Fodor's Expert Review Cristal Ballena Boutique Hotel & Spa

Costanera Hwy., 7 km (4 miles) south of Uvita, Uvita, Puntarenas, 60504, Costa Rica

High on a hillside with spectacular ocean views framed by giant traveler's palm trees, this Austrian-owned hotel is a luxurious base for exploring the area. The elegant Mediterranean-style buildings, painted blue and white, have spacious rooms, and there's plenty of open space for kids to play in, plus fitness trails for grown-ups and a spa to relax in. There's also a 4,300-square-foot swimming pool that commands both mountain and sea views. The birding here is excellent. If you tire of the view (not likely), there are large flat-screen televisions on swivel bases. Breakfast buffets are hearty at the pleasant poolside restaurant, which also serves lunch and candlelit dinners, featuring excellent fish along with some tasty Austrian specialties, including Wiener schnitzel. Service is friendly and polished. There's always a breeze and a feast for the eyes from the restaurant terrace. For budget-minded guests, there are two "adventure cabins" at the edge of the jungle, with ceiling fans but no air-conditioning.


  • wonderful swimming pool for serious swimmers and loungers
  • great ocean, mountain, and sky views
  • luxurious rooms


  • stairs to manage between rooms and restaurant
  • steep walk down to beach
  • a little away from the center of town


Family, Green, Views
Near the beach


Phones: 2786–5354 | 8390–6863


19 rooms
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

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