We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“We didn't get there”
Review of Cristal Azul

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 7 more sites!
Cristal Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Southern California
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“We didn't get there”
Reviewed 17 December 2011

Here's the deal...We booked the trip and used Paypal to put down the payment for the first night. All our communications had been great. The people were so nice. We called them in the afternoon and told them we would be taking the coastal road and planned to meet them around 1:00 p.m. We knew we had to crosss 3+ rivers. We had a four wheel drive and were told by everyone that we would have no trouble. We got to a river (not even on our map). There were workers who, because of the flooding, would not let us pass. We called our hosts and told them that we couldn't make it because by the time we turned around and went by another road, it would take us another eight hours or so to get to them. They refunded our money.

These are wonderful people. It was not their faults that we could not pass. However, we drove about three hours south before we got turned back. I would not hesitate to try this trip again a little deeper into the dry season. We cannot tell you about the accomodations, but the reviews from everyone who has stayed there have been glowing. The hosts returned our money because we could not get there. How wonderful is that? Stay with them. I'm sure you will love it. On our next trip, we will make it down to their wonderful location.

Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank jwey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

204 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    197
    6
    0
    0
    1
See reviews for
48
111
7
7
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Danbury, Connecticut
1 review
Reviewed 3 October 2011

We cannot rave enough, Cristal Azul is one of a kind. Plays San Miguel intrigued us after reading about it in the Lonely Planet Guide but we found Cristal Azul on our own and lucky for us! A hidden gem it was by far the nicest place in the area and the privacy is unparalleled. The town itself is tiny, much smaller than we expected. There are only three places to go for food and drinks and that is it. All are very run down and in need of desperate overhauls, and each has its own set of interesting characters running them, but perfectly fine to eat at. Lots of empty summer homes, random dogs, a few residents and one of the most beautiful, deserted beaches we saw while in Costa Rica. At Cristal Azul, we had a luxurious “family camp” type of environment with the most tasteful and gracious hosts. It was an oasis in paradise! We cannot express enough the privacy we had, and views that went on and on. Unlike other places we have stayed at, there is no public access allowed whatsoever. Open only to guests there are no locals coming thru, no public pool hours, and basically no need to lock your door! For this alone we would have paid double what they charge. And we really appreciated the gated entrance with the guard at night, safety and security were never an issue for us at Cristal Azul. There is a fully equipped, well designed and decorated bar and pool area were we could have spent every day but we made sure to take advantage of the gorgeous empty beach and things that are available in the area to do at our hosts urging. Henner and Zene are excellent resources for planning trips and activities and will set everything up for you. We didn’t go to Costa Rica to race down rivers or zip thru trees but there was enough to do in the San Miguel area to keep us active. Our cabina was quite large, bright and incredibly clean with oversized windows and outdoor showers. Perfectly crisp sheets and fluffy towels along with custom made bedding made it feel like home. Pool and beach towels were provided and we were given fresh ones daily. Each morning Boogey Boards, coolers and beach gear was neatly set-aside for us to use. Our breakfasts were beyond plentiful and delicious, as were lunch and dinners. Food, best in the area for sure, hands down. Fantastic, delicious and fresh! Everything, from the sunset cocktails and “bocas”, the ambiance, the incredible Latin music selection, a beautifully set table and the delicious food impressed us greatly. Simple and elegant, after our first meal here we didn’t dine elsewhere although we highly recommend a lunch at Tonga’s at the end of the beach. Henner and Zene are a great pair and staying here is a fantastic time not to be missed, perfect for the laid back discerning type! We have been home three months since our trip and we are already planning a return trip with other couples next spring…and discussing 2013 trip with our family and kids! Cristal Azul is that fantastic!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cologne, Germany
1 review
Reviewed 10 September 2011

My family travel quite a bit - asia, brazil -and I have to say this was one of the nicest places we have ever stayed. The resort sits on top of a cliff that overlooks the ocean. Each guest gets their own villa which is made up of one big bedroom with a bathroom and private outdoor shower. And the villas boast floor to ceiling glass sliding doors that overlook the ocean and land below. The pool area and cabina, which sits above the pool hosts a kitchen, pool table, dining table and couches/hammocks to lie in. The pool is absolutely breathtaking. The views are fantastic and are unlike any I have ever seen. Zene and Henner (the owners) have really make a perfect job. This place is really amazing!! Cristal Azul - we definitly came back! Thank you for this fantastic stay at Zene & Henner!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Wolfgang S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 August 2011

Cristal Azul is a fantastic upscale boutique property located in Playa San Miguel. The owners, Zene adn Heiner, are wonderful hosts....pouring cocktails and serving delicious appetizers, such as baby white clams! They are super friendly and knowledgeable about San Miguel and Costa Rica in general.
This serene setting overlooks the most breathtaking view up and down the beach. You can sit for hours in their infinity pool gazing off into the distance of the ocean. They have birds, monkeys, and tons of wildlife right onsite...in fact, a pizote came to share breakfast with us from the banana tree right near by! The rooms are charming and cozy...great bedding and a wonderful private outdoor shower for cooling off. Again, the view takes it away...
We had such a wonderful time getting to know Zene and Heiner, and would recommend Cristal Azul to anyone looking for a top notch experience with great service and reasonable pricing.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colleen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Heredia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 4 August 2011

I could say a lot of things about Cristal Azul such as the amazing warmness of Henner and Zene, the incredible fresh and gourmet sea food, the unforgettable smile of my 3 years old kid playing at the breathtaking infinity pool, the speechless view of the ocean and surrounding areas, the unexpected luck of watching some whales playing in the deep ocean, the cozy and homey rooms or the sole enjoyment of the trip to Cirstal Azul, but any word that I use wont describe the place, so far the most beautiful spot of his kind in Costa Rica that I’ve ever visited in Costa Rica and as a Costa Rican, I’ve visited a lot of places

Room Tip: Just Contact Zene and Henner at Cristal Azul, their incredible skills as hostess are bullet proof
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RZamoraH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hamilton, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 27 July 2011

Our family (two boys aged14 years) stayed at Cristal Azul for 4 nights during a ten day stay in Costa Rica. We had travelled to beautiful Manuel Antonio and Arenal at the beginning of our trip, but Cristal Azul hosts, Henner and Zene, and the fabulous San Miguel countryside and beach made this last part of our trip everyone's favourite! Both Henner and Zene went above and beyond to ensure that our stay was memorable. Zene contacted us the day of our arrival to ensure we had good driving directions and provided some much needed support enroute. When we arrived in the dark, a fabulous meal was waiting for my insatiable boys and a drink for the adults. Throughout our stay, the cooking was so good we chose to eat at Cristal Azul each night (great appetizers and main dishes). Our hosts were extremely knowledgable about the area and provided much needed advice about activities for the kids and sightseeing for the adults. Ziplining in nearby Samara, boogy boarding on the deserted beach with just the right amount of waves, horseback riding through the jungle, and teasing the monkeys in the forests surrounding the beautiful hotel grounds were enjoyed by all. Best of all was relaxing by the pool in the evening overlooking the Pacific Ocean and enjoying the great conversation with Zene and Henner. We loved our stay!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LorraineCooper018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chicago, united states
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 May 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Cristal Azul for four nights in April 2011 and had such a wonderful time that we didn't want to leave. The vacation was one of the most relaxing and peaceful I've ever enjoyed -- the lovely Cristal Azul and our hosts Zene and Henner compliment perfectly the serenity of Playa San Miguel.

You don't go to this small beachfront town for the shopping district or the nightlife -- it's a small, quiet village of friendly people with a diverse enough offering of things to do. But you should approach your stay here with the attitude that you're going to spend your time relaxing without needing a lot of the stimulus you'd expect from a bigger town. And it was for just that reason we enjoyed our stay at the Cristal Azul so much.

The hotel sits atop a hill (very privately, there's nothing else crowding the space) with a breathtaking, jaw-dropping view of the Pacific ocean. From the bar, the infinity pool, or one of the Cristal Azul's hammocks, you see the full horizon line and it's very easy to get lost for great stretches of time watching the waves roll in. It's one of the loveliest sights I've ever taken in.

As hosts, Zene and Henner have struck on the right mix of being friendly, helpful hosts on the one hand and, on the other, allowing their guests the space to feel that the hotel is really someone's dream house that you're lucky enough to visit. Guests are issued walkie talkies with far-ranging reception so that if you're down the hill on the beach (a 4x4 is a must to navigate the gnarly hill leading up to the hotel) you're never out of touch. Zene and Henner join the guests for sunset cocktails and it always feels like a lovely occasion to sip a Cuba Libre and talk to the hosts and other guests.

I've never been so relaxed and felt so welcome in a hotel. The feeling is much more akin to being welcome guests in paradise. My wife and I whiled away hours by the pool or in the bar playing Jenga without a care in the world. I recommend the Cristal Azul without reservation and would LOVE to return!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank will_fletcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Playa San Miguel
0.7 mi away
Hotel Laguna Mar
Hotel Laguna Mar
#1 of 1 in Playa San Miguel
229 reviews
12.2 mi away
Hotel Peace & Lodge
Hotel Peace & Lodge
#2 of 7 in Playa Carrillo
40 reviews
13.9 mi away
The Hideaway Hotel Playa Samara
The Hideaway Hotel Playa Samara
#1 of 16 in Playa Samara
845 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
16.6 mi away
Hotel Tropico Latino
Hotel Tropico Latino
#2 of 26 in Santa Teresa
563 reviews
0.3 mi away
La Colina Pura Vista
La Colina Pura Vista
#2 of 4 in Playa San Miguel
47 reviews
7.0 mi away
Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Cristal Azul? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Cristal Azul

Property: Cristal Azul
Address: Norte Entrada de Residencias San Miguel 1KM, Playa San Miguel 50906, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia and Hotels.com so you can book your Cristal Azul reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Cristal Azul Hotel Playa San Miguel
Cristal Azul Costa Rica/Playa San Miguel

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing