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“excellent”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 29, 2008

I hope the owners of Banana Azul are willing to open up hotels in other parts of Costa Rica, too. We stayed in a bunch of other places, they were all owned by expats, and we were surprised to see how little they offered for the prices they charged. Banana Azul was one of the less expensive places we stayed at, and actually it was the prettiest, most comfortable, most relaxing, best situated. Moreover, the staff was really nice, always smiling, always helpful. I loved the dogs there as well, especially Gigi the puppy.

I thought that the place was beautiful, with a gorgeous beach right in front. The rooms were very nice. Comfortable beds, clean linens, clean towels, great balcony with a hammock in each, a table and chairs. The rooms had character, the bathrooms were spotless, I have to say, I loved the tiles in the shower. I liked the place so much, I wish I owned it.

I would love to go back there. I wish we stayed longer.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank yesilerik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 25, 2008

We called the day before we decided to head out to the Caribbean side. We were lucky to get a room, since they always seem busy. What a great find!!! A beautiful location, fantastic staff, wonderful food, and nice animals :) I could have stayed here for our entire trip. We stayed in Sloth 1, an upstairs room with a porch and shared kitchen area. While there we played on the beach, went for some great walks, rode bikes to town and beyond, surfed, visited a local chocolate house and family art house, and ate some yummy food both at the hotel and in town. Chili Rojo and Patagonia were two of our favorite eating our spots. We ended our stay with a rafting trip down that Pacuare River that included two meals and a transfer back to San Jose. It was a great ending to a great stay! We will be back in the future. Thank you to all the staff!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank msmaplemae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2008

This hotel is wonderful. Everything about it is divine. Michel, Colin and Roberto did a wonderful job of making sure that everything ran smoothly for us on our vacation. Franklin was a terrific bartended and wonderful conversationalist.

The staff at this hotel made sure that we were well taken care of while at their hotel and also within Puerto Viejo itself. They made recommendations to us for restaurants and things to do and they always checked with us afterwards to see how things were.

This hotel was the perfect backdrop for a romantic and relaxing vacation for me and my sweetheart and we just had the loveliest time.

Not only would I recommend this property to a friend, we are already making plans to go back!

The food is outstanding .... breakfast, lunch and dinner .... and the prices cannot be beat.

Thank you to everybody at Banana Azul for a terrific vacation that we will never, ever forget.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank annectaylor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2008

We stayed at Banana Azul for 4 nights while we visited the Carribean Coast. This has to be one of the nicest place to stay in San Viejo. We were celeberating our anniversary and Colin provided us with a complimentary bottle of wine with our dinner!!! The breakfast and fruit are served fresh every morning. The drinks at the bar are reasonably priced and the dinner is wonderful..... $10!!!!!!! .... includes salad and dessert. My advice is to rent a bycycle to go into town.... only $4 for the whole day. The cab ride is cheap but you get the excercise and sheer fun of riding a bike on those bumpy dirt roads. All of the staff were pleasing and extra nice. I dealt mostly with Colin and Brian. They also provide laundry service... which is great because traveling with wet/dirty clothes is horrible. Our clothes smelled fresh and were folded neatly. I have to say Banana Azul gets "TWO THUMBS UP"

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank thirdwardee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

This place is not the Hilton... Thank God for that. We had an amazing time both on and off the property. Colin, Roberto, and the rest of the staff were beyond helpful and accomodating. We had the most relaxing vacation of our lives at Banana Azul. Within walking distance of the village, but far enough away to curl up in a hammock with a good book and listen to nothing but the waves crashing to shore. Truly rejuvenating, we'll definately be back. Kudos!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank ogmpv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2008

I chose this hotel because of the TA reviews. I never did meet the owners, they were traveling at the time. My experience was so horrible I checked out early!!
I have never been treated so rudely by a hotel manager in all of my years of travel. The manager was so disturbed by any little request that I began avoiding the front desk entirely, using the back set of stairs so as not to offend. Dirty cigarette butt-filled ashtrays were scattered throughout the hotel, including the reception desk, the lobby and the restaurant. The hotel manager was the biggest contributor to the stench. I never seen him without a cigarette. And while you may wake to the sound of the waves, the permeating smell of cigarette smoke, wafting up from below was so disgusting it canceled out any hope of delight. Such a beautiful location to be polluted by the constant stench.
At check-out time I wanted to pay with a credit card and after a heated verbal argument with the same hotel manager, he finally succumbed and took my credit card. This guy is in the wrong business.

The other staff members were friendly, some spoke English. Unfortunately I can not recommend this hotel to anyone unless the have a change of management.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank HappyTales4You
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2008

Banana Azul and Puerto Viejo are a must visit. Dont listen to any of the scary on line articles on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

My partner and I spent 1 week there and have visited Costa Rica on 2 other occasions on the Pacific coast and the interior. We love it all but maybe the caribbean coast the most.

The hotel is beautiful, clean, run efficiently and about a 25 minute walk into town. We rented bikes and rode into town or you can take a taxi. No car needed if you like to bike. The roads can be bumpy in this area and a little dusty.

Colin and Roberto and all the staff were amazing from the minute we pulled up. The staff is friendly, informative and make you feel right at home.

Food is great!!!! Breakfast is fresh fruit, juice,and lovely baked home made breads, with fresh eggs and all sorts of lovely items each day. Dinners are great too! Sea Bass, Filet Mignon, etc with dessert for 10-12 bucks! We ate at both the hotel and in town. WE loved all the restaurants serving delicious, healthy fresh foods.

The owners are wonderful and even drove us to meet our shuttle in the morning because they had left without us to San Jose.

The dogs are a great part of the trip, but totally behaved and unobtrusive. It was great seeing them everyday.

The people of Puerto Viejo are friendly and never was there any problems but always be conscious of your surroundings as in any place.

If you have wanted to try the "other side of Costa Rica", do it and stay at Banana Azul. It is just a tad out of the town but I thought it was just right. Grab a hammock and an Imperial and just enjoy as lazy or fulfilling vacation as you would like. Puerto Viejo and Banana Azul have it all.

Thanks again Colin and Roberto, we hope to return again soon.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank drdanieldc
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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $65 - $167 (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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