7 Reasons Why Tabacón Thermal Resort And Spa Is The Perfect Place To Spend A Winter Holiday 

This Costa Rican property is already the stuff of legends for its natural hot springs, but now it’s time to see for yourself.

Costa Rica is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. It is full of lush tropical forests, pristine beaches, and some of the region's healthiest and most delicious gastronomy. Known as a North American traveler's paradise, its natural beauty and seemingly endless adventure has inspired many people to permanently move there, especially because of its status as a Blue Zone. (If an area is designated a Blue Zone, the population there is known to live longer than average due to diets, physical exercise, and other factors.)

On a trip to Costa Rica, I stayed at Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa, which boasts what I consider some of the best aspects of the country. It focuses on gastronomy, wellness, and so much more, but I also visited during the holidays, and it felt like I was stepping into a summer paradise even though we were right in the middle of December.

Here are seven reasons why this is the perfect place to spend your next winter holiday.

It is Warm

Weather in Costa Rica is split into two seasons (much like the Caribbean): dry and rainy. Both seasons are moderately warm, and if you're looking to escape moody rainstorms, you should head over during the dry season, which ranges from December through April. I find the rainy season fun, too, but you risk spending a week under a rain cloud that may or may not damper your holiday.

The Natural Hot Springs

Since the resort is partially attached to the Arenal Volcano, it has direct access to the natural hot springs that come from it. This has several wellness benefits but is also the perfect place to relax with a partner on a honeymoon. The thermal spa is a different part of the resort, but if you stay in the hotel, you can access it for free.

It is known as the most extensive network of hot springs in Costa Rica, and it shows. Temperatures range from 72 to 105 degrees. Guests of the resort also have access to the adult-only Shangri-La Gardens, which I consider one of the best parts of the thermal hot springs park.

The Gastronomy Scene is on Another Level

While there, I had the opportunity to try a few of the restaurants at the resort, and they blew my socks off. Restaurants like Tucanes and Ave were stellar, with the latter having various vegan and vegetarian options. The vegan ceviche was one of the best I've ever had. The 7-course tasting menu at Tucanes was like a journey through Costa Rican gastronomy history, each dish made with locally sourced ingredients. The somewhat pre-set menu is split into two parts, from the sea, and from the garden, and highlights for me included the Grilled Pacific octopus and Basque cheesecake.

If you need a more intimate dining experience, check out the Ephemeral table. This outdoor bungalow is set in the middle of the tropical forest, and merely the ambiance alone will entice you. Considered the chef's table of the resort, it boasts a six-course menu. Each dish is supposed to transport you to different parts of Costa Rica alongside a diverse wine and beer pairing. You must make reservations in advance, but this table is the perfect place for any traveler to dine.

Don't Forget about the Drinks

The resort has four bars, and my favorite is the Bosque bar. Bosque, in Spanish, means forest, and this bar feels like you're right in the middle of one. There's a steady stream of cocktail-making classes here, so watch out. Some of the highlight signature cocktails include the Caturra y Teobroma, made with rum, beer, chocolate syrup, and truffle and coffee bitters.

Another pre-dinner cocktail that I particularly enjoyed was the Gente Feliz, which is made with Uchuva Golden Rush liquor, spearmint, orange juice, orange bitter, and prosecco. The back of the bar is dimly lit, and it carries a big-city vibe that fares well with the tropical background. It is one of my favorite places in all the resorts, and the cocktails are on par with some of the best resorts and bars in the world.

An Emphasis on Sustainability

Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa is sustainability focused in all aspects. They're mindful of everything from community outreach to single-use plastics. Their agenda is separated into three plans: protection of the environment and sustainable use of resources, community outreach and internal development, and cultural management.

It Has Adventure in its Backyard

You have to stay here if you want to zipline through a rainforest and hike through trails dodging different types of frogs and spiders. The resort partners with Jacamar Naturalist Tours, a company specializing in ziplining, white water rafting, and much more. The hotel's location is perfect for any guest to take advantage of the mountain and its forest or the rivers that flow around it.

Most Rooms Have a View of the Rainforest

You're only sometimes guaranteed a beach view at some hotels, but you'll get a stellar view of the Arenal rainforest if you check in. There's a high probability your stress level will dip when you wake up to the sounds and sights of a living rainforest. If you're looking for a new destination to spend your holidays this winter, consider Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa. It's different enough from a beach resort that will leave an impression, but not too distant, where you'll miss out on some favorite amenities. Take a chance this winter and discover a new part of Costa Rica.