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“Great views, warm hospitality”

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Hotel Kokoro Arenal
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great views, warm hospitality”
Reviewed January 23, 2011

We stayed here for three nights and enjoyed the view of the Arenal volcano everyday - probably the best view of the volcano!

The property is beautiful - lush green with several flowers. Pool and Jacuzzi were nice too.

The rooms were spacious but basic in their decor. Everything was wooden and looked very in sync with nature. The rooms were not very clean though. Example: the window panes were dirty and the bedsheets and area surrounding the bed had dirt and old chewing gum (!)

Overall, we had a pleasant stay here. The staff is very very warm. And they serve great breakfast. Their dining area had a great view of the volcano and their pool. Could sit there for hours.



The

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank sweet_moose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
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  • Dutch first
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed January 23, 2011

My girlfriend and I stayed here for 2 days after traveling from San Jose. The first morning, we woke up to a view of the volcano that was far enough to marvel but not close enough to be overwhelmed. It was as if they picked the absolute minimum distance to appreciate it. We walked around the grounds of the hotel barefoot for the 30 minutes.

They gave us a free breakfast of pancakes and fruit that made even my 6'3 self feel satiated. The room itself lacked the touristy trappings of a resort but had a big, flat-screen TV and a bed that we couldn't get off of.

The place is family-owned. A son of the owner greeted us and was very nice the entire time. We had one or two questions or requests and he took care of them within minutes.

The price surprised us by how low it came out to be. Some places charged us twice as much for offering the same or less of everything.

Awesome place.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kenneth W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2011

We stayed at Kokoro for 3 days. They have huge rooms, in individual cabins. Nice log wood cabins. The breakfast was superb, the hiking trails and the nature, birds, flowers, around the hotel, right outside your room are beautiful. The people are super-friendly. David even helped me with a ride to the Alamo car rental for me to pickup my rental car. He didn't have to, but he was very nice. The girl at the reception was very friendly too. There is a beautiful view of the volcano from the pool. You might not have a view from your room, but with the way the volcano has been going on in the recent past, why waste your money and book at one of those overpriced hotels, and end up seeing the volcano under clouds and its not spewing lava. This place is a great mix of convenience, good pricing, nature and luxury. They have a great pool, jacuzzi and a nice hot spring that they turn on if you want to take a dip. I'd definitely stay at Kokoro if I go to La Fortuna again.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank raysranga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

We stayed for five nights at the end of December and although the staff is friendly (Felico and Annabelle in particular), it was obvious that this family-run lodge is overwhelmed when full.

This lodging is rustic, just a step above camping. We stayed in the new 4 or 6 unit buildings (not individual villas). There was no entry mat to wipe wet or muddy shoes on, no shower curtain, no screens on the windows, no controller for the a/c, no TV or fridge as advertised, we had to ask for clean towels every day and had to ask for our room to be cleaned after returning at 5:00pm, no area rugs on the wood floor, no closet rod or hangers in the wardrobe.

The walls are not insulated (no need for temperature) but result in no sound deadening whatsoever. You WILL hear your neighbors and they WILL hear you. Not just bumps and mumblings, but clear conversations and bodily noises. Our bed shook when our neighbor walked due to the floor flexing.

Breakfast was fine but nothing special (eggs, fresh fruit, pancakes). We asked about dinner but were told that they don't serve lunch or dinner.

We asked about dinner reservations in town on New Year's Eve but were told they weren't needed; that day we toured with a family that said they got the last reservation at that restaurant. We insisted that Kokoro call the restaurant and indeed they were fully booked. They also mis-booked our canyoning tour but we smoothed that out with the tour company since we had a voucher.

The hot springs will be a nice addition when completed but the water is "high in minerals", meaning yellow-brown with iron oxide (rust). It's like soaking in hot pond water.

We have stayed at an eco-lodge in East Malaysia (Borneo) and backpacked Spain, Portugal, and Greece as well as extensive backpacking in US parks so we know rustic and basic accommodations. We certainly did not expect this same level of lodging at a "resort" for $140 a night.

Not recommended and we would definitely not stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank toma_nova
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, January 8, 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking a moment to write to us. We find that the points that you share with us, is indeed points that we need more attention to and will need to take more thoughts into action. There are many details that we lacked in the new rooms additions and in our facilities, and the traditional cabinas were indeed not provided for you during your stay with us.

The lodging were not properly finished and we are sorry that we could only offer you the Eco-villa that was advertised on our website during the 5 days that you were with us. We do find faults in our service, and please take note that we will make every effort possible to avoid these shortcomings. It is evident that our service was not up to the adequate level that would cater to such a big incoming of guests, and the Christmas season is certainly a time where Arenal lodgings become fully booked, and lacks the essential lodging for everyone.

We are flattered that you considered to stay with us for such a long stay, and at the same moment, we feel regretful that we were not able to host adequately to your vacation.
Please do note that we have started to take steps to make improvements. Your comments help us to orient our areas of improvement, and also show where we need to communicate better.

Our hot springs are a bit distinct to the conventional hot springs found many locations, but you will also find similar hot springs when you visit countries like Japan, Taiwan or Korea. The high mineral hot springs, are also commonly referred to as the ' Golden Hot Springs' as they are high in minerals such as iron, sulphur, magnesium, boron, and potassium. In comparison to the traditional springs found in Baldi, Tabacon or Ecotermales, our springs also help with skin treatments, muscle tensions, arthritic pains, 'cold bones' and a great assistance for insomnia.

Our next proyect is indeed to cater to a more healthy dinner & lunch service, and it would include a buffet salad with meats and typical costa rican recipes along with a blend of Asian flavors to bring a harmony of both cultures, and a filling apettite to our dear guests.

We do feel that lodgings are indeed not set in a 4 star establishment, but please be assured that we will make every effort to make the modifications before even offering the rooms for the designated rates.

Please excuse us in the advent that our accommodations are not what was expected from our website. We will also make the modifications and improvements, as we are dedicated and determined to meet the satisfaction of every guest.
We aspire to cater and provide a comfortable hospitality regardless of when there are 4 guests or 80 guests staying in our hotel establishment.

I deeply appreciate the comments and your review, and we hope that in the near future, we would have the honor to have you as our guests.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boca Raton, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2011

I could say many things about the kindness, generosity, warmth and consideration exhibited from everyone associated with the Kokoro Arenal Resort. However, one story sums up the 2 day stay at the resort. The shuttle's were full for the 3 hour drive back to San Jose Airport. Without hesitation, the owner Mr. Li drove my girlfriend and I to the airport 3 hours away. We were shocked, but not surprised based on the way we were treated by the family throughout our stay. The most amazing part was that I left my cell phone in his car once we were at the airport and he was halfway back to Arenal Volcano. Without hesitation, Mr. Li drove the phone back to the airport with a smile on his face and insisted that I did not need to apologize. This story based summed up the way we felt about the way the resort was run. Everyone including the owners make you feel like their home is your home. They are friends with everyone in the area, will show you around and set everything up for you if want. The owners will make you food regardless what time of the day it is. It was beyond refreshing to be extended this type of hospitality and nothing like we have ever been accustomed to previously.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank reedrube
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Forest, California
1 review
Reviewed January 5, 2011

We visited Kokoro based on the suggestion of friends who live in Costa Rica. The resort is situated in natural tropical setting that fills with beautiful flowers and tropical plants. We were impressed with the owner's hospitality and friendliness. We had a wonderful and delicious dinner that Mrs. Li and her chef prepared for us. After the dinner we took a dip in their hot spring pool (we were told the water contains rich minerals that is very therapeutic) and thoroughly enjoy a relaxing and nice evening under the stars.
The owner's son helped us with reservation of hotel for our next destination and suggested and arranged excellent local excursions for us.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tak6212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, FL
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2011

My husband and I stayed at Kokoro from Dec. 24-27 2010. It was a great experiece. We had our own cabin, which was on the rustic side, but had hot water and beautiful wood work. It was chilly due to the weather- cool and rainy.

The grounds are beautiful with all types of lush greenery. There is a nice pool and reception area (open on all sides) for sitting. They even have their own hot springs you can use at night. We didn't b/c we were so busy. The views of the volcano (if not shrouded) are amazing here!!!

The people at Kokoro are wonderful and helpful. We had many questions and needed advice and transportation. Felico was great!

In terms of what to do in the area we highly recommend The Springs resort for hot springs. So amazing and much cheaper than Tabacon.

We LOVED our Desafio canyoning adventure- repelling down waterfalls. Highly recommend.

Dinner at Don Rufino was not that great- meat very tough and very overpriced.

Ask reception about going to La Casona- amazing Tico dinner and tour and MORE. It is not in the guidebooks, but an amazing experience.

Kokoro is a great place to stay if you want beauty, charm, and a little bit of rusticness.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RachelandNeil
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

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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