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“Tropical Delight”
Review of Cristal Azul

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Cristal Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 30, 2012

What a surprise to find such a beautiful spot high above the lovely coast of Playa San Miguel in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. The long drive that takes you up the hill to Cristal Azul opens onto a beautiful lawn with the 4 resort rooms, the pool and the cabana nestled along the ridge top. When you stop your car on the parking lawn of the resort, you are at home. First, hit the cooler for a beer or other libation or soft drink (the honor system) then exhale as you overlook the pristine pool onto pastures and forests and the coast beyond. The friendly atmosphere, will make you believe you are in heaven. Oh, and the food is exquisite. Heiner and the chef artistically serve delicious meals. If Heiner likes you, you will enjoy his grandmother's shrimp and salsa dish (I think Heiner likes everyone and vice versa). If you want to go elsewhere for some of your meals, Zene and Heiner will direct you to unique attractions and restaurants in the area. Don't miss Steve and his butterfly 'farm'. He is most interesting. I am a birder and to have a Long-tailed Manakin serenade the yard was a treat, take your binoculars and guidebook!. The only negative about the place which is really to their advantage is the difficult road one climbs to get to CA. Heiner is at-the -ready to come get you, if you arrive late or are a nervous driver. I promise you won't be bothered by strangers. I will return. If I were a rock star and needed to get away from the world. This would be my hideout. Please don't give our secret away.

Room Tip: I have stayed in 3 of the four rooms. If it is you and your squeeze, go for the room furthest away f...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Richard Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 - 129 of 207 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2012

We had a great time at Cristal Azul, although we just stayed one night (we would have loved to prolong!). Zene and Henner spoiled us with a delicious dinner and a fresh and excellent breakfast. Both are great hosts, trying to fulfill all wishes their guests might have. The view from the pool, dining area and rooms is just breathtaking. At Cristal Azul you really can relax and enjoy the beautiful nature.We really hope to get back to this little paradise one day!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Prisca F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

Cristal Azul had exactly what we were looking for in a vacation. Beautiful views, delicious food, comfortable accommodations and, most importantly, a relaxing environment. It's not often that a group of 10 can have an entire resort to themselves! Cristal Azul is the ultimate vacation spot for those looking to get away and relax!

Room Tip: can't go wrong. All rooms are great!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Noah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2012

My famimy and I stayed at cabinas cristal azul for 3 nights and we loved it . The place was peaceful and zene and heiner were wery hospitable and helpful
There is an awesome view of the beach from the rooms
Breakfast was excellent .
In the morning you can walk around the property and see beautiful birds
Overall we loved the place and we'll be back

Thanks zene and heiner for allowing us to enjoy your place

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank danvg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2012

I have traveled all around Costa Rica and stayed in all kinds of places. There is not a single place I have ever seen like Crystal Azul. Whether swimming in the infinity pool, drinking at the bar, eating the amazing food, or just hanging out with Zene and Henner, count on having an amazing time as well as being being blown away by the views, the service, the hospitality, and (once again because they are just so amazing) the views. The first time up the hill can be a little scary, if you are a timid driver Henner, or someone, can come and chauffeur you up the hill but once you are up there, the drive doesn't even become a factor anymore.
I had the pleasure to stay at Crystal Azul multiple times and even with all that time there I still cannot find quite the right words to express what a magical place it is. I am almost hesitant to rave quite so much about how wonderful this place is, Crystal Azul and the rest of Playa San Miguel, because right now it has almost no visitors which means a private beach to spend time at during the day but some things are just too good to keep you yourself.
Final word: If you are in the San Miguel area, THIS is the place to stay.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Callie820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2012

Beautiful, private resort with only 4 rooms on a mountain overlooking Playa San Miguel. The views are incredible from the rooms and from the common area. The rooms are super-clear, well-appointed, and very comfortable. Linens and towels were exceptionally high-quality. The rooms are a one-minute stroll from the large, common area, which includes a beautiful infinity pool, multiple chaise lounge chairs with great umbrellas and shade, a bar, dining area, pool table, and collection of games and other fun stuff. The whole setup is beautiful and well-maintained. While we were there, they owners replaced the pool chair cushions (which were really nice to start with) with even more comfortable cushions. Zene and her husband (whose name I am unsure of how to spell) are great hosts. They have beach chairs, coolers, umbrellas and other equipment that you can borrow for trips to the beach and excursions. The breakfast is fantastic and it's extremely pleasant to eat on the deck overlooking the ocean.

We had one dinner at the hotel and it was excellent. I appreciated that there is the option to dine there but I also appreciated that Zene encouraged us to get out and explore the area. We were never pressured to stay for dinner but we were certainly happy that we did, as the food was terrific.

A couple of things just worth noting. The drive to the property is 2 miles up a very rough road - you absolutely need a 4x4 to make the trip safely. Because the drive is a bit intense, we tried to minimize our trips off the property (also it's so enjoyable there that we were unmotivated to leave). Additionally, there is wildlife up on the mountainside. We saw monkeys, large bugs, toads, frogs, etc. We found it fun and exciting but if you are looking to avoid nature, then it might not be the ideal location.

This is an amazing little gem. We hope we can make it back again.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AndyB22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank Carol E
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: Norte Entrada de Residencias San Miguel 1KM, Playa San Miguel 50906, 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 4 B&Bs / Inns in Playa San Miguel
Price Range: $190 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Cristal Azul 3*
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cristal Azul is the perfect destination for those looking to step off the beaten path and experience what Costa Rica was like before the world arrived. A totally private property with no public access, guests enjoy 180’ panoramic ocean views and the ultimate in barefoot luxury in a rustic setting. Prepare to unplug, unwind, and get lost in paradise! Great times are had here and memories of a lifetime are created! Four cozy "cabinas" guarantee there is never a crowd; each is equipped with AC, ceiling fans, screened doors that let in the ocean breeze and sound of the surf below, hot water, outdoor garden showers, fine linens, Raw Botanicals organic bath products, and the most impressive views in the area. An oversized, open air Rancho provides a luxe “Glamping” experience with an honor bar and billiards table as well as dining and lounge area ample enough for all guests. The vanishing edge pool overlooks six miles of undeveloped beach and provides a front row seat to the most amazing stargazing under the canopy of the Milky Way! A full typical Costa Rican breakfast is served daily and a chef prepares dinner nightly for guests in the Rancho upon demand. The only Costa Rica owned and operated hotel in San Miguel, your hosts also own LocosCocos (#1 Restaurant in area, #1 Beach Bar in Costa Rica; Lonely Planet)which is a guest favorite for sunset dinners on the beach. It is also a great place to spend the day steps from the surf with cold beers and catch of the fresh fish and seafood ready at your beck and call! 4WD and love adventure required too reach this area! Reservations required-gated entrance for guests only. For best rates, book direct! ... 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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