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“Authentic Experience”
Review of Cristal Azul

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Cristal Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 16, 2014

First of all I'd like to apologize to Zene and Henner for how long it's taken us to write this review, but fresh off another adventure, this time to a couple Caribbean islands, we felt compelled to write about our experience last year. I'll make it short and sweet, if you want to stay in an all-inclusive, drink all day, eat yourself silly and have no interaction with the country you're in do not stay here! If you want an adventure and to interact with a wonderful culture, be secluded and rustic but yet have the ability relax by their wonderful pool...and have a few Imperials (so good) then do stay here. We hope to make it back someday, still a lot of adventuring to do, but we would come back in a heartbeat. Video is coming someday soon, I promise.

Also, if you want to do some fishing have them hook you up with Chico (which I highly recommend, totally reasonable price as well) and if you speak some Spanish ask him if he remembers the couple he took out that caught the Barracuda off the back of the boat, I'm guessing he probably hasn't forgotten.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank PMeehan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 - 73 of 205 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2014

we stayed here 6 nights feb 2014,,we like away from the crowds,,,this was it,,,the view and the service was impecable ,,the hosts could not have been more helpful,,they even took my wife and i to a local rodeo as their guests,,,dinners at the ranchero also were awesome,,great setting,,great meals ,,and perfect view,,,,the beach in this area is long,wide and almost vacant,,,the down side to many could be the roads in the area,,,dirt and gravel and not that easy to travel,,typical back roads costa rica,,,also,activities take a bit more work do to the roads...a 15k drive could take 25 minutes with dust,,but,,overall,,this place is quite special,,,not a place you ever would forget,,,did i mention the hosts?

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank drmike1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

Unsurpassed views of an amazing paradise in Costa Rica. Cristal Azul sits several hundred feet above the Playa San Miguel coast line, and has truly breathtaking views of the entire beach. You wake to sounds of waves in the distance, and stroll to the pool for AM coffee. Sunset drinks on the deck were a highlight. It's easy to lounge by the pool all day, they have everything you need. The food, service, and accommodations were personal and excellent. We stayed four days, and could have stayed longer. It feels like a private retreat! We'd recommend it to others, and will definitely return someday.

Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
Thank D B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2014

My family (two college age kids, two parents) just returned from Costa Rica and Cristal Azul was the highlight of our trip. We found it difficult to tear ourselves away and wish that we had booked a larger portion of our trip here. The owners, Zene and Henner, are very attentive and responded to all our needs. The food is delicious and very fresh, we had octopus, shrimp, tilapia, and whole red snapper, accompanied by wonderful side dishes and flambé-d tropical fruits for desert. The place is perfect for a relaxing couple of days at the end of an active, adventurous trip through Costa Rica, and offers many beaches in the area with almost no people around. Make sure you have 4WD on your rental car and an experienced driver, as the drive to the hotel is a little difficult, but very much worth it.

Room Tip: There are four cabins, three have a queen bed, and one has a queen bed and a bunk bed.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Artemis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2014

We just returned from Cristal Azul with our two college-aged children and hope to return. The views were amazing, the food was delicious, and the hosts were helpful and attentive. It is not the easiest place to get to, but when you arrive it is so worth it!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Educat0r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We just returned from a few weeks in Costa Rica, and our stay at Cristal Azul was the highlight of our trip. We had only booked two days at CA with plans to spend a few days with friends in Playa Junquillal on our way to the airport. We came within inches of cancelling our visit with friends to spend another couple days in Playa San Miguel because we hated to tear ourselves away.

Zene and Henner are the ultimate hosts. The B&B is an extremely plush oasis in a nicely remote and extremely beautiful part of Costa Rica. From our arrival to departure the service and attention to detail were exceptional. Thanks to both (and the kitchen staff) for such a great stay.

The property is beautiful, the views are breathtaking. The infinity pool sitting high over the Pacific is a spectacular place to watch a sunset after a day on the beach. Although not directly on the beach the walk down the mountain to the beach is great, and the beach itself is stunning. There's a great beach bar that serves up a really good ceviche and the beer is cold.

Oh yes, the food! The only complaint I have is that I think I put 5 pounds on while there for 2 days. When presented with the menu options in the morning for dinner that night we would just tell them to make one of each of the appetizers and entrees since we couldn't chose. Jamie and I would then proceed to eat our way through the night while talking with Henner who is a very engaging and entertaining host. The kitchen staff is incredible and we are going to return if for no other reason than to try the sushi.

Thanks again Zene and Henner for a wonderful experience. Thanks also for the Butterfly Farm recommendation, it was a really great way to spend the morning. Mike is an extremely knowledgeable and engaging entomologist and his farm is incredibly fascinating. We loaded up our luggage with honey.

See you next year.

Room Tip: Can't go wrong with any one of the cabinas although the one on the far end (not sure of the numb...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank rsoucy20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

Our honeymoon at Cristal Azul was absolute perfection. My husband had wanted a big resort, but I wanted more adventure without the hovering staff and endless other guests of a resort. The more research I did on Cristal Azul, the more ideal it sounded. We weren’t disappointed. It was just right—a mix of luxury, breathtaking views, delicious food, attentive personal service and adventure. It was easily the best vacation I’ve ever been on. The hotel is small (I believe it sleeps ten?) and we were lucky enough to be the only guests that week. It would be the perfect venue for a vacation with a group of friends or family. Getting there is a trek, but it was worth it. Playa San Miguel isn’t touristy at all, and it’s also not too remote—civilization is available, but you can avoid it if you want to. We were near so much we wanted to do—Mike’s Butterfly Jungle, the ARA Project (Scarlet Macaw sanctuary) at Hotel Punta Islita, the PRETOMA sea turtle conservation project (we released baby turtles!!), and a totally beautiful, basically empty beach. And of course, we did zip lining and checked out some local towns, but our little B&B on the hill of Playa San Miguel was our favorite spot. Zene and Henner are great; it was like staying with friends who want nothing more than for you to have a good time. We miss them! They helped us figure out our plans and set up our little trips; we felt so taken care of. The food by Marco and Chrisly was amazing and probably the best we ate during our trip. We rented a car, which I definitely recommend, it’s part of the fun to drive around on the unpaved roads (which weren’t in the best shape since rainy season was only just ending). There were some great restaurants nearby; we especially liked the Costa Rican owned/operated places. We didn’t get to eat at the highly recommended Tanga’s—one more reason we have to go back. Our cabina was lovely and very private, we enjoyed the huge windows overlooking the Pacific. Cristal Azul’s location on the hill is amazing. We woke up early most mornings so we could enjoy the bird calls and look for the monkeys hanging out in the trees. AC was available but we didn’t use it, the ceiling fan was enough. The rooms were cleaned daily. I should mention, people afraid of animals and bugs (geckos and frogs for example) might get freaked out (it’s kind of a jungle after all), but we expected much worse as far as bugs—they weren’t a problem at all. We were there the second week of November, and the weather was perfect: not overwhelmingly hot or sunny, not too rainy, and everything was lush. We asked Zene to let the dogs hang out with us, which was a treat—we love dogs but don’t have one. We wish we could spend every morning sitting by the infinity pool with a book and that incredible view, sipping one of Chrisly’s delicious smoothies, and not having a care in the world. We didn’t want our honeymoon to end and we definitely plan on coming back. Other reviews have called Cristal Azul “heaven” and I totally agree.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JulieMlastname
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: $141 - $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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