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“Great service”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 28, 2013

I didn’t stay here but rented my bike from Banana Azul and Minnesota Dave and also got some tips from Colin from Canada, plus help from the tour desk. What an awesome group of people! I didn’t get any service from my so-called-hotel so the staff here really helped me out. While I was milling about I heard several guests say things like, “you guys are awesome” and “I’m glad we picked this place.” I did walk around the restaurant and beach area and it looks like a great place and all of the guests looked content. That’s generally a good sign.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank SocklessJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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684 - 690 of 1,479 reviews

Reviewed May 25, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for about a week with my husband. We really loved our time here and the fact that we were right on the ocean at Playa Negra. The location is not right in the heart of town, but we actually wanted something a little off the beaten path. And it only took about 20 minutes to walking along the beach to get to the main drag in Puerto Viejo. You want to get back before sundown though. It's not easy walking back in the dark. The hotel also has bikes that you can rent for the day to get around.

We actually stayed in three different rooms (we booked it that way due to availability). The Howler Room was our favorite. All of the rooms we saw were nice, but what makes this one special is the fact that it, by far, has the best complete ocean view in the hotel. We stayed in the Garden Suite which was our next favorite. Very comfortable and roomy. It was like a little apartment with a big tub and hammock inside the room. It’s important to note that there are no windows or ocean views from this room. But after spending all day on the beach, coming back to a cool room with lots of space was nice. The last room that we stayed in was the Dolphin room. It was very close to the size of the Howler room and balcony, but it is the furthest from the ocean (in the main building) and not the best ocean view because you have to look past the balcony partitions of other rooms.

The staff (especially Franklin & Jeff) were great, very accommodating and always friendly. We ate dinner at the restaurant there just about every night and all of the food and drinks we had were really tasty. One day I came down with a mysterious 24-hour virus hat left me feeling very weak and caused me to loose a whole day stuck in our room. My husband told the kitchen I wasn't feeling well and they made me some delicious chicken soup and there was no soup on the menu since it's kinda hot to serve soup there. The thoughtfulness alone made me feel better. And I'm pretty sure the chicken soup helped too. :)

Service on the beach was really good. Every so often, someone from the staff would come out with complimentary cold coconuts, chop the top off and put a straw in for us to drink the water and stay hydrated as we lounged in the sun. Internet service on the beach was a big plus too.

Next time we revisit the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, we’ll be staying at Banana Azul. We definitely recommend visiting this wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank kdl19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2013

I really enjoyed this hotel. It's compact with about a dozen rooms and the hotel rooms seemed to be better than the suites. The rooms all have ocean views and the suites are set back further on the property. We stayed in rooms 2 and 3 and they were equally good. Room 1 is the best in the hotal as it has a larger balcony and better views.

The bartenders made great drinks here and were very friendly. I also had the best meal of my stay in CR here. Each night you can order a special meal or from their menu. This hotel is a walk to town, so we had most of our meals here and were very satisfied.

This hotel is literally steps to the beach and you're far enough away from town that it's virtually deserted, like a private beach. They also have umbrellas and lounges set out which was very nice.

A couple things to consider. Most rooms don't have a/c. This was OK since the ocean cools things off at night, but if you want a/c they do have a couple rooms that I didn't see. The balconies all have hammocks and are all connected, so your balcony is not secure. There are dividers between each balcony for privacy.

Driving here from San Jose was easy with a GPS, which is essential for the rental cost (I paid $8/day). The GPS took us straight to the door without issue. Travel time was about 3 hours and you can't expect to get there faster - highways here are small and slow, so take your patience pill before starting.

I'd definitely recommend this hotel and stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank brewertraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

My fiance and I randomly found Banana Azul on Tripadvisor and the good reviews were a majority of the reason we settled on Costa Rica for our vacation. Although the trek to get there was exhausting, the moment we arrived we were greeted with smiling faces, happy puppies and free welcome drinks on the beach.

We chose the Sloth Cabina room mainly due to the affordable price but it did not disappoint. It is a little smaller as far as foot room goes but it has a large comfy bed, large bathroom and large shared balcony with a very comfortable hammock to sit in at night and listen to the bugs and birds chirp. One perk is that the Sloth Cabinas are situated apart from the main lodge but still very close. This gave a little more of a private feel. We even made friends with our British neighbors that were staying right next door in the second Cabina! Note, there was no air conditioning but with a ceiling fan, open patio doors and a handy bedside table fan, we often woke up cold.

The grounds are nothing short of what you'd expect to find in paradise. Everything was green, lush and impeccably well kept. Every single one of the staff members (many Canadian) were phenomenal. They were always ready and willing to get you whatever you needed, whether it was a tropical drink for the beach, new towel or even medicine for sun hives. My fiance and I had just gotten engaged the day before we arrived and it was also my birthday during my stay. We were greeted with a welcome basket of wine, chocolate and fruit and the manager even made me a birthday card!! I felt very welcome and at home.

The food on site was delicious and the included breakfast every morning was more than enough. The coffee on the beach was my favorite and the many animals and critters on and around the grounds added to the laid back, peaceful vibe.

We will definitely be returning in the future!!

Pura Vida!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Laura N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

This was the second time we stayed at this hotel and plan to return. The grounds are stunning. The Service is excellent, the staff is attentive and they seem to truly want you have a pleasant time. We are vegan and they were accommodating and we were able to eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel. The food was great. We stayed in the newly renovated Red Frog Room - the room was great, but the neighbors were terrible. This room is located under the Treehouse Apartment and noise travels well, so the neighbors above us were heard walking(sounds like marching!),dragging/moving furniture? and coughing the entire day and night, even woke us up in the middle of the night once. The private pool in the private garden was great and would have been used more if there was a privacy roof AND the neighbors' presence was not known(heard), we heard him coughing like crazy anytime we were out there. The privacy roof was under construction during our stay, so by now it should installed, that may make it easier to enjoy the area knowing that can’t just pop out and say hi. If you don't mind cats and dogs( we loved the dogs,wish Pinta was still around!) wandering around - you'll be fine. The sitting area connected to our room is one of the feeding areas (where they feed the cat) so that is where a particular cat hangs out. I am allergic to cats, so that is something I avoid, but it was fine.

We rented bikes during our stay. So worth it. It took about 1 hour 30 mins to casually ride to Punta Uva, and only a few minutes to get to central Puerto Viejo. We were able to do everything without the use of a car. Maybe get a few smaller bikes, or bikes with the lower middle bars for the riders with shorter legs(my wife had a hard time getting on and off).

Having an open bathroom we thought there would be more bugs. Just a couple small spiders in the corners and a couple little bugs, just pick them up and put them outside. We get more bugs at home in San Jose.

We would defiantly recommend this hotel and we plan on going back as soon as we can.

Room Tip: The red frog room has a/c !
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ThoRocco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2013

As previous reviews will tell you Banana Azul is a fabulous hotel. We decided on the Garden Suite as it has air conditioning. We were in room 10 that is right next to the kitchen. Room 9 is right next to the reception. Both have air conditioning. Yes, it can be a bit noisy at times, but I always bring earplugs on vacation. The internet in the room worked, but it was sometimes slow, if you walk a few steps out your door into the lounge the internet worked fabulous. They also have outlets that you can plug in your devices while you surf, chat , read or whatever. The lounge had books and magazines which was nice. The pool is small, but it is open 24 hours. Many things at Banana Azul I found very convenient and an added bonus. They provide complimentary beach towels, bug spray , sun block and even provide air freshener spray in the bathrooms! They encourage you to leave your key at the front desk when you leave your room to go to the beach or town or an excursion. That is very helpful as you don't have to worry about losing or getting you key stolen. They provide a water cooler in the lounge which is very helpful especially if you are heading out on an excursion. Just fill up your bottle and go free of charge. You also have an option of keeping a tab throughout your stay and paying the bill upon check out. The meals are fabulous. Dinner is served from 6-830 pm . Their desserts are the best I have ever tasted. Don't forget to try the brownies with Ice cream they are to die for! upon check in you are given each a stone/nut that is painted "Banana Azul, complimentary drink". You can use this one time to get any drink of your choice. The meals are $12.95 plus 10% gratuity and an additional 13% country tax. It adds up when you add drinks to your meal, but the meals are very good. If you want to head into town for meals you will need to get a taxi at night. It is 4 US dollars each way. While it may be a bit cheaper to have dinner in town, when you add the price of taxi it is pretty comparable. During the daytime you can walk on the beach into town. We did this once it took about 20 minutes. We went around 4pm because we wanted to go when the sun was not at it's fullest. We were hoping to have an early dinner in town around 5pm, however we found that most of the restaurants do not open up for dinner until 6pm. The beach is very nice, but there can be riptides so you need to be careful when the waves are high. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a fabulous hotel with great staff and great service!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Heatherob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

Banana Azul is a small hotel by the beach and much exceeded our expectations. The food was delightful, a good bar and able to make many different cocktails, clean comfortable rooms with good ventilation and views. Staff were friendly and helpful. We could not have asked for any more of a hotel.
Our package was compiled by Gecko Trail Adventures which arranged the rooms, tours and transfers, a meal in the town and massage. This was very well communicated, documented and went precisely as planned, and they only used reliable operators who make you feel special. When we wanted to change, this was no trouble and they made the changes and made our holiday a dream.
I would highly recommend Gecko Trail Adventures.

Room Tip: Sloth cabina is smaller and comfortable, but pay extra and book an Ocean Room for more space, better...
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank michael n
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $74 - $162 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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