Although my sister won a trip to Costa Rica’s Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort last year, my boyfriend and I turned out to be the real winners. Due to her busy schedule, she was unable to go. Not wanting it to go to waste, she was thoughtful enough to pass on the trip to us. I had never been out of the country or to a destination spa and was unbelieveably excited to make Costa Rica my first out-of-country experience.
Our stay at Tabacon included its Lifestyle and Wellness Package, a seven-day program involving two spa treatments (3 hours), two nutritional evaluation and counseling sessions, cooking classes, hatha yoga sessions, a temezcal session, a gala dinner, and personal transportation to and from the airport. A day-by-day itinerary was worked out with me before we even left home. When we arrived at the resort, we met with Adriana, the health and wellness director. She gave us a tour of the grounds, and let us know what we could expect for the week. She had a dedicated team, including the head chef and wait staff, that worked hard to make sure that all of our needs were met. Always interested in health and wellness, it wasn’t long before I started envying Adriana for her job.
Because I had spent much of the previous year training for various races and triathlons, I was concerned about blowing all my hard work by eating like I was on vacation. Fortunately, the Lifestyle and Wellness Package featured an Ayurvedic diet. While it’s not focused on helping guests lose weight, it is concerned with offering a balanced diet. We found the food delicious and definitely never left hungry. Dessert was only served at lunch, and dinner usually included soup, lentils, and Indian bread.
The main attraction at Tabacon is the hot springs. They were a short five-minute walk from our room. If we didn’t want to walk, there was always a shuttle ready to take us. With plenty of pools to choose from, they proved to be the perfect place to relax.
We were also pampered with two spa treatments of our choice. When we arrived at the spa for our treatments, we were given fruit smoothies and then taken to our own private bungalow in the middle of the rainforest. After the treatment, we were treated to tea, fresh fruit, and nuts.
A highlight from the week included a gala dinner, which for us, happened to fall on our second-year anniversary. We were escorted to a private bungalow with our own chef, Pravesh, and waiter, Gabriel. The atmosphere and meal were both amazing, and it is a memory we’ll cherish always. After heading back to our room, we were happily surprised to find that the staff had prepared a bubble bath and decorated the room with rose petals and candles.
Our experience at Tabacon definitely exceeded all of our expectations. The staff especially made the week truly memorable. When we left, we felt like we were leaving friends behind.—Shannon Mikesell