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“Friendliest staff but may have damp cabins in rainy seasons” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Kokoro Arenal

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Friendliest staff but may have damp cabins in rainy seasons”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2014

First of all, I must say that this hotel has the friendliest staff ever. When we arrived, Diana the receptionist greeted us and explained everything in detail. We were escorted to the room which looked very nice and had a little porch that faces a small local forest. The place was lush and beautiful. After we checked in though I smelled mould. I sat on the bed and it felt a little moist. I asked if there was a less damp cabin available but I was told it was the last available cabin so the staff offered to bring a dehumidifier. It was brought in the room and I wanted to switch it on but it turned out it wasn’t working. I then thought that maybe air conditioner would help but it wasn’t working either. :-) It was almost comical. The staff dried our linen, towels and brought an air refresher into the room.
We were told that rooms felt damp because it was rainy season and all rooms were a bit moist. We gave up and went to the hot spring where we found a very nice family who were very positive and funny. When we came back, owner’s son fixed the AC.
The location is good if you have a car. We did not have a car so we had to book a taxi everywhere we went. We were told they have a driver with a car but we never saw it. We later found out that they just call a local taxi from La Fortuna. We spent a lot of money on taxis. A ride into town was around $8 each way but the most ridiculous was when we were asked to pay $16 to go 2 miles to the Tabacon spa. We hired a tour guide with a car and he showed and drove us around. It was only slightly more expensive than renting a car so it was totally worth it as he was very knowledgable and was a professional scientist - botanist, biologist, anthropologist. (Email me for his contact details.)
Hotel serves breakfast which was good. The coffee and fruits were good but daily casada gets old after a few days. The most beautiful thing about breakfast is birds. The most majestic birds fly to the tables to pick some food and they are not very afraid of people. What we also observed is that the owner is very kind. If someone comes late for breakfast she would still serve them and even bring them individual food with some extras. The owners are extremely nice. They are taiwanese immigrants and all members of the family are very sweet. They came spoke to us during breakfast and chatted to us in the lobby in the evening.
It's a great place but slightly ran down. If owners invest a little more into fixtures, the hotel would be a lot better.

Room Tip: It would be worth to ask to a less damp room. We were later shown a drier room but it had no TV so w...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank danikbp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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686 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2014

This hotel was a gorgeous surprise. The grounds are lush with tropical plants and flowers and the open reception area is the first of many lovely areas to explore. I loved my one room cabin with it's porch from which I enjoyed the view at the foot of the Arenal Volcano. The room was large and comfortable with a good-sized bathroom. I enjoyed the open air dining room and even got pictures of a bird stealing food from an empty table. The owner generously prepared a special lunch of Chinese Dumplings for me after I had mentioned that I missed vegetables and meat in my Costa Rican meals. All the staff are professional and friendly. The hotel needs some minor updating and that is scheduled to be done in September. I would highly recommend Kokoro Hotel to anyone wishing to enjoy the beauty of Costa Rica in a relaxing, friendly, beautiful place.

Room Tip: Don't choose this hotel if you want a sterile, modern hotel room. This is for those who appreci...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 0974pat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Petaluma
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

My wife and I stayed here for three nights in early February, the end of the dry season. The staff were all friendly and helpful, and did their best to make guests happy. Buildings are handmade with a high standard of woodwork, and the bungalows are surprisingly spacious. The main palapa was a great place to read, listen to music and have a beer.

We enjoyed terrific views of the volcano from the porch of our bungalow. We slept well and enjoyed the peace and quiet, with no road noise and just the sounds of the jungle. We hope to return!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CardinalZin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 August 2014

Initially, this place seemed perfect, it has a great view of the volcano, cute rustic bungalow rooms and pretty grounds. However, after a day or 2 we started realizing this place is a lot more run down than we thought. It rained a TON while we were there, which is obviously not part of the hotel problem, however we had leaks in the roof of our room that dripped all night on to our beds. The room smelled moldy, and the bathroom had a rank odor (which we later realized was the reason they don't want you to put toilet paper in the toilets). I am sorry, but plumbing should be fixed so patrons do not have to throw USED TP in the garbage...

We didn't have a car, and had to rely on shuttles and taxis which is also fine, yet one day we were told they had a shuttle service at the hotel and the next day told that no, they only have local taxis they use. It was weird tho, because every time we got picked up by a taxi or a shuttle, the driver never knew how much to charge us and had to call the hotel to have us talk to them or tell the driver a price, and it the price was ALWAYS different.

They serve breakfast which is included, and was nice, and offer lunch or dinner by request. It was raining a lot, so we decided to request a dinner, and realized that they order take out from a local restaurant and then put it on a plate for you, and charge significantly more
Than what the actual restaurant charges. There was one night where they were serving dinner, and so we made reservations. They asked us to pre order our meal, which was a chicken, fish, meat or veggie option. So, we figured that the hotel was actually going to prepare our food that night in their kitchen. However, when we sat down, we saw one of the employees going to the kitchen With a bunch of take out boxes and bags, and then brought it to us on a plate.
The hotel claimed to have trails to walk, and after 3 or 4 different attempts to find the trails we realized that the 'trail' is actually an over grown path that was maybe 75 meters long. It looked
Like an old service road
For the property, and would take maybe 3 minutes to walk it.

There are hot springs (3 tubs) that are filled supposedly every day, but only one of the pools was filled all the way and had an oily film on the top of it. Didn't look like fresh spring water.

The staff was overall friendly, but this place needs some love and renovation. There were unfinished bits and pieces everywhere, and it just seems unkempt. NOT worth the price unfortunately.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kacie f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HOTELKokoro, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, responded to this review, 16 August 2014
Dear kacie f,
Thank you very much for you feedback. I am truly sorry that we did not fulfill your expectations during your stay with us. I am pleased to know you enjoyed the volcano view the breakfast in Kokoro. I am most regretful of hearing your disappointments. I would like to share the factors of the inconvenience caused to you and seek for your kind understanding.

Most places expect you to put toilet paper into a waste basket countrywide, not just our hotel. They are not designed to break down in the water, flush them can cause toilet clog. Sewage systems and stream flow conditions are different here from U.S.

We can always arrange a taxi or our own transportation service for our guests. I believe the day you request for our transportation service when our receptionist said no, it meant it was busy at the moment. We admit our drivers need more training, however the price is pretty clear. It depends on the place you go. If you still have question about the pricing, please reach out to us directly.

Please allow me to clear the up your misapprehensions. We have never ever bought the food from outside and put it on the plate for hotel guests. I am so sorry to say this must be a misunderstanding. We do have a trail in our property. It takes 10-15 mins walk. I believe the one you took was our another road to the hotel gate.

I do apologize that you were less than satisfied with your experience at our hot spring. We change the fresh hot water daily. Our hot spring is the rare bicarbonate salt spring contains rich iron. Bicarbonate salt spring (commonly known as “Golden Hot Spring) is colorless and transparent, but the water will become brown after oxidized, produce brown precipitate when exposed to air.
We are value your suggestions and if you would like to provide us with more detail, please email us at info@arenalkokoro.com.

Thank you again for your review, and staying at Hotel Kokoro. We hope there is a chance you will come back to visit again.

Warmest regards,

Kokoro Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlottesville VA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

Kokoro service was a reasonable place to stay, but due to the constant rainy season and older age of the buildings, we got hit hard with the smell of mildew when we got to our room. We talked to the staff and they provided us with a dehumidifier and air freshener which definitely helped. The AC wasn't working but the remote just needed to be configured--they fixed this as soon as we brought it up. I think they would benefit from cleaning up some of the unused areas so that even if it's not in use it doesn't look as abandoned or neglected, i.e. some of the former public cabanas, massage area, hot spring area. Highlights included the hot spring, the proximity to the volcano, the refrigerator, having wi-fi, the dinner, the breakfasts, and the taste of the coffee that they provided in the lobby. The location was no better or worse than many of the places, as the hotels are quite spread out. Overall the staff really made up for some of the off-putting parts of the stay, i.e. ants in the room (but we realize we are in the middle of a jungle and there are some inconveniences that come with the territory).

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Yaya333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vilnius, Lithuania
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

Small separate houses fully surounded by nature, you feel like in rainforest. Very friendly, knowledgeable snd helpfull staff. Good breakfast.
As Arenal is in very high humidity area (tropical rainforests), expect some "tropical smell", but that was not an issue for me.

Room Tip: Wi-Fi is not in all rooms
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Martynas_is_my_name
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2014

Our family (2 kids under 15) stayed here in July 2014. What stood out the most was how the staff worked from beginning to end to make our experience extremely positive. They constantly went out of their way to assist us and create a positive experience. They were so helpful with issues we were having completely unrelated to our stay there (rental car problems, having forgot our wallet when we went with a tour company, etc). They took any issue/problem and made it into a non-issue. On top of that, their grounds are beautiful, well-cared for, clean and relaxing. The hot springs are tastefully done, and the room we stayed in was spacious, very quiet and clean. We would welcome the opportunity to visit and receive their gracious hospitality again.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kevin K
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, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 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:
#4 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: 24
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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