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“Chillax at its best” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Chillax at its best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 August 2014

My husband and I and our two dear friends spent 5 fabulous days at this wonderful hotel. Its ground are beautiful and the owner has worked very hard to match beauty with service in a way that creates a place of ultimate relaxation. Our days consisted of coffee in the AM, reading the boards for the daily meals and happy hour drinks ( happy hour begins a 11- need I say more?) then to breakfast, to the beach, to the pool or reverse the order. It was everything we wanted and the staff made sure of it !

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Lynn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (376)
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English first
Nagold, Germany
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2014

We spent two nights in this hotel and can only recommend it to anyone. The hotel is beautifully located with its own beach. The facilities are very nice and clean, rooms are amazing. The entire hotel is designed to fit into the beautiful nature surrounding it! The breakfast is included and was very tasty, you can always choose between options and in addition there is a cereal and fruits buffet. Dinner was also great, always high quality typical Costa Rican food!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Theresa R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014 via mobile

Please note if you arrive at night in darkness you have to leave the main road onto a dirt track to get to Banana Azul - so if you have just had a five hour hysterically terrifying drive from San Jose by a crazy-fast driver constantly overtaking trucks in the dark and in the torrential rain, that foreboding feeling of "I'm going to DIE" immediately disappears as the gates open and you are greeted with a huge smile by the staff. They give you a free drink token for use at the bar as a welcome to the place/calm the nerves xx. I definitely recommend the Coco-Loco as it comes in a coconut and has an umbrella and is deliciously tropical and SO strong it will put hairs on your chest. Ladies too, so be warned.

Puerto Viejo itself is a very remote, very rustic little surfing town where everything is very laid back and relaxed.. Kinda has the feeling of going back in time 30+ years... The beaches range from yellow to black volcanic sand and Banana Azul is set on a black sand beach which is visually quite stunning. This time of the year (July) it's the wet season and the waves are big and rips are strong so be careful when you swim and never swim alone.

The grounds of the hotel are beautifully landscaped and wonderful by day and very well lit at night. The pool, while small is lovely (although with the stunning beach at the end of the property with sun loungers under palm umbrellas there's no real need to sit by the pool unless you are allergic to sand).

The hotel itself also has a laid back, rustic feel to it. It seems a great place to come as part of a group or as a solo traveller but if you are coming for a romantic couples getaway I strongly suggest to book one of the larger rooms away from the main hotel as they have a lot more privacy which the rest don't really have. The kitchen and bar are lovely and you can get food and beverage service while on the beach during the day too. I heartily recommend the chicken quesadilla's for lunch. You sometimes may have to wait a little while for food or drinks so if you are a fussy guest and want the 5 star room service treatment then please go to a SHERATON or a MARRIOTT as these chains will be more your style. Please note there are neither in Puerto Viejo so this may not be the town for you either. The lunch menu is large enough to keep you

As for accommodation, my travel agent tried to book me into a *larger room* for my 4 day stay but they were booked for some of the time so I got to experience both - room 6 upstairs for the first two days and the 'Red Frog' room for the last two. The best of both worlds.

Room 6 was small and while there is no A/C the ceiling fan and industrial strength table fan were plenty to keep the air circulating. Just remember to actually turn them on before laying down after a shower... Rookie mistake by me here as I laid on the bed after a shower and got bitten by a mosquito the size of a small bird which took three hard swats to render unconscious before flushing it down the toilet. Please also note the mosquito net hanging from the ceiling which is a really great invention once you remember to set it up. This is where I hid for the next hour while cowering and applying enough bug spray to my skin to get chemical burns and cause my lungs to stop working, all be it temporarily (it was well worth the trade off). Remind yourself you are actually in a RAIN forest and in July it is the WET season so bugs are plentiful. The bathroom was small but perfectly adequate but the balcony's are enormous and have table and chairs and their own hammock. The balcony's are only separated by stand alone dividers however so you don't get that secluded or privacy feel but it did feel safe so that's ok. The wooden walls are also quite thin so earplugs really helped.

Not that I minded room 6, but I was a little blown away when I first entered the Red Frog room. This is the bottom floor of a stand-alone villa so you can still hear footsteps and a little noise from the next level, but this had the added bonus of a private outdoor area behind the room with a small outdoor plunge pool and some sun loungers, great for some privacy. The patio area is huge although be warned this is a thorough-fare at night for bugs... one rather large flying lump flew directly into my armpit one night causing a rather non-masculine shriek while simultaneously throwing my iPad to the other side of the patio, which thankfully bounced without breaking. Needless to say I ran indoors at this point which was lovely because unlike the other rooms these ones are air conditioned and while you do acclimatise to the humidity of the tropics it's always lovely to remember why air con was invented. The rooms inside are much larger and have a tv, not that I turned that one once. The bathroom has grills for windows so could conceivably be considered an indoor-out door shower but well set out, just remember to keep the door to the bedroom closed.

But he best thing about Banana Azul is it's staff, in particular Jorge the general manager who brings about a professionalism from his previous experience in larger corporate hotel chains. I was always greeted with smiles and a wonderful laid back attitude and after only four days it felt very homely. There is also a desk which is owned by Gecko Travel who rents the space from the hotel to organise tours around the area, or in my case organised a taxi to take me directly to the Animal Rescue Centre on the other side of the town. Definitely worth a visit.

I will definitely be visiting Banana Azul on my next trip to Costa Rica. Thank you guys x










Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
4 Thank Mr-N0L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helsingborg, Sweden
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2014

My husband and two friends recently had an exceptional stay at Banana Azul. We arrived after a long day of river rafting on Rio Pacuare (we booked the adventure transport through Gecko travel which is located at the hotel, it included pick up in Arenal, full day rafting and drop-off at Banana Azul - I can highly recommend it!). When we arrived we were given welcome drink tokens to use, which was much appreciated. I visited Puerto Viejo often as a younger person (early 20's) and always stayed in town, now a bit older (early 30's) Banana Azul was a perfect location, far enough away from town to relax, but close enough to have fun evenings out. During the day we were able to enjoy the beach service, which was wonderful. They also provide early coffee and fruit for those who want to watch the sunrise, which is a nice touch. We booked 2 ocean view rooms next to each other, there was a small divide on the balcony which was easily adjusted to make one big shared balcony, where we spent many nights listening to the ocean and sipping rum! Thanks to all the staff at Banana Azul!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ChantraT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
118 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014 via mobile

When we arrived we had originally booked the garden view room. We had loud upstairs neighbor and told the owner. He was so sweet and moved us to the treehouse apartment room which was amazing! Open air and separate living area and kitchen. The owner is very accommodating so let him or his staff know if you need anything at all! They are all very very friendly and caring... Also ask to see some sloths hanging in the trees nearby!

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Rachel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Osaka, Japan
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2014

We didn't stay here, but visited the restaurant & bar several times. We also used the beach area and rented bikes & a bodyboard. The staff and atmosphere were super friendly. Even if you don't stay here it is definitely worth visiting.

Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank yvr2kix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2014

From the staff to the amenities, the grounds, and even the daily Chef's recommended dishes, everything was absolutely fabulous at the Banana. We stayed in the Howler Suite, with gorgeous ocean views (even from the bathroom shower) and the perfect wildlife-watching vantage point, as well. This is the best place to stay in the Puerto Viejo area without a doubt. Give them a try and you won't be disappointed -- you won't even want to leave!

Room Tip: The Howler Suite is worth the splurge!
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Vidaesviaje
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:
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 (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 fourteen beautiful guest rooms with private baths, fans, and free wireless internet. 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. Gecko Trail Adventures tour company 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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