While speaking with a premier New Jersey floral designer, I was captivated by her stories about the painstaking effort thatRead More
Baking on the beach not your idea of fun? Here’s a tropical honeymoon escape that’s anything but predictable. You’ve just signed up for the biggest adventure of your life (hello, matrimony!). Top off your big day with a thrill-filled honeymoon at Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa in Costa Rica. Set on more than 900 acres of tropical reserve in the foothills of La Fortuna’s Arenal Volcano, this getaway’s beautiful accommodations, on- and off-site activities and idyllic natural setting make a stay here pretty close to nirvana. The resort’s 103 guestrooms and suites are set a few paces from the reception desk, gift shop and Los Tucanes, one of Tabacon’s two restaurants. Guest rooms are serene with an elegant, minimalist vibe. Floors are tiled, lighting is sleek and low profile, and floor-to-ceiling sliders open to lush grounds. Spacious bathrooms feature dual sinks, again, modern and sleek; rainforest showerheads and river-rock shower floors. Rooms looking out on the Arenal Volcano are available, as are suites with Jacuzzis and private balconies. At check in, you’ll see guests milling about wearing bathrobes—don’t be alarmed. This is the wardrobe of choice for many who spend their days in and out of the property’s mesmerizing mineral springs—a short downhill stroll from the lodging. Walk or take the shuttle to be there in a jiffy. Amid Tabacon’s lush landscape are rushing arteries of natural thermal waters, reined into waterfalls, they pour into dipping ponds and secluded swimming areas. As soon as you see the winding springs cascading among the flora, you will understand the robes and the temptation to stay in swimwear all the daylong. The guests-only, adults-only section of the springs is actually called Shangri-La Gardens. (Yes, please!) It will be hard to tear yourself away, but there are don’t-miss excursions nearby (the front desk will happily assist in setting these up). There is no better way to appreciate the varied and abundant canopy of the rainforest than from on high. Even if you’ve never zip-lined, try it—by your second run (packages have about 10 runs), you will relax into the breeze and take in the jaw-dropping views of Lake Arenal and the volcano. After the ziplining comes horseback riding. These steeds have friendly dispositions and make their way on the trails with little or no prodding. At the top of the mountainous terrain, there are more breathtaking vistas. For a romantic, top-of-the world experience, a picnic lunch with champagne can be arranged. No visit to Costa Rica would be complete without seeing one of the regions most coveted attractions: a waterfall. La Fortuna Waterfall is a quick trip from Tabacon. To get a bird’s-eye view, you’ll have to make your way down a steep, but sturdy staircase. It takes about 15-minutes, you will then be rewarded with a picturesque, 200-foot cascade of the Arenal River. Picnic on the rocks or take a dip in the icy water. In Costa Rica, adventure doesn’t stop at nightfall. Try a nature walk through the rainforest after dark. The tour guide will bring the flashlights; you bring sharp eyes and cameras. There are plenty of tree frogs and butterflies to see, and if you’re lucky, you’ll spot coatimundi and bats, too. Back at Tabacon, the springs will be calling, but make a detour to the spa—these full days of fun can get exhausting! Treatments—for two, of course—are performed in private, open-air bungalows with secluded bubble baths and champagne as the finishing touch. By the end of your stay at this most alluring resort, you will be relaxed, exhilarated and ready for the thrill of being newlyweds. Rooms from $250.