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The Tabacon


Our story is the one of a nature lover that became a legend in Arenal. Costa Rican born Jaime Mikowski was a trained and board-certified architect involved in projects that ranged from low-income housing developments to single-family luxury homes. Mr. Mikowski had a knack for thinking outside the box. His hobbies and life interests led him to distinctive personal goals that included running coffee farms, starting Costa Rica’s first vineyard, launching a solar water heating company, and designing hotels all over the country.

In the late 1980s, Jaime fell in love with a property at the base of the majestic Arenal Volcano, where a stream of hot springs ran through a marsh and grasslands. He convinced the local owners to sell him a share of the company that owned the land and spent the next few months persuading friends to invest with him on a wellness spa concept developed around the idea of a natural encounter.

In January 1991, the original Tabacon pools and restaurant complex closed for a complete make-over, which took more than two years. Mr. Mikowski’s project aimed to reforest the existing pastures that surrounded the pools and restaurant.

The river was given some form so as to transform the marshlands and have them resemble what it could have been like before the cows grazed here lands, decades prior. The pristine thermal waters now flowed into waterfalls, cascading pools and hidden bathing spots. Mr. Mikowski planted acres of native flora, which gave way to Tabacon’s beautiful botanical gardens. The restaurant and kitchen were expanded, locker rooms were added, a small spa was built and, on April 13, 1993, Tabacon opened as a day destination. Finally, in late 1997, the hotel was inaugurated, with 42 comfortable guest rooms. This marked the official beginning of Arenal as an international destination. And travelers around the world responded quickly, once word of Arenal’s unique beauty got out.

Tabacon is set on more than 900 acres of lush tropical reserve, home to Costa Rica’s largest network of naturally flowing hot springs. Tabacon offers 103 luxurious guestrooms and suites; two restaurants; four bars and a world-class spa.

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