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“Beautiful!” 5 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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Muscat Governorate, Oman
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I was very impressed with the Kokoro Resort. The guest rooms are huge and have 4 large windows with tinted glass each on different walls. I liked the eco-design and use of timber. My room had a very comfortable bed, flat screen TV, fridge, how-water shower. The resort's gardens are beautiful, with a nice cool water pool plus of course the volcanic hot-springs for a nice warm soak.

The management and staff went above and beyond – couldn't have been nicer. I was very impressed with the standard of hospitality.

The only constructive criticisms I'd make are to suggest they put insect wire on the bathroom windows to help keep mosquitoes at bay, and perhaps to extend the range of the free Wi-Fi beyond the lobby to include the guest rooms.

For the rate I paid, I found the resort to be very good value for money. I booked directly with them via their website.

Would I stay again? Definitely! First chance I get!

Room Tip: From what I could tell, all the rooms are good.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
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434 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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 (50)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Finnish first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed at Kokoro for 3 nights over the holidays. The grounds are lush and beautifully landscaped. The pool and hot springs were lovely. Fernando at the front desk was a rock star. Friendly, helpful and resourceful. All of his local recommendations were spot-on. Michael was good too. The family that owns and runs the property were actively involved with all aspects of the property. Our cabin was good, but fell short of 5-star accommodations. Perhaps it's because the rainy season was just finishing up, but our room had a slight musty smell. Towels and wet clothes never quite dried out. The mattress was too soft and gave me a sore back. It's a nice place to stay, but best to know that it's a bit rustic going in.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
New York City, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My son and I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully landscaped hotel with its individual cabins, swimming pool and its own hot springs. It is a very large property magnificently landscaped and maintained. There is a friendly lobby where there is a community like feeling with Fernando behind the desk, always helpful and serving also as a concierege. A very large breakfast is included with the room. Our room was spacious with two comfortable queen beds. I recommend this hotel without reservation

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
Asheville, North Carolina
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed at Kokoro for 3 nights. The grounds were beautiful and very well kept. The pool was sparkling and the room was huge and spotless. I can not say enough about Fernando and Micheal. Both went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They knew lots about the area and answered all of our questions, yet we never felt pressured to book tours through them. The breakfast was delicious each morning. The best part was having hot springs right on the property. I am so glad we chose Kokoro. I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
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
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.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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
#21 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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