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“Disappointing stay”

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Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 11, 2014

Beautiful grounds but otherwise disappointing.

We stayed 3 nights June 28-July 1 and booked through Expedia. The initial impression we had was impressive (served drinks, given a personal room tour, staff appeared nice) and the view from the room was beautiful. The hot springs were nice although small. The in-room Jacuzzi was also a nice bonus.

HOWEVER, we had two incidents that made me give this place 2 stars rather than 4.

1) On 6/29, we called for room service to clean our room in the afternoon. We didn’t want to be in their way so we left for the hot springs and came back about an hour later. We saw our door was open and figured they were still cleaning so we hung out around the parking lot waiting in our bathrobes. While we were waiting, we could hear screams and loud cheering multiple times coming from our building… eventually (20 min later) we realized it had to be coming from our room because the door to the room next to ours was closed and ours was still open. We decided to go up to our room and were concerned that something was going on in our room. When we got to our room, the door was open and we found the cleaning staff (a lady and a male) cheering and sitting on our bed with the tv on watching the world cup! When we walked into the room, the lady took her broom and turned off the tv and the male walked outside to pick up the leftover room service to take out. We were not even offered an apology! I found it very unprofessional to be watching tv in our room when they were already done cleaning and to be screaming and yelling with the door open!! Especially since we were waiting around in the rain for our room to be done. I called the front desk to complain and the person said “ah. Sorry. I will let their boss know.” Whether he did or not, I have no idea.

2) We had the front desk call for a cab (the official red one) for us to go to Arenal Hanging Bridges. We were stupid to not establish a price beforehand and ended up paying $30 USD EACH WAY! I knew from reading the reviews on here that it should not cost that much and decided the next day I would have the hotel staff negotiate for me a more reasonable price. When I asked the front desk the price to go to La Fortuna waterfall, she told me $25… when I asked how much Arenal Hanging Bridges is, she told me $30 each way… This is when I realized that the hotel must have some sort of agreement with the official taxi company to charge more… I asked if there was a shuttle and she told me there was one for 3pm (it was currently 11am). After she saw that my boyfriend and I were very hesitant, she finally told us there was also a shuttle at 12pm to go to town and was $2/person. We decided to do that and then take a taxi from town to the waterfall. We found the driver asleep and taking a nap for 15 minutes until three other workers got on the shuttle (shuttle should have left at 12:00pm but didn’t leave till 12:15p). From town we ended up shopping at a store and had the owner there call for a taxi for us and asked him how much it should be. We also asked him to talk to the taxi about the price. He was able to get us a taxi for 5.50 USD (the hotel had told us if we took the shuttle and then called a taxi to the waterfall, it would have been about 10 USD). From there I ended up either having the workers at places we visited call a taxi for us and have them ask the price, or I would use a telephone and use my limited Spanish to establish a price. I was able to get a cab from La Fortuna waterfall back to the hotel for 20 USD ($5 less than what the front desk told me). I was disappointed that the hotel staff was not more honest about pricing and was clearly overcharging us! ☹

I would only recommend this place if you have your own car so you don’t get jipped on the taxi prices. As other reviews said (and I didn’t think would be a big deal but it is), the hotel is far from town and a taxi to town runs $20-25 each way, unless you can somehow negotiate the price down (with no help from the hotel staff). Dinner once at the hotel is enough and expensive (2 of the cheaper entrees, bottle of water, dessert and one appetizer cost $67), so if you are staying here without your own car and planning on spending several days here, be aware! Otherwise, ask the hotel to call the taxi company and give you the phone so you can talk to them yourself.

I do have to say the staff in the dining areas were very professional and kind.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank E803
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 11, 2014

The rooms here are bigger than most U.S. properties. All have a view of the volcano, which when we were here in June was covered for the most part. We stayed 3 nights and it did finally poke its head out the last day. If you are looking for a complete get away from the world stay a week, however we felt 3 nights was plenty. I recommend for the adventurous type to sign up for the Pure Canyon Trek. It’s a repel down the side of mountain next to a waterfall. In total there are about 4 or 5 and absolutely worth your time. You get to see nature at its finest. If you are in rainy season take the morning tour since it can get cancelled if it’s raining.
We did take advantage of the free mud facial and I signed my husband up for his first ever massage, which he thought was incredible. The hotel does a shuttle that runs into town but check the times because it may only be once a day and is only $2.00 per person each way.
The hot springs was not what I was expecting. I have been in hot springs in Alaska and also Iceland and my idea of a hot springs is volcanic hot waters. Although I loved the springs here they are in my opinion just little black bottom hot tubs with warm water.
The grounds are very maintained and beautiful. The breakfast was just ok, seemed they had the same choices every morning but could find enough. Get there early because once it sits out it’s not as fresh.
I would definitely go back, especially if I needed to hide out from the world for a while.

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank gldavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2014

We had a private room with a beautiful view of the volcano. It did rain the entire time we were there, which made that part of our trip a different experience. The Spa is in a beautiful location. On the surface, it is a wonderful place; however, we would not stay there again. Every time we turned around, we felt like we had to tip someone else. The food and drink prices were high. It is a larger spa, which made the experience more anonymous. We felt a number and a dollar sign. Granted, our experience was colored. After this location, we moved to a six room, intimate villa, and we enjoyed that setting much better.

  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Nancy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2014

Spacious rooms with outstanding view of the Volcano. Amazing hot springs in a beautiful property. Staff was very friendly and helpful. Adrianna helped us follow up on tour activities and transportation. Breakfast was very good, dinner was ok but a bit pricy. If you don't have a car, there is only one restaurant close by and a better option than eating at the hotel.
Overall, we had a great time.

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank beachfunCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014 via mobile

The staff was amazing as prior to the trip, Aurora Solano helped me pick the ideal room location. When we got to the hotel, we were given a great welcome drink. Along with the drink, we were given some perks that the hotel offered. Wilmer drove us to our room and handled all of our luggage. He even found me a new room clock as the one in the room wasn't working properly. The hot tub in the room and volcano view were amazing. All of the staff in the restaurant were awesome. On a clear morning during breakfast, the staff couldn't stop taking pictures of us with the volcano in the background. The cleaning staff was superb as we came back from an excursion filthy and they offered to clean our clothes for free and did a great job. Before we checked out, I insisted on meeting Aurora as my family wanted to thank her for making us feel as part of the Arenal Kioro family. Pura vida amigos as we would love to stay there again.
Saludos,
Jack and family from south Florida

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
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1  Thank Mnmai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

The hotel room was very large. The view was amazing. I can't imagine ever leaving the room if the volcano was active. The thermal springs were great. The hotel staff was also very pleasant. We had a great stay at the Arenal Kioro Hotel.

Room Tip: It appears that all rooms have amazing views. We were located in building 10 which was further from...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Karen E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2014

Checking in was straightforward.

We could see some parts of Aernal Volcano from our room, unfortunately misty weather did not allow us to see summit.

Room was spacious and we had an indoor jacuzzi. It was disappointing not to have an umbrella in room given it rained regularly; also most of property requires you to walk outdoors.

Breakfast was average. The floors in the restaurant were slippery due to humidity/mist.

The pool was nice and warm - hot springs in a waterfall like format.

Hotel had a billiard table as a form of entertainment; the table and cue sticks were worn down.

The hotel was located about 10 minutes from main city by car.

Room Tip: Make sure rooms have umbrella so you dont get wet when you leave room!
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank Nasser F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa

Address: San Carlos, 10 km NE of La Fortuna, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 21007, Costa Rica (Formerly Arenal Kioro)
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Alajuela > Arenal Volcano National Park > La Fortuna de San Carlos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#6 Business Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#11 Romantic Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#14 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
Price Range: $192 - $348 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Arenal Kioro offers a fabulous place with a natural viewpoint to the Arenal Volcano. The hotel has 27 acres of undulating land, surrounded by two streams (La Palma and Kioro) with crystalline waters that begin to flow in the Arenal Volcano National Park. It has two paths where plant species are identified. Besides, private thermal springs for our customer's delight. All our suites have:Two terraces with the best panoramic volcano and mountain view, hydro-massage, air conditioning, safe deposit box, minibar, coffee maker, hot water, direct dialing telephone, satellite television, hair dryer, key card, safety locks, internet connections. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Arenal Kioro Hotel La Fortuna De San Carlos
Arenal Kioro Suites & Spa Costa Rica/Arenal Volcano National Park

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