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“Great location and value.”

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
“Great location and value.”
Reviewed 17 August 2010

How does someone come to the Jungle and expect the animals and insects to be quiet at night. It reminds me of the old saying...."you idiot". Anyway, I found this place on Tripadvisor and decided to try it based on the good reviews. I was looking for a quite, relaxing place which was not too far from La Fortuna (6 minutes). This place has a perfect location and off the highway enough to feel remote. Our cabin #12 was very clean, spacious and comfortable. It's a little on the rustic side so if you're expection the four seasons check out The Springs Resort and Spa at 4 times the cost. The only negative I have to say is that when I was checking out the owner was not there and he had a guy helping that was a bit inept...it took at least 20 minutes to check out....Aaaaarg!

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PuraVida469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Kokoro is just beautiful. I came here to get away from the city and Kokoro was the perfect stay. There were a couple days where I spent just sitting in the open lobby area and reading. The entire place is very nature oriented with acres of trees, plants and flowers. You could see birds from parrots to hummingbirds, and sometimes even toucans up in the trees (bring binoculars). It also has an amazing view of the volcano..I saw a couple eruptions which you can hear and see very clearly. They have a gorgeous pool too where there's a great view of the volcano as well.

There are about 14 rooms at the moment, each an individual cabin which gives Kokoro its unique charm along with its natural grounds. The rooms are very clean with comfortable beds and pillows. There is a complimentary breakfast every morning where you can choose between pancakes and eggs, or the classic Costa Rican rice and beans with eggs (both are delicious). They also have cereal and a selection of fresh local fruits with milk and coffee to drink. Although they don't have a restaurant yet, they said they're currently constructing one. For the meantime, the town of La Fortuna is just a 5 minute drive from the hotel and there are a selection of menus in the lobby to flip through.

The Li family is beyond friendly and helpful. They're very knowledgeable, suggesting which restaurant to go to, what activities and tours to take, and how to get wherever if you're driving. I went zip-lining, water repelling, hiking, and white water rafting..all were amazing. There's free Wi-Fi in the lobby and a computer with internet access if you need. The service really is great and almost impossible to find anywhere else. The Li's are wonderfully personable, and they really took good care of me.

If you love nature and warm hospitality, I highly recommend staying at Kokoro.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank meencantacostarica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2010

We booked at the Kokoro because of the great price in the location, and because of all the great reviews we have read here. The website also makes Kokoro seem like a wonderful place to stay.
Pros: Internet access, computer access, friendly owner/service, good view of volcano when not cloudy, good sheets on bed.
Cons: Bad road to the hotel, Clogged plumbing, unclean rooms (numerous soap packets left in shower, and sand in shower), cold "hot tubs", beds break when you sit on them, very few lounge chairs at pool, smelly (like old wash cloth) tables at breakfast (I couldn't even stomach eating my breakfast), poor free breakfast (one small coffee pot, only one or two choices, fruit not so great, etc.), window would not close in one room. But, most of all, the smell was the worst part of the stay. The rooms smelled like a dogs rear-end (literally). We had to change rooms because one room was so bad. Then, the new room still had a smell to it. I think this may be because the toilets would not flush properly.

Anyway, when we went to the manager about any problem we had, he was happy to help with whatever he could. Although he did say, "oh, you just had bad luck". Great. I have a feeling we got the reject rooms. All the other reviews of the Kokoro were great, but our experience was just horrible. As a side note... I could not sleep that night because of all the insects and animals making noise, and the rain making loud plops on the roof. I know we were in a camp-like setting in the rain forest, so what should I expect. But, I am just warning that is was very hard to get a good night's sleep.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicole G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ichamomdad, Manager at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, responded to this review, 23 August 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write the review, and we understand deeply the concerns with the lodging and your experiences with us. We do regret that we were not able to accomodate to your needs and did not offer a brief comfortable 1 night stay for you and your family.

During your visit, we made the best effort to arrange for the last minute changes. There was an unexpected adjustment to be done for the additional accomodation for the other family members. As a complication we had to modify the bookings that was oringinally set only for 4 persons.

The day of the arrival (august 1) was also a hectic moment, since the whole region of Arenal had also incoming domestic and international travellers on vacation, and furthermore our rooms were already fully booked. For this reason it was unfortunate that we were not able to offer additional rooms for that day which were already seperately assigned for your reservation.

Nonetheless, we made special arrangements to try to accomodate the entire family in our establishment and even complimentary lodging beds for the surprise additional family guests.

Our rustic lodgings do have a distinct sense and smell, due to the nature and the humidity of the region.

I do agree that the Paint jobs, natural fauna , and moist materials don´t exactly give the right blend or harmony of aromas.
Much the same we will make the effort to address to this in a better way.

I must apologize if we have given a false impresion that our property was a Meridien or a Club Med or remote island spot resort.
Instead , we named our resort ¨la selva¨= Spanish for the forest, to emphasize the principle to preserve the nature that surrounds our grounds. During our initial stages of the proyect, we dedicated 2 years entirely to build close to nature without affecting its original inhabitants.
We have kept the ¨kokoro¨ (japanese for essence and heart )of Arenal in its authentic way, and at the same time preserve the tranquility and safety of every living being including astrained fellow travelling guests.

I will also try to address better that attention to service and quality of food that we have in Breakfast time. However bear in mind we have also attempted to reach the desires of our guests.
What we offer already as complimentary service to the guests stay; we do offer unlimited Costa rican coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, 2 types of cereals, 3 types of tropical fruits, and full breakfast made to order such as our Gallo Pinto ( rice and beans with plantains, scrambled eggs, and avocado) or our American breakfast with caramelised fruits, pancakes with eggs.

We also try to go the extra mile and help to serve Omelettes or Ranchero style, toast sandwiches, and quesadillas, because we do understand and treasure the satisfaction of our guests. We are willing and happy to serve with what we can offer or find at our grasp, but please let us know for the next time and we will try to correct the mistakes directly.

Along with our facilities and natural grounds, our pools are settled on the backdrops along with panoramic views towards the volcano.
I agree that only 3 lounge chairs and various pool chairs and tables were in display. We have extra pool lounge chairs stored and unfortunate you did not have pleasure to use them. We will notify our staff to have them available before the all the in house guests use the swimming pool area

Nonetheless, we also made extra effort to address to the quality and structures of the rooms. We realize that our rustic beds are not made with steel bearings.
We will try and address to the problem and also make it resistant enough for and two young adults jump onto the bed and not let the cushion fall under.
And furthermore, we have developed flyers to distribute in each room where we advise guests not to throw paper towels in the toilets.
The reason being that our tropical sceptic tanks cannot handle and destroy paper products so easily and could lead to difficult plumbing.

I agree that we have not informed properly in our website or during check-in, and for same reason we deeply appreciate your efforts and comments. They help us to orient guests for the future, and would hope that for the next visit, we establish a more comforting and unique experience to all the family members.

--
The Management Team
Kokoro Arenal- La Selva Resort
La Fortuna, San Carlos de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Tel: +(506) 2479 12 22 ¦ Fax: + (506) 2479 1221
USA: 1.202.241.3759
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 August 2010

We loved staying at Kokoro Arenal. We read the TripAdvisor reviews before choosing it, and the lodge generally met or exceeded our expectations - the cabins are large, clean, and well-kept, and the views of Arenal from the property are just stunning. Even with those great things, our favorite part was the hosts - the Li family is wonderful, and Felico (who manages the place) really goes out of his way to make sure that his guests are taken care of. For us, this meant setting up numerous tours, arranging for lots of transportation, and giving us various tips about the area. We loved the intimate feel, and we can't wait to go back.

Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank rmly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menlo Park, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 August 2010

Sitting on the front porch early in the morning watching the clouds form and flow over the volcano and the menagerie of bird life in the trees (parakeets, guacos, doves, hummingbirds and many more) was an unforgettable experience. Cabin #1 has the best view. The cabins are set well back from the road, which is important since the buses and motorcycles are very loud. Most of the other hotels in La Fortuna are right on the road.

As the earlier commenter said, this isn't a luxury resort - no bar or restaurant, no in-room internet (there's a computer in the reception area). The cabins are comfortable and clean but not luxurious. The only thing I had a minor issue with was that the windows have no screens. The first two nights there were zero bugs but the last night there were a few mosquitoes so we had to close the shutters. But the ceiling fan kept it cool enough that we were comfortable.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank eschscholzia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 July 2010

I don't want to spoil the fun here, but I think there's some realism needed in the reviews of this hotel.

We stayed here. We liked it, truly. The few-person staff was very nice and warm. I'd recommend Kokoro -- but with reservations.

Namely: this is more like staying at a campground cabin than at a hotel. If that's OK with you, then you'll be pleased with Kokoro. For me, it's OK, but I was surprised nonetheless. So you should know before you book that you'll find the accommodations to be sparse and bare, and, shall we say, rustic.

We were traveling with other family members who stayed at a hotel just up the street which also featured individual villa-style accommodations. (I insisted on staying at Kokoro because of all the rave reviews on this site...and I felt a bit misled). For $50 more per night (a 50% premium) their accommodations seemed luxurious rather than rugged. And the grounds of their hotel were manicured, while this is far more natural.

It truly is personal preference. But it you come here with the wrong expectations you may be very disappointed.

Funny story: on our first night a bat flew into our room. Yep, you read that right. We were able to get the bat into the bathroom and then shut the door. We really didn't have a plan beyond that. Weren't quite sure what to about a bat.

Thankfully they young gentleman who seems to be in charge came buy to announce that the volcano was erupting. We told him about the bat and he came back with some equipment and a friend, and together they "eliminated" the bat. I'm glad they took care of it before we needed to get back into the bathroom!

Bottom line: I would probably stay here again. But we sometimes camp when we go on vacation (we're known to camp for 2 nights in a national park, then check into the Ritz-Carlton for the rest of the week). If you're not into that kind of thing, this may not be your place.

Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank thebigideaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Luis Obispo, California
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2010

We had made arrangements ahead of time for all of our nights but one. We found Kokoro to fill in a one night gap. The place was very nice. The rooms were clean and well kept. Breakfast in the morning was very good and included with the room. It wasnt just a skimpy continental breakfast. They made what ever you asked for for free. The price was very reasonable. We wished that we had more time to spend there.

The people were very nice. I am happy to recommend this place.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank keoneu
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:
#5 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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