particularly kind of friendly. The food we had was not good (except for breakfast). However, for the price and the facilities it´s not a bad place to go. If you have a car you can drive into town and have some good meals.

My husband and I visited El Tucano for our honeymoon, and loved every minute of it. The hotel itself is clean, however in need of TLC and upgrades. The setting for the hotel is stunning, and the gorgeous hot springs river was incredible. We appreciated that our stay here was an authentic Costa Rican experience, and we loved being in the heart of the jungle, surrounded by incredible wildlife and nature. The pool is chemical free, which we also appreciated, and despite the darker appearance, we saw it drained frequently and refilled with fresh water from the springs river right beside it. I cannot recommend Frank Tours enough. The front desk put us in touch with Frank, and we spent the majority of our time and money with him, but it was well worth it. He picked us up from the airport, which saved us a big headache as the roads in the area are confusing and extremely narrow. We went ziplining and on a hanging bridge tour in Arenal- WELL worth it. Along the way he stopped to show us monkeys and sloths, and authentic Costa Rican cuisine. He also helped us get from El Tucano to Tamarindo, and stopped for the best coffee we had our whole trip along the way. Be sure to contact El Tucano about Frank Tours- Thanks again Frank!

I was very excited about the hot spring pools and relaxing atmosphere. It was definitively relaxing to enjoy the pools and the views of the mountains and butterflies but beyond that it was bad. The rooms are small and awfully outdated, it made me feel like I was back in 1980 and the problem was not only that it was outdated in terms of decoration, the room had a weird smell and the whole thing needed some love, mainly the bathroom and curtains. The food was not even average but it is worth mentioning that the bar pool staff was extremely friendly and helpful.

I came to enjoy with my family and even though they try they are still lacking of maintaining rooms, hotel infrastructure, pool. To start the shower tiles are broken and yellow, bed has linen that don't fit and the room is not really clean when you arrive and smells bad. Then when we went to the jacuzzi it just had the shape because no bubbles, no nothing that made the difference with any other pool. Also other pools are dirty. They let people pay day pass which make it crowded and brings down the hotel quality. We asked for a surtido with 3 meats and we'll for 17 thousand that we paid it didn't have much and we had leftover of beans, Pico de gallo etc because there were no more chips. The lady from the spa as well of the reception girl doesn't now about customer service, they are rude, they are not friendly and seems to work because they need it

In my experience staying at this hotel it is the very best value in Costa Rica. Most hotels with hot spring pools are triple the price. Price includes two people and breakfast. Two hot tubs, three pools with different temps, sona / steam room, trails and 9 hole mini golf. People at the front desk were very courteous and helpful. This is my second stay here with my wife we both used the spa. I had a 1 hour deep tissue massage and the masseuse was very qualified and relieved the trapped nerve in my neck. My wife says she had an excellent facial experience. Great place 4 STAR Resort and Spa with a 2 Star price Tag. We explored the jungle on the property trails that are filled with Wildlife. We saw exotic Butterflies, Toucans, Howler and White faced Monkeys. We even saw a Kingfisher dive for fresh fish in the properties fish pond. If you enjoy nature this is probably easily the best kept secret in Costa Rica. We were here from June 9th through the 11th. Next time we will stay for a week at least . The Free Breakfast were fresh watermelon, papaya, and pineapple, Eggs,Gallo Pinto toast, locally made cheese. Fresh Orange Juice and of course Costa Rican Coffee. If you love the outdoors and being pampered at the same time book your stay now this place sells out quickly.

Excellent place, excellent service, very nice food. For us it was an excellent experience!! If you are looking for a stay near to nature, in a quiet place, this is your place. I went with my husband, and we stayed for three nights. No complaints at all!!

In my opinion this hotel is the best value in Costa Rica. Most hotels with hot spring pools are triple the price. Price includes two people and breakfast. Two hot tubs, three pools with different temps, sona / steam room, trails and 9 hole mini golf. People at the front desk were very nice and helpful. Note: If you can not go up and down steps do not stay here,

Just wanted to take the time to let everyone know of my experience. We checked in on Friday February 10th and checked out on the 12th. Our experienced was mixed but it wasn’t as horrid as others might lead you to believe. The grounds were gorgeous with plenty to do. I think this is one of the few places I have been to stay in Costa Rica that fully embody the “Tico” style of doing things. I mean that expect very little hand holding. You will be treated well if you ask, you will be given information upon request, you will not be told what activities you can take part in but know that you have access to the entire site. Sometimes the springs were hot, other times not (came to find out that they clean them daily so there is a few hours’ gap when it’s not warm cause they drain the pool for cleaning usually during the morning), and the food was a little bland, I decided to order the New York steak...and well let’s just say that for the 9.5k colones that I paid for I feltlike the experience should have been closer to 5-6k. But hey let’s not focus on the bad, here is the good. -/- The food is cheap (unless you come with the backpacker mentality of paying $2.00 a plate, in which case no pricing will ever satisfy you), most hotels in Costa Rica charge around 7-14k per plate here its around 3-7k - /- There is a 4km hiking trail that runs alongside the river and has a nice mix of scenery and feels like an actual adventure, cause other places that are more geared toward north American tourists have trails but they are like kiddie parks, no hand rails here or random placards everywhere telling you what you’re looking at, some might take this is a positive others probably not -/- There is a river near the main dining hall that has its own little moon pool, totally safe to get in and is also warm (not as warm of course), it has a little perch that you can sit in to see around you and take photos, on the opposite side of the river there are also stairs that lead to the trail so you can cross the river at the end of your hike to complete the journey -/- The sauna is incredible; the wood does need to be changed but it’s a nice sauna! Also, fix the damn bulb on the right side… -/- Despite what you may feel the pools are 24/7!! So jump in at whatever hour you damn well please -/- Minigolf  for what it’s worth… If the hotel manager is reading this (not likely) here are some tips that could make the stay better -Fire your entire reception staff…no srsly they look uninterested, and make no effort to even try to be nice, I don’t know what your company has done to them to make them so damn jaded but it’s just a bad vibe when you first walk into the place to see those two just staring blankly at you as if you did something wrong by just walking through the door… -Design a pamphlet or a flyer and stick them to a wall or something. For god sakes, it takes 10 minutes to make a flyer in publisher. Just outline what the activities are and pin it next to the pool or stick them in the rooms or something -Put a phone directory in the rooms, also help out san carlos local businesses and provide fast food joints that can deliver, in the event that people don’t want to eat your food -Get AC in every room…srsly stop acting like this is a luxury, it’s pretty much standard everywhere else in the country. A room upgrade should not be a standard feature… -Pay the extra $40.00 per month and get faster internet. Once again its 2017 EVERYONE has a mobile device, stop making it a choir to come stay at your hotel -Your Wi-fi network coverage Is very very very bad, buy repeaters, they are cheap and you can stick them anywhere say around the rooms so people can connect…

I made the reservation via phone call; operator was very rude when I asked him what was included in a junior suite and was reluctant to help when I wanted to schedule spa services. We arrived three hours before check-in and asked if it was possible to have access to our room; we were told that there our room was available but we would be charged $10 -Unbelievable!!!-. Room was spacious and clean, but one of the king-sized beds didn't have a duvet/cover; A/C stopped functioning. They "fixed" it over lunch. When we returned to the room, we turned on the A/C and broke down after 5 minutes!! There was only one drinking glass and it was plastic! Pillows eww rather small and hard; we walked in the middle of night with a headache. The hotel infrastructure and lighting systems are outdated (incandescent light bulbs). Dining area was very dark. We went out for a walk in the hotel compound and found a dead Christmas tree thrown next to a walking path!! Breakfast buffet was delicious and offered a wide variety of options to choose from. It had been a while since our last visit but it's clear to us that the hotel management hasn't invested in renovation in a long time!!! A rate of $100 per night is way too much money for the low quality of installations and bad service!

We arrived on Dec 27, 2016 for a 3 night stay. We were using special coupons for the stay. They first assigned us to the furthest room (Room #87) from the thermal springs. I then informed them that I had an older adult with me who could not climb stairs (83 year old Mother). Subsequently, they reassigned us to Room #28 at the end of a passageway also containing over 20 steps. I reminded them my Mom could not go up and down steps. They finally assigned us to room w/o A/C with a single bed. The hotel manager was not present to help resolve the matter, all we had were very young and inexperienced front office staff. We finally threw up our hands and left. We do not recommend using this hotel, we encourage you to go to La Fortuna where better customer service training is conducted for the employees.

7 km North from Central Park Aguas Zarcas Alajuela

Hotel highlights

  • Free full breakfast
  • Free WiFi in public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Hotel El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa places you within a 10-minute drive of Aguas Zarcas Church and Aquas Zarcas Square. This 87-room, 3.5-star resort has a full-service spa along with an outdoor pool and free self parking. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is 29.6 mi (47.6 km) from the resort, which is in the mountains.


Start your day off right with a free full breakfast. Enjoy a bite to eat at the resort's restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Satisfy your hunger from the comfort of your room with room service.


Hotel El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa's 87 rooms provide ceiling fans, safes, and phones. Guests can expect to find TVs with cable channels.

Property features

At Hotel El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa, guests enjoy a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center. If you drive, take advantage of free parking. The 24-hour front desk has multilingual staff ready to assist with sightseeing, directions, and local dining recommendations. Other amenities at this hot springs resort include a spa tub, free WiFi in public areas, and a garden.

Room options

Junior Suite

Queen 2 | Sleeps 4

Standard Room

Full 1 | Sleeps 3

Master Suite

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

62% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 331 reviews