We stayed at Banana Azul for just under a week with our 23-year-old nephew in early July 2012. We had an excellent trip from the beginning. David was there at the front desk to greet us when we arrived and made us feel right at home. Our room was not only very clean, but it was extremely charming with a ton of character. The facilities are gorgeous and it's right on the beach. The staff is extremely attentive and responsive. They always have someone hanging out at the beach, and we had the suspicion that they were there to act as lifeguards, because the waves can get rough and sometimes there are rip currents.
Also, we're both vegan, and my wife cannot have gluten. They were EXTREMELY accommodating. Come to find out that someone on staff is also gluten-free, so my wife was able to have gluten-free beer because they have it on the bar menu. We NEVER expect to see that and it was a very welcome surprise. A nice cold beer is a great part of traveling, and it was great to have it there. They were very gracious about meals and made us excellent dishes for breakfast and dinner. They were creative, and delicious, and the staff could not have been more kind or gracious about preparing stuff for our unique and demanding diets.
It was nice having Gecko Travel tours on site, and whenever we returned from a trip, the staff was there to ask us about the experience and seemed genuinely interested in making sure we had a good time.
We accidentally left our camera's battery charger behind, and Banana Azul immediately emailed us to try and get it back to us. I'm sure shipping to the US is not that easy, and they were really great about trying to find a way to make it happen.
We rented bikes for the day and took a ride along the coast. I got a flat about 15 kilometers out, and when I rang Banana Azul, they were great about figuring out a way to get everything fixed. We found a local guy that was willing to fix it, and of course Banana Azul didn't hesitate to pay for it, and we wound up having a fun, adventurous experience. It's just part of Caribbean living!
Overall, it was a really wonderful time in Puerto Viejo, and staying at Banana Azul was perfect. It's only a 20-25 minute walk along the beach into the downtown. If we ever go back to Puerto Viejo, we'll definitely stay at BA again. Clean, very charming rooms. Friendly, accommodating staff. Great location. Great amenities, and a lot of fun.
- 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