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“Gay Affirming, Straight Friendly Property”
Review of Hotel Banana Azul

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Hotel Banana Azul
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 March 2008

I spent 10 days at this property late February-early March 2008. All the positives mentioned in previous reviews are true. The pictures on the website don't do the place justice.

Roberto and Colin have created a wonderful and beautiful environment. This is an eco friendly place supporting values of diversity in its guests and empowerment of its staff. The staff are congenial and helpful.

A new evening cook has been in place for a while and the set dinners are tasty, filling and very good value and reflect a latino tropical flair.

The property is gay-owned and bills itself as "straight friendly". While I was there about 25-30% of guests at any one time were gay men. If this makes you uncomfortable then you should stay elsewhere.

As a gay man myself travelling solo, I found it a great mix of guests, enjoyed interacting with just about everyone and shared tables at dinner with wonderful stimulating people both gay and straight alike.

I'll be back!!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled solo
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1  Thank smacdvanbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 March 2008

Bananza Azul is a great hotel/cabina right on the beach just outside of Puerto Viejo. A lot of care and attention has been taken to build this beautiful accommodation. My sister and I traveled around Costa Rica for a month and this was by far the nicest place we stayed. We were on a budget but splashed out for this and it was well worth it.

They do have a restaurant on site, however when we were there they were not operating it as the chef was not up to par for what they were trying to offer guests. That said my first evening there I was invited to have a home cooked (by Roberto himself) dinner with the family as my sister was up in the room ill. What a treat, and a great way to start off the visit. Although there was not a dinner service in the restaurant there was a wonderful breakfast everyday, and all the staff were so wonderful.

The rooms were gorgeous with dark native timbers, and furnishings. The balconies were large with table and hamock. Although it is all one building and they are all joined Colin and Roberto have separately each room balcony with folding bamboo dividers. I loved the bathrooms as well. The nicest ones we had on our trip, and being a girl.. well let's just say I appreciated how nice they were.

I would recommend bringing a head lamp with you as it does tend to get dark a little early and if you are riding a "pee wee herman" bike back from the the village it would make it easier to see. We loved renting the bikes and going on adventures from Banana Azul!!! There is so much to see and do around there.

Also worth noting is how safe it is at Banana. Although, we did not feel unsafe in the town at night I liked it that we had our little safe haven just a short 10 minute bike ride, or 5 minute taxi ride away. It is a little rastafarian in the town.

I would go back there in a heartbeat. My sister and I considered this part of Costa Rica to be our favourite (and we covered he whole country).

Don't hesitate in staying here.

Christine

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled with friends
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2  Thank lakesunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2008

My boyfriend and I spent 4 nights here at Banana Azul and enjoyed it very much. We had corresponded with the property beforehand and had events and a cab reserved. Everyone there was extremely helpful with getting around in Puerto Viejo as we had never been there before.

The property is beautiful, in a quiet area right by a great beach. We stayed in an Ocean Room which was great and had a little balcony. My boyfriend was a little shocked to not have a TV or phone, but he got over it quickly. We ate breakfast and dinner every night there, and the food was always great. They had wine, beers, water and sodas available also.

The town is very undeveloped and charming, and you get used to the slow, being outdoors/beer and sunburn quality. We rented a scooter to get around, which I would completely recommend if you know how to operate one- the sun gets very hot and I couldn't imagine walking or biking. Taxis to and from the town were very inexpensive, about $4 american each way.

We grew very attached to the animals- they were very sweet and well-behaved. Everyone was friendly in the town- everybody seems to know each other! We would love to return soon.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ansb10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 February 2008

It's not complicated at Bananaazul. Roberto, Collin and their staff are the most helpful and attentive. The place is non-pretentious, easy going, laid back and totally friendly and professional in their approach to their guests. The property is beautiful and tastefully arranged. Healthy breakfast and very good dinners at night in a charming atmostphere. One can walk easily to the town.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled solo
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3  Thank lj51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

You know how websites can make even the crappiest place look good? Well, their beautiful website doesn't do them justice!! The staff was great, the food was great, the services were great and the other guests were fun too! The room was comfortable and clean and we had a nice ocean view.
From initial email contact with the hotel to the day we left we never had an issue with Colin and Roberto's beautiful place. I would have to say the best, unexpected feature of their hotel is that they have Skype available at very reasonable rates. We were able to phone our veterinarian back in NC to check on our pet without difficulty. Since our pet was recovering from a surgery 5 wks previous this was very settling for us.
Thanks Colin, Roberto and staff for a great vacation!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank wchvrs
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

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
Price Range: ₹ 4,049 - ₹ 10,347 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Banana Azul 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
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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