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“Banana Azul is magical”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
jsc2012
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Banana Azul is magical”
Reviewed 13 June 2009

My name is James Dempsey and I am 19 years old. I have been to 8 countries in my lifetime. Costa Rica is in my top three. This is because of Banana Azul and its surroundings. The great thing about Banana Azul, (besides the wonderful staff and excellent meals) is that its location surpasses anything i've ever seen. Located in a dense rainforest, huge and clean beach front and trails which lead into the rainforest, this place is magical. Another great thing about this place is how far it is from attractions. Puerto Viejo is five minutes away which offers snorkeling, surfing, tourist shops, great food and tropical drinks. Its location is also not too far from Cahuita National Park which offers different types of monkeys and other various animals.
The bottom line is Banana Azul has a great staff. Their food us amazing and their location couldn't get any better. We felt as though we were leaving part of our family when we left. It would be a huge mistake to miss out on this gem.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank jsc2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Los Angeles, CA
1 review
Reviewed 11 June 2009

What a beautiful hotel! The staff was absolutely amazing - friendly and helpful. The room was gorgeous. It could not have been in a more beautiful location - on a black sand beach. The hotel is literally feet from the beach in a nice, safe and quiet area. And excellent mojitos from the bar. I cannot say enough great things about the Banana Azul. If I come back to Puerto Viejo, I am definitly staying here!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank classycara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DFW, TX
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

All these glowing reviews, and all of them are true, but they still fall short of how great it is here. After a week's stay, I felt like a houseguest lucky enough to have the best hosts on the planet. Roberto could not have been nicer, warmer, friendlier. Of all the great things we did and saw, the day he was nice enough to take us to the local waterfall/swimming hole might just be the best day there. The people we met at Banana Azul were awesome too. They made the trip that much more special.

Franklin, I hope you get to read this one. You are the coolest bartender to exist. I could spend my life searching, and I'll never find a mojito to top yours. Fantastic. You are an awesome guy. Thank you for being so good to these gringos!

If you can stay at this hotel, you should. It's that simple. I don't know how you could be disappointed. It's not a big fancy resort, and I hope it never feels like that. It's cozy and intimate and gorgeous, and run by people who clearly take pride in what they do. And it's all sandwiched between beach that looks like it has glitter in it and beautiful jungle. We'll be back.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JadeLovesBrynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gatineau, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2009

We stayed for 7 nights at Banana Azul and it was really amazing. The service was top-notch by all staff, especially Xio at the reception desk and Franklin at the bar. Roberto, one of the owners, was the best though. He brought us on an unforgettable bike tour through beaches and hills, and the tour ended by a swim at a waterfall. Wonderful!

Franklin made the best cocktails we've had, especially the pina colada and margarita. Breakfast included at the hotel was always good (juice, coffee, eggs, toasts, fruits, jam)but we would have like more diversity in the fruits made available. It is true though that, in general, Costa Rica doesn't have the same diversity in tropical fruits as in Viet Nam or Thailand, for example.

We stayed in one of the Ocean rooms (#5) and it was great. No need for AC and we only used the mosquito net once. You can hear the rumbling waves throughout the night. If you like to get asleep by the waves sounds then we would recommend that you stay in the first 5 rooms (1 to 5). The other rooms are further away and we are not sure if you can hear the sea from there. We did not have any problems with the wicker bamboo bed, maybe because we are Vietnamese and are used to it. The only complaint we would have about the room is that the closet is not big enough for a long stay. Another suggestion we would have is to have a big water pot with the coconut splasher near the entrance of your room to clean your feet from sand.

The beach was very clean with black sand and there were very few people. Lots of time, we were alone by ourselves. The sea was rough but we loved it; we had so much fun with the strong waves.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank NicolasQC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 May 2009

Banana Azul was sooooooo much fun!! Pura Vida! My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica and we stayed in three different areas of the island. Banana Azul was our final stop and we spent 4 nights there and it was our most memorable 4 nights in Costa Rica. The staff were great and really helped to make our stay memorable. It was our first time in Costa Rica and Nina (tour specialist) created and coordinated our entire trip, tours, transportation, food, etc... They really took care of us! We had an amazing time there, waking up to the beautiful sounds of the ocean and birds. We stayed in the garden room and it was spacious and cozy. The only thing missing was a closet or dresser to put our clothes. (bring a few hangers) The beach was right in our backyard and we were on the beach everyday and even checked out Cocles Beach (nearby). Breakfast was the most enjoyable meal, everyday a huge variety of fresh fruit, delicious all natural fruit juice and every morning is a different delicious meal. I loved waking up in Costa Rica because it felt better than home, especially when you live in NYC. hehehehe Can't wait to go back to Banana Azul!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank T-Buggs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
Reviewed 29 May 2009

We booked our honeymoon at Banana Azul. After narrowing down what we were looking for, we found Banana on Trip Advisor, and said, sure, let's try it. It was beyond our wildest expectations!
When we arrived, we were greeted by extremely friendly staff, and made our way to our room. Dinner was already through being served, but they managed to scrape some food together for us anyway. Which was fresh, and delicious.
We were also introduced to two of our favorite things that night. Franklin, the bartender, and his Caipiroskas (sp?). We asked for a mojito, but since mint has to be shipped in, they were out of that ingredient. Good thing for us! Franklin is a master bartender, who makes daquiris with fresh fruit. If you get a mango, or strawberry daquiri, there is 100% fresh fruit in there. It was amazing! Same with the Caipiroska, delicious, fresh lime.
Since we're still on food, the breakfast was amazing every morning. My personal favorite food down there, was the jam! OMG!!! And fresh fruit juice every morning. Some juice that you've never heard of in America, but that's so fresh and tasty, you look forward to it every morning. And the cooked breakfast (which is complementary) is out of this world! Different variations, flavors and tastes. The breakfast staff is extremely friendly and warm as well.
Now, onto lunch! Chicken quesadillas.... we ordered them numerous times. And the nachos were to die for!
Dinner, not many more adjectives left. but this food was constantly incredible. The prices for all the meals are very reasonable, but the quality of food is unparalleled by anything in America.
Onto the other staff. David, and the girls at the front desk were completely warm, and friendly. They were easily approachable, and helpful with all of our questions/concerns.
Roberto was quite the host. I think he is one of the owners, and he really made sure that everyone was having a good time, was comfortable, and enjoying themselves. He even set up a special day for my wife and I, and a few of our friends.... who we met at the hotel!!!! That's the kind of place it is, all the travelers there were extremely friendly! Mostly american, canadian, lots of couples. But this place draws a certain type of person there. You either get it, or you don't.
Anyway, a big thanks to Roberto for a very special day. I can't think of a better way to have spent our last day at Banana Azul than by following every one of his recommendations. He is a complete sweetheart, and really made our trip special.
Also, Nina was terrific. She set up all of the tours that we had booked while we were staying there. And she was very accommodating if we had any questions, or changes we wanted to make to our itinerary. We did the zipline/canopy tour, which we had the best time on, and give a full endorsement to! We also did the waterfall/sloth/chocolate tour, which we loved as well. And the White Water Rafting down the Pacuare river is something that MUST be done while you are in Costa Rica!
Cabs to town were $4 american each way, and we rented scooters a couple of days too, to get around. That was so much fun, and we got to explore on our own.
Every day was better than the last. Each day there was the best day we had. This was the most incredible trip that either one of us had ever been on. A BIG THANK YOU TO BANANA AZUL!!! WE WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE BACK FOR MORE!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank StefandJordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
salt lake city
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2009

Beautiful, Relaxing, Tranquil, Private... a wonderful stay. Great staff. Great Food. Wonderful bartender.

Only one complaint: The pool construction bothered me. We felt like we were being watched by the workers several times and tap, tap, tap does get annoying. Fortunately the power tools were kept to a minimum. My four star cleanliness rating is only due to a little construction mess and does not reflect on the rest of the hotel. Just move the tarped thing and put away the wheelbarrow!

That said, I am sure the pool will be as excellent as the rooms and the gorgeous landscaping... I would book another stay today, the construction would not deter me. This place was wonderful.

The staff is very honest. My girlfriend accidentally left my ipod on the table and cleaning staff left it there. As many who have travelled extensively in developing countries know, this is a fairly uncommon occurence.

We booked the day before we arrived and were unfortunately only accomodated for 3 of our 6 nights. We were sad to leave and after arriving an at our next hotel (Azania), sad to know we paid 50% more for half the comfort and enjoyment.

20 minute walk to town is a bit of an underestimate though...

My only suggestion for improvement: add a second reclining chair to every deck. Hammocks dont agree with some backs.

We WILL return to Banana Azul in the future. I have hardly ever been so relaxed. What a beautiful place.

Thanks for a very memorable stay.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank seamusyams
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 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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