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“Volcano views and great value in the jungle” 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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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Petaluma
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Volcano views and great value in the jungle”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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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505 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 (65)
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English first
Richmond, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 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 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
HOTELKokoro, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, responded to this review, August 16, 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville VA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 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, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Vilnius, Lithuania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 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, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 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, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Our visit to Kokoro could be defined as smooth. we didn't suffer any problem with the hotel. The rooms were clean (but humid the first day.... solved by using the AC for a couple of hours each night) the pool and the hot springs were nice and breakfast was adequate. We stayed at the hotel for two nights and had enough activities to fill out our time (such as visiting the volcano or the town of Arenal)

PROS: Good location (ten minutes away from "downtown" Arenal and 20 from volcano park), Ample rooms and bathrooms , A/C (needed for humidity control), and small but nice hot springs pool.

CONS: Need to take a taxi for going anywhere (Make sure they use the taximeter, 1500 to 2000 Colones and Don't use US Dollars, the change is a rip off).

Summary: i will stay again in the place but you need to be at breakfast at least half an hour before it ends our you will have t ask even for the spoons.

Room Tip: Choose the farthest away from reception area to avoid noises.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

Hotel Kokoro was really nice to stay at. The staff were all very friendly and very willing to help with anything we needed. They booked all our excursions and taxis for us and paid for it so we just had one bill at the end. The grounds were BEAUTIFUL. There was a little forest trail there that was really cool. The room itself was average but it smelled really badly of mildew.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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
#26 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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