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“Disappointed...”

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Disappointed...”
Reviewed 31 January 2014

I will start by saying that while I do appreciate the finer things in life, I am not a snob if I come across that way. This place is not what it's advertised to be, and maybe if you only sleep and eat there it's ok, but not what we were expecting AT ALL!!! The place is in need to some TLC.

We arrived late one night and were led to our casona, only to find that the latches on the windows had come off and the windows couldn't close... which would've been fine if there was a safe in the room (I had read that there had recently been some theft at Kokoro so we were concerned about our important belongings). While some may say that you shouldn't bring expensive things on vacation, when it comes to my camera and passport and cash... well.... Also, the room was in DIRE need of updating. It smells horribly of must, and then when looking aorund, I saw that the wood that was used to build it and decoration was covered in white mold. NOT OK. The shower doors fell apart and on me in the shower. NOT OK. 3 strikes in the first hour.

The next day we asked for another room and were upgraded to a cabina (at our expense), which would've been awesome if I didn't hear every move that the people in the next cabina made. It was a family with young children and I was traveling with my boyfriend. Not great, but better than before. Still, we weren't able to get a good night's sleep here because we were awoken by our neighbors.

Hot springs? No. Try a murky yellow opaque pool that is questionable to go in. The other pools were left empty. They pump it every day, but still... I would like to see my feet, or at least my hands. We went in the first night because we were so beat but upon looking at it the next day, we decided to go to Tabacon which cost us a pretty penny. Whatever made the pool yellow and murky also stained our bathing suits.

Hiking trails? Nope, try one trail that just goes alongside the main drive.

The only saving grace was breakfast every morning. It was fresh and typical tico fare: gallo pinto (rice and black beans), scrambled eggs, fresh fruit (YUM) and veggies. I'm gluten intolerant so I didn't try the pancakes but I was very happy with breakfast and there are a ton of birds that like to hand near the pavilion. Unfortunately they only serve breakfast, and don't tell you that if you order food to be delivered, you also have to pay for the cab driver to deliver it (which was like an additional $10).

Also, Natalie at the front desk was super kinda and helpful and understanding.

Room Tip: go somewhere else for this $
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JSigal5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2014 via mobile

A lovely serene place efficient and great staff. Good local tours! Loved the hot springs. The gardens are excellent and beautiful a step back into the tropics! Food excellent! the cabins are comfortable if a little spartan! An oasis in its own right!

Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank MickeyBoyWise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2014 via mobile

Good base to visit the volcano, canyoning,etc,...but dont expect chilling in your room as the dampness in the area is very visible, in your room. You can smell damp everywhere, not nice.
I hear it is the same everywhere in the area, to be checked.
Service was friendly, dont get your expectations too high.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Jean marc C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Koege, Denmark
Level Contributor
37 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

Nice and comfortable hotel, in beautyful surroundings and close to vulkan tracks. Go to the hot spa and then swimmingpool in the pool and then back again, and you Will sleep like a baby. Nice breackfast and tip top service.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gitterita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

The staff at Hotel Kokoro are really nice but the place is worn out and needs some care and attention. The website is deceiving, it isn't like the impression you get from the pictures. The pool, for example, has seen better days and doesn't look like an inviting place to swim or hang out.

We weren't impressed when we had a look round on arrival and a builder was smoking on one of the paths near the hot springs (which don't open till 4pm). It didn't get much better than that.

We stayed in a 'eco-cabina superior king' which was $20 more a night than we were quoted in the reservation. The room was large and looked out on the volcano but also onto the road into the hotel. We discovered a couple of worms in the bathroom which grossed us out a bit and the bed was damp. The breakfasts were terrible - the only thing edible was cold pancakes. We were so disappointed after our first night of three that we checked out and into another hotel down the road which was luxurious - for $100 more each night it was like travelling to another stratosphere of hotel. The staff at Kokoro were understanding but only gave us a refund for one night of the three, even though we only stayed one night.

The hotel doesn't do dinner so you have to go to the reception and order take out from the menus there. It's quite far out of town so you have to get taxis everywhere, which gets expensive. We decided to hire a car from Alamo in La Fortuna town and use it to get to the airport at the end of the trip too. This was great because we had freedom to explore the area.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Hannah W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida
Level Contributor
93 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We followed the Tripadvisor's recommendation and were not disappointed. Very nice service. The place is basically a family-run operation (the owner's family has some Oriental background since kokoro means "heart" in Japanese) and the atmosphere is indeed family-like. Very nice happy hours in the open lobby. Dinners were rather slow to serve, so after the first one we preferred to eat out.

The room was very much OK. However, having to throw the used toilet tissue to a bin rather than flush it reminded me of some hotels in Greece and the Balkans and raised some eyebrows. I understand they are using septic tanks, but really?

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jrk011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 16 January 2014

We stayed at the Kokoro over Christmas and the accommodations were great....quiet, clean and comfortable. Spectacular view of the Arenal Volcano. I can't say enough about the friendliness and helpfulness of all the staff. They were particularly accommodating even when we wanted to leave a day early and needed help finding accommodations in another location. The grounds were beautiful, had the pool to ourselves and the on-sight hot springs were a real treat! The only detractor was service in the restaurant was slow the night we ate there....but in fairness, I think they may have been having some staffing issues that night. The meal itself was very good. Staff recommended a guided tour with Giovanni...the highlight of our trip, I must say. He could spot an animal or bird from a mile away...amazing.... and he was very entertaining! A must if you are in La Fortuna! Would stay there again without hesitation!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SWCH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Kokoro Arenal

Property: Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Address: 500m oeste de la Quebrada la Palma | 7km Northwest, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 4000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#16 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#24 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Kokoro Arenal 3.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest of the northern hills of Costa Rica, Hotel Kokoro Arenal is the perfect hideaway retreat blessed with untouched flora and fauna and a panoramic setting overlooking the majestic volcano of Arenal. At Kokoro Arenal, each of our carefully designed eco-villas offers a stay in a cozy family oriented style, with charm, and a service approach prepared in a joyful, attentive, and sustainable way. The lodging grounds also invite you to dip into the hill-top swimming pool, tropical hut with hammock, and explore our tucked away rainforest trails. With our Kokoro ‘heartfelt’ ways, we aim to revitalize your senses and share with you a vibrant experience in the Costa Rican tropics. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kokoro Arenal Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Resort Kokoro Arenal
Hotel Kokoro Arenal Costa Rica/La Fortuna De San Carlos

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