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All reviewshowler suiteocean roomthe red frog roomfun tourscosta ricakoi pondtour deskin townlarge balconyour honeymoondogs and catssan josebrowniepura vidaopen airwalk along the beachlounge chairs
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Reviewed 17 October 2012

I found this place when planning my trip to the east coast back in December 2011 for October 2012 travel. I loved the look of the place and fancied the garden bath room (although the howler room talked to me too) but the price was so right and I love a bath. Not many people seem to rave this room as the ocean view and others seem more popular (by tripadvisor) I was a tad bit nervous when there was finally a review prior my departure on this room that said it was way too humid and dark and .prior reviews noisy.

There are 2 ( I think only garden bath) are on the bottom floor under all the ocean view and other rooms. The website does say smaller than it looks... i think not. There is your bed . It's cosy bedroom with TV . There is a door leading to the garden bath room. Lovely... has plants .. a lovely feel to the room. There are 2 fans in the room that cool off the room. To the right of the room is a full bathroom... shower and toilet. I lovwd this room.

The owner advised me he has plans to better this room. He really listens to any complaints. I think it's perfect but he did mention sound proofing (which shows he listens) and a koi pond ...door in the front for privacy. I have to go back to see.

As for the rest.... gardens are imaculate. Alot of time and effort were put into these gardens I could tell.

Staff - are the best I've seen. Really!! Athough I love Franklin. Ask that sweetie to make you a frozen coconut in the morning and you will be rejuvanated.

Truely a great place. i miss my dog friends.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank lesab33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2012

We stayed at Banana Azul four years ago and just got back from another great trip, this time with 2 friends joining us who loved the hotel just as much as we do. The second time around was even better with improvements of a new pool and some other tweaks to the property here and there. It didnt even need these improvements as it is the staff, the grounds, the service and the owner that make this place one of those places you actually feel like you left old friends or family when you leave. Any room is great at this place. The staff are warm, friendly, fun and just make your vacation their top priority. The food and drinks are amazing including the free breakfast and dinners are inexpensive and delicious. Stay for Miss Helenas caribbean night on Fridays, she is a delight to talk with, try the home made ginger ale with rum, YUMMY!! Colin the owner is such a delight and a big part of the running of the hotel. He sees to it that all guests are happy and you can tell that he appreciates his staff and many have been with him since our last visit 4 years ago. He treats them all well and you can see that everyone is happy working there. The staff just cant be beat. Ana Rosa, Franklin, Eduardo and all of the staff made our stay amazing and they should all be commended. The pool is beautiful and the beach is right at your doorstep as you walk through the most amazing landscaped grounds to it. On the beach there are hammocks and chairs and a staff member brings around complimentary coconuts to sip on. We had a massage by Luis who was very good both in the beach hut and in the room. There are a few dogs and a cat which only add to your stay. They are sweet and a good substitute for your pets at home while on vacation. They will walk along the beach with you. Colin is so nice and should be proud of what he has built in this great little caribbean town of Puerto Viejo. If you are thinking of going, do it and dont think twice, you will love it. If you want a beautiful, tropical vacation with 5 star service but in a place that is casual and not stuffy with a friendly staff for a great price in a great location with lots to do, book it now before it books up, because it will be full and you may miss out. Gecko Tours, which is on site was also great for transportation to and from San Jose, white water rafting and ziplining. Everything from Gecko went without a problem and they were always on time and did a great job. Thanks to everyone at Banana Azul for a spectacular vacation. We miss everyone and everything already.

Room Tip: The sloth cabinas are great for couples traveling together and are slightly away from the other rooms. They have recently been redone.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank drdanieldc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

  • Stayed: 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!!

  • Stayed: September 2012, 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

Stayed: September 2012, 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
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