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“Truly Paradise!”
Review of Cristal Azul

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Cristal Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Oregon
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Truly Paradise!”
Reviewed 27 June 2013

My husband and I stayed at Cristal Azul the beginning of May and everything you read in these reviews is true! We found Cristal on Tripadvisor and because of the stellar reviews, we knew this was the place for us. Henner & Zene are fabulous hosts and made us feel like family. We spent 4 nights with them and it was truly hard to leave. They gave us fantastic suggestions of places to visit and things to do. They are a wealth of information for all things Costa Rica. We were fortunate enough to be the only guests staying with them at the time and they gave us run of the place. Every morning, we had a delicious breakfast overlooking the ocean. Henner & Zene discussed the night's menu with us each morning. Fresh fish, steak, chicken, anything we wanted for our gourmet dinners. The food was outstanding and they made sure our every need was met. Our cabina was spacious and comfortable with an incredible view of the ocean. And the outdoor shower was the best! There is nothing like showering with a family of howler monkeys hanging out in the trees. But one of the best parts of our stay was the tribe of pups! 6 wonderful dogs also reside at Cristal and they absolutely made our vacation! They made every day so much fun.
There are not enough words to describe how phenomenal our time at Cristal Azul was. You absolutely MUST stay here!!! You will want to go back again and again. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Kazmo77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
Stamford, Connecticut, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 June 2013

We stayed at Cristal Azul a couple of weeks ago. We have been to the Costa Rica Pacific coast several times. From Manuel Antonio to Samara, to Nosara, to Tamarindo and Playa del Coco near the Liberia airport and other places in between.
We can say Cristal Azul is the most amazing place we have visited so far. If you are looking for the true unspoiled, and peaceful Costa Rican beauty, visit Cristal Azul. The place is amazing, quiet, a true natural setting with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean.
Add to all this the friendliness and attention of the Zene and Henner and the staff. This is paradise.
We are coming back as soon as we can.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same. One or two might be bigger for families with children. I don't know. I t...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marco C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 21 May 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I stayed at Cristal Azul for 3 nights earlier this month as part of a 2 week trip to Costa Rica and our only regret about our trip is not staying at Cristal Azul longer. Our stay here was nothing short of exceptional. Zene and Henner went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. We happened to be there while our favorite hockey team (Boston Bruins) were playing in the play offs and Zene let us use her personal laptop and worked for nearly an hour to find a way to stream the game for us. I don't think there's another hotel owner in the country that would have gone through that much trouble for us to watch a hockey game!

The food and lodging are better than great and the views are stunning and priceless. There are mango trees all around the property that attract scores of monkeys and there's no shortage of other wildlife to see (frogs, geckos, birds, etc.)

Our favorite part of our stay at this hotel was the fact that the hosts made us feel at home and were truly hospitable in every sense of the word. We left there feeling like we were leaving old friends and can't wait to go back!

Cristal Azul was our favorite hotel of the 6 that we stayed at during our trip. It is a "must see" for anyone planning a trip to Costa Rica.

Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed 14 May 2013

My boyfriend and I visited Cristal Azul at the end of April and WOW...was it ever an incredible experience. The view by the infinity pool (and almost anywhere on the property, actually) was breathtaking, the food was delicious and not to mention the good company of Henner and Zene, the owners (ask these guys for recommendations- every single thing they recommended was a must have experience especially Mike's bug tour). They go out of their way to ensure that guests are having an amazing time, they go the extra mile and it really makes a difference.

We loved their dogs too- we fell in love with Suzy especially!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GraceBenac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2013

I understand the title seems rather over dramatic and exaggerated in nature, and if you're as big of a skeptic as me perhaps even suspicious. I do not blame you one bit.

I was in the same shoes, despite the lack of reviews under my belt (I'm working on it!), I've been using tripadvisor for the past 3 years and I spend a good amount of time before each trip, a total of at least a few hours before leaving the home country, just comparing places, and planning routes. It is not an exaggeration to say I've looked at at least a few hundred hotels/b&b/excursion places on tripadvisor, so when I saw Cristal Azul's reviews with 5/5 ratings in such predominance, I was in disbelief. Afterall, this is a website where not even a $400++/night get such score.

Here is how they do it.

1) They treat you as if you're their extended family, a guest at their home at the very least, not just a customer or a source of income.

> They perfect this by accommodating only a handful of guests at any given time. In fact, they only have 4 rooms, and yes each one has amazing ocean view that just rolls off the hill they're situated on. The sheets and towels are clean, and A/C runs strong yet quiet.
> They have a number of employees that are all more than willing to help.
> The owners Zene and Henner themselves have impeccable hospitality. They will make sure, every morning you will have a bottomless cup of Costa Rican coffee, and breakfast be served when you're ready. They will make sure there's always cold juice, beer, mint water in the fridge. They will make sure everything in the room is just the way you expected. They will share their own medication if you feel ill(yes, this happened). They will be there with a container of rice if your phone accidentally falls in the pool(yes, this happened). They will tell you as much as you can take in about anything you'd like to know, from local politics, what locals do for living, how the area has transformed over the years to what to do tomorrow and where to go/eat. Do not make the same mistake we did, if you find them as interesting and fun to talk to as we, along with vast majority of these reviewers did, ask them to join, otherwise their respect for your privacy will have them limiting their pleasant "interference".


2) They have amazing food.
> Let's face the fact that no matter what restaurant I compare Cristal Azul to, the odds of the reader of this review in this world wide web having been to the same restaurant is in between slim and none. Luckily, there is a general rule called you get what you pay for. Granted, there are always restaurants that sell the atmosphere and experience more than quality of ingredients and flavour dazzling dishes, but for the sake of this review, let's put them out of the equation. Bottom line, if you were to ask me "how much would you pay to have the same Cristal Azul dinner here at home?" My answer would be somewhere between $70-$100/person. I still remember the perfectly seasoned and seared local catch of the day(literally) tuna fillet with a side of rice and fresh salad including grilled banana desert and a few glasses that cost me not even half of that at Cristal Azul.
> The mango tree that you'll find behind the rooms, if you're not watching the monkeys eat the mangoes, pick one off the tree, for once you can be assured what you have in your hand is 100% organic, preservative free mango.
> Even with such amazing food at their disposal, they'll give you tips, in fact encourage you to to eat at restaurants in the surrounding area, just so you get a richer experience.

3) Zene and Henner's unique combination; American born and raised "Ex-pat" and Costa Rican born and raised local, offer variety of insights from easier to grasp perspective for people from North America. Them, having traveled many countries as well, I don't doubt are able to offer you a very global, and non blinkered perspective on many things not limited to just Costa Rica. If you have difficulty communicating with them in English or Spanish, I can only suspect the lack of skill on your end. They may even speak more languages, but I can't comment on those.


4) Their hillside pool's infinity edge seemingly spilling over onto the pacific ocean in distance, that picture and the idea of being in the 10'N of the equator sun, that was enough for me to book the place. (Mind you, I booked this place before I even booked the flight, I had the time off, and once I saw this place, I didn't care how and when, I just knew I was going there). The view, and that certain serenity that can only wrap you once you're at a certain distance from other businesses and street noises, they have it all.


All in all, no matter how much you read about this, no matter how many 1000 words worth of pictures you look at, you will get more by visiting this place. Don't get sucked into other places in San Miguel or the province of Guancaste the way we did(unless it is for something that can't be offered by Cristal Azul i.e volcano view), or should I say go ahead and do so, so you can draw your own conclusion that this is THE place to go, either way, I'd like to take this last bit to thank Zene and Henner along with the staff members for everything from their suggestions and tips to the food to the warm heart you have reached out to us with. This vacation was definitely one of those that nourished my soul thanks to you guys. Take care, god bless!

Room Tip: Flip a coin or roll the dice, apart from room 4 having a 3' extra window on the side wall, all r...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank YYZ2zZzZz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2013

So we arrived to san Miguel, from the very first moment you go through the gates it's magical, the whole scenary, makes you feel like you are getting into this hidden castle, when you get to the hotel is so nice and calm it just feels so right. The rooms are super clean & tidy, nice big bed, great space on bathroom and an outside shower creates A+++ experience with nature. First thing after you wake up and open the courtains voilà the view is AMAZING right in front of your eyes, the sky, the clouds, the sea, a whole extension of beach blinking sand and a great weather, go get breakfast and chill by the pool or get to the beach, have a tan, bathe in the sea, it is so gooood! Then Grab some lunch and engage on some surf, or tours available, it' is just spectacular. At night, grab fresh delicious dinner, if you want some cocktails or drinks, the house's got some great recipes. Henner and Zene make so great hosts you won't even think you are talking with the owners or staff, they are more than that, they become your friends immediately, you can sit there and listen to thousand stories, yet they won't take all of your time, you will be guided to chill and rest it is just so great, i'm hoping on coming back in a few months, some things in life you can get along without knowing them or just seeing them from far, but going to Cristal Azul is something you've definitely gotta do!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mau-mv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2013

Amazing trip, gorgeous place and what an excellent service.
The environment is absolutely perfect to relax and get in touch with the nature and beach, the owners are always on top of everything, also the place is so near to the beach; around 15 minutes by car. Food is really good, there's always something to drink, rooms with AC, beds are big and the shower place have something unique. LOVE IT.

Room Tip: all rooms have a great view
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank AriBelan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 offers discerning travelers the chance to enjoy barefoot luxury off the beaten path. Stunning views and simple elegance await adventurous spirits in search of the ultimate in privacy, comfort, & tranquility. Set in a pristine and natural setting with only four ocean view cabinas and no public roads to reach us nor signs to point the way, we guarantee there is never a crowd at this private hilltop hotel. Take a step back to a quieter time and enjoy what Costa Rica was like before the world arrived. Join us for lunch and dinners at LocosCocos, our surfside Cevicheria serving catch of the day fresh fish and seafood. 4WD and love of adventure required to reach this area! Private chef dinner service in the Rancho available for groups. Reservations required-gated entrance for guests only! ... 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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