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“Highlight of our trip- book in advance!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
new york
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Highlight of our trip- book in advance!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2009

We loved the banana azul. It's a thirty minute walk along the beach from the main town but it's absolutely beautiful. A perfect place to relax and sit by the pool. The ocean is warm and the beach is empty. We paid $65 for a double room- first night we stayed downstairs in a garden room but the one's upstairs, which we had the second night are much cooler and have a private balcony. Breakfast is generous and very good and they have the BEST mojitos you will have in your life- be warned though that they take about 15 minutes to make! You can rent very basic but functional bikes for $5 a day plus they have fast wireless internet, a swimming pool, tour service, laundry service and the most helpful receptionists. Nothing was too much to ask of them.
The rooms are basic, and you will need mosquito repellant but for the price and location it's well worth the cost.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank abax
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
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English first
Orange County, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 July 2009

What are you waiting for?

The reviews say it all. I feel like I don't need to write anything.
Great ambiance, great food, great location!

The dogs are awesome too. :)

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Yakbutter1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2009

OVERALL: We’d definitely stay there again.

DETAILS: Banana Azul is located approximately 1.5km north from the edge of Puerto Viejo. It is right on the beach and all the rooms overlook the Caribbean. There is both English & Spanish speaking staff on the premises. (The owner is from Canada and a Canadian flag flies out front next to the Costa Rican flag.) There is a full-service restaurant and bar. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Free WiFi is available on the property.

We stayed in the Apartment at Banana Azul for a week. The Apartment was the owners’ residence until they finished their home just a few meters away from the property. As a result, their pets would often wander up and sleep on the furniture in the Apartment. We had two cats who regularly visited and Benji the Dog. All were polite and lovely pets and it really made it feel like home for us because we have three dogs and two cats at home. There was an amazing open-air bathroom with a deep tub and shower that faced out into the forest. The apartment is on the second floor so no one was “looking in” while we showered. Also, Banana Azul has American plumbing with toilets that you can actually flush toilet paper down. (Most toilets in Costa Rica have smaller plumbing or some such thing and you cannot flush the toilet paper; it goes into a small wastebasket by the toilet.)

We ate dinner at the restaurant the first night. We had grilled mahi-mahi and beans & rice and veggies, along with a salad and pineapple cake. Simply excellent. 10USD/per person, plus 10%service and 13%tax. The menu offering changed each evening and included steak, tuna, and fajitas, but the price stays the same. They also have a small lunch menu of sandwiches and the like. Most of the bread they serve is made by a Jamaican woman down the street named Boi-Boi - she also serves a wicked good jerk chicken dinner at her house on Fri, Sat, and Sun... 4500CRC or so, including beer.

The pool and cool-water Jacuzzi had just been finished before we arrived and it’s the coolest pool – fully tiled with these cool natural rocks for steps that double nicely as spots to sit in the pool.

Colin and his staff are actively working on continuing to improve the property. However, it is immaculate as it is (save for those bugs, but such is life in Costa Rica!). There is a night security staff who opens up the gate if you come in late and everyone there is simply wonderful and sweet. There are loads of birds in the trees on the property and crabs and turtles and all sorts of interesting things to see. A couple of wild horses were wandering next door in the field some of the mornings we were there.

On the bad side, the mirrors in our bathroom were hung too low for me to see my face in. I'm all of 5'11" so maybe I'm just a bit too tall for Costa Rica. Also, in the mornings, there are a LOT of birds chirping and making tweets early in the morning.

We had an excellent time in the Puerto Viejo area and enjoyed the Banana Azul. The Puerto Viejo area is not for everyone, but those who like to travel without a group and discover things for yourself, this is a great place. Would we stay again? Absolutely without a doubt.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LilyDragonfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, MD
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2009

My husband and I chose Banana Azul for our Honeymoon after reading all the great reviews. Once we arrived we found that the reviews were all true and it was even more beautiful and relaxing than we imagined! We stayed in the Howler suite and were suprised to find a heart of flowers on our bed when we arrived, what a wonderful welcome! The property is beautiful, all the landscaping was well thought out and executed! The room very clean and the walls and floor are made of the most stunning tropical woods. You have to know that is not the Hilton, so if that is what you are expecting you will be dissapointed. There is no AC and there is a mosquito net over the bed, which we only used a few times. We thought is was perfect, but it is not for everyone. Colin and Roberto were so kind and welcoming, you two have done a outstanding job of creating a relaxing, welcoming, home like retreat. We Thank you for sharing it with us! The staff was kind and always smiling! Franklin at the Bar made the best drinks and the ladies in the kitchen prepared food as if you were Family. The new pool was so nice after a long day at the beach, we are so glad it was finished by our arrival. If you stay here, book your excursions through Gecko Trails, Nina was great and we had a flawless time on each and every outing. We miss you Banana Azul, and we can't wait to come back. Thank you for making our Honeymoon one to remember!!! Oh, one last thing, If you stay here check out a resturant called La Pecora Nera in Cocles!! The food is to die for!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank firefly222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 July 2009

My friends Colin and Roberto said welcome home when we arrived and Nina with Gecko Trails adventures planned every detail for us with lots of rest in between. Those guys made my son's graduation trip the best of his entire life and we have been to alot of places. If you want to touch the earth like we used to do it in the west, go back in time to P. Viejo. The experience will last a lifetime.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rabroussard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Angelo, TX
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 June 2009

My husband & I traveled to Costa Rica for our wedding & honeymoon. We got married on the beach (Playa Negra) in front of the hotel. Dave at the hotel set us up with Brian from Loco Natural to perform the ceremony - which was at sunrise & amazingly beautiful! It was very easy to arrange everything via email; we had no headaches or worries when we arrived - the staff was great - very helpful, knowledgeable and kind.

Dave also arranged for us to get to Puerto Viejo from San Jose by way of a white water rafting tour with Exploradores Outdores. Do this if you get the chance - outrageously beautiful & a great way to see & learn about the countryside.

The accommodations at BA were very comfortable: private showers, hot water, strong fans, readily available water, fantastic & fairly priced food. The beach is less than 100 yards from the deck and was never crowded. We walked for an hour and a half and saw maybe 5 people.

You will not believe the gardens at BA. Rick, the groundskeeper has made a hidden gem in the midst of an already beautiful country. He has incorporated indigenous plants & trees into a breathtaking array of colors, scents and pure beauty. Everything looks like it grew naturally . . . kind of like Jurassic Park but even more beautiful!

There are tons of things to do in & around Puerto Viejo - we snorkled, SCUBA'd, boogie boarded, took tours, ate at great restaurants, visited a sloth sanctuary, visited a monkey refuge and met lots of great people.

Some of our favorites were: The Mission, Las Lapas ice cream, Caribbean Coffee next to The Mission & Las Lapas, Chili Rojo, Mare Nostrum & Maxi's.

The diving in Costa Rica was nice but not the best. If you are interested in diving - stay in Puerto Viejo at least a couple of days but try a side trip to Panama - Bocas del Toro. Miguel at Exploradores Outdores has a wonderful package - we loved the diving in Panama!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TXroxygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crawley, UK
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 June 2009

This is great little place to stay... I stayed in the red frog room which was really nice, its downstairs. It has no AC but a huge fan in the room which was fine by me. You get your own patio area that is plenty large enough for a couple. A Hammock of your own. There are also hammock down by the beech for chilling out.

The place has only about 14 rooms so its nice and intimate there.

The staff are all really friendly and there is a very nice atmosphere around the place.

The beech is right in front of you and the jungle right behind you. You can hear howler monkeys from the room, and see banana trees from the toilet (which has no windows)

the town is about a 20 minute walk, they rent push bikes which is the best bet during the day, a cab in the evening can be arranged and thats only about 4 dollars each way.

the hotel can organize a whole bunch of stuff for you if you havent booked any adventures as well..

Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank t0m0000
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 Family Hotel in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
#1 On the Beach 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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