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“Beauty in Abundance!”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Saskatchewan, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beauty in Abundance!”
Reviewed 29 March 2012

My husband and I stayed at Banana Azul for 3 weeks recently. It was his dream vacation and I was just along for the ride. But, it turned into a shared dream-come-true the moment we arrived at the hotel. The hotels setting took my breath away! It is beautiful. The hotels landscaping is impeccable with so very many flowering shrubs and trees and flowering lilypads and exotic lotus - aaaahhhh!!!! So many flowers in numerous large, rock flowerbeds; the abundance of flowers is breathtaking. It appeared to be designed and maintained in harmony with the natural surroundings of the area. As a big time gardener myself, the gardens on the hotel grounds created immediate joy for me when seeing the place. And it just kept getting better!

We soon discovered that there was miles and miles of untouched-by-man beauty surrounding the hotel, too! And we walked many, many miles each day. I teased my husband that he didn't get heat stroke, he got feet stroke! A simple long walk was an adventure in itself for the sightseeing of a wide variety of numerous wildlife inhabitants and the sounds of the forests/jungle. Sounds - we were happily listening to the ocean waves as we went to bed at night and awoke to the sounds of what seemed like a million birds.

Usually one can think of a complaint or two over the span of a three week stay at one hotel, but I cannot. All of the service providers at the hotel were cheerful, friendly and helpful. The service at the hotel is top notch!!! And the meals! Definitely no complaints whatsoever about the food - it was delicious and served hot and promptly. Yum yum, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables available all the time! We ate at great deal of our meals at the hotel and never had one meal to complain about.

We tried out four different rooms at the hotel and each one of them was spacious and kept very clean. Their design and artwork made me say "WOW" outloud as I walked into each one. Our transition into the different rooms was handled for us with professional service and these changes went very smoothly. Nope, no complaints with the accomodation either. I had a hard time sleeping listening to the wildlife at night and wondering what might hop/fly/slither into my bed through the open-air drapes; there, that would be a complaint, that there were too many new and interesting creatures to be seen by day, which could keep one awake at night thinking about them. We saw a boa in the morning sleeping in the cabana where the coffee was served on the beach. Then there was the "rhino beetle" beside the pool, along with sightings of a few toads and frogs in our different rooms...These sightings did tend to keep me up at night wondering as I listened to them all come alive at night......

The staff, the location, the rooms, the food - every aspect of the Banana Azul exceeded all of our expectations. We have travelled numerous places in the world and this hotel is most definitely one place that we both want to go back to. I'd love to add some photos but i have over 850 along with an hour and a half of videos and they are all spectacular. Deserted beaches, untamed wilderness, crashing ocean waves.....I recommend you just go! Book it now! Its truly an experience of a lifetime to be there. You'll leave with one thought "can we sell everything and stay here forever?" - that is my view of the place. Go now! :-)

A big thanks to all the staff, most especially the hotel manager, David, who not only supplied us with travel tips, but also promoted the atmosphere of friendship that all staff portrayed. Sincerely, Eric & Bev MacDonald Gibbons, Alberta, Canada

Room Tip: The apartment is very private and luxurious! The Ocean Rooms are romantic! The garden room has the...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank BeverleyMacDonald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Portland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Thank you David, Roberto (s), and all the staff at B.A, for such a lovely stay at a special gift and treasure of the Costa Rican Caribbean. Staying in Puerto Viejo central is not easy for a few reasons that I am sensitive to & quite frankly we loved taking taxis at night to help support the local economy in which everything is expensive there. The rooms were gracious in size and aesthetic. The grounds are well maintained & so much more Eco friendly than so many other resorts there.The bird symphonies were recorded from our room, the ocean room & always the sound of the ocean in the background. There are so many beaches in that area to bike to & busses go everywhere. The breakfasts were wonderful! We "will"definitely return!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PortlandMax13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Once again, the staff at Banana Azul makes this our favorite vacation escape. This was our third visit, and I think that we love it more each time that we go.

Always plenty to do ranging from walks or bike-rides into town, exploring the beaches, going on excursions, or just lounging. No complaints. Just relaxation.

Much thanks goes out to Franklin, David, Anna, Fred, Roberto and the rest of the staff for making us feel like we were at home!

Room Tip: Check out photos from travelers on Tripadvisor.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank imonthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boulder, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2012

Great rooms, great location, great food, great staff, great value, great gardens and beach, and most importantly an amazing pina colada!

Room Tip: If you want connecting rooms, book two adjacent ocean front rooms and remove the divider on the vera...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank KenF314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milan, Italy
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2012

If you want an idyllic place to stay a bit away from the bustle of town stay at
Banana Azul. Beware that you will have to book some time out because this quaint hotel in Playa Negra is the go to spot for people who want a bit of North American customer service and sensibility with their typico Casta Rican experience. The grounds are beautiful, the staff gracious and professional and the location can't be beat. Yes it is a 20 minute walk to town along a beautiful beach or winding road but hey if you go to these parts to hang around like a sloth this is the spot to do it. A cab to town is cheap and the management goes out of their way to assist. I am a return visitor and always send my friends along to Banana Azul. I have received a complaint or two; specifically that you cant just drop in and get your choice of rooms and that the swimming pool doesn't accommodate large groups of people. I just smile and think oh well. Im so glad this place isnt over run with people and Ill gladly take the serenity and personal service over jockeying for pool chairs and noise and commotion. As for availability... book now. Theres a reason its hard to get a room. Id mention when my next stay there is but won't...you might scoop me...

Room Tip: Red Frog has a private patio with a small pond.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Go4marcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2012

Guys, this is a really cool place to stay if you are a married couple in your 30s or older. However, if you are a young person who wants to explore the amazing place we call Puerto Viejo- I do not recommend the Banana Azul. It is very RESORT-like. You really cannot walk to town to go out at night; my boyfriend and I had to take a cab every night to and from town and when we returned at 11 pm- the entire place was shut down and a security guard had to let us in. This is a place for a couple that wants to spend their whole time in the comfort of their hotel drinking pina coladas made by the staff. If this does fit your profile, make friends with the Manager Fred. really cool guy! The hotel rooms are really nice, but I would not do this again.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Erin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
I am sorry we were not a good fit for you and I fully understand why. With our rooms rates hovering around an average of $95 night, we are definitely seeing an over 30 crowd.

Many of the Under 30 crowd come and sit at our Beach Club out front even if they are not staying at Banana Azul. That seems to work well.

A place I always recommend in town for people wanting to indulge in the NightLife is Casa Verde. It is very central, great value and has a pool.

Thanks for your review and also recognizing our strengths. We hope you will visit Puerto Viejo again. Cheers, Colin.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2012

Just drove six hours from Arenal volcano region of costa rica. We were taken to our room which is a tremendous disappointment. The room is all of 10x10 feet with a queen size bed only. My fault...I didn't think to ask. I just figured that most hotels have at least a queen or two full size beds. We have to take turns walking around the bed. There is NO storage in the room at all. The bathroom is tiny...my knees hit the wall when sitting on the toilet. There is one tiny sink with no where to put toiletries except the back of the toilet.
There may be bigger rooms. But I was told that they are completely booked up, so I will never find out.
The common areas are quaint. The hotel is right on the bech which is nice. We are supposed to be here for three nights. I will let you know if I survive or if I change myind about his place.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank David F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Yes, I guess if I had to write a review of things I did not like right after a 6 hour bus ride, it would not be very positive either. We are aware that people might be at their "freshest" upon arrival as many have gone to great lengths to get here.

The room you were in was our Sloth Cabina and yes, it is our lowest cost and smallest room. Most people are okay with it as it has a nice big deck with a view. However, you are not the first person to mention it is small. We try and make that clear on our website.

It was the first rooms we built, when I had first envisioned we were going to be a low budget accommodation. I really had no idea what I was doing and this whole place is a work in progress. I have learned much as I have went along. Looking back, yes there are many things I would do differently.

I am happy to hear the sensing your dissatisfaction our staff responded immediately and offered to help you find other accommodations that would be suitable and relieve you of your reservation obligation with us. Since you declined, the staff did what they could to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

I did a complete follow-up with the staff and they indicated that you seemed satisfied with the remainder of your stay.

Again, I apologize and if there were other things we could have done better, please do not hesitate to contact me personally.

Regards, Colin Brownlee.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
Region: 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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Family 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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