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“Simply the best!!!”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Prague, Czech Republic
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Simply the best!!!”
Reviewed August 26, 2010

There a so many nice reviews of Banana Azul on TripAdvisor, that I really don't have to write any long article. I just wanted to say, that Banana Azul was our favourite place in Costa Rica, as it has everything you could wish for - clean and spacious rooms, hammocks on balcony, pool, beach, wi-fi, no kids, travel agency, delicious food and coctails, nice pets, night guide, great staff. You just have to experience the calm athmophere there!
I definitely recommend this hotel to everyone!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nikaot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Soerendonk, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2010

We made a trip of 3,5 week through Costa Rica and visited many places and lodges, but Banana Azul was simply THE BEST !
It's a beautiful, cozy, relaxing oasis providing everything you need to feel good and enjoy: functional luxury (pleasing you, within being overdone), friendly and attentive staff, great rooms and atmosphere, the right balance between quietness and liveliness, cool restaurant, bar and garden, complimentary towels, sun tan, coffee, internet, etc., close to the beach.
What else do you need for a splendid holiday ?

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Finduss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
94 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2010

During my two weeks, this was the only placed I stayed in CR that was over 20$ a person per night, but it was well worth the splurge.

The staff was very friendly and we got a free drink upon arriving -- it was a smart advertising strategy because our cocktails were so tasty that we purchase ones the next two nights. The (free) breakfast is delicious and varied (though the lunch and dinner menu seemed quite pricey).
One of my favorite aspects were the free beach towels available to guests.
There is also bike rental available, which is nice since the hotel is a 4$ cab ride from town. Still, it's location offers a more tranquil experience. And the location right on the beach is fantastic. The rooms are lovely and very clean. Most open to a shared balcony with a hammock which is great for relaxing. However, shared balcony (with hanging wicker walls) create limited privacy between you and the next room.

Overall this was a great experience -- I'd highly recommend it.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CatM211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2010

We literally couldn't have asked for more at Banana Azul. The 90 second walk to the quiet beach and the nightly chorus of local insects gave us an exotic rustic experience while the clean, professional staff and beautiful grounds made us feel like we were at a mini-resort.
Our second favorite part of the hotel after the fresh fruit juice at every breakfast was the on-site tour concierge. They made it all so easy - every day we walked up to the counter, pointed to horseback riding, rafting, snorkeling, etc and they booked everything for us. If you're looking for a quiet, romantic, high-quality get away, look no further. You're home!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank StephersAY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2010

After a wonderful vacation last year at BA, we returned this year and were once again overwhelmed by the welcome and hospitality shown by the BA staff and owners. We rented the apartment this time.

First let me say that if you've never stayed at the BA and only seen pictures, they really don't capture how beautiful this place is. The living room in the apartment is large and open with some cushioned wicker furniture, a table and chairs, a hammock, and a long bench down one side. Although the apartment has the longest walk to the beach, you can hear and see the waves from the deck, and there's a wonderful breeze as well as a portable fan to keep the air circulating. The kitchen is small and homey, with large windows and tiled countertops. We did not use the oven or cooktop, but the fridge kept the water we bought incredibly cold. The small bedroom is right next to the kitchen. It is a small room with a double bed. The windows in this room are not as large and higher up, but it was perfect for my daughter who's a little afraid of the insects and frogs as the windows have screens. Also there is a wall mounted fan that keeps the room comfortable and the air circulating well. The bathroom is incredible with a large tiled tub it takes about an hour to fill, as well as a large open shower, both big enough for two. The ceiling is high and transparent, filling the bathroom with beautiful natural light. On one day out of the seven we stayed, the bathroom was uncomfortable to linger in because the sun was so hot, but generally it was wonderful. On our third day there we discovered a walk-in closet between the bathroom and the master bedroom. It's very large with lots of hangers and shelves, and is equipped with both light and fan. The master bedroom is amazing, with two very large windows (more window than wall) and a huge ceiling fan that help keep the air circulating nicely.

The beauty of this hotel aside, what really makes the BA such an amazing place is the staff and owners. Roberto and Colin were wonderful again and welcomed us back like old friends. The staff were friendly and proactive. No request was treated as an imposition but as an opportunity to make our vacation even better. My husband and I say it's almost like you're staying at your close friend's place, rather than a hotel. The attention to detail is incredible.

That being said, I've read all the not so nice reviews of this place and pretty much all of them fall into one of two catagories. The kooks write about bad service---personally I don't think BA knows how to do bad service (see previous paragraph). The others are people who were disappointed with this style of hotel. So keep in mind the following and you won't be disappointed:

--With few exceptions, there is no air conditioning. The most comfortable way to sleep is with your doors wide open taking advantage of the breezes. But it is relatively cool at night, and some nights we actually used a light blanket. If you need air conditioning, this is not the place for you.

--All rooms tend to be open to the outdoors in some fashion, and this place is in the jungle. Expect some guests. There will be lizards on the ceiling that eat bugs and make a pleasant chirping sound, there may be frogs hanging in your shower, there may be ants or spiders. We had a couple of bats who slept high up in the kitchen during the day. One day when my husband was getting out of the shower a ginormous grasshopper landed on his naked backside. If any of this bothers you, book elsewhere and leave Banana Azul to those of us who love it.

--Most businesses including restaurants in Puerto Viejo have cats and dogs. The apartment came with two cats. Although I am mildly allergic, I had no problems as the cats confined themselves to the living area which was open, and my daughters, son-in-law, and husband enjoyed petting them. (They do have a habit of taking the best chairs though.) The dogs are very friendly and will approach you looking for a little love. If this bothers you, I would say don't even come to the Caribbean coast.

My family and I love the BA and can't wait to return to see you guys again. Thank you Colin, Roberto, Franklin, Cindi, and all the rest of you who made our visit so memorable once again.

Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Hollywood3D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2010

Beutiful grounds, excellent food, the staff is very friendly. If you are looking for a place that is calm away from the crowds and a very reasonable prices you have to go to Banana Azul, keep in mind this isn't your typical hotel catering to the upper classes that visit Costa Rica. We had an unforgetable experience.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank HeileenD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntsville AL
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2010

On our extended vacation, we rented a 4x4 and drove all over the country, staying at several nice places. Driving to Puerto Viejo from Siquirres (our first of many stops) was an adventure. A fun one at that! Banana Azul had signs (many places don't) and we found the hotel without any problems. The roads are in poor shape, so take it slow!

As we approached the hotel, our smiles got bigger. Wow. Secure area for parking your car. We were welcomed by David, who knows the meaning of GREAT customer service. Our room was very nice, just as expected. My husband promptly got into the hammock, it was his favorite place to relax! Our room had a great ocean view from our large terrace, and the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore was definitely a plus.

The grounds are immaculate. Beautiful plants are everywhere. Easy, very short stroll to the beach. Banana Azul even had hammocks on the beach! My husband was in heaven. The pool area is very clean and beautiful as well. Ken enjoyed some time in the "cold tub."

Every morning we were awakened by the sounds of howler monkeys and lots of birds, around 5:15ish. LOVED IT! And I am not normally a morning person!

Coffee was made, ready before the breakfast service started, and they also had tea. They brought out fruits and cereals to start. Once finished, one of the servers would bring you a hot breakfast if you wished. And it was delicious.

We had dinner there one night, and it was very tasty, plenty of food to eat! Good restaurants in Puerto Viejo as well, so many places to choose from that are close to the hotel. We drove all over Puerto Viejo and surrounding areas, parked our car, and never had any problems.

Location of Banana Azul - not in the middle of town, which is a definite plus. It is also very convenient to the town, on the north side. IDEAL location, with a beautiful black beach. A few minute drive to the grocery store, shops, restaurants, etc.

The staff is very friendly and welcoming, so were the dogs! Luna was my favorite. Colin and Roberto have done an excellent job at creating a place that is relaxed, welcoming, and at the same time, more upscale than most places in that area.

On our last day, we had to leave super early, before breakfast started, as we were driving across the country to the Pacific coast. David had us cups of fruit, and had the kitchen make us egg sandwiches to-go, even though the breakfast choice of the day were pancakes. We didn't even ask him to do that! Now, THAT is customer service.

I can't say enough good things about Banana Azul. We are definitely going back!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tkdtami
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 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 (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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