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Reviewed November 8, 2009

This Hotel really does live up to its reviews, and as stated before, those looking for a laid back and quiet, not crowded and over developed beach hot spot, this is your place. Puerto Viejo is close enough to make getting to town easy, and far enough to feel the privacy and serenity of Banana Azul. We split our meals between Puerto Viejo, Manzanillo and the resort, and all were good. I have to say though, after spending all morning in the ocean my husband and I came back to BA for a quick bite and had the best nachos ever. Homemade chips and salsa and fresh avocado, they were delish!! The rooms are beautiful, we were in the Dolphin room and had a view of the beach to the right and a canopy of trees between us and the Sloth house to the left. The sound of the ocean, various birds and gecko's was relaxing and soothing at night. We were never too hot at night; you could definitely feel a drop in temperature when the sun went down (around 6!!). We never used the mosquito net, and I can't say for sure if I even ever had a mosquito bite me. My husband did use the fan provided in the room when we slept at night. We kept our balcony doors open our entire stay and enjoyed the sounds of nature and the gentle breezes that came off the ocean. We were frequented by one of the resident cats, which we were fine with having two at home. I think the cat took to our room because we have cats. Interestingly, the cat slept on my suitcase a lot and our cats at home do the same when I return from a trip. The staff was wonderful, friendly and helpful getting us to our excursions and suggesting places to eat in town. I highly recommend the Jaguar Rescue Center on the south side of town. Lots of opportunity to see and spend time with the animals and you can feel the love given to rescue these adorable creatures.
We will post other pics of our other excursions with those reviews. It is all too much to cover in just one review.
Overall, a great little place in a very laid back village.

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KStateDi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2009

We have been travelling in Costa Rica for about a month at the time of this writing and Banana Azul is the nicest hotel/resort we have had the pleasure of staying at.
Initially we stayed for 4 nights, but ended up returning for a further 6 nights and days, due to ll of the above reasons and more.
There is so much attention to detail in the furnishings and decorating, I don't believe there is anything the owners and staff could do to make our stay better or more tranquillo.
BA is pet friendly and have 4 or so resident dogs and 3 resident cats. The bird life around the property is also quite spectacular.
The surf at the beach were BA is can be quite high at times, at other times it can be small enough to body surf or boogey board or just wading at the edge on the long mostly desert beach.
Their brand new pool is also very inviting with its freeform shape, crystal clear water right beside the lounging area and bar.
We really love this place and plan on returning in the not too distant future.
Pura Vida

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SteveandFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2009

My husband and I went to CR from Aug 30-Sept 9, 2009 and we stayed at Banana Azul the entire time except for our last night (we had an early flight so we stayed at casa 69 in San Jose). We loved, loved, loved Banana Azul. The staff was great, they we friendly and helpful and they all seemed to like their jobs (makes for better staff). We stayed in one of the ocean rooms, which I would definately recommend. The breakfast was always good (as long as you like eggs). We also had snacks and dinner often there. It is not on the menu, but we asked for salsa (de la casa) and guacamole with chips and they made it fresh and it was unbelieveable. We also asked for plantains (Franklin's sister made them - sorry I forget your name) and you must ask for them if you like plantains. One thing about the location - it is not in town and it is a good 30 min walk into town, which you only should do in the daylight hours. However, it is really nice to not be in town because it is much quiter and feels more secluded at BA, it feels like you are in the jungle, especially in the morning when the animals wake you up so you can make the most of your day. There is so much to say, I don't know where to stop. We planned a bunch of trips including the full day Jungle Tour, which was amazing and the whitewater rafting on the Pacure for our last day, also amazing. We did the waterfall and chocolate house tour which was just ok, but it also included the sloth tour, which was great. We were hoping to do more SCUBA diving, but we went one day on a dolfin tour, we didn't get to see dolfins and the diving was mostly just looking at reefs, not a ton of fish. We also rented bikes from BA and went to Cocles beach and took surfing lessons with Topo and his son and after the lesson we biked to the Jaguar rescue center. We got to play with howler monkeys, jaguar rundis (the size of house cats) baby racoons and sloths - if you like animals, you must go to the rescue center and don't forget your camera. We also took a local bus to Cauhita Natioal Park, which was beautiful. We saw lots of monkeys, butterflys, sand crabs, and a snake. We packed lunch and ate on the beach and sat in the crystal clear water (we sat because the water is only about 2 feet deep for 100 ft out).

One warning about this vacation: if you are not an outdoors type of person, this is not the trip for you. This location is for people who don't want to be at an Americanized beach resort and want a different type of a vacation - it is for the more adventrous types.

Date of stay: September 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lovetovacation13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2009

The staff at Banana Azul are great. Everyone is so friendly and nice. All staff made sure that we were well taken care of and that we had the best stay possible. The owners are great and make sure to always come and chat with you to make sure you are enjoying yourself. The staff are very accomodating and the rooms are kept very clean. I would recommend Banana Azul to anyone planning to travel to Puerto Viejo.

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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1  Thank Ronda404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 29, 2009

My wife and I enjoyed our 3 night stay at this property very much. We stayed in the Dolphin Suite and enjoyed the large deck with hammock. We attempted to stay in the Howler suite, but it was booked during our stay. The top floor rooms here are numbered 1 to 8 with the Howler Suite being number one and the Dolphin suite being number 8. Rooms 2 to 7 are the Ocean view rooms. The lower the number, the closer you are to the ocean. Although our room was farthest from the ocean, we could still see the ocean from our deck and could clearly hear it from our room.

The food at the resort was good and reasonably priced. The tour operator at the property, Gecko Tours, was very helpful. We did a snorkeling trip to Cahita with a hike of the park. Our guide, Javier, was very good. We saw sloths, monkeys, frogs, snakes, iguanas, butterflys, and a variety of other insects and critters. We also scheduled a horseback ride/massage excursion with guide Vanessa. It was a great excursion and I highly recomend her.

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Brett30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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