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Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa

3.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

A beautiful site with a wonderfully-large pool and amazing sunset views. Excellent bird watching on the grounds and nearby. Cristal Ballena makes a great base for exploring the mid-coast. We took two trips to Sierpe (one for the river and one for Cano Island snorkeling) and one to Hacienda Baru for birdwatching. Also convenient to Ojochal, which has several nice restaurants. Hotel staff was very helpful in making arrangements for us. The on-site restaurant rates 4/5. We were disappointed by seafood and fish entrees, but very happy with meat dishes. US-sized portions and prices. Wines here (and throughout Costa Rica) are not worth drinking unless you like sweet fruit bombs. Breakfasts are great.

My family and I stayed at the Cristal Ballena for 3 nights at it was absolutely lovely. The hotel grounds are considerably large and extremely well-manicured. There are a variety of flowers, fruit trees and other shrubbery making our early morning hikes through the property incredibly pleasurable. The best part was the enchanting river we discovered. You would probably love to spend a couple hours in the beautiful, big pool overlooking the ocean. It's really refreshing compared to the intense heat and humidity. We had a gorgeous view of both the ocean and the mountain and fortunately being higher up, there was a refreshing light breeze blowing. We would awake to see toucans on the trees and other beautiful birds and parrots flying about. This eco-resort is truly a paradise to the nature-lover. The rooms (like the rest of the hotel) are very clean and comfortable. The only issue I had was the extremely creaky beds, however when the staff was informed, they took care of the problem immediately. Each member of staff we met was wonderful especially the bar/restaurant attendant (didn’t catch his name.) Service was top-notch. I also appreciated that the very amiable hotel owner, Mr. Steiner was very present at his establishment - he had meals in the restaurant along with other guests and was a pleasure to chat with. Obviously maintaining quality is a priority here. We were not served a breakfast buffet (understandable because there were very few guests at the hotel at the time) but breakfast was sufficient non-the-less. We ate a simple breakfast of eggs, toast and fruit each morning. We had dinner here but there are a couple other dining options nearby (try Goathouse) if you want to leave the hotel for lunch. The dining area alongside the pool is very lovely, also with a view or the ocean and surrounding jungle. A note about Costa Rica: it gets dark quickly and there is absolutely nothing to do at night (in fact it's a little scary) and the bugs will eat you alive. So I advise that you find yourself back at the hotel by 5:30/6 p.m., or in time to have the best view of the beautiful sunsets anyway. Be sure to lock up your room because you WILL have hundreds of uninvited creepy crawly guests on your balcony, clambering on the windows to get in. Eek. It's Costa Rica so there are many outdoors options, just ask the front desk. The horseback ride to the waterfall sounded great but we didn't get around to doing that. The beaches are very close by and we went on a canopy/zip-lining tour but honestly, you can stay in this hotel for your entire stay in Costa Rica and still have an amazing, idyllic vacation.

7 km al Sur de Uvita Ballena Puntarenas

Hotel highlights

  • Free buffet breakfast
  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining

Located within 2 miles (3 km) of Arco Beach, Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa is within 3 miles (5 km) of Pinuela Beach. This 21-room, 3-star resort has conveniences like a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and free in-room WiFi. Also close to this Ballena resort are Marino Ballena National Park and Ventanas Beach.


Free buffet breakfast is included with your stay. Enjoy a bite to eat at the resort's restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar/lounge. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service, or get a quick energy boost at the coffee shop/café.


All of Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa's 21 air-conditioned rooms provide furnished balconies, minibars, and coffee makers. Guests can expect to find free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. Bathrooms offer hair dryers and free toiletries, and Tempur-Pedic beds with premium bedding ensure a restful night. Ceiling fans, safes, and phones are other standard amenities.

Property features

Guests staying at Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa enjoy access to a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and free WiFi in public areas. There's free parking and an area shuttle for a fee. Helpful staff can provide dry cleaning/laundry services, concierge services, and luggage storage. Other amenities at this spa resort include a meeting room, a library, and free newspapers.

Room options

Suite (Master)

King 1 | Queen 2 | Sleeps 4

Family Suite

King 1 | Twin 2 | Sleeps 4

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

89% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 277 reviews