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Hotel Banana Azul
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Reviewed January 31, 2010

My partner and I just returned home to Chicago from a week at Banana Azul. We truly enjoyed the stay. The temps were perfect and we felt comfortable enough to sleep with the balcony doors open and listen to waves during the night. The grounds of the hotel are immaculate. You could not beat the value and variety of the food provided at the hotel compared to town. The staff was friendly and welcoming. We never missed not having tv or a/c and we found the water pressure to be more a challenge than a nuissance :)
I would recommend Banana Azul to anyone who was looking for a laid back vacation. I found the town to be o.k. during the day and a little shady at night. We were not terribly surprised by either.
Really, my only complaint or suggestion really, is to replace the bamboo beds at some point. The lack of expensive matresses did not phase us, but waking up every time someone moves because of the construction of the bed was a little annoying. A few nights while we were there, I opted for the hammock as a better option.

All in all...a wonderful vacation in a beautiful setting!

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank melindaocon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2010

We stayed at the Banana Azul for two nights (January 11 - 13) in the apartment, which was absolutely adoreable. Open concept kitchen, living room/dining room, complete with hammock. With the openness we felt like we were high style camping, but with a roof over our heads! Funky bathroom with shower and large tub (and lots of hot water). The staff were friendly and helpful. Unfortunately we had to endure a tropical storm for the two days that we were there, so we did not get to enjoy the beautiful beaches like we wanted. We did not know that rain could fall as heavy as it did when we were there. It really did put a damper (no pun intended) on our experience in Puerto Viejo. We did try to make the best of it though. We walked into Puerto Viejo during the day and poked around in all of the little shops. I believe that if the sun was shining the town would have had a different feel. Basically the town is small and unkept, but the beaches make up for that and I can only imagine that when it is sunny and hot that the beaches would be alive with surfers.
We had breakfast and dinners at the Banana Azul and the meals were great and reasonably priced. Drinks were very good, with a nice selection of wines also.
We loved the domestic dogs and cats that roamed the property. All very friendly, but not pestering. They made the place seem very homey. We had two resident cats that stayed in our apartment the whole time we were there and we enjoyed that. There was also internet access available. There were two bedrooms in the apartment, but we only used one of the bedrooms which had a very comfortable bed with mosquito netting over the bed.
We hired a cab to drive us to the Sloth Sanctuary, which was really interesting. The sloths are very strange creatures and fun to watch. The tour was extremely informative. You get to go on a boat ride on an estuary and we saw many birds, sloths and other creatures on the ride. They have baby sloths that have been turned over to the sanctuary after either being abandoned or injured and we were able to watch them get fed by the staff members.
All in all, despite the bad weather, we had a good experience at the Banana Azul Resort and would recommend staying there if you are going to Puerto Viejo.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank waterlogged23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2010

We Heard about Banana Azul on the Today Show. It was even better than they said it would be. It's immaculately clean, beautiful and run by an amazing staff. They are so helpful and interesting to get to know. We hope to return some day and the price is right.

Susan and Bob Smith
Highland Park, IL

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank seco2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2010

Banana Azul is a rustic little hotel on a beautiful black sand beach surrounded by jungle. a fellow guest in Manuel Antonio recommended this place last year and I'm so glad we took him up on it. on the first night, the owners Colin and Roberto introduced themselves and had dinner with us. They were so warm and welcoming. the rooms are simple and clean and very open-air. You sleep to the sounds of the ocean and jungle, it can't get any better. They have a restaurant/bar in the lobby and serve very good meals for very little money( ps the bartender makes an awesome mojito). If you're looking for American style luxury, you're in the wrong town. Puerto Viejo is a bohemian surfing village that requires ripped shorts and no shirt but is totally relaxing and laid back. you wouldn't want a Four Seasons there, it wouldn't make sense. the drive from SJO took about 5 hours because the roads are gravel and filled with pot holes, plus you get stuck behind the hundreds of truckers when going through Limon. I loved the drive though, very scenic. I cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dylandog421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2010

We stayed 7 nights at the Banana Azul and it was everything we wanted and more.

The staff was helpful, friendly and awesome! The food was great and we never ate out because it was more convenient to eat at the hotel than it was to go into Puerto Viejo. In fact we saved more money that way so we could go do more adventurous activities.

The rooms were cleaned everyday and the view was awesome. Though our bed in #6 was quite creaky that any movement on the bed made it sound like the bed would break.
The hammocks are great to just relax and listen to the ocean.

It only takes 20mins to walk into town via the beach or about $4US to get into town.

Gecko Trail Adventures were great help in helping us plan our little excursions as well as advice us on our solo-treks into Cahuita.

I wrote a more extensive review about the Banana Azul (along with photos) as well as things we did in Puerto Viejo and the surrounding area over on my blog: http://www.tyleringram.com/blog/costa-rica-accommodation-banana-azul

No trip is complete without visiting the Banana Azul! We're definitely going back!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank OnyxDragun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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