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La Fortuna teems with volcano-related tourist attractions, and particularly hot springs. Each dipping establishment offers its own twist on volcanically-warmed baths, but when it comes to versatility, no one beats Baldi Hot Springs Hotel & Spa.
“People who come to Baldi come here because they are looking for something different,” said reservation manager Rony Villalobos. “People are looking for something that helps you forget your daily routine.”
Located off one of the main roads into La Fortuna, Baldi has a huge pillared gate at the entrance surrounded by flowing waterfalls. Upon arrival, each guest is given a fruity cocktail and taken on a golf cart tour of the 323,000 square-foot facility, which boasts the title of “world’s largest hot springs.”
One thing guests at Baldi will not be without is options. The resort features 25 naturally heated springs, two Jacuzzis and two cold-water pools. Its springs have the largest temperature range in the area with 11 different temperature zones. Those who cannot handle the heat can lounge around in one of the tepid 90-degree pools, while the thick-skinned can brave the scalding 152-degree cauldron.
The resort’s variety attracts an eclectic group of patrons, including families with kids excited about the waterslides, young backpackers who frequent the swim up bars and, of course, perennial hot springs honeymooners.
Before, Baldi only offered day passes to its hot springs and buffet, but now guests can sleep off a scintillating soak in one of the resort’s own rooms. The units are large and each features its own balcony with views up to the Arenal volcano. A delicious breakfast buffet is also included with the stay.
The resort certainly does not fail to take advantage of its location in the heart of the rain forest. The hallways to the rooms, the restaurant and all of the pools are left completely open, bringing visitors closer to the dense, surrounding jungle.
Though Baldi’s springs are definitely more done up than some of the simpler spas in the area, the resort has not completely abandoned its nature theme. Most of its pools feature gardens and natural waterfalls, and even the cave-themed sauna is naturally heated, with waterfalls pouring from above.
“We want our guests to have a unique and natural experience,” said Villalobos. “Our pools are completely pure. We don’t add chemicals. We don’t chlorinate. We don’t even heat the water.”
Like other natural hot springs in the area, all of Baldi’s are warmed by the volcano. The pools closer to the volcano retain most of their heat and cool down as they get farther away.
Whether guests are seeking luxury, nature or just a place to get away, at the end of the day Baldi Hotel & Spa definitely provides a unique experience.
“What we want for our guests, more than anything, is for them to be able to enjoy these natural hot springs in harmony in whatever way they se fit,” said Villalobos.
Baldi Resort & Spa is located 4 kilometers west of La Fortuna. The rooms at Baldi are approximately $168 a night varying by season. A day pass for the hot springs is $31 per person and $48 with the lunch or dinner buffet. Visit www.baldihotspirings.cr for more information.
(c)2012 The Tico Times (San Jos, CRI). Distributed by MCT Information Services.