We just returned from a very enjoyable vacation in Costa Rica. Our first stop was at the Banana Azul. It certainly had everything we needed!
The Banana Azul is a small hotel nestled in the forest along Playa Negra near Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. I hadn't been to this coast in many, many years. What a difference! Now, where do I start...
We arrived a bit late, due to construction on the highway in Braulio Carillo National Park. We were greeted by Joel at the front desk... he checked us in as quickly as possible and gave us some "coupons" (small stones) for drinks at the bar. He gave us a quick tour of the hotel and explained where it was dangerous to swim... Many beaches in Costa Rica have riptides and undertows. It's helpful to know where it's safe to swim.
We decided to eat at the hotel that night since we were exhausted by our trip. We told our waitresse, Ana Rossy, that we were both gluten intolerant. She went through the menu with us and suggested many dishes that we could eat and others that could be prepared without gluten for us! Not only did she take the time to go through the menu, but she advised the chef and made a special note in our file for future reference. This is going above and beyond and we truly appreciated all her efforts. The food is delicious! We were so satisfied with the service and our meals that we ate here every night. At no time were we dissatisfied with our meals... during pasta night, they even provided us with gluten free pasta. These are all things that are not easily sourced in Costa Rica or in Puerto Viejo. We want to thank Ana Rossy and the entire kitchen staff for such wonderful meals and service! Breakfast is inculded and you will be well satisfied.
We usually get an amaretto colada in the evening before dinner... we asked Franklin, the bartender if he knew how to make it. He wasn't sure but decided to give it a try. Well, he did it! It was exactly like the other one that we have on the Pacific coast...but at 1/4 of the price. Pretty darned good mixologist...
Many rooms at the Banana Azul are different... There is something to suit every taste. The rooms are well appointed and clean. They are basic but you have everything you need while on vacation in Puerto Viejo. I can't remember if they had AC since we didn't need it the whole time we were there... The ocean breeze was absolutely perfect!
Gecko Trail Adventures is located in the hotel and will assist you in booking any tours you may wish to take! You can do anything from white water rafting on the Pacuare to snorkeling in Boca del Toro, Panama... They have everything for every taste (within reason of course). You can also rent bikes from the hotel and go on your own adventure!
The atmosphere is very "Carib-coast". It's easy-going and laid back... It took us about a day to fall into the vibe. Colin, Fred, Joel and all the others try to make your vacation as soothing as possible. Thank you for everything... your attention to detail is something I would expect at a luxury resort.
I'd like to give a special shout out to Rick, the gardener. The grounds are well maintained and the garden is beautiful... anyone who has any interest in gardening must speak to him. There are some beautiful specimens of Costa Rican flora in the garden...even the cook is somewhat of a specialist in local orchids. He gave the local name and the latin name for each orchid he knew... impressive, I must say!
- 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