As a 20-year-old student, studying abroad in Costa Rica, I literally stumbled into my first spa experience at the base of the Arenal Volcano. I’ll never forget it.
There is something about visiting the spa for the first time that is exhilarating, but I didn’t grow up getting spa treatments and I really had no idea what to expect. I was living in San Jose and our university scheduled weekend outings for the students.
This particular weekend included a day trip to the Tabacon Grand Spa & Resort in Costa Rica. Don’t get me wrong – this wasn’t supposed to be some ritzy spa escape for college kids. This was a chance for us to swim around in the hot springs and take photos of the majestic Arenal Volcano. Many of the students I was traveling with posted up at the pool bar and enjoyed a cocktail (or five) in a country with way more lenient drinking laws.
I was more interested in exploring the resort. I meandered along a rainforest pathway that wrapped around the hot springs and I sort of stumbled my way into the spa. Eyeing the menu, I tried to figure out where to start.
I certainly never had experienced a facial, a massage or any type of specialty treatment. A week earlier I had jumped off a waterfall that was at least 4 or 5 stories high. I tried to streamline my body like an arrow as it crashed into the water below – to avoid as much pain as possible, but I was still feeling some of the burn in my muscles. A massage could do the trick.
The beautiful thing about the Grand Spa at Tabacon is that the resort prides itself in melding nature – the hot springs, lush gardens, volcano – with pure luxury and rejuvenation. The treatments are administered outdoors in open-air bungalows. You can smell the exotic scents of the rainforest and hear the calls of the tropical birds. After my massage and volcanic body wrap, I dipped into my own private hot springs to rinse and relax. Wow.
I felt a freedom that day that I had never experienced before. There is something whimsical and enchanting about experiencing the rainforest and God’s incredible creation in such a pure form. And to think it was my first time at the spa! I can’t hardly believe that it’s been 10 years. I’m dying to go back.
I bet you want to go, too. Looking for a deal? Check Jetsetter.com.
Visit the resort online to plan and book your luxury spa vacation.