Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tabacon Hot Springs VS. Baldi Hot Springs- the TRUTH

The 'Garden of Eden' has NOTHING on Tabacon Grand Spa and Thermal Resort aka Tabacon Hot Springs

Baldi Hot Springs vs. Tabacón Grand Spa Thermal Resort, “Which is the BETTER hot springs option while I’m visiting La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano- and I can only pick one?” I get a ka-zillion emails about Costa Rica, and La Fortuna questions in particular, and besides asking if they’ll be able to see the Arenal Volcano spit lava (like I have a direct line to Mother Nature), it’s- which is the BETTER Hot Springs- Tabacón or Baldi?

Another GREAT Hot Springs option- Eco Termales

A couple of things FIRST- this post is specifically pertaining to Baldi vs Tabacón, there ARE other hot springs in La Fortuna, like Eco Termales, but Baldi and Tabacon happen to be the most well known, so do your homework here- (MORE hot springs INFO).

Second; and this is VERY IMPORTANT to keep in mind when you’re discussing hot springs with ANYONE in La Fortuna, especially tour companies and hotels- Baldi PAYS a commission, Tabacón does NOT, so almost NO ONE (but possibly me) we’ll recommend Tabacón over Baldi, unless of course they happen to work for or with Tabacón or they’re a travel book writer. So, when you hear a Baldi recommendation, there’s ALWAYS a MONEY agenda behind the recommendation- ALWAYS. To the local tour operators and hotels and restaurants in La Fortuna, Tabacón is like the arrogant, conceded, RICH, neighbor who you want to see get knocked off his pedestal from time to time.

For Tabacón, they just about OWN the Travel Book writers and Baldi then becomes the red-haired, gay stepchild. Outside of La Fortuna, it’s, Tabacón, Tabacón, Tabacón. Whoever has been in charge of marketing, they’ve done a bang-up job. In many cases, you will find La Fortuna and Arenal by following the signs to Tabacón… really. Tabacón has marketed themselves almost as a destination in and of themselves… Heck with the volcano and the beauty that IS La Fortuna, in Tabacón’s mind, they ARE the Arenal Volcano.…….. and take my word, it’s been working. Tabacón is the neighbor that never says “Hi.”

This post is likely to be the only objective opinion you’ll EVER read.

Tabacón did it RIGHT and technically; there’s no comparison between the two. When you’re in Tabacón, it’s not unusual to feel you were roaming the rainforest and stumbled upon a tropical Garden of Eden… and for a second, you half expect to run into Adam and Eve contemplating the APPLE. Lush vegetation, mini-waterfalls, misty romantic steam, secluded natural Jacuzzis, and if you want to socialize a bit, they have the obligatory swim-up bar(s) and even a slide, but it somehow WORKS and you don’t feel like you’re at Disney World. Tabacón knows they’re the SH*t.

The LUSHNESS that is Tabacon Hot Spring aka Grand Spa Thermal Resort

BUT, you’re gonna pay to socialize with Adam and EVE. It’s like $7,000.00 to get in if you’re not staying there. Ok, maybe around $70, and the price DOES goes down after 7 pm, but like I said, Tabacón is the arrogant, conceded guy that doesn’t give a shit- and staff can often come across as somewhat aloof and uncaring. And I take EVERYTHING back when the buses full of blue-hairs come rolling into Tabacón- the place turns into an upscale nursing home for the rich. Saggy tits, gold jewelry, wrinkles in places I didn’t think possible and fat asses who stopped eating fruits and vegetable years ago- I often feel guilty I forgot CPR. Have you ever seen an ol’ lady who spends hours tanning on the beaches of Florida in a two-piece even a supermodel would feel self-conscious wearing…….. after 2 hours of soaking in the hot springs- wet beef jerky doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Baldi Hot Springs La Fortuna Costa Rica.

If Tabacón is the arrogant, rich guy, Baldi is the irresponsible brother who would rather P-A-R-T-Y than work. Baldi is more Disney-esque and feels like a place that could be located in any tourist destination in the world. Baldi tries to incorporate a Tabacón type of environment and succeeds in a few areas around the massive grounds, but I’m thinking Adam and Eve came here when they needed to unwind a bit and have a few cocktails, maybe even brought CAIN and ABLE along, as the water slides provide the babysitting while ‘the adults’ belly up to the bar. (Be careful on these water slides, they border on the “damn that hurt” side). For many, hot water is HOT water and take my word, both hot springs will give you as HOT as you can handle, but Baldi provides the hot water at a reasonable price and if there’s a PARTY, it would be at Baldi, the crowd tends to be MUCH younger and livelier.

I feel like I’m not going to be much help here. Tabacón is the SHIT and I like to tell people if you can afford it and never expect to visit La Fortuna again, then it’s worth the price of admission. Besides, if you can afford Tabacón, then you can obviously afford Baldi the next night. I do like Tabacón, BUT there’s something about the arrogant, conceded guy that doesn’t give a SHIT… do I really wanna give him EVEN more money (and don’t forget, they pay NO commissions to the locals)? If you don’t care for vegetation and ambiance, or maybe you’re just an atheist, then Baldi is a great choice and you won’t be disappointed. Ps. Both places have Vegas bar prices, so sneak in your bottle of Cacique.

Want to give the ‘FINGER’ to both Tabacón and Baldi? Then check out OUR video and see where Tabacon's FREE hot springs is located:

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 Oh, and we also have all the INFO about GAY Travel in Costa Rica. ENjoY!