My friend and I stayed at BA for 2 nights in 'Sloth Room 1'. We'd heard bad things about Puerto Viejo and the surrounding area, so it was originally just a stop-over point on the way to Panama. BA turned out to be a gem and really surprised us! It's the *perfect* place to relax and use as a base from which to take tours further afield.
BA is quite a small operation in-terms of size; a relaxing 20min walk along the beach from downtown Puerto Viejo. Contrary to what I've read, downtown Puerto Viejo by-day isn't dangerous and is a great place to pick up souveniers or grab some cash.
BA itself is really clean and well looked-after. It essentially consists of guest rooms built on top/around a large restaurant/bar. It's not noisy and is far enough away from civilisation to be party central. Food isn't included in the room rate, but the restaurant serves *really* tasty food (western and Costa Rican) all-day and makes *THE BEST* fruit smoothies and brownies I've ever tasted. There's a small pool, hammock area and garden that leads onto the beach in addition to great Wifi, beach hammocks, massage tents and anything else you could need.
There's also a dedicated 'Gecko Trails' tour desk, which is a fantastic idea! Gecko's tours are amazing and they collect and drop you off right outside. It makes booking tours or transport completely worry-free.
We stayed in the cheapest (Sloth) room, which - compared to other places - was quite small but clean and still had a balcony and hammock. Inside fit one double-bed, tables, lamps a safe and an ensuite bathroom. It fit 2 people quite snugly however - with the great food, drinks and sun - you wouldn't want to spend much time inside anyway. The balcony overlooked the car park and gardens, so the view wasn't overly scenic.
I really can't compliment the staff enough on their work and professionalism. Every single member of staff was brilliant; friendly, courteous, dedicated and really attentive. Probably comes with living near the beach in the Caribbean sun eh... we totally underestimated this place and would definitely stay there again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Banana Azul hotel is a small and simple hotel north of town on Playa Negra. The small boutique hotel has been created with care using local products and a philosophy that emphasizes relaxation. We cater to adults, 16 years and over. Blooming gardens adorn the property, as does several freely-hanging hammocks, providing the perfect spot for afternoon napping or leisurely reading. A meandering pond inhabited by fish and turtles flows through portions of the property adding a lighter element to the ongoing natural soundtrack of waves crashing against the shoreline. The hotel consists of fourteen beautiful guest rooms with private baths, fans, and free wireless internet. Most rooms are on the second floor of the main building, and open onto a large veranda with sweeping ocean views and of the garden. Banana Azul offers its guests a quaint restaurant that serves a complimentary filling breakfast, variety of lunch options and refreshing drinks throughout the day and a relaxing three entre dinner option in a romantic atmosphere at night. Gecko Trail Adventures tour company is on site to assist with tours and transportation needs and can assist with a variety of package options including visits to the Arenal Volcano, canopy tours, snorkeling trips, and even rafting excursions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Banana Azul Hotel
- Banana Azul Puerto Viejo
- Hotel Banana Azul Costa Rica/Limon