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“A true gem!” 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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Michigan
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A true gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013 via mobile

I booked this hotel after reading other TA reviews and we were thrilled with this location. When traveling with a family of 5 it is often difficult to find lodgings that allow all of us to stay in one room. Since our children are 14, 12 and 9, this is crucial. Our cabin was very spacious and had two queen beds and one twin. Perfect! The staff seemingly never leaves and was very helpful and extremely friendly (can only remember Fernando's name, sorry). Americans Todd and Amanda, who have worked at the hotel since January, gave us great tour referrals and indulged our many questions about their time in the Peace Corps. This hotel has the feel of a B&B but offers more privacy and the amenities of a small resort. The on site hot springs are a bonus that allows one to skip very commercial Baldi Springs. We all wished we could have stayed longer.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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448 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)
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

Visited with family and lucky to have found this gem near Arenal Volcano. Deeply immersed in the authentic wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer, Kokoro was rich in both fauna and flora... how nice it is to hear the night sounds while soaking in the hot springs and to see the songbirds flying about while eating a tasty fruit plate on the breakfast patio. There is also a relaxing community pool, hammock, and spa area for more opportunities to completely de-stress.

The rooms were spacious and uniquely decorated. Beds were comfy and each place was equipped with a patio outlooking a wonderful view of the volcano. We were able to get great pictures of some interesting looking flowers and of a brilliant toucan calling for its mate. And of the volcano of course, bold and majestic, smoking away every so often.

The service was nothing short of outstanding. Felico, David, and the rest of the staff really went out of their way to make the experience the best it could be. Shared a beer, answered our many questions about the Costa Rican culture, and recommended the best places to explore for the remainder of our trip... everyone was genuinely friendly and happy to be there.

Definitely one of the best highlights on our CR trip.. a true breath of fresh air.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Turlock, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Everyone really nice and helpful. Good breakfast, cute bungalows. DId not eat dinner there so cannot comment on that but the grounds are beautiful. Outside of town so you have to take a taxi into town but no biggie. I would have given a 5 but no bar - ha ha!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willard, Missouri, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This was our first family vacation ever and our entire family LOVED our experience at Kororo Arenal! Our daughter loved it so much she wanted to stay. She said she could work there with Fernando and the rest of the staff. The villas are close enough to enjoy the night life and adventure's of LaFortuna and the volcano, yet secluded enough to relax at the end of a busy day. The personal service is amazing and the food is fantastic! The second half of our week was spent at an all-inclusive resort near Liberia and did not even compare to the beauty and fun of Kokoro.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

If you remember and appreciate the concept of 'customer service' and realize that the hotel staff is crucial to a memorable experience, then Kokoro is the place for you! Felico and Fernando, the duo that runs this place, are two of the friendliest and most helpful staff you will ever encounter in your travels. The place is a virtual paradise of plants, birds, and serenity. If you want a unique and wonderful experience, check in with Felico and Fernando at Kokoro! You get a tour of the place at checkin, the food is great and the atmosphere is friendly and inviting. We were there for three wonderful nights before moving on to a nightmare experience at occidental allegro papaguyo (also reviewed on this site). Relaxing getaway...even if you never get to see the top of the volcano due to clouds :-(

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

I would skip the water park in Arenal in favor of the hotel's hot springs. The guest rooms were the best of the five places we stayed in in Costa Rica. Great walk-in shower! Amanda, Tod and Fernando were helpful throughout our stay and we felt very much "at home" because of their friendly hospitality and attention to requests that we made. Would definitely stay here again. Especially if the volcano was not covered by fog.

Room Tip: The king size bed was very welcome after hiking, zip-lining,etc.
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
Ottawa
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

We stayed at the Kokoro Hotel for 4 nights in mid-January 2013 and really enjoyed our stay. We used this as our base camp while we did day-trips in the Arenal and La Fortuna area. It is a relaxing, quiet, informal, family-run hotel with single and town-house style cabins, nice gardens and forest walks on the grounds, a pool, hot-springs pools, an outdoor lounge area, and a nice outdoor dining room. Tree-house style accommodations were under construction while we were there. Housekeeping was very good.

Our accommodation was clean, functional, roomy, and quiet (cabin #7). The use of beautiful wood everywhere makes it cozy and just makes one feel at ease. Buffet breakfasts, and sit-down dinners were quite good. Some might find the selection a bit limited, but the food was good and well prepared. We were fortunate to have Anita, one of the owners, put on a special sea food meal one night. I really enjoyed the breakfasts - a great mix of local food (ah ... the fruit!) and typically Canadian/American fare (including maple syrup). The staff even made lunch for us on a day when we had to leave early on a day trip. The staff were unwaveringly friendly, helpful, and conscientious. Many thanks to Felico, Fernando, Michael, Todd, Amanda, and to Felico's parents, and owners of Kokoro: David and Anita.

Tourists to Costa Rica obviously want to take advantage of hot springs, obviously. Visitors to Kokoro might be a bit disappointed. We enjoyed the unpretentious pools (3) which are only open in the evenings. They are filled with fresh hot spring water each evening, but the water coloured brown with sediment (not dirty, just coloured). One follows a lighted stone path to the pools which are set in a quiet garden area of the grounds. Very relaxing, but perhaps too informal for some. I personally hope they don't change these. They fit the atmosphere just nicely. So, my rating on the "spa" is a bit misleading. BTW, the Tabacon Spa and Hot Springs is a short 5 minute drive from Kokoro for those who want to splurge on that activity.

The swimming pool is quite nice, and big. The shallow end starts off very shallow (< 2'), and it deepens to about 6' or 7' at the far end near the water fall.

The staff arranged most of our day trips, including canyoning, waterfalls, spelunking, and hiking. They were very helpful with directions to attractions and restaurants, and in providing directions to our next destination. All of our trips were a great success! Thanks to the staff for recommendations. The staff are bilingual (Spanish, English), and some cases trilingual (add Mandarin)!

If you are looking for comfortable, quiet, pleasant accommodations, and a relaxing environment after a day of hiking, this is the spot. It is about a 10 minute drive north of La Fortuna, so there isn't really anything close by to which you can walk, with the exception of great views of the volcano just up the main road. We kicked back with drinks on the pool patio, and on our cabin porch in the afternoon and evening sun after our daily outings. That was just perfect!

If you're looking for pampered, formal, impersonal, luxurious 4* or 5* accommodations this is probably not the spot for you. The Kokoro is a more personal place, and more down-to-earth, which is quite appropriate for this ecologically sensitive country. We would definitely stay here again if visiting the Arenal area.

My only recommendation to the staff would be to include some Costa Rican music in the selection of mood music in the lounge area.

Room Tip: I don't think you can get a "bad" room here, but we loved cabin 7. King bed and singl...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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