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“Loved it... ”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile

Had the best time at this hotel.
Was only able to book in one night as it was high season.
Next time I am in Puerto Viejo I will plan ahead and stay here for the whole trip.
Friendly staff, clean and comfortable rooms, great pool, great location.
Very natural in it's design and makes you feel like you are exactly where you expected.
And everyone at the hotel was amazing.
Thank you.
Enjoy!!!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank PeterBruceG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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597 - 603 of 1,479 reviews

Reviewed 6 January 2014

This hotel was nice but I did have a few issues.

I'll list the pros first.

Beautifully decorated
Nice hotel manager who checked us in
Nice location
Grounds are well kept
Bikes to rent
Tour company on site
Restaurant food is good

Cons:
Ocean View rooms are cute, but the bed is small and mosquito net (which you will need) will constantly blow into you while you are sleeping. I found it hard to sleep.
The house cat snuck into our room one night to sleep (I found it cute and funny, my boyfriend was not amused)
The restaurant is good, but the staff was slow and often rude
Rooms were always cleaned very late in the afternoon
Rooms are hot

Overall I liked this place. We went on to Bocas where we stayed in a place with no AC and it didn't bother me, but I hated it here. I really didn't sleep well and was very hot and uncomfortable each night between the heat and mosquitos. If you're bothered by heat/mosquitos try a room with AC or go somewhere else with AC.

Otherwise I recommend.

Room Tip: Ask for AC
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank HiPrettyLady
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 11 January 2014

Hola Katie. Glad to hear that despite your constructive feedback, that you still thought we were best place.

We have a motto here "We strive for Progress, not perfection". In countries like this, it's just it possible.

We will look into what we can do about your suggestions. The only one we can not is the cat. Manchas and Macho ( our 2 hotel cats) play a serious role on the property. Many years back, I used to have problems with mice . Since I have the cats, that is a very rare occurrence.

Running a hotel in an environment like this, you are always dealing with Mother Nature. Creative solutions are always needed to deal with all types of unforeseen issues when you live in a beachfront tropical jungle.

Some are up for the adventure and some are not. That includes me as well depending what day it is.

Hope we can host you again sometime. Cheers, Colin.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2014

I had the pleasure of staying at Banana Azul for the third year in a row. The improvements that have been done make it an even better place to stay.

The shade huts on the beach are wonderful. It makes it better to be able to alternate between the shade and sun to be able to stay on the beach longer. (Coming from someone who burns crazy fast!) The food and bar service beachside is a great addition also.
The apartment is my all time favorite room available there, the renovations done to the bathroom make it even better. I haven't seen it but the Red Frog room as well as both of the sloth cabinas have also been remodeled.
One afternoon a fisherman brought some lobsters in and I was lucky enough to have one for dinner that night. It was a delicious! Completely different than the lobsters we get here.

The staff is and will probably always be the best asset of this amazing place. One day the ocean was extremely rough, the bartender almost ended up having to rescue someone from the riptides. The hospitality industry is not an easy business but everyone here makes it seem like it is.
And of course the it wouldn't be the same without the dogs.
Finding a welcome back basket and note in my room was a really sweet thing for them to do.
I'll be headed back there in March and have almost started counting the days!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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Thank travel40girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2014

I loved the feel of Banana Azul! Waking up every morning to the beautiful-kept gardens and the ocean view. I recommend the Ocean View rooms as they are affordable and have wonderful balconies. I will say that I carefully researched this hotel prior to reserving with them. This is not the hotel for people who want an air-conditioned room with spa-like amenities. This is the place for friendly people looking for adventure. The rooms have very thin walls but our neighbors were very good about being quiet after 8-9pm. The bathrooms were very charmingly beautiful. Loved the hammock on the balcony and although the bed was nothing special, it was clean and comfortable! The staff were really amazingly wonderful! The food was sometimes simple and sometimes fancy but always delicious! Really I loved my time here. It was incredibly beautiful, relaxing with just the right amount of adventure. The staff really look out for their clients, making sure you have information, maps, and safe rides to and from excursions. They are always quick with a smile and make time for friendly conversation. It was also very evident how hard the staff work here. Every morning they are up early working in the garden, cleaning the pool and readying the beach for the clients. Overall, I loved my stay and I will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Ocean rooms are wonderful and affordable! The downstairs rooms are not as good because they do not h...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kilkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

My husband and I stayed here for about 13 days in November 2013. I couldn't decide whether to add to so many reviews already... but why not, maybe some people may find it useful.

We generally enjoyed our stay here. It is a beautiful place with nice people. In this review, I don't mean to complain, really... but wanted to provide some heads up for other travelers, since I personally rely on tripadvisor reviews when going to places I've never been to. I hope my comments can help you adjust your expectations, so you can enjoy your vacation there.

Tree House - We stayed in the Tree House Apartment. It was more than we needed, but chose it for 2 reason. There is a "double bath" according to the website and a tripadvisor reviewer said that it provided a little more privacy. I was a little disappointed to find out that I could not fill the "double bath" with enough hot water to take a bath - hot water doesn't last long enough. I was looking forward to taking a bath at night, so that was a little sad for me. Also, I could've gone with a smaller and cheaper room if I'd know this prior. Privacy part - it is in a different building from the restaurant/bar, so maybe true... but there is a laundry room beneath the main bedroom, so you'll start hearing the washing machine running early in the morning! It didn't bother us a lot, but it did wake us up every morning, so it may bother some people. It can get noisy in the morning. Mosquito net for bed: we liked the open air & no AC, but wished the mosquito net for the main bed was actually big enough to cover the bed. It was too small so not at all useful. We'd have preferred using the net vs Raid mosquito repelling wall plugin. We had to rely on the latter toxic option.

Food - Some good, some so-so. Generally OK. I thought it was expensive after 13% tax & 10% gratuity added on top. That's not unique to the hotel, but some restaurants in town already include 10% gratuity in their listed menu prices and tend to be cheaper. I guess you are paying more for the convenience of being able to dine on site. There's a little distance to the town, and not safe to walk to town after dark.

Charging your food/drink to the room - Just a note to make sure you review the charges daily. Not malicious but errors do occur often. We found drinks we didn't order appear on our room bill off and on. The most surprising one was being charged 4 lobster dinners on our first night, when we only had 2 (for my birthday I might add). It was scary to see the bill for over $125, when we were expecting around $60-65.

Beach - is nice, but a lot of no see ums (?) at dusk that will eat you alive! maybe my husband and I had bad reaction, but our legs looked like we had measles (a lot of little red bites)... and they are super itchy at night. We didn't realize how bad it was, and didn't use bug spray the first day. We really regretted that!

Well, I hope this is helpful to whomever looking for more info. than "just awesome." If you have the right expectations, you'll enjoy the place.... I think.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank mhk8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2014

This is my 3rd year in a row to visit Banana Azul. Each year it is better. We stay in the Sloth cabinas with friends in the next room it is well designed and has a big balcony looking at the Carribean. The breakfast is wonderful. They will cook to order eggs and the best toast. They also have a breakfast special each day...don't miss the banana pancakes. Dinner is very good also. The staff is wonderful and very helpful. This is truly one of the best places I have ever stayed anywhere. Not too fancy but perfect all the same.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Reedmolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013

This was by far the best accommodation we stayed in in Costa Rica and even surpassed our already very high expectations after having read the many good reviews on here.

Everything about our stay at Banana Azul was simply excellent, and we were also very lucky to spend Christmas here, for which a great event was organized at the hotel. This hotel is one of the best places we have ever stayed at for having a relaxing time, also very much so because of all the fantastic staff.

We would even go out of our way and adjust our travel itinerary to stay at a wonderful place like this.

Room Tip: Choose one of the rooms one the first floor (suites or ocean rooms) if you want to sleep with balcon...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank peri&rini
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

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: £55 - £121 (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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