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Reviewed 13 October 2012

My husband and I booked Banana Azul for the entirety of our honeymoon based on previous trips to CR and the wonderful reviews here on trip advisor. Unfortunately, the hotel did not work for us after we arrived, although it was not the fault of the hotel.

We live in Las Vegas, and are used to hot. I naively assumed that 80 degrees would be managable with no AC since we routinely deal with 110 degrees or hotter. So wrong. We were unable to cool off and sleeping was impossible. The humidity is hard to deal with both day and night.

The first night we stayed in a garden suite. It was a very small bedroom with AC that had a large bathroom/tub garden space in back. We appreciated the tub and the AC. Downsides was the noise from the kitchen- you could here everything.

We then moved into the apartment. It was a lovely as the pictures, but what I didn't realize (again, naively) is that open air means NO SCREENS. So you are really one with nature. I was covered in mosquito bites after the first night, despite bug spray and the mosquito net. No way to shut windows, so basically everyone could hear you, and we heard everyone ad everything. Would maybe have been fine if it wasn't our honeymoon. At this point I was so uncomfortable that I wasn't feeling very romantic anyway.

I did have to clean dead bugs out of the fridge and dusty cobwebs off the decorative rocks in the kitchen. We had a fist sized spider in the front room, and countless other bugs at night. That is to be expected in the jungle, but again with no screens make sure you are really ok with nature literally in your face!

Other small things: mattress and pillows are uncomfortable, sheets and towels very basic.

We had a few issues that staff worked to resolve right away- ants in bathroom, squeaky washer and dryer. The staff is helpful and it seemed like if they could fix it, they would. Unfortunately for us, it wasnt the right fit because we couldn't cool off and were getting sick and very tired. Most other times we may have dealt with it, but as it was our honeymoon we had to seek a bit more comfort.

Other than that, the place has much to commend it. Staff, especially the manager, were helpful and friendly. The food was really delicious, and drinks some of the best I've had anywhere (including Vegas hotels).

The design of the hotel, use of materials and the gardens are all stunning. Really well done and lovely to look at.

The hotel is right on the beach. And the beach is incredible: not rocky or too littered, warm water, fun waves. We loved the ocean- great way to cool off during the day.

We walked to Puerto Veijo one day and biked the next. Loved the animal sanctuary- don't miss it- you get to hold a baby monkey!

PV is a beautiful place, way more relaxed than the Pacific side, less crowded but still a bit touristy. Nothing is cheap but drinks and food are good.

While Banana Azul was not paradise for us, we can see how it is for so many. We wish the staff and the owners the best of luck and thank them for their hospitality during our short stay.

Date of stay: October 2012
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3  Thank AliLovesVegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2012

While it is sometimes hard to read negative criticism, your feedback is important. I appreciate your desire to be fair and not just blame all issues on the hotel and it's staff.

I will be personally looking into more deeply the issues you mention and see what we can do to improve things. As for the downstairs room, yes, it can be noisy. We are taking steps to address this. We will be insulating walls and renovating whole room in late November.

Most of our guests are okay with no AC and some encounters with nature. But I fully understand and respect that tolerance is not universal. (I have been here 8 years and I still dont like spiders ;-)

We have always tried to communicate it in our website, that while Banana Azul is popular, we know it is not for everyone. We hope you were able to find what you needed for the rest of your vacation.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2012

unbeatable prizes for what you get. amazing cocktails. attentive staff. wonderful owner. great location. we spent 6 days here because we really didnt want to leave. one of the very few places in this area with direct access to the beach. thank you for a fabulous time!!

Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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1  Thank OchsNews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 October 2012

That's what should be at reception. Straight, gay, lesbian, bi-racial, large, small, beautiful and just plain old regular. Colin
and crew will ensure a GENUINE welcome with attention to detail. This is not a hotel with amenities, this is a wonderful bunch of people who provide an unforgettable experience. We stayed in Beautiful Costa Rica for four weeks and visited the Pacific, the mountains, and Banana Azul ( Puerto Viejo ) on the Caribbean side. While everything was spectacular this home away from home was truly exceptional. We made some incredible friends, the staff felt like family, the food was delicious, the bebidos (drinks)first rate, the grounds immaculate, the dogs and cats helped us not to miss our two at home. Can't thank you all enough for making our time there so very, very, relaxing. Don't miss Banana Azul, if you go anywhere go here! We will definitely be back with friends!

Pauline & Beth
Lesbian couple from Newfoundland, Canada

Date of stay: September 2012
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Pauliett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
colinsito, Owner at Hotel Banana Azul, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2012

You guys were such a treat! What a great group we had here that week. I have very fond memories of your visit. It is the only time I can think of where I spent the whole day without exception lounging on the beach.

Really hope to see you again.

PS "Janet Says "Hi"

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2012

Banana Azul was the best in all of the places i have ever stayed at in costa rica. The location is perfect, you walk right out onto the beach, with chairs, umbrellas and even hammock spread about there was no lack of comfort even on the beach. The drinks, unlike most hotels, very reasonably prices and made it possible for us to drink at the hotel instead of going to a bar, which is untrue for any other hotel we've stayed in CR. Our "bath suite" was amazing, and had a hammock in the separate bathroom patio and it was so comfy i ended up sleeping there instead of the bed. Upon leaving to check out another hotel the incredibly friendly manager gave us lots of tips on where to go once on the other side of puerto Viejo and the best beaches with directions on how to get there by bike and also told us that if we got bored we were more than welcome to bike back there and use their beach, hammocks, bar and even pool! . I loved they they had bikes for rent right at the hotel so you can get around more safely and easily. The free breakfast was a FULL hot breakfast, not just fruit and cereal like some. the beach dogs were friendly and plentiful but never bothered us. They have a beautiful Koi fish pond that loops around part of the hotel. it was just serene!!

Room tip: The GARDEN BATH SUITE!!! that room made my whole trip! it has a separate room for a patio for the bathroom. Huge lover's bathtub that was so elegant! clear roof so you dont feel like your confused inside and you still feel connected to the lush greenery that makes it so special!
Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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Thank amber j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 October 2012

The location on the beach can't be beat. Walk to the beach when you get up and have your coffee while you watch the sunrise. Excellent and attentive staff, lovely grounds and gardens, the nightly dinners are delicious and a good value.

I look forward to visiting the Banana Azul again soon!

Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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1  Thank R Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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