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Reviews (535)
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Reviewed January 7, 2013

When travelling, one of the things I grown to dislike when arriving in a new country for the first time is the usual crowd of touts and unauthorized taxi providers loitering outside the customs doors. With this in mind, when I booked the Hotel Cocoon I enquired about airport pick-up and was told it was available at a cost $35, which sounded fine so I requested it. Unfortunately upon arrival and after exiting the airport terminal, a person holding a sign with my name on was nowhere to be seen. So after turning away a few touts I approached a uniformed taxi driver hoping he was legitimate, showed him my booking slip with the hotel address on. He said OK and we set off. Some 20 minutes later he asks to see the hotel address again and then tells me he doesn't know this hotel. Oh joy... I don't know whether he was being genuine or was just driving around a bit to clock up some miles. He did find the hotel after a while and the fare came to $29, so he may have been sincere about not knowing. Anyway, it would have been so much nicer if someone had been at the airport to meet me as requested.

Next came the bad news! Upon checking-in I was informed that the hot water system was not working but would hopefully be fixed the following day. Oh joy, again. Just what you don't need to hear after some long flights!

I'd booked a single air-conditioned room which turned out to be on the first floor (or second floor if you're American). The room was clean and simply furnished and did contain just a single sized bed. The room itself was quite cold and dreary since its only window opened onto a kind of internal ventilation shaft, so no views nor any direct sunlight. The shaft had strange acoustic properties resulting in echoing voices in the room throughout much of the day and night, making sleep difficult. The bedside lamp didn't work either, compounding the poor room lighting.

My guest room door didn't have a chain or privacy latch, just a lock button on the knob. On my first afternoon, a member of staff used their key and walked straight into the room, without even knocking. Fortunately I was fully clothed at the time. It seemed the lady thought the room was vacant and she did apologize, but at least to have knocked before entering would have been preferable.

The following day the elevator went out of order and remained so for the remainder of my stay. It didn't matter for normal use, but when checking out meant I had to lug my quite heavy suitcase down the stairs.

The hotel has no restaurant. They do keep a few sandwiches in a refrigerated cabinet and warm them for you if you're after something light to eat. I enjoyed the meat sandwich - quite tasty. Breakfast was provided – it was light but quite ok.

The hot water did come back on late on the second day so I was able to finally have a hot shower. The hotel does have free Wi-Fi with quite high speed – good enough for VoIP. All the staff I dealt with were quite courteous.

My run of bad luck continued at check-out when none of the hotel's 3 credit card machines would function. I had sufficient cash to pay my bill fortunately.

Would I stay again? Probably not. I got the impression the hotel was normally quite well maintained and I was just unlucky somehow. But I generally prefer to stay in hotels that have their own restaurant and that have rooms with at least some kind of view of the surrounding area. I must admit that frankly I'm surprised the hotel rates as highly as it does on Tripadvisor given its quite basic services and facilities.

Fortunately though I struck gold with my next Costa Rican hotel choice, the Arenal Kokoro Resort.

Footnote: On return to San Jose I stayed a night at the Presidente Hotel. I paid only twenty dollars more than the Cocoon but the room was newly renovated with a king-sized bed, and had a window with a view!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank walkabout59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2013

This was the last stop during our November trip to CR, and unfortunately left a pretty bad taste in our mouth. First off, it is in a BAD location. Almost comically bad. There was a "little person" prostitute walking back and forth outside of the hotel, a homeless guy ran up and started yelling at us through the car window, and an obvious drug deal was going down on the next corner down. I get that San Jose isn't exactly picturesque, but come on.

Cut to us trying to check in. I hop out of the car and ask the person at the front desk where their parking lot is. Oh, what's that? You don't HAVE a parking lot? Great. Apparently they DO, but it is only two spots. For a large hotel. Okay. How exactly do they decide which two guests gets those spots? Anyway, he tells me that there is a parking lot attached that I can pay $5 to park in for 12 hours (so $10 a day. Plus you have to pay again upon re-entry, so this is pricey). With no other choice, we parked in the pay lot, which thankfully had an attendant on duty. Later we found out that it is NOT guarded 24 hours, as promised, and when my boyfriend ran to our car around 1am to grab something, the lot was completely unsupervised and dimly lit. Ugh.

Getting back to my check-in story. The lobby wreaked of cigarette smoke. I have asthma, and purposely stay in non-smoking places. I asked the front desk person if people smoke in the lobby, and he said "No, just the owner". Hmm, okay. That's pretty gross of the owner, if you ask me. I'm already not liking this hotel. Also, the lobby LOOKS cool and modern, like the photos on the website, but if you actually go around and touch the furniture, it is all particle board and veneer/melamine.

On to our room. The door man brings us up... to what looked like a hospital room. I like modern, I like white, I like stark lines. This was NOT that. This was a white room with weird nail holes all over it, a cheap IKEA dresser in the corner, a "leaf chair" that looked like a 3rd grade class made it, and a hard bed with two flat pillows. There was one small window in the room, which had a crack in it and a view directly into a wall. Oh, and a giant dead brown plant hanging outside. Sigh. Tired from driving in from Manuel Antonio, we suck it up and unpack. Did I mention that the room smelled awful? Musty. And the hallway on the way to our room was decorated with an old couch with a white sheet thrown over it. Strange.

The most distressful thing was that our door didn't have a proper hotel room lock. No deadbolt. Just a standard door knob and lock that you might find on a bedroom door in a home. There was a large gap between the door frame and the door, and we could see right out into the hallway. Yes, seriously.

We couldn't stand the smell much longer, so decide to venture out and find dinner. The hotel gave us a list of recommended restaurants, which included Quizno's, Subway, Pizza Hut... what the hell? Kind of insulting to assume that all Americans want is American-chain fast food.

We also noticed at the end of our hallway the "Emergency Exit" door was boarded up. VERY unsafe, in case of an actual emergency.

My boyfriend ended up staying up all night, unable to sleep due to fear that the shady owner might let someone break in and take a kick back (no reason to think this, other than the abundance of shady people around a complete lack of security).

The best place about this hotel was checking out and knowing that we will never, ever come back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kat R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

I just came back from Costa Rica and decided to stay at the great local hotel. I was in San Jose for 6 days on vacation. I love this place the staff, outstanding service, cleanliness is out standing, and over all service was as if I was a family member staying at their home. I will defiantly come back to stay here. The outstanding customer service is why I will come back to this hotel. the staff was their for me when i needed them for where is the best food, where is a good dentist , to how do i walk to this location. I would highly recommend staying here on your next vacation. The prices are cheap, service is outstanding, hotel is clean, the hotel is centrally located, and very friendly down to earth environment.

Thank you guys again and I will see you in March.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Jaytravel2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2012

My husband and I have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Costa Rica that has been fantastic ( we are a middle aged couple from the UK).
We spent our first 2 nights at the Cocoon Hotel getting used to Costa Rica and then we went off to the Central Valleys for a week, back to the Cocoon for a night then off to Montezuma for the last week and finished our stay with another night at the Cocoon.
We found it a lovely hotel to stay. The location, rooms, breakfast and helpfulness of the staff were excellent. So good returning to the hotel and the staff know you and able to speak English. They even helped printing off boarding passes before we left.
As it's a new hotel, we found some of the taxi drivers didn't know where the hotel was so it was invaluable taking the hotel's card with us when we went out.
Would thoroughly recommend staying here for anyone needing to spend time in San Jose and taxi ride fine from airport and we could easily walk into town.
Rachel and Chris UK

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SheffieldMartha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

We stayed at the Cocoon Hotel for our last night in Costa Rica. We wanted to be somewhere close to the airport, but in the city. The staff at the hotel is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The hotel is conveniently located by being just blocks away from the pedestrian shopping, restaurant, bar, etc. area. We arrived in the late afternoon so we walked from the hotel to the pedestrian area for dinner at a restaurant recommended by the hotel. On our walk back, we were hassled by a couple of people begging for money... nothing too bad, but annoying. That has nothing to do with the hotel and is not their fault, but just the area that the hotel is located in.
We did make reservations for parking our car and that worked out great. The lot is right next to the hotel and conveniently located. There is someone watching the lot so we felt safe leaving our car there.
The hotel came with breakfast, but we left too early in the morning to enjoy it.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank LuvDebe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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