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“Amazing place”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Canberra
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Amazing place”
Reviewed April 6, 2014 via mobile

I choose this place due to all the other wonderful trip advisor reviews as was not dissapointed. I ended up staying in two rooms as I extended my stay. Both room 2 and 4 were comfortable and offer a view of the ocean (the building is at a slight angle so at the end of the balcony all rooms get an ocean view). Room 2 had a better shower but room 4 had a better wall mounted fan, otherwise they were almost identical. If you can afford it, just based on glimpses, I would recommend room 1 (howler room) as this one has by far the best view (and a bath).
The staff throughout were all great, nothing was too much trouble and no question too stupid. The tour company on site are also very well organized and book most transfers and tour last minute.
The only con, and it's nothing the hotel could address, is that being a black sand beach it gets very hot in during the day and to take a dip in the ocean requires a good run (or feet that feel like they are burning). If you aren't able to run, don't want to wear shoes into the ocean and really want to swim in salt water rather than the pool I would advise looking for some place on one of the white sand beaches.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank elm01au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Dunedin, Florida
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2014

This was booked for us so we didn't have a choice, but would go back there in a second! The grounds are impeccable, the staff friendly, the food delicious and fresh. We stayed in one of the Sloth Cabinas, second floor. Quiet, breezy, hammock on porch. Short walk to the beach in the morning to enjoy coffee and peace, except for the crashing of waves on the gorgeous beach. Gecko Tours on the premises made it easy to book tours for the next day as needed. Would highly recommend this lovely place for couples as it a romantic venue set on the Caribbean coast. Not exactly for singles or groups.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JudyB123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Terrace, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 4, 2014

My fiancé and I discovered Banana Azul online before we ventured on our vacation, but didn't have plans to stay there because expedia was showing no availability for our time period. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived in Puerto Viejo that Banana Azul did in fact have availabilities. We would recommend calling to book directly with the resort to get your best rate and availabilities. The staff is very friendly, trusting, and everyone spoke English (and was more than willing to help us with our Spanish). Colin the owner is often present and mingling with the guest and is a wealth of information. The resort has a tastefully elegant yet rustic vibe that allows you to feel one with the natural surroundings. We stayed in two different rooms during our stay and each had something to offer. Room 3 was a great value that offered an ocean and garden view with privacy. The view from our Howler Room balcony was postcard perfect, lush flowers, vegetation, wildlife, and an ocean view. So far this has been our favorite place in all our travels! It was so hard to leave, but we will return!

Room Tip: Ocean View rooms allow for a cool breeze to sweep through your balcony french doors for a refreshing...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Funbasker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

There are so many great reviews and pics of this resort that can't really add much it's a beautiful small hotel with great staff. We stayed in the treehouse apt. for a week and would go back in a second. The apt. is so awesome, I don't think I could stay in any of the other rooms in the resort now because now I'm spoiled.

Everyone was so nice and obviously liked their jobs and genuinely enjoyed chatting with you and trying to make sure you were having a great time went out of their way to make sure you had everything you need. It was a nice change from other countries where the staff work 12 hours a day for slave wages.

The owner, Colin was around every day chatting and answering questions, one day they were having a hard time getting us a cab and he went and got his own car and drove us!

Breakfast was great every day and if the dinner choices didn't appeal to us we just took a taxi to town. Taxi to Puerto Viejo is $4 flat rate and you don't tip, they will even just put the taxi on your hotel bill so you don't have to deal with change etc.

Very quite laid back vibe and it's a perfect home base for exploring the area, usually we were so tired from hiking, biking and the heat that we were in bed by 10pm anyway. I'm usually more of a night owl but if you want to party, just taxi into to town. Manzanillo natl. park and the Jaguar center were my favorites. We took the public bus to Manzanillo for about a $1 and hiked thru the park by ourselves and saw monkeys, sloths, tucans and more.. experience of a lifetime and loved Banana Azul

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank chicasluvflexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scharbeutz, Germany
Level Contributor
148 reviews
98 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2014

My wife and I plus two friends just spent four days in the Banana Azul. The hotel is located close (not more than 100 yards) to the Caribbean Sea and is surrounded by tropical trees and plants and gives you the feeling of being in a Robinson Crusoe envirement rather than just a hotel. Most of the rooms have balconies and open to the garden. There is a nice breeze from the sea at times and fans rather than AC will help you to cool off at night. The staff is great and very helpful and deserves special mentioning. The food is tasty, especially the hearty breakfast. Sincé the small town of Puerto Viejo is more than a 30 minute walk away you are better off at night by having dinner at the Banana Azul. Plus you know that the food is being prepared with purified wáter. Besides the center of Puerto Viejo is not only not attractive but also dirty. So staying at the Banana Azul is a good choice.

Room Tip: Reserve a room early since the hotel appears to be fully booked most of the time
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hans-Juergen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taylors, South Carolina
Level Contributor
50 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2014

Well, Lynn and I went outside our comfort zone on this vacation. We chose to head for the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. As a diver, I am looking for great, unknown and lightly-used dive sites. Puerto Viejo, CR looked like just the place. Unfortunately the diving wasn’t there. But that wasn’t the fault of our marvelous hotel.

I researched many hotels on this site and selected Banana Azul on the basis of the reviews I read. We had never been here, and we knew absolutely no one who had been here. The laid back vibe that came through, from what I could find, looked like I made the right choice. Only a visit could confirm my selection.

Arriving at Banana Azul after a long drive from the airport, we were met by a friendly, knowledgeable and helpful staff. The desk staff was ready for us and proceeded to show us the hotel and its amenities; then to our room. A couple questions arose as we were getting settled and the staff was able to promptly help us.

The hotel is open-air and very laid back. We had a Garden Suite room with a small, enclosed patio and a large outdoor tub for two. Outside our room was the “lobby” and restaurant; then a koi pond and a small swimming pool. The restaurant was open-air and very pleasant. It was a terrific place for breakfast and dinner.

The room was very clean and comfortable with air conditioning and a pleasant patio. Next time, though, we’ll try one of the upstairs Ocean Rooms or the Howler Suite. No A/C but with plenty of breeze and view.

We ate most of our meals at the hotel…breakfast is included and is VERY good. Dinners were very good, too, with nightly specials and an excellent pepper tenderloin steak. Lynn became a fan of the Gallo Pinto breakfast.

The beach was marvelous. Playa Negra – Black Beach - is just that…black sand; and very inviting. The staff keeps the beach and their equipment neat and clean. The surf was awesome. I’m 6 feet tall and the waves rose at least that far above my head. We spent most afternoons under the palapa reading…or we were out in the surf.

The owner, Colin, came by several times a day talking with the guests. He was a font of information on Costa Rica, Puerto Viejo, and the surrounding area. Thanks, Colin….you made our visit. And please, give our best to Ana. Lynn loved her Spanish lessons at breakfast.

Banana Azul will be our choice for all future trips to CR’s Caribbean coast.

Room Tip: The Ocean rooms and Howler Suite seem to be airier and have the best sea views. The Howler Suite is...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dmalcolm72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
80 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2014

While we had a great stay at Banana Azul, I can see why it might not be for everyone. I usually take cruises and/or stay in large resorts, so I was very worried about staying here. I thought it would be too rustic. I was so pleasantly surprised. Wow. What a beautiful place. It started with an incredibly friendly staff--from my initial emails booking the room to them going out of their way to be friendly and helpful when we were there. The grounds are beautiful, and the "beach club" is very relaxing. The breakfast and lunch were very good, and the dinner we had there was ok--not great. Thankfully I had been prepared for the noise/lack of privacy issue based on other TA reviews. The balcony itself was wonderful, with a nice table and chairs and a relaxing hammock, but, yes, it was shared and not private. We also noticed that the walls were thin. But again, we knew this coming in, and it did not ruin our experience. The rest of it all made up for it. We rented bikes for $6 and rode to Manzanillo. We booked a canopy tour. We would definitely stay there again and even in the same room.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KEG17
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 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Romantic 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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