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“absolutely lovely place!!!”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, GA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“absolutely lovely place!!!”
Reviewed 18 August 2009

Banana Azul was the perfect ending to our trip. This staff is very helpful and the location is perfect. Located just steps from the beach with beautiful gardens, you couldn't ask for more. The breakfasts are wonderful. We will definitely be back!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mgatl75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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NYC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2009

We booked BA based on reviews on TA. Back in March the pool was in heavy construction which was a small setback. It's a very quiet place, so for any young groups looking for excitement, and a live atmosphere, this might not be ideal. It was really quiet during the day and even quieter after 6pm. We found the town fun and BA was not far from the heart of everything (less than 5 minutes driving). Bring bug repellent- that's not a diss to BA, but because the rooms are so open and close to nature, that bugs are not uncommon. On a side note I've heard that CR's most flavorful food is in the Caribbean coast- and truly, our tummies were happiest here! The staff at BA was nice and helpful. We had 2 different rooms: the Ocean view and Garden suite. We liked the latter better, the openness of the garden room with the bath was really romantic at night : ). Overall it was pleasant- as pleasant as you could get in Puerto Viejo.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank eve176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
los angeles
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 9 August 2009

Just returned from my trip to Costa Rica and felt compelled to write a review since i felt that the reviews i read here (which is why i stayed there) misrepresented the place somewhat.. don't get me wrong the pictures you see of the hotel are exactly what you get.. the staff is great , food is delicious and you are literally in the jungle.. however here are a few things that i wish i would have known..1. do a bed check - there is no ac and so you need to leave doors open which results in bugs.. our bed was filled with fleas and bed bugs, so bring the repellent cause you'll need it 2. hope you really like animals.. one day we walked in to our room which had the door locked and found a dog on our balcony.. how he got there i still don't know given that we were on the top floor.. another morning we were awaked by a cat jumping on our bed .. the pets which roam freely are well mannered but my boyfriend was not a fan much of their presence everywhere... 3. although the pics of the hotel are really nice and the grounds are impecable.. you are literally in the jungle.. to get to any civilazation you are a cab ride away (roads are pretty bad but drivable).. not to mention that behind the hotel you can see a shack/home and all of their laundry which is hung up in plain view..
Final thoughts: this is an amazing place to be if you want to be away from the world however after continuing my trip in costa rica i realized i should have only stayed 2 nights there and spend my money in other places such as arenal.. if you want relaxation this is the place .. must try: loco natural restaurant and ziplining!!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dancer_jo
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, 20 August 2009
I am sorry our hotel and the Caribbean Coast did not live up to your expectations when traveling in a developing country. We try and be as clear as possible on our website as to what type of place we offer and the type of area you will be experiencing.

We know from experience that this type of travel and experience is not for everyone and the last thing we want is people to feel mislead. Many past guests have complimented on the extensive information we provide about the hotel and the area on our website.

I would like to clarify one comment. Banana Azul does not have bed bugs. We are very educated about this potential condition and know exactly what to look for. Some people have mistaken their skin reaction to mosquito bites or sand fleas and have also mistakenly drawn this conclusion.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 August 2009

We had a great vacation in Puerto Viejo! Banana Azul is just awesome. We stayed in the Howler Suite. It is nearest the Ocean on the second floor. We had a nice breeze every night while we went to sleep to the crashing of the ocean waves. We had no problem at all with mosquitoes while we slept. I put on repellant before I went to bed, but my husband didn’t and didn’t get a bite either. We were up at about 5:30 every morning since it gets daylight so early. We went down for coffee which was usually ready before 6:00 am. Breakfast is good. We only ate lunch one time at BA, but it too was good. Dinner was very tasty and really convenient if you didn’t want to go into town. The drinks from the bar are made and served with great pride by your bar tender. There is a community fridge to use while you are there if you want to go into town and get your own drinks (ie beer, wine, etc.) or snacks. The pool is a great place to cool off and relax after a day on the beach, biking or touring.

The beach in front of Banana Azul is just amazing. You can look as far as you can to the right and to the left and you will only see a hand full of people. The sand is a dark color, sometimes almost black, it is a fine grain. There are always pretty good waves, larger at different times of day and there can be an under tow, so be aware. The water is cool and refreshing and the waves are fun to play in. There are sand fleas in the sand – so apply repellant before you walk on the beach. We had not problem with them but never left the room without repellant. There is a little beach debris – meaning some washed up logs and things, but overall, I thought the beaches were in great shape all the way into town.

The walk on the beach to town is about 30 minutes depending on how fast you walk. We always felt safe and really enjoyed watching all of the activity as we walked to town. You’ll see local families and visitors alike out playing on the beach and in the waves.

The town itself has a charm about it. There are so many different types of people. It’s hard to say which are locals and which are visitors. It is a busy place. You’ll enjoy a lot of local vendors, and good places to eat and drink. There are dogs every where. And amazingly enough they all seem to get along most of the time. On one trek into town, we were joined by two dogs on the beach. They sort of adopted us and stayed with us while we walked around town, stopped for drinks and even had dinner (about 4 hours in all). It was sort of fun, people thought they were our dogs.

We ate lunch twice with a lady named Boi Boi. She serves food on her front lawn Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She is Jamaican and makes wonderful jerked chicken, pork and grilled fish. She is a wonderful character. Her place is about half way between Banana Azul and town just off of the beach, there is a small sign nailed to a tree – Boi Bois’ Barbecue.

We didn’t do a lot of planned activities. We did go out fishing one morning. Nina at Banana Azul arranged for us to fish with a man named Thomas. His boat captain is Pino. We really enjoyed going out with them and fishing the Caribbean way. Afterward, Pino cleaned all of the fish and invited us back to his house for lunch. That was a real treat. He made us fresh fish with a coconut sauce. Amazing meal! By the way, he has a take out/delivery business called Boca Express. They will deliver in Puerto Viejo. So, get in touch with Nina at Banana Azul if you’d like to look into fishing.

We also went to the water all in Bri Bri. It’s a hike, but very beautiful and getting into the water at the falls is a welcome cool off after the hike.

We did the white water rafting excursion as a part of our return to San Jose. It was a lot of fun. They included breakfast and a lunch for us. I think the name of the group we used was Exploradores. We used Gecko Trail Advenutres (Nina) out of Banana Azul to book all of our activities for us. If you are staying at Banana Azul, they will charge all of the tours to your hotel bill and you just make one payment when you leave.

The trip from San Jose to Puerto Viejo is long, any way you look at it. Plan on 4 – 5 hours travel time. It’s mostly a two lane road and there is a lot of traffic both ways. There are many 18 wheelers running from Limon and when you get behind one of them it is slow going and passing is scary! Plus if there is a wreck on the road, you can expect a delay. Keep in mind we were riding not driving and very thankful that we chose not to get a rent car. You do travel through some very beautiful scenery. Once you get to Puerto Viejo, you have access to the buses and bikes to go places.

We will definately go back some day!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank justheretohavefun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vancouver canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2009

We arrived late to the hotel. Well it was only six pm. but remember that Costa Rica is very close to the equator, and therefor gets dark early. As soon as we past through the gates we felt completely at ease. The bus from San Jose was tiring and stressful to say the least.... A quick shower with lush tropical plants hanging from the ceiling and we headed down for a much needed drink. It was our honeymoon and the place couldn't be more perfect. Travelling in September to this part of Costa Rica you won't find a busy beach. Though it is a surf town, September is not surf season. The hotel was quiet, the food was great, and the location was just far enough from town to feel secluded. Our room was great. We had a view of the water, a hammock, and a little dinette set on the patio. It was always very clean and the staff did a few special things that wowed us when they found out that it was our honeymoon. I can see that in the surf season this place would hop with tons of fabulous people, having a great time. Next time we visit, for an adventure, we will definitely come during peak season. For a honeymoon however, I totally recommend Banana Azul in September! After Banana Azul we stayed 2 nights at Almonds and Corals. Their staff was amazing and excursion really cool, but expensive. If it is only one or the other.. choose Banana. You won't be disappointed. A and C is cool, maybe for one night... but loses it's intrigue as you lie in bed thinking of how much you paid and how much better the food, service and ambience was at Banana Azul!

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jaimeVancouverCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank abax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County, California
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank Yakbutter1
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 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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