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Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa
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Reviews (317)
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All reviewshuge poolowners livecosta ricamassage treatmentbalconies overlookingrooms are fairly basicsteiner familyaustrian germanjunior suitewonderful hotelnice hikerooms are bigforest trailswould highly recommend this hotelthe pacific oceanspectacular viewsspecies of birds
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113 - 118 of 317 reviews
Reviewed April 11, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this hotel after staying at a "Lodge" in the southern part of the country. This hotel was like a palace! Wonderful air conditioning, nicely appointed rooms, and a truly incredible chef at the restaurant. Definitely a gem in an area that seems hardly developed at all.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SoCalGirlSouthBay_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

The Steiner familiy has done a great job in setting up this hotel a decade ago. The owners live on the premises, which makes for a personalized service. Beautiful views towards the Pacific Ocean, but tucked away on a hilltop near the jungle. Love the jungle trails, beautiful pool and nice food.

Room Tip: The suites (nrs 10 and 16) are located on the corner of the main building and come both with a massive balcony and beautiful views towards the sea. Recommendable!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pieter H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 have patios that are at ground level. Cool ocean breeze and air conditioning though working fine was not needed. We lefft the ceiling fan on while sleeping
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank 427Coloradosteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank InsuranceBroker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank AlwaysFrench
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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