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“Beautiful Crystal Azul” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cristal Azul

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Cristal Azul
1KM Norte Entrada de Residencias San Miguel, Playa San Miguel, Costa Rica   |  
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hickman
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Beautiful Crystal Azul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

We stayed with Zene and Henner for 7 days in Jan. We left feeling like their family. And the view. Oh my gosh. You could not find a more beautiful picture anywhere. To wake up hearing the birds and monkeys was an experiences also. If you want to feel pampered but truely in Costa Rica this is it. And do not give up when you start up the mountain road because they are there, all the way on the top of the world. Wonderful hosts! Wonderful food! Wonderful dogs! Wonderful paradise!


Randy and Carol of Hickman, California

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saratoga, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2012

This is our preferred hotel in the Guanacaste Peninsula. Its rooms, swimming pool, views, entertainment areas, and friendly attention are the best in the entire area. Zene and Heiner definitively have put a lot of thought on creating a place that is very pleasant and still preserves the best character of Guanacaste.

Playa Coyote is one of the few lasting places in Costa Rica where you can still find together the tradition, tranquility, and stunning beauty of Guanacaste coast, and Cristal Azul is the best place to stay there.

My family, and friends have enjoyed there great memorable moments that can only happen with the sincere cordiality of the owners and the almost unreal beauty of the hotel location.

There are lots of things to do there to experience Guanacaste as in no other place. Zene and Heiner have kindly helped us organize many activities such as: see the 3 or 4 different species of turtles that nest around (depending on the season), several biological preserves near by, always successful fishing or snorkeling trips, shop for unique crafts with local artisans, photography trips to several fantastic beaches and places, horse riding on the beach, or simply get wet in clear water little rivers or little pools full of little fish at low tie. I particularly recommend the amazingly therapeutic walks at night or dawn looking for crabs and shells on the beach. Or more simply yet, to lay back and relax in the wide, long, and never crowded beach of Playa Coyote.

The last driving to the place you must do it with care; but there is great chances for other great views of the coast and some native animals (specially at dawn or sunset).

Room Tip: Rooms are few. Ask for the ones with a outdoor showers.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

My girlfriend and I wanted a place to stay that was far away from the tourist areas and provided scenic views and a place to relax and decompress for a few days. With Cristal Azul, we found paradise.

Located on a hill above Playa San Miguel, a fairly undiscovered beach on the Nicoya Peninsula about three hours from Liberia or San Jose, this hotel has breathtaking views and delightful hosts. Be prepared: getting there requires a 4X4 vehicle, and there are no paved roads for 30-50 miles. The road to the hotel is steep and requires some skill on the part of the driver. But man, is the journey worth it.

We stayed here for four nights and were treated like long-time friends by the owners, Zene and Henner. My girlfriend has several food allergies, and they catered to her needs without a problem. We had fresh fish each night and delicious tipico breakfasts with fresh fruit each day. Make sure to ask about Tanga's at Punta Coyote for lunch. If you are back to Cristal Azul by 5 p.m., you will soon enjoy a glorious sunset.

For the views, the relaxing environment and the great food and service, this place is an absolute steal. If you want to get away from the maddening crowd and enjoy beauty and tranquility with two wonderful hosts, check this place out. You will not regret it.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Miguel, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

I just finished a 3 month research position at San Miguel with Pretoma, a sea turtle conservation organization. During my stay, I had the wonderful opportunity to dine, lounge, and sleep at Cristal Azul several times. Zene and Haner were gracious hosts, never ceasing to be a great help and wonderful company.

For the following reasons, the Cristal Azul will forever be on my list of favourite hotels:

1. The breathtaking view. The hotel is on the top of the hill looking over Playa San Miguel and several of it's southern neighboring beaches.
2. The ranchero. Provides a place to relax in the shade. Includes a kitchen (see food, below) and fully stocked bar. Plus games, a pool table, music, and books.
3. The delicious food. Lunches were elaborate seafood feasts. Breakfast was a satisfying platter of bacon, eggs, and toast.
4. The infinity fool. Nicely placed between the view and the ranchero.
5. The cabinas. Very comfortable, clean beds and sheets. Outdoor showers with hot water. Large bathrooms. Complete luxury.

I will always remember this place with fondness, and will be bringing my family when they come to visit Costa Rica!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Southern California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2011

Here's the deal...We booked the trip and used Paypal to put down the payment for the first night. All our communications had been great. The people were so nice. We called them in the afternoon and told them we would be taking the coastal road and planned to meet them around 1:00 p.m. We knew we had to crosss 3+ rivers. We had a four wheel drive and were told by everyone that we would have no trouble. We got to a river (not even on our map). There were workers who, because of the flooding, would not let us pass. We called our hosts and told them that we couldn't make it because by the time we turned around and went by another road, it would take us another eight hours or so to get to them. They refunded our money.

These are wonderful people. It was not their faults that we could not pass. However, we drove about three hours south before we got turned back. I would not hesitate to try this trip again a little deeper into the dry season. We cannot tell you about the accomodations, but the reviews from everyone who has stayed there have been glowing. The hosts returned our money because we could not get there. How wonderful is that? Stay with them. I'm sure you will love it. On our next trip, we will make it down to their wonderful location.

Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Danbury, Connecticut
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2011

We cannot rave enough, Cristal Azul is one of a kind. Plays San Miguel intrigued us after reading about it in the Lonely Planet Guide but we found Cristal Azul on our own and lucky for us! A hidden gem it was by far the nicest place in the area and the privacy is unparalleled. The town itself is tiny, much smaller than we expected. There are only three places to go for food and drinks and that is it. All are very run down and in need of desperate overhauls, and each has its own set of interesting characters running them, but perfectly fine to eat at. Lots of empty summer homes, random dogs, a few residents and one of the most beautiful, deserted beaches we saw while in Costa Rica. At Cristal Azul, we had a luxurious “family camp” type of environment with the most tasteful and gracious hosts. It was an oasis in paradise! We cannot express enough the privacy we had, and views that went on and on. Unlike other places we have stayed at, there is no public access allowed whatsoever. Open only to guests there are no locals coming thru, no public pool hours, and basically no need to lock your door! For this alone we would have paid double what they charge. And we really appreciated the gated entrance with the guard at night, safety and security were never an issue for us at Cristal Azul. There is a fully equipped, well designed and decorated bar and pool area were we could have spent every day but we made sure to take advantage of the gorgeous empty beach and things that are available in the area to do at our hosts urging. Henner and Zene are excellent resources for planning trips and activities and will set everything up for you. We didn’t go to Costa Rica to race down rivers or zip thru trees but there was enough to do in the San Miguel area to keep us active. Our cabina was quite large, bright and incredibly clean with oversized windows and outdoor showers. Perfectly crisp sheets and fluffy towels along with custom made bedding made it feel like home. Pool and beach towels were provided and we were given fresh ones daily. Each morning Boogey Boards, coolers and beach gear was neatly set-aside for us to use. Our breakfasts were beyond plentiful and delicious, as were lunch and dinners. Food, best in the area for sure, hands down. Fantastic, delicious and fresh! Everything, from the sunset cocktails and “bocas”, the ambiance, the incredible Latin music selection, a beautifully set table and the delicious food impressed us greatly. Simple and elegant, after our first meal here we didn’t dine elsewhere although we highly recommend a lunch at Tonga’s at the end of the beach. Henner and Zene are a great pair and staying here is a fantastic time not to be missed, perfect for the laid back discerning type! We have been home three months since our trip and we are already planning a return trip with other couples next spring…and discussing 2013 trip with our family and kids! Cristal Azul is that fantastic!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cologne, Germany
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2011

My family travel quite a bit - asia, brazil -and I have to say this was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed. The resort sits on top of a cliff that overlooks the ocean. Each guest gets their own villa which is made up of one big bedroom with a bathroom and private outdoor shower. And the villas boast floor to ceiling glass sliding doors that overlook the ocean and land below. The pool area and cabina, which sits above the pool hosts a kitchen, pool table, dining table and couches/hammocks to lie in. The pool is absolutely breathtaking. The views are fantastic and are unlike any I have ever seen. Zene and Henner (the owners) have really make a perfect job. This place is really amazing!! Cristal Azul - we definitly came back! Thank you for this fantastic stay at Zene & Henner!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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 Cristal Azul

Address: 1KM Norte Entrada de Residencias San Miguel, Playa San Miguel, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Guanacaste > Playa San Miguel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Playa San Miguel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cristal Azul Boutique Retreat offers discerning travelers a perfect touch of luxury off the beaten path. Stunning views and simple elegance await the adventurous spirit looking for the ultimate in privacy, comfort and tranquility in a pristine and remote tropical setting. Private Chef, Farm to Table/Mar a Mesa Typical Cuisine. 4WD and love of adventure required! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cristal Azul Hotel Playa San Miguel
Cristal Azul Costa Rica/Playa San Miguel

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