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Hotel El Tucano Resort & Thermal Spa

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

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.

The grounds, room were excellent. However, this is not a place if your legs aren't strong. Several flights of steps from the lobby, parking area to the rooms, restaurant and pools. The most disappointing was the food. Same menu for the week. The buffet of black beans & rice and plantains was modified slightly as to how the pork or chicken was cooked.

First of all, this is a nice resort with an outstanding staff, especially the restaurant/bar folks. All the people that work there are friendly, and very helpful. The facilities are nice, although some of the rooms (i stayed in 2 different rooms, as the toilet broke in the first one), need a bit of updating. The 2nd room was extremely nice, and well maintained, and the front desk/reception made the transition to this room very easy. I did use the pools/hot tubs and the water was great! The grounds/landscaping was very pretty. Now, for the best part... i received a name of a transportation "business" for pick up and drop off at the airport, and this gentleman was the best! (The reason for the quotes is that it is one guy, and his business name is frank tours.) He not only waited for me at the airport for over two hours to pick me up, (because i didnt send my flight info correctly) he provided sight seeing and photo ops on the way from airport to resort. He also took me and another guest on a zip lining adventure, and horse back riding. He is absolutely the best, as he knows his way arround, is friendly, and fun! Dont miss out by not seeing the best of costa rica through frank and his tours.

My uncle who lives in Costa Rica took me to this resort for couple nights along with few other friends. Place was neat and staff were very friendly. Besides the issue of old rooms with minimum accommodation the place is located in a spectacular mountain view with so many mineral hot water spring and gorgeous river. You need to lower your expectations as American tourist if you are asking for top notch facilities then you are gonna a have such tranquil and memorable time. Specially if you go to the river and enjoy the natural hot spring pool right in the river.

Our room was right off the lobby. Very noisy. Only window faced offices, so no light. Beds were not very good. Everything old and worn. Our meals were included. They were all buffet style, with very limited selection and repetitive. Service was non-existent. The thermal pools are nice. Clean and several choices. The surroundings are beautiful. This could be a great place with better rooms and food and service.

The beds are like a regular motel in San José city. No proper electricity for laptop or technology devices. Phone does not work to get room service or any communication with front desk. Place is nice and quiet, just that!

The hotel is very unique and great to relax, located in area that is away from busy streets but still easy to get to. Employees there are very polite and the food is great! If you are looking for a place to relax, swim a little, try some local cuisine this is the spot.

7 km North from Central Park Aguas Zarcas Alajuela

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 318 reviews