Before our visit to Costa Rica we researched hundreds of options of where to stay and what to do. Our plan was to drive from the San Jose Airport towards the Arenal Volcano, spend a couple of days there, then to mosey our way around Lake Arenal to head to Monteverde to check out the Cloud Forest then eventually drive south west down into the Guanacaste Peninsula for a week surfing on the beach.
From the heat of the volcano, Costa Rica has several natural, world-famous hot springs. We had read good reviews about several different places (many of them listed here) .
Many of these places had an entrance fee between $50-$95/day/person with restricted hours of access and we budgeted those fee's into our trip cost. (If you stay at the resort you have full access to the hot springs at all hours.)
One of the options, The Springs Resort and Spa drew me in immediately when I saw that it was a filming location of the ABC series The Bachelor. I mean, if a film crew scouted the place and decided it would be a romantic enough setting for their show, I think it was worth checking out.
My first plan was to pay the entrance fee (without even looked at the price to stay at this resort, I just knew it was over budget). I started looking at hostels in the area so that we could sleep cheap and splurge on a day pass to The Springs. However, once I started to do the math, things started to change...
Since this was a very small, touristy town every place that looked appropriate to us was at least $80/night. Tack on the $50/day/person at The Springs and now we're looking at $180 for the two of us to go only in limited hours and to have to drive (we had a rental car) between The Springs and a (not very exciting) hotel. Seems expensive for not the optimal option. What next?
Just curiously I pulled up The Springs' website. Yup, $500/night. Just what I suspected. Well that wasn't going to work for us. Maybe in another life.
THEN I started searching around was able to find an INCREDIBLE DEAL on booking.com (love them!) to stay overnight for $279.
Now, $279 was definitely more than what we were planning on paying for accommodations on a per-night basis... (hell, our hostel the next night was $40!)
BUT... when you put together the math...
$50/person/day (x2days)= $200 + $80 for hostel accommodations = $280
for $279 we could
- Stay in a luxury resort that was an ABC filming location for The Bachelor
- Use not only the hot springs, but all amenities at all hours and for two days
- Have a King Bed and patio with an incredible view of the volcano
So, in-fact it was EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE as staying in a crummy hotel near The Springs and paying for 2 days worth of passes.
The 3 reasons The Springs Resort and Spa is THE BEST HONEYMOON SPOT IN COSTA RICA
- Luxury. I don't care who you are or how much money you're making, if you are planning on traveling for your honeymoon, everyone, even the self-proclaimed adventure backpack types would still appreciate a certain aspect of luxury on his or her honeymoon. The Springs Resort and Spa had just that. From the included valet, luggage service, a private tour of the grounds including a welcome cocktail made with Costa Rican liquors, we couldn't have asked for a better start to our trip. The marble bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub, walk-in shower with 3 shower heads, 2 sinks and private toilet room we probably could have spent the week just hanging out in the bathroom! All rooms face the volcano and have a patio with two chairs, a table and a hammock. The greenery was so thick and beautiful that we had the upmost privacy even on the patio. With few rooms, the resort is never crowded and there is so much space we were only in a pool or hot spring with another person one time in our 2-day stay. I could write six pages on how luxurious the place was (and for the right price) but instead I'll leave it to the professionals:
- CNN calls it "one of the seven resorts with the most spectacular views in the world"
- ABC's The Bachelor filmed here
- Trip Advisor's winner: Traveler's choice 2013
2. Adventure. There was so SO much to do and see here that would have cost money elsewhere. At the Club Rio portion of the resort we walked through the Wildlife Preserve where we saw all sorts of exotic birds and wild cats. We also went tubing down the river a few times (extra charge) - such a blast! We could have also gone kayaking, horseback riding or wall climbing but started to run out of time! All of these features at Club Rio are all on top of the dozens of pools and hot springs! Did I mention that in one of the hot springs there is a "natural" water slide? (I say natural because it wasn't a tacky Orlando water park water slide, you are in the middle of the jungle and sliding down rock into a hot spring- yes a hot water water slide!!) [Photo above].
3. Romance. You might already be able to tell from the pictures, but this place is incredibly beautiful and romantic. The resort itself is smack dab in the middle of the jungle, you can't get much more secluded than that at a resort. Every single room has a king bed with a picturesque view of the volcano, and they have so few rooms and so much acreage that you almost never see anyone besides the landscaping crew. There's also just something sexy about waterfalls of hot water. Night to mention night time. In a hot spring. In the jungle. With no one around.
If you get the chance, we would definitely recommend staying here between 2-3 nights. We only stayed for one and even though we got a full second day (check out was at 12pm but they held our luggage as we went tubing and playing in the river all day) we still felt a little rushed. Beyond 3 nights we would have exhausted the restaurants and probably our budget, so 2 nights is the sweet spot.
Thank you to everyone at The Springs Resort and Spa for an incredible stay, we look forward for an opportunity to return some day.
Disclaimer: These are our own opinions, not a sponsored post....although we'd be happy to be invited back! :)