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“Nice Hotel to just sit back and relax....” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort

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Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ballena Beach | 7 km (4 miles) al Sur de Uvita, Uvita, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 12 Hotels in Uvita
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Nice Hotel to just sit back and relax....”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I stayed here one weekend with a friend and we shared a suite with two queen beds and a lovely balcony. The weather that weekend was not conducive to going whale watching, which was what we'd hoped to do, but the hotel and the large pool proved to be a nice place to simply relax.
Our room was large and the mosquito netting over the beds made the AC a little useless, but it was still comfortable, especially after taking a night swim in the pool. We didn't eat here because it was too expensive for our budget, but having a car allowed us to find a couple of nice local places where we ate wonderful, fresh ceviche and entero pescado frita (whole fried fish....yumm.) There is a nice walking trail on property for viewing wildlife, but we were too lazy to use it on this particular weekend. Being a bit off the tourist path makes it just right if you are looking for that lovely getaway with an ocean view. Oh, there is a pastry/bakery in the town of Uvita that has absolutely wonderful fresh, baked pastries, breads and calzone like sandwiches....very inexpensive! Do bring mosquito spray for night....the mosquitos linger in droves outside of the rooms at night....we just sprayed around our doors before we entered and never had them in our rooms. They were not a problem in the daytime.....

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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131 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    74
    43
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

The lovely grounds make a great first impression! Expanses of grass, beautiful trees, classy white Mediterranean style buildings, brilliant turquoise pool. Elegant is a good word to describe it. The staff were extremely friendly, and helped arrange tours and a rental car. Pretty standard breakfast buffet, but everything tastes better gazing out over the ocean. Fantastic pool. We stayed in one of the rustic cabins, not part of the main hotel complex. It was pretty good, with a couple of rough edges. One is that the bed was not terribly comfortable, and the sheets were not quite long enough (they came untucked at the feet every night). Plus, the maintenance wasn't quite up to scratch: there was a minor leak from the sink, a handle that came off of the shower tap, and a sticky door. All just minor flaws in an otherwise lovely stay.

Room Tip: Adventure lodge cabins are great value if you don't mind some rough edges and no air conditionin...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

LOVE this region of Costa Rica and have stayed here a couple of times now..5 stars all the way around . Beautifully maintained grounds, tucked away on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Whale Bay. The Service is impeccable. Friendly attentive, hard working staff with a clear priority of making you feel at home -Bed and Breakfast style, but on resort type grounds. Check in/out very smooth. The food is excellent-very original menu and tasty dishes, from fresh fish to creative sandwiches-2 excellent chefs that will accommodate customized requests. very nice. And all of the staff is top notch. The rooms are very clean, comfortable with nice views, great air conditioners and good wi-fi except for a couple of the furthest rooms. Good,plentiful hot water and back up power generators for uninterrupted power (a problem in some of the other hotels in the area) . Beautiful swimming pool, which is meticulously maintained, as is the landscaping on the entire grounds. Beautiful Bird watching all around as well as sounds of wildlife from the surrounding forests. Tours/activities are efficiently organized and coordinated by the front desk staff which is very convenient. Also nice trails on the property and nearby for good exploring on your own. All in all, a fantastic place—HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Room Tip: Corner Suite Upper Level is spectacular ;
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  • Stayed September 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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Austin, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

We stayed here in June 2012 for 4 nights. The owner and the entire staff of this resort were super firendly. the location is beautiful, each room is a suite with unbelievable view and the restaurant is simply great! We enjoued ourselves very much (after a very unpleasant experience with another hotel in the area).
We can highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Pensacola, Florida
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2012

I stayed here for 2 nights on a recent visit to Costa Rica. My only complaint was how hard the bed was. It was like sleeping on box springs. The location was beautiful. We enjoyed the trail on the hotel property and were joined by Bonita, the sweet dog on property. Unfortunately, I probably wouldn't stay here again because of the bed. The breakfast buffet was pretty good.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cape Cod MA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

We stayed here March 2011 (slow to join TA!). If you like all of the amenities of a "resort" and yet be removed from the guest traffic that you would usually encounter ... book the Adventure Lodge. I would absolutely return and book the Lodge again. Beautiful setting just down the hill from the main Hotel and pool (you will need a flashlight/torch or headlamp getting too and from after dark). Welcomed with a glass of something yummy at check-in and left to explore. Set in a tropical garden with a footpath leading into the surrounding "jungle". Absolutely request a guide and go exploring ... would not go it alone though! Lodge was clean and more than enough room for two. Shower was sunken (unique).

Take a moment and step to the edge of the property just off the pool area. Stop a moment at the stairs leading down (to somewhere!) and just look and listen. Spectacular! Mist between the distant mountains, howler monkeys calling in the distance (as the sun is setting), butterflies everywhere in the daytime ... and those cicadas! I love Costa Rica! No a/c in the Adventure Lodge but it was not needed and we slept comfortably each night. Electricity spotty (it's an Adventure Lodge!) and my trusty hair dryer blew the power for each of the two Lodges one night ... oops! It was quickly restored and hair dryer packed away. Awaken in the morning to the sounds of the local toucans (such a small sound from such a large bird!) and fall asleep at night to the sounds of the crickets and cicadas! Heaven! Pool is large with plenty of lounge chairs. You are NOT "on the beach" at this property but transportation to the beach can be arranged. Reception can book excursions for you and are happy to do so. Owners are on property and take the time to greet and welcome you at dinner. Nice touch. Dinner was more than adequate with a very nice selection and the view looking down onto the sea was just lovely. Breakfast was a buffet that offered something for everyone. You are up high enough that it seems you can reach out and touch the birds as the soar by. Lovely location.

Room Tip: Book the Adventure Lodge for peace and tranquility.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

The hotel is beautiful and the pool is fantastic. It is close to the beach, a couple of miles, but you have to pay to get into the park, which I didn't realize when I booked the hotel. We chose to go to Dominical and watch the surfers. The staff is very friendly and the room was very clean and had a wonderful view. My only complaint is someone on the staff dropped my makeup bag and broke the mister on my $100 bottle of perfume. I emailed the hotel and no one bothered to respond to me. just be careful with your belongings, the staff will not.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort

Address: Ballena Beach | 7 km (4 miles) al Sur de Uvita, Uvita, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Uvita
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Resort Cristal Ballena is located in the midst of its own 12-hectare grounds, very close to the unique "Marino Ballena" Marine National Park and mountains covered in rainforest. The hotel features 14 Junior Suites, 3 Master Suites, along with 2 Family suites. Due to its excellent location, our guests can enjoy breathtaking ocean views from the big balcony. Our stylish, spacious Suites are equipped with four-poster bed, AC, ceiling fan, WLan, TV, telephone, minibar, safe, coffee maker and hairdryer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Cristal Ballena Osa Peninsula
Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort Costa Rica/Uvita

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