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“Horrible!.......don't pay attention to the website!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Horrible!.......don't pay attention to the website!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2009

What a horrible experience!...
We had made reservations two months prior, and several e-mails in between. We requested a specific room, being we were three people, wanting three beds. Also, we had written a couple times prior, advising we would be arriving very late.
We arrived at 1am, after a four hour shuttle from San Jose. After waiting about ten minutes, the owner Conner from Canada finally came. He seemed very upset that we had woken him up, so he was very unfriendly and not welcoming at all. He checked our reservation, and said the room we reserved was not available. I was a little upset after a long days journey from the U.S. He said it was too much for him to deal with it now, and said he would put us in two different rooms and straighten it out in the morning. The single room he showed us was like a cave, the other room upstairs had a double bed and a small twin, for a child. I asked if if he could at least give us another room with three beds. At this point he got very flustered, and upset and said, 'maybe i should just call you a taxi!"....i said, 'it's 1:30 am and you want to call us a taxi!'....I decided to not stay in the cave room, and stayed upstairs with my friends in the childrens bed. The towels and sheets were very old and musty, there was no door on the balcony, there was construction going on at the pool right outside the rooms, and the so called ocean view rooms were blocked by all the trees!
The next morning, he told my friends we should move to another hotel because we would not be happy here, and that the night before I had 'made him shake' he was so upset. When we paid the for the room, he actually charged us for the extra bed, I am sure if I had stayed in the cave room, he would have charged us for two rooms.
He let us leave our luggage there, and got us a taxi to find another hotel. All of the hotels he suggested were worse than Banana Azul! Luckily we passed a place I had remembered seeing on internet, Namowaki. It was Paradise!!!
So the one thing positve I can say is, I am glad our room we reserved was not available, otherwise we may not have ever found Namowaki in Playa Chiquita.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MaicAntony
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, 8 May 2009
My name is Colin (not Conner). I am the person you are referring to in your review.

Yes, we clearly remember you. My version of the events is slightly different.

Your reservation was indeed made months ago for 2 persons and yes you did request a specific room on numerous occasions prior to your trip. Each time you were informed by email that the room requested was previously reserved.

2 days prior to arriving you requested via email that a 3rd person be added to the reservation. It was not clear to us that 3 beds were needed. We are sorry the night guard did not have the key when you arrived and he had to wake me.

Again after your arrival at 1 am, you demanded the same room you had requested numerous times in your email correspondence. I frantically looked at all correspondence trying to find where we had promised you this room and where we went wrong. I even went over all emails with you showing that all correspondence (including confirmation) that there was no agreement that you were getting the room you had requested.

You indicated my records were wrong and you would provide me a copy of the email confirmation in the morning. It never did materialize.

Given that it was so obvious that you were so upset and it seemed impossible to make you happy, we tried to assist your traveling partner(s) in finding a place that was more suitable for you. I am sorry once again to see we had failed in our effort.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
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English first
Detroit, Michigan
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2009

We wanted to go to Central America for our honeymoon and after much research chose Banana Azul - it exceeded our expectations. Sleeping on the edge of the jungle and beach was an amazing experience. The staff is excellent and the convenience of being able to book many different activities (from massages to snorkeling to ziplining) from the hotel is awesome. The food is really reasonable and quite good at the hotel, but the drinks are outstanding. We arrived to find fresh flowers in the shape of a heart on our bed and a bottle of wine and chocolate. From the moment we arrived our honeymoon was extra special. We're not the kind to just want to lay around on the beach (though you can do that here) so it was perfect for us.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JenaiD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mt. Dora, FL
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2009

This place exceeded expectations! The hosts Colin and Roberto are incredibly hospitable and have a perfect rhythm, along with the rest of their cordial staff, of knowing how to be helpful and warm, without being intrusive. Their advice as to what to do, where to go, was right on the money. Nothing seems to be a problem! Staff responds to a "thank you" with "con mucho gusto!"... sheer delight because they mean it. Franklin, the barkeep, is a perfectionist. The meals offered are wonderful and a steal! It's the place to go, to either chill out or to get your heat pumping with a zip line tour or white water rafting. Am planning a return asap.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Brooklynese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alexandria, virginia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2009

We absolutely loved this hotel. With all of the glowing reccomendations on this website, there seems little more that I can add. However, I would like to mention that there are wonderful yoga classes and massage a 3 minute walk from banana azul. If you walk out the front gate of banana azul, there is a sign there directing you to yoga and massage. You just walk to the end of that street(3 minute walk) you will get to Roe and Tup's house(not sure about the spelling of the names). She does yoga classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7am and will also do classes other times by appointment. The classes are only $5 each and are wonderful. Tup and Roe also give excellent massages for $60 per person.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bamagirl68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dayton Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2009

I would like to tell how excellent and unequaled our stay at Banana Azul was.
After reading all the "5.0"s on Trip Advisor I made reservations and found Nina and Maythe to be exceptionally cordial and professional.
The first potential snag that I thought might happen was when a member of my family was not able to scuba dive. I expected to eat the cost but was pleasantly surprised when I was able to get a refund with no questions asked. First hint of a great time.

The accommodations were fantastic. We stayed in 2 adjoining Ocean Rooms and had a shared balcony. The view of the ocean and surrounding flora and fauna were simply spectacular from the view of the hammock. The sound of the ocean at night was the perfect tranquilizer for sleeping.

The ocean was a very short walk from the hotel and the beach and surrounding view was amazing. We spent 2 days tanning, boogie boarding in the surf and just having a great time.

We had a week of adventure and booked trips to: scuba dive, sea kayak, see rescued sloths and view their rehabilitation, hike to and swim under a waterfall, see how chocolate is made and zipline through the forest among other things. You will not be bored.

The customer service could not have been better. Franklin and Michel were great bartenders and great to talk to. Michel suggested a Brazilian restaurant (Patagonia) when I asked for a dinner recommendation. The food was delicious and a short taxi drive ($4 US) from the hotel.
When my daughter arrived mid-week, Roberto greeted her warmly like family.
There are just too many good things to say about Banana Azul.

I typically never give a 5 Star rating because 5 stars represent the closest thing to perfection and is too often overused and diminishes the meaning.
However in this case a rating of 5 Stars is required.

I would (and have been) recommending Banana Azul to anyone.
Thank you Roberto and all the great staff.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JD265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Illinois
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2009

The hotel decor, ambiance, staff, food and services could not have been better. It truly was remarkable. On top of the hotel, the area was great. I have vacationed on the Pacific in the past but I liked this area better. Unspoiled beaches for miles. Very little developement and wildlife. We enjoyed the Monkeys on Cauhita point and the hike on the beach. We will be back.
Ed and Karen

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank edmundo123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2009

I was just amazed at how lovely my room was here. The woodwork, tilework in the bathroom, private veranda with ocean view. Very helpful staff as well, and great breakfasts! I can see why this hotel is always full-- the price is extremely reasonable for the quality. I can't wait to return to Banana Azul. Wonderful friendly dogs too.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nyBombera
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 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 Romantic 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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