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“Beautiful, quiet and private” 5 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 11 hotels in Uvita
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful, quiet and private”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

My wife and I booked 3 nights in early February and liked it enough to ask at the front desk if we could stay longer. Like most other vistiors to Costa Rica we pack our days with all the activities we can and by late afternoon, early evening we're ready to relax. This is the perfect hotel for that.
Huge refreshing pool, large off room, private patio with a gorgeous view, comfortable lounge chairs and fast room service. Every square foot of the common areas, rooms and restaurant are clean and spotless. All staff were polite and responded to any request we had in as professional and friendly a manner as you will find anywhere. It is secluded enough so you hear nothing but birds, waves and everyones favorites, the howler monkeys. Our only dissapointment was the discovery that easy access to one of the nicest small beaches is a poorly marked dirt road directly across the road from the entrance driveway to the hotel. We will not go back to this area of Costa Rica and stay any where else. BTW. The food in the restaurant is excellent, though on the expensive side. Understandable I suppose if you think of what it must take to get all this food transported through the country.

Room Tip: Rooms 10 through 14 have patios that are high above lanscaped grade while the lower numbered rooms h...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 people have reviewed this hotel

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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
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English first
Brockville, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

My daughter, son-in-law and I spent 4 days at the hilltop resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean in January. They enjoyed the hike through the rainforest with the owner's dog leading the way! We all walked down the hill to do the fitness trail. On the way back one day, one of the men cut a hole in 3 coconuts and gave us each one to drink the coconut water..very refreshing! We must have looked like we needed a drink!
The breakfast buffet was delicious with good variety. The menu for lunch and supper was varied. We had purchased an all-inclusive type package so only paid for drinks. We did find the alcoholic drinks a bit pricey.
The pool was absolutely perfect. It was crystal clean but didn't reek of chemicals as some pools do. And who wouldn't love swimming in such a beautiful pool as you looked out on the ocean?
The reception staff were friendly and booked our tour of the Mangroves with Oscar and Felix...we would highly recommend that three hour pontoon ride on the Sierpe River viewing all kinds of wildlife. The staff also drove us down to the beach where we spent a couple hours and even saw the Jesus Christ lizard walking across the water of a stream that fed into the ocean. Quite a sight!
Our rooms were large, modern, bright, air conditioned, with a verandah overlooking the ocean. It was from our verandah that I saw my first Toucan. It was my second visit to Costa Rica and my first sighting. I was thrilled.
Waldemar and his wife have made a beautiful garden retreat for their guests. I appreciated the fact they put name plates by the trees and plants to identify them. Who knew ficus grew so big? At home they are just plants but here they are trees.
LOVED the Cristal Ballena!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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greenwich,ct
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

Cristal Ballena is clean, charming and has a responsive staff, which made our 5 days there at the end of December really memorable. The pool is beautifully tiled, well maintained and set on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The owner, Waldemar, made guests feel quite welcome as did his attentive staff. The breakfast buffet is adequate and the restaurant food was better than most others in the area. We truly enjoyed our time there in our large room with a balcony overlooking the pool and coast. What a perfect place to enjoy a sunset and marvel in all the wildlife that surrounds you there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
11 helpful votes 11 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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:
Ranked #7 of 11 hotels in Uvita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Cristal Ballena Resort 3*
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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