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“Wonderful stay at Hotel Kokoro”

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Sudbury, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“Wonderful stay at Hotel Kokoro”
Reviewed July 8, 2014

In January 2014 we stayed for two nights at this delightful lodge. Their beautifully landscaped grounds overlook the Arenal Volcano. The staff were very helpful and friendly. The owner Philipe made us a delicious dinner in their lovely open air dining room on our first night there. The cabins are well appointed and private.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2014

My wife and I spent a few nights at Hotel Kokoro while exploring Arenal. The hotel is well located as it's not far from the famous Tabacon Hot Springs, Arenal Volcano National Park, or the Arenal hanging bridges. The hotel offers a unique experience with individual cabins as opposed to hotel rooms. The room fit our needs, but isn't for those seeking high end luxury. If you want to feel close to nature and have a near camping experience this is a great hotel.

The best part was the staff. They were super friendly on every occasion, from booking to check-out. One of my favorites is that when we wanted to order dinner to be delivered not only would the hotel call on our behalf, but they also paid for it and added the cost to the bill.

We really enjoyed our stay and would stay again, the next time we visit Arenal.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Scott L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2014

I did tons of research before picking on Trip Advisor befor picking Kokora for our June 6-11 stay in La Fortuna. These were the factors that were important to me
1. Lush Tropical environment. Kokor had lush grounds and an actual section of rainforest right on the grounds with apath (free access to forest is attached to the adjacent Arenal Natural Ecological Park which charges a ridiculous $40 to get in). Many la Fortuna hotels have nice flowers but not many trees--which means fewer birds
2. Ability to accomodate my family of 4 in one room with a cot or third bed. Far more famous (for birders) Lost Iguana was completely unwilling to accomodate this need and wanted us to book two rooms each at $250 per night. instead of one beautiful wood cabin at kokor with two queen size beds and one single bend for $129/night. You can also get rooms cheaper here by booking on line. i wasn't thst price sensitive.

3. I wanted a family friendly atmosphere and a room where my family would have no complaints about room cleanliness/no critters in room--which is a problem with some hotels in Arenal in this tropical climate (e.g. birder-friendly Arenal Observatory Lodge). I also ruled out nearby insanely expensive "#1 hotel in the world??" Nayara as i could see from google that the rooms were close together, and the property was quite small with no rainforest on property, they were near the road and seemed to be heavily pushing expensive activities, meals and services. Also nayara seemed more focused on couples and numerous services. Kokoro was great--clean and comfortable.
4. wanted a location not incredibly far from la Fortuna (kokoro is 4 miles/7Km) much closer than some of the birder friendly hotels way up the hill. Only a $8 cab ride to reach town. Also Kokoro on main road to volcano park--so reasonably convenient to hanging bridges, ziplining, chocolate tour etc. but off the road to be nice and quiet
5. Wanted views of the Volcano. When the clouds lifted (between june showers) the view was amazing from our front porch , the clean nice swimming pool and the outdoor breakfast area.

6. Hotsprings was an extra for us--not a requirement.. Kokoro had two nice natural smaller hot springs soaking pools open with usually none or one other person in them during the 4pm-10pm hours when they were open. They were great and relaxing--hotsprings are probably better at other hotels though.

my family was very happy with Kokoro. Free Breakfast outdoors under cover surrounded by tropical beauty was nice (kids ate american option, my wife ate costa rican breakfast). Kids liked the pool and were VERY happy with the wifi. I'm guessing rooms relatively close to the lobby like ours are better for wifi.

We had heard in advnce that hotel would have no lunch/dinner during slow period like June--so we used the various takeout menus the hotel to have food dlivered some nights and went to town other times--not a problem for us--but not a plus factor for this hotel.

Wifi worked great in our cabin which was #3 Pura Vida which was about 4 cabins from the main lobby. Wifi worked even better in the lobby which was great to research activities

Very peaceful and beautiful. Staff was very helpful and accomodating.Air conditioning worked well, our cabin was clean and very tropical--with lots of wood accents. Many beautiful flowers and birds.

Kokoro Hotel's driver that picked us up from the airport (which was a 2-3 hours drive) was safe and prompt ($180 each way in total for the 4 of us wasn't cheap however). Costa Rican roads are very narrow and and there are very few guard rails and few road signs--I strongly advise against renting a car yourself from the airport--we saw numerous near misses and one car upside down in a ditch during our visit with a very long wait for that poor soul until an ambulance came to help.

Hotel does add a markup when booking trips for you (as all Arenal hotels do--trip prices are outrageous at some other hotels) so better to do some of your own activity organizing if you can. For example, we just took a cab to/from Hanging Bridges and paid when we got there and saved $20/person vs the package price with transport.

And finally the birds were great. I saw 57 species on the property (in June all the N. American birds have left-so fewer total species--but better--i wanted to see new species) in forays around the property. Highlights were Black-Mandibled Toucan, Slaty-Tailed Trogon, Blue-Crowned Motmot, Great Currasow from the hot springs, Bronze-tailed Plumleteer, Montezuma Orpendola, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Bananaquit.

The most common birds at the hotel were the Great kiskadee, Social Flycatcher, Passerini's Tanager, Blue-gray Tanager, Variable seedeater, Rufous-Tailed hummingbirds, Clay-colored Thrush, White-crowned Parrot and Orange-chinned Parakeet.

Two suggestions to the hotel to improve the experience for birders. Hotel had no hummingbird feeders and did not put out fruit for the birds as other locations did.

All in all not the absolutute best place for a birder, but a geat combination of birder and family and staff and wallet friendliness. I will stay here again if we return to la Fortuna.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2014

My 7 year old and I very much enjoyed our 2 night stay. View is stunning and grounds are gorgeous for a bit of impromptu bird watching (saw hummingbirds while having breakfast). We loved the hot springs and pool. Easy access for tours. Minor complaint is isolated site for travelers without a car. Delivery food possible but limited. Wifi for room 7 was sometimes spotty.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Everyonehasastory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2014

I came here on my own and stayed in an Eco lodge by reception with a beautiful view. The hotel is tucked into the natural surrounding and well-maintained. It was rainy season, so very few other guests were around. Breakfast was very good; if recommend trying the typical Costa Rican breakfast -- the kitchen staff clearly has a better hand in cooking it up than the non-traditional, but all dishes were tasty. The reception staff was extremely courteous and helpful as I tried to figure out dinner. That is the one downfall of this place: without a car, you either have to taxi into town or order delivery, which comes out quite pricey. That said, there is no comparison between this hotel and the dodgey ones in La Fortuna.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tjhdc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed June 16, 2014

My wife and I stayed here at the end of May (3 days). This is a great little hotel in between La Fortuna and the volcano/hot spring activities. Having a car is a plus but not a necessity, many of the local restaurants will deliver to the hotel if you prefer to stay in. Highly recommend!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tico-n-Aims
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HOTELKokoro, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear Tico-N-Aims ,

Thank you so much for your lovely words for our hotel. I am so glad to hear that you had thoroughly enjoyed your stay with us! We hope we can welcome you to stay with Kokoro again in the very near future.

Warmest regards,

Hotel Kokoro
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 10, 2014 via mobile

This is a very pretty hotel in a stunning part of the world. I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from staying, but be careful when booking on line that you are buying what you expect.

I booked two rooms this hotel for my family through Trip Advisor taking advantage of their 3 nights for the price of 2 offer, which is why we chose it over a number of other good options. I had travelled with my family 6 hours by bus and taxi from Nicaragua so we were pretty tired when we arrived. When we checked in the staff tried to tell us that the offer that they heavily market doesn't apply unless you email or ring them when you make the booking, despite the advert saying clearly that you should tell them when you check in. It took 15 minutes of depressing argument before the staff agreed to honour the deal. I don't think its a scam, I think it is that the staff have been told something different to the advert.

We were also disappointed to discover that at this time of the year the restaurant was only open for breakfast, so you either needed to travel into La Fortuna, $10 each way in a taxi, to eat or have take-away delivered. This also wasn't apparent on the website.

However, the location was fabulous, the pool great, the rooms clean and the sense of being in a rain forest, especially when the heavens open, is pretty special.

Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank MJS_UK_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HOTELKokoro, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel Kokoro Arenal, responded to this review, August 12, 2014
Dear MJS_UK_1 ,

I would like to begin my reply by thank you for sharing your feedback about your recent stay with us. We especially appreciate your kind words on our lovely garden, room and pool.

On the other hand, we are regretful to know that you have disappointing check in experience. We would certainly like to take the opportunity to gain a better understanding of what has shaped your perception. Our receptionists were aware of your weary after a long trip from Nicaragua to Kokoro. They all trained to make you satisfied with you entire stay, unfortunately which we did not meet your expectation (of course, ours as well ). As we know, you found us on TripAdvisor and searched for the best price on Booking.com. Please allow me to mention these two websites it works totally different system. TripAdvisor only shows the price of each available online booking agency. Indeed, the way how we present the redeem means had confused you and we really appreciate your constructive review to make it more clear to our future guests. Additionally, we hope you could understand that the confirmation on the Booking.com is considered as a contract between you and our hotel. We need you take a look of the total cost of your stay before reserving the room. Since it is the deal between you, Booking.com and Kokoro. We are more than happy to assist and answer your question regarding your reservation before your arrival.

Once again, please accept our sincerely apologies for the inconvenience caused. We hope we have opportunity to welcome you and your family stay with Kokoro again in the future.

Warmest regards,

Kokoro Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Kokoro Arenal

Property: Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Address: 500m oeste de la Quebrada la Palma | 7km Northwest, Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#16 Family Hotel in La Fortuna de San Carlos
#24 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: 28
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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