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“Just Perfect!”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Just Perfect!”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

After nine days in paradise at the Banana Azul we came home feeling like we left new friends and family behind. The Banana Azul was more than we imagined it would be - it is truly paradise and Colin and the entire staff do not miss a beat! Every part of our stay there was just perfect - all of the little details are so much appreciated. Service is excellent and genuine, and the grounds are just so beautiful. Extra points for all of the love put into the landscaping. The food is great, all three meals, especially the dinner buffet that changes daily. You never really have to leave the Banana Azul if you don't want to - they take care of it all. They will hook up all of your excursions and if staying by the pool or laying on the beach all day is your thing, they will take care of you. Coffee served on the beach at sunrise?!! Just perfect. We miss you all already and have reserved for next year. Can't wait!
** Ryan & Michael (San Francisco) **

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ryan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2012

I really enjoyed my stay for 6 nights in the dolphin room at Banana Azul. The staff are exceptionally friendly, the rooms are clean and tidy, and quite spacious. I especially enjoyed sitting on the balcony in the evening watching the humming birds on the plants in the garden and seeing the sun go down.

I understand the Eco-credentials of the hotel, but on reflection I think I would have preferred a room with air con (mainly to keep the insects at bay!) and perhaps would have appreciated a little more privacy as the walls to the room are not as well sound proofed as I would have liked. Neither of these latter points would in any way put me off from returning to this great little hotel.

Oh, and by the way, be careful sending postcards from the post office in town - they took my money for stamps but still no sign of the cards 6 weeks later...!

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Hey Mark, I am glad to hear that despite our shortcomings you were able to have a good stay.

This time of the year is a few degrees hotter and for many, they would appreciate AC. When we built the hotel, there were hardly any properties with AC. Back then even just trying to put sufficient wiring into the hotel would have been a huge challenge.

As you can see we are doing one-by-one renovations. We have been adding sound proofing to rooms and any new rooms we add, we are doing with AC.

Most of our guests have been fine without AC, but I am fully aware, we all tolerate temperatures differently.

If you visit us again, you might try our Red Frog Tropical Suite. It has AC and has been insulated for sound as well. But it is still a wood structure, so total sound proofing is not possible.

As for the postcards :-( Not sure what to say. I guess you could tell who ever you sent them to, that "it's the thought that counts ;-)"

Thanks very much for your constructive feedback. Cheers, Colin.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
Reviewed September 25, 2012

My wife and I decided for our honeymoon we wanted to travel to Costa Rica with our families and have a second ceremony on the beautiful beaches it has to offer. After extensive research we found the quite little town of Puerto Viejo, Limon. There were several hotels of interest to us; of these Banana Azul took the cake. My wife communicated with David, who was amazingly helpful from the booking the room to information on the town. Banana Azul has a calendar for reserving rooms, that shows availability. This was extremely helpful, we booked the apartment for as long as we could, then relocated to a different room within the hotel. Even though it takes a lengthy amount of time to travel from San Jose to Puerto Viejo, it was well worth it and helped cut down the overabundance of tourists. When we arrived we were absolutely taken by the spectacular views, overall layout of the hotel and the wonderful service they provided us. The first day we took the short trip into town to see some of the local culture, the people of Puerto Viejo were very laid back and helpful. We ate a nice lunch at Salsa Brava, my wife enjoyed the location and wanted to have our little ceremony there in front of the restaurant. After talking with the bartenders at the establishment they agreed that they could accompany us and would prepare food and drinks for the occasion. We agreed that 2:00pm would be the time I arrived followed by my wife at 2:30pm. When I arrived and realized that the place was not open, and the staff had given us the shaft. Disappointed, yet understanding that everything happens for a reason, we decided Banana Azul had been so helpful, we would travel back and have it on the beach there. We picked a location and talked to Roberto another manager from Banana Azul. He and his staff were extremely helpful and within an hour of so they had an amazing spread of food prepared and laid out. Throughout the trip all staff members treat us like we were in their home from the grounds keepers to Collin the owner. This trip was an experience of a life time; we will definitely visit there next year no questions asked. Collin, Fred, David, Roberto, Shanti, Kristiam, Franklin, Annarosey, Luis, Leo (Cheers for the Spanish lessons, lol) and all other staff members we have forgotten, Tanya and I would like to truly thank you all for your genuine hospitality and amazing service. To all who read this, please ignore the minimal negative reviews on this site and take our word of advice. Stay at Banana Azul you will never forget it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank James F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
129 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Third time in Costa Rica in a year and every time I return To Banana Azul! Thanks to David, Collin, Frank, Shanti et the dozen more I am forgetting by name for providing excellent service time and time again. I enjoyed the apartment suite this last time out since there were three of us. It's 2 bedrooms, walkin closet, kitchen, dining area and living area. We LOVED it. The restaurant seems to get better everytime I go and the bar also attract locals too. Banana Azul is a class chill place with great hosts! I miss being there and will return with new friends so I can share the jewell that is Banana Azul.Did I mention the grounds were impressively landscaped?

Room Tip: The apartment is awesone if you have more that two people. The Red Frog room and the Apartment are f...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SatHizFakShon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2012

After reading the numerous positive reviews on Trip Advisor, we planned our trip to Costa Rica, specifically traveling to this area because of this place, and we were not disappointed. It is a good 4-5 hour drive from the airport in San Jose, but it is worth it! We stayed in an Ocean Room, which we were very happy with, it was very clean and cozy, we loved the open air feeling. It is pretty humid, but we had two fans in the room to help manage with the temperature, and worked out great. The bugs seemed to want to make their way into our room, (I expected bugs, so not a negative for this review whatsoever...and there is a netting available for the bed, but when using that, we couldn't get the air from the fans!), but I soon realized they would only come in for the light, so a little adjusting got rid of them easily. It does seem that you can hear your neighbors a bit, but you can decrease that if you really want by closing the doors to your balcony, and the bathroom. It was a little casual paradise for us, the grounds are impeccable and lush, the staff were in abundance, and there was always someone if you needed them. Breakfast selections changed everyday and was always delicious, fresh fruit and juice selections, the feeling was very homey, but special. All the food and drinks we ordered were delicious. On the whole, it had an intimate resort feeling that was quiet, beautiful and relaxing. Every morning we would walk the short path from the hotel to the beach, and there would always be an attendant on the beach to greet us and get us drinks... which we got alot of!

The beach in front of the hotel is probably the shortest distance between beach and hotel that I saw in the area, and was basically deserted. We felt that we had it all to ourselves and loved all the beach dogs (those that belonged to the hotel, as well as other random dogs in the area), if you are an animal lover it is great to have the dogs and cats wandering the lobby area. It is about a 20 minute walk into town and the ocean water was delightful! Keep the distance from town in mind if you are planning on that, and we took taxis a couple times to dine out for a change at night, as we were warned for safety reasons. We were constantly either in the ocean or the pool, however, the pool was a little on the cool side for our taste, but a good change if you needed to cool off, just hard to stay in for too long. We were so grateful to have extensive wireless coverage, from the rooms, to the restaurant area, to the beach area. I didn't want a TV at all, so no problems there. For the experience we had here, the price is not to be beat!, I got a peek at some of the other places in the area, and I don't doubt the decision we made... we had an amazing time here and would recommend it to all, and wouldn't hesitate to pick it again if we came back.

Room Tip: Ocean Rooms seem the way to go, but next time I'd love to get the Howler Suite! (its bigger and...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flagstaff, Arizona
Level Contributor
59 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2012

We came to Puerto Viejo for a wedding in the fall of 2011 and booked our stay at this charming, friendly and peaceful retreat based on reviews at Trip Advisor, location and price. A short 20-minute walk down the beach from town, Banana Azul offers a real tropical paradise. Yes, we were wimpy gringos; booking the only air conditioned room (and darned glad that we did - it made for much more comfortable nights).

The exterior of Banana Azul is wonderful - incredible landscaping meticulously maintained, a meandering manmade stream with fish and turtles, and a short walk to the beach from the pool and covered patio dining area. The staff was always so friendly, the food was mostly very good and the drinks (alcoholic and non) were delicious.

Our room was right behind the front desk, but we were never bothered by any noise. The room was small and dark, with an enclosed courtyard that had a hot tub and hammock but was too hot and humid to enjoy. You walked through this area to the bathroom with toilet and shower. My only real complaint is that the room and bathroom were too dark - a girl needs some light when getting ready to attend a wedding, even one on the beach!

This is not a family place - it is designed as an adult getaway. The owners had guests over with children who used the pool while we were there, but none were on the property overnight that we knew of. There ARE property dogs and cats who will join you and mealtime - they aren't pushy but if you don't like animals, you won't be comfortable here.

The rates at Banana Azul are very reasonable. There's a tour desk right there on the covered patio, and they'll set you up with anything from a beach-side massage to a snorkel or zip-line tour (or both!) Everyone was courteous, helpful, polite, informative and a delight to deal with!

I'm coming back to Costa Rica in 2013, to the other side of the country. And I sure hope I have an experience as enjoyable as my stay at Banana Azul!

Room Tip: If you're not accustomed to tropical heat and humidity, request the air conditioned room and pay...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NikkiAnamCara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed September 10, 2012

I spent the past 9 days at one of my favorite properties in the world, Banana Azul. It was a great way to ring in my 25th birthday. The property is amazing and the staff, incredible. This was my second stay at Banana Azul. I've had the opportunity to stay in the newly renovated Sloth Cabinas and Red Frog Room (My Fave), as well as the Ocean Room.

Here are some good things to note:

Food: Breakfast is FREE and so so delicious. There is plenty to choose from for lunch and dinner at a low price and the drinks are pretty good and very affordable. Franklin and Ana Rossy, two of the bartenders, are such good host and very friendly!

Rooms: The Red Frog is my favorite. I had the chance to see the Apartment - simply awesome!

Staff: David, Fred, Colin, Franklin, Ana Rossy, Edward, Andalay, Luis, Shanty and the guy with the Curley hair (I can't remember his name at the moment :-)), they are all truly amazing people and willing to help at all cost.

Location: Right between the Jungle and the beach - why else would you come to Puerto Viejo?? It's also an easy walk into town or a quick, cheap ($4) cab ride away. Also, Banana Azul offers bike rentals for $6/day. Can't beat that!

Adventure: Gecko Trails, an excursion company, is located right at reception to help with all your adventurous needs.

With many properties to chose from, this is a great choice for ultimate relaxation. Thanks again to the staff, you rock!

Pura Vida!

Room Tip: Red Frog or for larger groups, the Apartment!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nathan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Banana Azul

Property: Hotel Banana Azul
Address: Playa Negra, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Banana Azul 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
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 22 beautiful guest rooms with private baths, fans (some with A/C), and free WiFi. 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. Caribe Fun Tours 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

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