Thousands of feet above the ground, surrounded by 165 acres of lush vegetation, sits the five-star Springs Resort & Spa, a 20-minute drive from La Fortuna. From this impressive hotel you’ll have unparalleled views of the mighty Arenal Volcano, at the centre of the Arenal Volcano National Park. It takes about 3 hours to travel from the airport at Liberia or San José.
The spa here is an almighty 14,000 square feet and takes up one entire floor of the building. The treatment menu features all manner of indulgent experiences, such as massages, facials and full-body wraps, based on botanical ingredients and soothing volcanic clay. The hotel has numerous hot springs, and you can arrange to have a ‘floating water massage’. You’re also free to chill in one of the relaxation areas, or work out in the cardio room – before enjoying a light lunch as you gaze out over the stunning views.
A range of rooms are available to suit every need, including guest rooms, accessible rooms, honeymoon suites and family suites, two- and three-bedroom suites and a selection of villas and bungalows (not least of which is the presidential villa). All include a private terrace with balcony (and hammocks!), rocking chairs, air-conditioning, marble bathroom with Jacuzzi, satellite TV, surround-sound stereo, wifi access, minibar, coffee maker – and volcano views are assured. Superior rooms and villas provide additional features such as high ceilings, a heated plunge pool or kitchen.
There’s so much to see and do here that you may want to plan ahead. For starters there are the hotel’s 18 landscaped pools and hot springs, all varying in temperature and setting. Perdido Springs, for instance, is a linked system of spring-fed pools and trails within a forest canyon. The resort itself is a wildlife rescue centre, and many animals are currently being cared for on site, including ocelots, monkeys, sloths and macaws. The area is renowned for bird watching, and you can also try out kayaking, horse-riding, river fishing, rappelling, canopy zip-lining or a spot of hiking in the surrounding national park.
The hotel has four restaurants and five bars. If you have a head for heights and you enjoy fine dining, you’ll fancy Las Ventanas, a thousand feet above the river and with strategically angled windows. Or there’s a choice of gourmet buffets at Tres Cascadas, sushi at Ginger Sushi or an informal grill menu at Treetops Grill. The bars include Heliconia, where you’ll take refreshments to the strains of Latin jazz, and La Laguna, located in the centre of the hotel’s largest pool – it also doubles up as a sports bar. If you fancy playing games rather than watching them, the Game Room and Lounge is the place to play pool, darts or backgammon.