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“Great Stay!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Kokoro Arenal

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   La Palma | 7km After the Church on the Right Hand Side, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 4000, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Cary, North Carolina
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Stay!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We stayed at Kokoro for two nights and everything was smooth from check-in to check-out. Fernando was great, he seemed knowledgeable although he was new to the area and very helpful. We were traveling with a child and the breakfast buffet was more than sufficient even to cater to a picky eater. The staff even agreed to make us some plain scrambled eggs when they were not on the buffet table that day.
My one comment was that the staff offered to ferry us to town since we were not renting a car and while we profusely thanked them thinking they were going out of their way, we learned at checkout that they charged $8.00 per ride. No big deal, it was cheaper than a red cab, but they should have been forthcoming when offering the ride.
Other than that, the rooms were great, the bathrooms spacious, and we had a huge room that would probably fit a family of 5. Our cabin also had a great view of the volcano. The grounds are beautiful, the hot springs were relaxing and did not really smell of sulfur that much.
The breakfast was satisfying and the views were great. The cab rides were convenient into town, cost about $10-$12. The staff even gave us a ride to the local airport for a natureair flight on the day we checkout and charged us a modest $15 for it. Overall, great experience!
Tip: You have to ask the staff to clean the room/change towels. The day we asked for towels, they made the beds but forgot the towels. Nothing we couldn't fix with a short walk to the front desk, but worthwhile to keep in mind since they call themselves eco-friendly.

Room Tip: The rooms are really detatched Cabinas, we stayed at Cana Dulche, room 4 and that was HUGE!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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451 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

Our stay in Kokoro was not something to be desired by anybody, we would say it was not memorable, and we would like to erase our stay in the property from our mind. First of all, when we checked in, Fernando the front desk agent gave us a puzzled look as if we did not have a reservation. We sensed that we will have to play their game. We had to call the company we booked through (HotelClub.com) and complained that Kokoro did not receive our hotel reservation, and that we were not appearing in their computer. This already sounded fishy because we knew that we paid for two beautiful cabins (according to the advertised picture) way ahead of time, and we had a confirmation. Hotelclub.com told us that our reservation was confirmed. Fernando told us not to worry that he would work something out for us, but immediately we could read between the lines that he wanted us to pay more money to stay in the property, and he sounded that they were booked up. We got to know later on that there was hardly anybody staying in their property. He told us next time never to deal with ANY third party, because one gets the worse accommodations. After all the run around, we waited for two hours and Fernando finally confirmed that we had a reservation. Fernando finally gave us two rustic but beautiful cabins with the understanding that we had to move to different rooms the following day because they were booked. The following day, we spoke to the morning front agent on duty, and asked him if we had to move to different rooms and if that was the case we will leave the bags in storage with him, but he said that we did not have to move. We were scheduled to take a half day tour at 7:15 AM, and while having breakfast the agent came running to let us know that he made a mistake and we actually had to pack and move out of the rooms immediately. We really felt harassed the way the situation was handled, because we had to stop eating breakfast and run to our rooms to pack our bags in a matter of minutes because our tour driver was already waiting for us. But this is not the end of our nightmare.

Coming back from the tour, we stopped at the front desk and Fernando was on duty, and while walking towards the place, he was preparing us psychologically about the new rooms. He said that these are the type of rooms that one gets booking through a third party. He also said these rooms had been closed for awhile because they are only utilized in their high season. Before reaching the place, the lush tropical beauty of the main place was fading, there was almost no grass, and few tropical dying plants, a parked old car, a dark ugly hut gazebo, and an abandoned storage place.

When we arrived to our new rooms, we were confronted with another nightmare. The two rooms were not cabins by any stretch of the imagination, they actually looked like cheap flea bag motel rooms. The rooms were newly fumigated and we could hardly breath with a very strong musty smell in the air. This treatment was totally unacceptable and degrading. We felt that we were back in Colonial times that we were put in the maids quarters, and we felt like second class citizens just because we booked through a third party, and that is what we deserved .

We went back to Fernando and told him that those rooms were not acceptable, and we even offered to pay a bit more to stay in the same type of room that we had the night before. After all their game playing, he managed to put us in other cabins, equal to the ones we stayed the first night, still not knowing if we had to pay more because he had to check with the owners.

When we checked out, Fernando expected us to pay a total of $80 extra for the two cabin rooms that we got. The reason we refused to pay any extra money is because it was a matter of principle, for the above harassment they gave us, and the way they handled the whole situation. We felt that they did not deserve an extra cent. After much arguing, the owner came and told Fernando not to charge us anything extra and forget the whole thing. What a Kokoro nightmare experience this was!

The owner of this place should have never advertised through any third party if they wanted to charge more money and put the guest through these manipulative horrible experiences.

We hope nobody else has gone through what we had been through.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, February 9, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the moment to write to us, and sharing with us your frustration with regards to booking the hotel through a third party travel agent.

We do acknowledge a certain degree of discomfort that may have led to an unpleasant stay in our hotel.
The entire guest experiences during this stay would have been avoided if we had received the reservation request from the travel operator with atleast 2 days in advance notice. Unfortunately in this case, we had never received an email regarding your stay, and we notified our third party agent about this reservation during this stay. They had only sent us your reservation after we requested your reservation terms and details.
Therefore instead of the fault of communication, in reality there was no communication from the travel Agency (the partner of hotelclub.com). We understood that we accommodated your stay in both our casona & eco-villa rooms in attempt to situate better in our hotel premises.
And we really made the best effort to ameliorate the fault in the reservation process by situating the two rooms in the ecovilla categories, but due to the last minute changes we could not adjust the rooms to allow your stay to be only in our eco-villa rooms.

Later on throughout the stay, when we finally received the copy of your reservation( we received it only later through the mailbox from the travel agent. There were no trace of a comfirmation from past emails when searching with the guest name and reservation number) , we realized there were discrepencies in the reservation itself, and false input in the data from the hotel.
There was also a questionable fact, when the rates presented and room type to us, the reservation was made for the category of Casona rooms with a substantially low rate that is non-existent in our reservation system.

We made an attempt to accommodate your stay, but unfortunately we could not attend in a better way, due to the seasonality, the reservation was made during the busy season of Thanksgiving break.

We understand the discomfort that this may have caused during your stay with us, and do apologies that we could not be of a better host for you and your friends.

We thank you for sharing us your feedback and experiences, we are also attempting to adjust our onine presence and booking process to provide a better booking experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, and we would be more than happy to accommodate your stay, for your next visit to the Arenal region. Please let us know about your next visit to the Arenal area, and we will make the best effort in serving your visit.

Our best regards from the Tropics.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

I spent three nights at Kokoro because of its friendly and knowledgeable staff. They helped us have a very eventful trip in Arenal. The rooms were large, clean, and appropriately priced. The breakfasts' were delicious, and the coffee was delightful. Our great experience at Kokoro is another reason why we loved our Costa Rican vacation.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Sadly, we only spent one night at Kokoro and the Arenal area. This is what I imagined when I think of Costa Rica--lush and green and beautiful. The room was large, the shower (mostly) hot (I showered second), and the beds comfortable. Breakfast was the best we had the entire week in Costa Rica. Fernando was helpful and friendly and is a huge asset to the Hotel.

Room Tip: Room 4 was lovely
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carbondale, Illinois
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Stay 3 nights here and were one of two couples staying at the entire resort because it was the low season. Great service and the rooms were very nice and spacious. The owners really took care of us and gave us great reccomendations for places to eat and activities. My only complaint is that the beds are not of the best quality. It is about $10 every time you want to go to town so I would not recommend this place if you aren't driving. Loved it!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn,
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2012

I loved staying at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, La selva. It was in a perfect location when visiting Arenal! It was very affordable. My room was super comfortable, clean and cool. Bathrooms were great as well. Pool was the perfect temp for a night swim. Hot springs were also an added plus. Most of all I have to give it up to the staff! Owner's son & staff super helpful, accommodating and great chefs!!! Overall this is the best place to stay and get away from all the super "fancy shmancy" hot spring resorts that charge an arm and a leg to stay in. Go Hotel Kokoro and you will be 100% satisfied ;o)

Room Tip: All rooms seems great to me!
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenville, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

I stayed at Hotel Kokoro Arenal in July for about a week with my cousins. It was our first time in Costa Rica and we loved it! It is such a cute resort with the most wonderful staff! Everyone was so polite, friendly, and considerate and they even knew us all by name! The rooms were very spacious and ours was like an adorable log cabin- we really liked it. The view from our room was phenomenal; lying in bed, I could see the volcano! It was absolutely gorgeous! As a matter of fact, the entire property is gorgeous and very well kept. Breakfasts were delicious and there was a large selection from which to choose. We also had dinner at the resort one evening and it was fantastic! There was free wi-fi in the lobby, which is just a minute away from the farthest room. We loved spending time in the pool and hot springs which were fantastic! I was skeptical about the hot springs, but they did wonders for my skin! Definitely go in if you have the chance! The hotel staff was very helpful in booking our tours activities and transporting us to and from the tours and town. Our driver was also the most patient and wonderful person! It was an amazing trip in a beautiful country and this resort is located in a fantastic spot. I’ll definitely be making a stop there again if I ever visit Costa Rica again (which will hopefully be soon!)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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

Address: La Palma | 7km After the Church on the Right Hand Side, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Arenal Volcano National Park 4000, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: 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
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#17 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#20 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: 20
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/Arenal Volcano National Park

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