This is my first really quite negative review on booking.com but I thoroughly disliked my stay at Cristina. I am an outdoors type of fellow, hate being cooped up in dark boxes of rooms and so always try to book somewhere with an outside space. I chose Cristina over other places with higher review scores, as it said the rooms had patios and if you were lucky you might get a room with a view over the lake. When I booked, I specifically asked for such a room with the lake view if it were at all possible.
When I arrived I was given a room that was a bit cramped but comfortably furnished with a decent bed, but which had no outside space and only one window onto a walkway to other rooms. To have any privacy you had to keep the blind closed, so to me it felt like a dark and claustrophobic place. Perhaps I should have kicked up a fuss, but did not find it easy to communicate with the owners who spoke no English and my Spanish is only passable. I did try to explain that I wanted a patio but the either they could not or didn't want to understand.
I accepted the room as, as far as I could see, none of the other rooms had patios either ( I think they misrepresent their accommodation on booking.com) but did not like staying there at all.
I subsequently discovered that NOT ONE of the three rooms with small balconies and views over the lake were occupied that night, so It was quite obvious that they did not think I was worthy of a nice room and I suspect that had I been a glamorous young couple it would have been a different matter entirely.
The implication was quite clear: I was only a solo traveller who could be shoved into any old room as I would not appreciate anything any better. These people should understand that solo travellers like, appreciate and cherish the memories of the nice places that they stay in, just as much as anyone else.
El Rocio is a delightful village with sandy streets, verandas everywhere, a lovely white church (shrine, I think) and lots of atmosphere. Charming, but don't be beguiled by some of the reviews that say its an old-fashioned backwater - it's no slouch when it comes to milking the visitors as the restaurant prices will show you.
Cristina is in a very good position on one of the "plazas", has a large nicely presented restaurant and a pretty downstairs walkway with lots of plants. It also has three rooms with little juliet balconies on the first floor overlooking the lake.