We heard about Cristal Azul from another hotel owner and as soon as I went to the website and read TripAdvisor reviews, I knew we had to go . . . we are so glad we did. The first two thirds of our 9 day Costa Rica trip were action packed and I kept hoping that our three nights at Cristal Azul would be our "vacation on our vacation". Zene and Henner are the owners, Zene from Darien Connecticut, and Henner, an old school native Costa Rican. We adored them both!
We brought our two boys, 9 and 7, the 7 year old having his birthday the day we arrived. Zene was sure to get all of our details squared away long before our trip and was great to plan a special birthday dinner and cake for our first meal!
The setting is breathtakingly beautiful. You feel quite the movie star sitting high above the Pacific with incredible views, gorgeous natural landscaping, the awesome infinity pool, the Rancho (where we spent most of our time) . . . . Everything is very well appointed and well maintained. Just know when researching that the real thing is even prettier than the pictures!
Great care was taken to spoil our family. It was heavenly. Breakfasts were gorgeous with fresh juices, the best french toast any of my family has ever had (and that is saying something) . . . thank you to Crislee (sp?) for serving her famous recipe . . . fruit, perfect coffee, watermelon juice, mint water, bacon, etc . . . Fresh flowers on the table, all served in El Rancho with ocean breezes . . . I will never forget it! At breakfast we discussed meal options for dinner and enjoyed fresh clams and coconut shrimp and garlic shrimp and chicken fajitas and all things traditional with many concessions for my very picky eater. I think I managed to put Henner's famous hot sauce on everything I ate!
There is a wonderful game cabinet in El Rancho. Not a dusty, outdated, missing parts kind of game cabinet, but many BRAND new games, researched on Amazon by Zene to come up with the very most enjoyable. My boys loved everything, as did we all as a family. There is an iPod at your disposal with every song you can think of, and Zene shared many old family games that my children got a kick out of as well. We also were quite entertained my the many dogs who are part of the Cristal Azul family.
Somehow Zene and Henner managed to spoil and entertain while still allowing quality family time. That is not an easy trick. They are cool folks with great stories and we loved hanging out and drinking cold beer and fancy rum . . . Oh and there was always a fancy tropical drink at sunset!
The rooms are, again, tasteful and well appointed, the bathroom was the biggest we had the whole time we were in Costa Rica, not counting the huge outdoor shower! Lovely. We stayed in the cabina closest to the Rancho because it is the one with the bunk beds.
An entire monkey family would come hang out at dawn and dusk in the mango tree behind our cabin . . . every day . . . best monkey viewing we had the whole trip right at our room!
This was only our first trip to Costa Rica, so I don't know how Playa San Miguel/Punta Coyote compare to other beaches, but my guess is that this beach, though a little hard to get to, is what everyone THINKS a Costa Rican beach is all about, when in fact, this is one of the last of its kind. We were practically the only ones around. We went to a sandy restaurant at Punta Coyote called Tanga's that was unlike anything I have ever seen . . . super rustic, super views, BEST FISH I HAVE EVER HAD . . . . Listen to all of Zene and Henner's recommendations, they know the place like the backs of their hands and we are so glad that we got to share a little bit in their paradise!!
Can't wait to return!
- 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