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“Awesome one-of-a-kind B&B and Monkey Sanctuary”
Review of Blue Banyan Inn

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Blue Banyan Inn
Ranked #4 of 15 Quepos B&B and Inns
Calabasas, CA
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Awesome one-of-a-kind B&B and Monkey Sanctuary”
Reviewed August 7, 2013

The Blue Banyan is one of the holistically nice places we've ever stayed. You just feel good about it, about what the owners are doing, and we were sad to leave.

My family stayed at the Blue Banyan for for 4 days. We have a precocious 8-year-old, who loved the chance to volunteer and feed the monkeys with Barb. We took the tour and got to know the animals in our 4 days there.

We stayed in the biggest of the 3 cottages. It was very comfortable and pleasant, as others have said. We really felt like we were treated like members of the family by Barb, her husband Jim, and her brother Chip. They helped us arrange day trips to some of the more out-of-the-way attractions so we didn't just spend our day at the very crowded Manuel Antonio. They invited us to events that happened to be going on while we were there. They helped us navigate some of the Costa Rican shenanigans one encounters with the locals.

And coming back from your day trips, and getting to hang out on the grounds of the Blue Banyan was one of the highlights of our entire trip. We went for evening walks and tracked down various wildlife, like a pair of nesting Toucans, a very rare Jaquarundi, and monkeys vaulting through the trees.

Even at full capacity, you will feel like you have the place to your self. The pool is particularly nice - larger and deeper than it looks in the pictures. The drive up is pretty straightforward if you follow the directions. An SUV of some sort would help but you can make it in a car no problem. In general, getting the Sat Nav at the rental place will be a great investment, if you're going to drive around Costa Rica.

Generally, you meet up with one of the owners at breakfast, and get any communicating done then that you need for the day, because after that they go off to work with their animals, etc...and you go off on your day trips. You can bring food back from the grocery, if you don't want to go down the hill for dinner, or eat early and just bring back some evening snacks and cocktails.

I could ramble on, but suffice to say its the kind of place that you will always remember and thoroughly enjoy. There are some comments here and there below about shortcomings. We didn't experience any of these. Keep in mind, the place is in the jungle in Costa Rica. It's not a Hyatt or anything. Humidity takes its effect on everything after awhile. Things won't be perfect, but they will be great.

Couple of day trips to recommend: Campesinos Reserve waterfalls, swimming, hiking, and Mid-World for zip lines et.al...

Room Tip: All three cottages are nice, although we preferred the one closest to the dining area. Slightly larg...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank runningpie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canuk_66, Manager at Blue Banyan Inn, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
"Keep in mind, the place is in the jungle in Costa Rica. It's not a Hyatt or anything. Humidity takes its effect on everything after awhile. Things won't be perfect, but they will be great."

You summed it up perfectly!!

Thank You!

Vernita Gundy
BBI Hostess/Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
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English first
Tallahassee, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We stayed at blue banyan inn for two nights in July. We made our reservations well in advance (January, with confirmation) for a suite in what is now primarily lodging for the animal sanctuary volunteers. We were told that there had been a recent switch in the lodging in that the cabins were now the main place for travelers and the larger building for the volunteers and that our reservation somehow got removed. Luckily they were able to accommodate us and went out of their way to make sure we were taken care of. We stayed one night in the volunteer building and one in a cabin. Both rooms were nice enough - the cabin was much roomier. The bathroom in our cabin was very large with an amazing shower. Unfortunately, it was difficult to get the hot water going and we had to keep going to a volunteer to reset the breaker on the outside of the cabin. This seemed to be a known problem - the owners should find a way to permanently resolve the breaker issue. As I mentioned, staff did a great job making up for these issues and we expect some bumps given that the location is out of town in a more remote area. The grounds are beautifully maintained - we saw quite a few different birds while staying here, at least a couple that were nesting. The pool was nice - we had it to ourselves the one evening we relaxed by the pool. The breakfasts were yummy and very filling. The common room\gathering place and the dining area are very nice - open to the outdoors.

The location wasn't overly difficult to get to - if you have a rental vehicle. It was nice being away from the busy towns and there is a large grocery store right on the way if you need to pick up supplies or snacks. We saw monkeys in the palm plantation on the way to the BBI - very nice.

Even with the unexpected issues with our reservation, we would still highly recommend Blue Banyan Inn for those travelers that like a quiet, natural setting and don't expect typical resort amenities (you are, after all, in the rainforest - which is what we were looking for).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canuk_66, Manager at Blue Banyan Inn, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Due to the fact of increasing volunteers to help care for the animal at our onsite sanctuary, we had to covert 2 of the rooms that were used for guest into volunteer housing instead but still accommodating guest only in our 3 cottages.

I'm glad we worked everything out for you!

Thanks,
Vernita Gundy
BBI Hostess/Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lancaster, PA
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

We just came back from a stay here with our 3 chldren, ages 5,7 and 9. Here are the positives and negatives of staying here:

Positives

1) It was off the beaten path and away from the crowds in town. It was about a 15 min drive down a bumpy unpaved road (which was doable for our mid-size Hyundi Elantra).

2) There was a modern supermarket at the start of the paved road. This was convenient for picking up groceries and such (even had a pharmacy).

3) The outside property: spacious and well maintained; pool was clean, warm and a decent size.

4) Breakfast was good- delicious banana pancakes

5) Staff that was there was friendly and helpful (took a little while to figure out who was running the place and who was a volunteer)

6) Evident that they were passionate about the animal sanctuary

Our negatives

1) We have to preface our first negative by saying that before we arrived at Blue Banyan, we stayed at a place where the owner was SO helpful to us in determining what was best for us to see with our kids. So we were kind of spoiled. :-) Before we went we read on tripadvisor on how helpful Barb and Jim were to the people staying there. We were there for 3 nights and never saw Jim and spoke to Barb for about 2 mins. Not sure if they were busy doing other things (understandable) but we felt Blue Banyan existed mainly for the animal shelter and for those volunteering at the shelter. It's kind of like the "Inn" part of the Blue Banyan is secondary to the animal shelter part.
Vernita was helpful, so we were grateful for her.

2) We are not picky people and travel a lot, but we definitely wouldn't rate the accommodations as 5 star. The cottages look like they could use some up-keep. There were cobwebs along the top of ours inside and it just didn't seem like a 5 star rating was applicable here. We always had trouble with getting hot water for showers, although Vernita helped us figure that out.

3) While breakfast was great, it was exactly the same every day. If you stay there for an extended amount of time, it gets old (as good as the pancakes are!). Our kids were starting to get tired of the same food.

Overall, it was affordable and adequate, we just wouldn't rate it as 4 or 5 star!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank randjplus3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
canuk_66, Manager at Blue Banyan Inn, responded to this review, January 30, 2014
Thank you for all of the positives!! Although Barb and Jim still live on the property, they no longer run Blue Banyan Inn, so that's why you didn't see them at all.
As far as the menu, we are always working on doing different things but we do not have a full time chef to come up with different breakfast meals. We have to just do the best we can with the supplies we can get in Costa Rica.
To quote a previous guest about the conditions of the room:
"Keep in mind, the place is in the jungle in Costa Rica. It's not a Hyatt or anything. Humidity takes its effect on everything after awhile. Things won't be perfect, but they will be great."

People can always feel free to ask for something different and if we are able to get it......we will!

Again, thanks for those positives !

Vernita Gundy
BBI Hostess/Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2013

We had read the positive revues in TripAdvisor but as we drove the 4km road off the highway began to wonder what I'd gotten us into. It's narrow and very rocky. Once there however we were very pleased we'd booked it. The three cottages are all very comfortable and clean. The pool area was beautiful. We were there five days and usually had it all to ourselves. The breakfasts were delicious. The best coconut pancakes ever. There's an interesting animal rescue center there as well. More than anything however we can't say enough about the owners. Barb and Jim were just fantastic. I had a bit of a health issue and they even came to the hospital to see if they could help or interpret. THANKS so much.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank RickandSherry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
1 review
Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stayed at the Blue Banyan Inn for three nights in March 2013 and had a wonderful experience. If you're looking for a standard hotel room next to town, this is not the place for you. But if you're looking for a unique experience, an inn "off the beaten path" (literally), a warm and friendly staff and wonderful accommodations---then definitely book here! Jim, one of the owners, greeted us upon our arrival and sat down with us to explain all the wonderful things his inn and Quepos had to offer. He then showed us to our cottage and let us get settled. We loved our spacious cottage. It had A/C, two beds, a beautiful bathroom and it was the perfect "home base" after a busy day in town. The pool is also fantastically warm! It's very reasonably priced, too, for all that you get. Jim and the staff is also willing to help with whatever you need! We got a flat tire at 10pm the night before we were supposed to leave. Jim jumped right into action to help get my husband the tools he needed to fix it in the pitch dark. That small obstacle shows what kind of people are running this place. I would definitely recommend the BBI to anyone looking for a place to stay near Manuel Antonio Park!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cassie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed 2 nights and enjoyed it very much. The breakfasts were very good and everyone was so friendly. The banana pancakes were really great as we had read in other reviews. Our room was one of the smaller ones, but was perfect for us. The grounds are very beautiful with lots of flowers. The view is incredible from the lovely pool. Our only problem was the hill to get up in our little car! The tour of the monkey sanctuary was interesting. There were some lucky monkeys there! Would highly recommend the Blue Banyan Inn

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank CherylWoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, CA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

My wife, 11 month-old, and I stayed at BBI for three nights over this past weekend. It was fantastic. The drive is slightly bumpier than a paved road, but the directions are very clear on the website. And, honestly, it's not very far...though you feel a world away. We will be coming back here when our son is older and will remember the experience of the BBI.

We were greeted with open arms by Barb, the hotel manager and shown to our little cottage. Which was spotless, nicely decorated, and with much needed AC. The entire time Barb was great - telling us all the good spots to eat in Manuel Antonio and Quepos, giving us expert do's/don'ts on Manual Antonio National Park, and serving us some of the best banana pancakes in the world. My only complaint is that she won't share the recipe. And when she starts talking about and showing you the animals in their rehab/sanctuary, her passion and expertise is evident.

I would've killed to have stayed at the BBI when I was 4- to 12-years-old. Another of the guests was a girl of six. The staff went WAY out of their way to make sure she felt valuable in the feeding and care of the animals. For example, every morning she was summoned to help collect the fruit for a feeding. She lapped up every second of it, and I've no doubt her stay will be remembered forever.

Our baby *loved* the pool. Which had a wonderful view and was just warm enough to be pleasant without being too hot to enjoy. We enjoyed talking with the few other guests staying there. You really meet some nice folks staying at someplace like BBI vs. one of the huge impersonal resorts.

In summary: A perfect long weekend and all thanks to the BBI.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank bretandlisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Banyan Inn

Property: Blue Banyan Inn
Address: NE Finca Azul 2000 m | Finca Azul, Quepos, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Quepos
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Quepos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surrounded by primary rainforest with mountain ranges looming in the distance, the Blue Banyan Inn is a charming bed and breakfast catering to the environmentally conscious. The Blue Banyan is part of Finca Braman’s 75-acre ecologically sustainable community, encompassing private homes, a wildlife sanctuary and a volunteer center. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blue Banyan Hotel Quepos
Blue Banyan Inn Costa Rica/Quepos

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