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“Mixed Bag”

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Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
chicago, il
Level Contributor
65 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
“Mixed Bag”
Reviewed 22 December 2008

We booked this hotel for our family of 6 several months before our trip and were told that we would require 2 rooms, but could not be guaranteed adjoining rooms. We decided that we would take our chances even though our children are 5, 8, 10 and 14. The hotel is expensive, especially when booking 2 rooms. Upon arrival we were told we could not get adjoining rooms as they were taken. This was disappointing, but we had no choice. When we got to the rooms and realized how huge they were, there was absolutely no reason that we even needed 2. I can't figure out a positive spin as to why we required 2...unfortunate.
Yes, the hotel is at the foot of the volcano, but during our stay we could only see half way up (in 3 days) due to the clouds. Plus, the lava no longer flows on this side of the volcano, which no one tells you until you arrive.
The breakfast buffet, which is ok, is included in the room rate. Beyond that the food and drinks are ridiculously expensive. And, worse, you are very isolated. It is a 15 minute cab ride to the closest restaurant. We tried to order in a meal one night from a local restaurant. We asked for menus to look at and the front desk had none. Disappointing. We called a pizza place they recommended and ended up with an $88 dollar check for at most $45 worth of food - but, again, there are no options.
The rooms are very clean and spacious - easily could accomodate a family of 4 or 5. I would even have stretched the truth for our family of 6 had I known.
The faux hot springs are very nice as is the pool area. The gameroom which consists of 2 pool tables and 2 ping pong tables is also a nice touch. The spa is quite large and clean, but we did not use any of the services. My husband was greatly disappointed in the gym equipment - given the facility is only 3 years old, they do not have anything remotely "state of the art".
I suppose it depends what you are looking for in a vacation - if you want to pay more than you need to for more room space than you need then you will be pleased. If you want amenities, dining choices, above average quality for the $ you will be disappointed.
I will say the beds were extremely comfortable, the a/c good and the furnishings pleasant.

  • Liked — rooms
  • Disliked — pricing, nickle and diming
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank lizrogatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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LI, NY
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2008

My wife and I just returned from costa rica and we spent our first three nights at the arenal kioro where we were blown away by just about every aspect of this hotel. We have done quite a bit of vacationing over the past few years and this hotel was one of, if not, the best that we have been to.

For starters, the place is immaculate and beautiful. The grounds are amazing, the rooms are huge, and the onsite hot springs are a perfect place to relax. But the most impressive part of our stay was the service. The staff at this hotel was the best I have come across. They did everything possible to make sure our stay was perfect including confirming our travel plans, transporting us to local attractions and restaurants, and even doing our laundry. We could not have asked for anything more.

The only negative I can even think of is that we did have rainy weather (it was rainy season and this is a rainforest) which did block the view of the volcano for much of our stay. But the cool rain actually made the hot springs more enjoyable.

The restaurant was good, but the prices are expensive based on the great view. I kind of felt it was not worth it in the rain. There is a great little authentic costa rican restaurant down the hotel driveway to the left called El Novillo which was very good and had great desserts. Just bring your Spanish.

While you are in Arenal - DO NOT MISS Tabacon hot springs. The hotel will provide transport for $5 per car and its 3 minutes away. You can include lunch or dinner (excellent food) for $70 pp and stay for as long as you want. There are shower facilities and they provide free towels and lockers. We stayed there for 7 hours after a day of canopy and horseback riding. It is well worth it!!

We also did a canopy tour through arenal adventures and a rafting trip through desafio tours (booked both online prior to our trip) which were both excellent.

Overall, our three days in Arenal were a perfect combination of excitement and relaxation.

  • Liked — service and grouds
  • Disliked — clouds blocking the volcano
  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gtneilsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Royal Palm Beach, FL
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 September 2008

We booked at the Arenal Kioro for our last night in Costa Rica, and the biggest mistake we made was not booking it for more nights. This hotel is amazing, from start to finish. Let's start - this hotel is the closest you'll get to the volcano.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were greeted by the staff. They offered us a drink - we had pina colados, and enjoyed the view from the hotel lobby. It was relaxing, and the staff were extremely professional, helping us with our bags to the room and telling us all about the hotel.

When we got to our room, our jaws dropped. This room was huge! There was a nice sitting area with tables and chairs in the front part, then a section of the room had the gigantic bed with wonderful linens and great pillows. Lots of closet space along with an electronic safe. There was a nice table and chair in front of massive sized windows/doors that overlooked the volcano. This is the best part of the hotel - these large windows and doors from floor to ceiling with a picturesque view of the rumbling volcano. It doesn't get any better than this!

When we walked in, we were lucky enough to see volcano action - the volcano began to rumble with lava spewing out. We caught it on our camera, exciting to say the least! You can even "feel it" in your room...

To top it off, there is a hot tub - large hot tub sitting in front of its own window. This was awesome. The bathroom was super large, with a great shower - one where the water comes from the ceiling. There was actually two parts to the bathroom. The shower room, and then a bathroom with toilet and sink. Very nice and sophisticated.

After checking out our room, we headed to the pool. Very relaxing and serene, sitting right by the volcano. We had lunch there, ordered from the bar, and it was fun. Very clean pool area, wonderful bar staff. What more could you ask for!

After the pool, we went to the "Spa." The spa is our only complaint. I think they definitely need to get their act together here. First, we asked for couple massage, but we were in separate rooms. The massages were in an open room (no AC, just open windows), which was nice but very hot. The massage was okay, not deep tissue like we paid for. Then, we got facials (my guy got the one for men). Again, these were okay, nothing special. The worst was the manicure/pedicure. They had us sit in uncomfortable chairs and put our feet in these small foot spas without any massage effect at all. Not your typical US pedicure (which I love). I felt like they didn't quite know what they were doing. The pedicure was awful. She didn't have a steady hand, and it turned out very badly but not as bad as my manicure. I asked for french manicure and this was a huge mistake, it was so bad that after a few hours, it chipped and I ended up just taking it off. I was about to cry thinking about how much I paid for it...complete waste. If you're going to use their spa, do not, and I repeat, do not get a manicure or pedicure. Waste of money for sure! (Unless they got better, but still, it's not US quality).

After the spa, we relaxed in our room, and then headed to dinner at their restaurant. Fabulous, fabulous food. Very fresh and again great service. Top notch. The view was superb - again right in view of the volcano.

We enjoyed the night in our hot tub, and this was unbeatable. We were waiting anxiously for activity but we didn't get a chance to see any, it was very cloudy. But we did see activity the day before, so that was exciting. The only complaint here was no night room service. I think it stops at 10 PM, but we were craving for a drink to enjoy in the hot tub. Let down! They should definitely have room service to at least 2 AM. If not, bring your own stuff to enjoy later in the room!

The next morning we enjoyed the breakfast buffet. Wow - it was loaded with delicious foods, lots of fresh fruits, pancakes. I don't think we paid for it, I think it came with the hotel. What a treat!
Everything was thought-out with this hotel. No detail missed.
Staff was professional, courteous, spoke good English, helpful. Room was amazing for the price (if you had this room in the US, you'd be paying at least $500 plus if not more). Room was breathtaking, unbelievable, hot tub was bonus. Pool was relaxing. Get as many nights as you can here, if you can afford it. It's well worth it. We loved it, and would stay here again in a heart beat!

  • Liked — Location, location, location
  • Disliked — Spa
  • Stayed April 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank alibuddha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
cheltenham
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 September 2008

We arrived here quite late and checked in no problem.Staff very curteous. Our room was a twin and huge! 2 big beds and a type of 3rd bed as well. They all have a big hot tub and the bathroom was spotless.

I opened the curtains at night and could see an outline of the volcano but when I had a look first thing in the morning - WOW! you are literally at the foot of a real volcano! The view was stunning and a lot closer than I thought it would be. The clouds had cleared and I got some great photos.

We went to breakfast, which was in a lovely room and the volcano was crystal clear (it can change in a second though) . You can eat your breakfast and just stare striaght up at the smoking mountain top.

the facilities at the hotel are great if you like spa treaments but beware - they are expensive! The grounds are lovely and they have a pool and also a games room. The bar will shut early though if they're not busy. Free internet access as well.

If you want to be right by the volcano and you want top quality, then this is the hotel you should stay at.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — prices in restaurant and spa
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank roddy1401
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davie Florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

We stayed at this hotel for two nights in mid Aug, 2008...The hotel was super clean, people and staff very friendly and accomodating, ambiance and food excellent, room and panaromaic views above expectations and eco friendly

If you have a chance to stay at this hotel it is well worth it..We didnt want to leave

Irwin and Maxine Brand

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank WINNMAX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2008

We stayed at the Kioro for two nights (Aug 2,3). This hotel exceeded my expectations. The view of the volcano is magnificent (and, yes, you can see it, contrary to other reviews) when the clouds clear which they do generally midday. The hotel is seriously close to the base of the volcano. It is not on the side currently to view the lava flow, but the hotel itself completely makes up for this fact. The cascading hot springs and pool are in complete view of the volcano which is amazing. There is a poolside bar which will deliver you any drink or even lunch if you wish. The staff is very friendly and more than helpful.

The restaurant is clean and open-air, so if you are worried about bugs, this country is not the place for you, as most of the restaurants are like this. The dinner prices were a little high, but no more than you would pay in a moderate restaurant in the US.

We brought our 3 boys (ages 5,8,9) here and they loved it. The room had 3 beds and a hot tub with a pictureque view of the volcano. We would definitely go back!

  • Liked — The volcano view
  • Disliked — It is a limited drive to La Fortuna
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dgibson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lafayette, Colorado
Level Contributor
81 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2008

If I cant get into heaven please just let me spend eternity here!
The resort is gorgeous with cascading waterfalls flowing from one hot tub pool to the next all surrounded by exquisite exotic flowers and all with a direct view of the volcano.
The breakfast buffet was huge, extensive and delicious with made to order omeletes, fruit,cold cuts, pastry and yogurts. We even saw people loading up extras for their lunch.
The rooms are fabulous and have floor to ceiling windows most looking directly at the volcano. The fact that the walk in shower is a little oddly placed, seperate from the bathroom is minor. Did not use the big jacuzzi in the room but looked like it would be great fun for a couple.
The two queen beds in my room were HUGE and extremely comfortable and there was a seperate sofa bed.
One of the highlights of my life will be waking up at 4am to hear the howler monkeys in the distance and sitting watching the glow of the volcano from my easy chair!

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Scotty-TA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa

Property: Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa
Address: San Carlos, 10 km NE of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Kioro)
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#11 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#14 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Kioro offers a fabulous place with a natural viewpoint to the Arenal Volcano. The hotel has 27 acres of undulating land, surrounded by two streams (La Palma and Kioro) with crystalline waters that begin to flow in the Arenal Volcano National Park. It has two paths where plant species are identified. Besides, private thermal springs for our customer's delight. All our suites have:Two terraces with the best panoramic volcano and mountain view, hydro-massage, air conditioning, safe deposit box, minibar, coffee maker, hot water, direct dialing telephone, satellite television, hair dryer, key card, safety locks, internet connections. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Kioro Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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