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“Great Place But Some Issues”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 March 2012

We loved this hotel - it has a very relaxing vibe. There are several dogs and cats that we enjoyed a lot. The food was good -especially the beef tenderloin with black pepper sauce that we had for dinner one evening. Dinners were a very reasonable $11.95 for three courses. Breakfasts were included and were excellent. The Mai Tais were excellent. My husband gets cranky when he gets too hot so a room with air conditioning was important to us. We reserved one of the two garden rooms that have air conditioning. We were really pleased with the room, the private patio with tub and the bathroom. What we did not like was that the room is next to the reception and activities desk. This made it quite noisy - sometimes beginning at 6:30 a.m. Another issue was the construction that was taking place directly behind our room. It was VERY noisy and as a result we did not enjoy the private patio. We were told that the construction was not being done by Banana Azul and understood that management had no control over it. One of the owners graciously offered to find guests other accommodations if the noise bothered them. The offer was made on our last night (of four). So - this wAs a terrific place to stay with beautiful grounds and easy beach access IF there is no construction going on and you don't require an air conditioned room.

Room Tip: Suggest selecting one of the rooms on the second floor
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank wagr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this reviewResponded 30 March 2012

Thanks very much for your feedback.

We are truly sorry about the construction going on with our neighbour. It is an unfortunate fact of life that we have no control over. When it drives me crazy, I remind myself they had to put up with us doing construction which took over 2 years total with all our buildings. Thankfully they are only building a small house and it should not take near as long.

The good news is that they do not start before 8am. Legally here, they can start at 7am. When we were building we did the same thing by not starting before 8am out of consideration for our neighbours.

Your issues with room # 9 (garden bath) are valid and we are taking some steps to deal with that. In November, we are closing for 2 weeks and doing some work in some of the rooms. That room in particular is being looked at to insulate it better from noise in the office.

Even though you had some issues, I am happy that it did not ruin your stay. I am also happy were able to succeed on most other levels.

btw... I get cranky when I get too hot as well ;-)

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905 - 911 of 1,517 reviews

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
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3  Thank BeverleyMacDonald
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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1  Thank PortlandMax13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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Thank imonthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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3  Thank KenF314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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3  Thank Go4marcy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank Patricia 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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Price Range: $84 - $219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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