Jen from Vancouver, Canada – January 5th, 2013
During a 12 day trip to Costa Rica, my husband and I stayed at several hotels. The Banana Azul was our favorite, by far. We basically just relaxed every day, which was exactly what we wanted. We heard there were many things to do in the area, but we had already done a lot of activities in other towns and were ready to do nothing. The location is wonderful, right next to the beach, and the hotel is an oasis. From our simply decorated room to the pool and open restaurant and sitting areas, every part of the hotel was just wonderful. I actually hesitate to call it a hotel because it seemed like so much more.
They offer coffee on the beach at 6am. You’re welcome to use a bottle of sun lotion or a beach towel. You can play a board game or rent a bike. For meals in the restaurant, they always have two choices written on a chalk board, sometimes there is a buffet. The hotel is small so you see the same people in the restaurant often so you often meet new people and socialize as much or as little as you’d like.
Above all, the word that comes to mind when I think of Hotel Banana Azul is hospitality. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. It’s obvious that the staff and owners make your enjoyment the top priority. We’ll get back there someday!
Gary from Silver Spring, Maryland – November 22, 2011
Spent several days at Banana Azul in June 2011. The hotel is great, the staff is friendly and the area is beautiful. If you are unfamiliar with the area it can be a little hard to find but, it is worth the effort. Look for the sign on the right side of the road from Limon, just before Puerto Viejo.
Robert Zuur from Tucson, Az. U.S.A. - September 29, 2011
Thanks to all the staff at Banana Azul! Fred and David, Roberto, all the pets, and the Geko staff too. What a pleasure it was staying with you. Your hospitality impeccable, the food delicious, the coffee always hot and early in the morning. Can’t wait to come back to see you all again. Thanks too for the extention cord and retrieving my passport at the last minute! You all rock! Bob Zuur
Rachel Knight from Springfield, MO – USA - June 13, 2011
The pictures do not do this place justice. It was beautiful and the beach was as close to private as it gets. We were married on the beach and spent our honeymoon at the Banana Azul. The staff was wonderful, the food was amazing and the view was spectacular. I was a bit worried about having to air-conditioning, but the indoor/outdoor style of Costa Rica was incredible. It really made our trip. The lack of A/C was never a problem…even for an indoor girl like me!
Joanne from Ontario, Canada - January 30, 2011
We stayed next door at Casa Las Brisas and were able to use all of the amenities of Banana Azul. The staff were very helpful when we were trying to decide what to do and how to do it, the facilities were very clean and the food was great. I can’t speak for the rooms but our experience as guests was very good.
Javier from Costa Rica - November 15, 2010
Mi esposa y yo pasamos un maravilloso fin de semana en el Hotel Banana Azúl, cálida y amigable bienvenida. Nuestra estadía fué cómoda y confortable. Definitivamente es un paraíso de descanso.
El personal administrativo y de servicio altamente calificado e identificado con el debe ser de un Hotel merecedor de 10 estrellas.
La comida simplemente exquisita y la cena acompañada de Calipso los hacen únicos.
Las habitaciones muy limpias y ordenadas, Garden Bath Suite muy romántica y acogedora
Michael and D’Angelo from La Fortuna, Costa Rica - November 02, 2010
Hey Everyone! love, Love, LOVE this hotel in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica which is located on the southern Caribbean side of the country. The hotel’s name is Banana Azul and it’s just a couple minutes (in a car) north of Puerto Viejo. We’re not saying their couldn’t be other GREAT places to stay, but everything factored in like price, staff, service, food etc, it’s the one we like BEST so far. Check out the VIDEO to see why. ENjoY!
Sherry from Chandler AZ USA - October 07, 2010
We spent 4 FABULOUS days at Banana Azul for my friend’s 50th birthday! The owners did a great job of putting our 3 rooms together, so we could have one big balcony! Everyone was so friendly and the food was AWESOME! I am telling everyone to go to Banana Azul! Franklin the bartender made every drink from scratch, no bottled juice or canned fruit. FAB!
Lauren Foucher from Manchester, New Hampshire - October 01, 2010
Banana Azul was one of my best traveling experiences, It made our honeymoon amazing! It was the type of place you’d never want to leave. By far the best hotel in Puerto Viejo! The hotel was very comfortable and cozy and the owners and workers made you feel right at home!! Very well taken care of and in such an amazing spot!! The people were so friendly and made you feel very welcome! Thank you SO much Banana Azul for making the beginning of our honeymoon trip unforgettable!! Love- Lauren & Ian Foucher
henriette and Sally from atlanta USA - July 11, 2010
wow……..we just got back from an amazing 7 days at Banana Azul.
This hotel is awsome and the staff is even more awsome. There was absolutely nothing more we could have asked for. The kitchen staff set up the most amazing display at every meal and always ready to assist with a smile. The rooms were clean and adorable.
A special shout out to David, Franklin and Roberto……you guys are the best !!!!!
roux from france - July 04, 2010
We went to Costa Rica last year in May 2009. Banana Azul is a very nice place. We stayed in the ocean room. Wonderfull room. We splept without doors only with ocean noise. The food is very good. I can recommand you guacamole home maid with “mojitos” and pancakes for breakfast. Amazing ! See you soon
Mark – May 30, 2010
Not to be melodramatic, but Banana Azul literally changed my wife’s and my life. We went to CR on our honeymoon, and really did not know what to expect, only knowing that a friend had said “go to Puerto Viejo” and on Trip Advisor Banana Azul was rated #1, and everyone was saying these insanely positive things, so we figured what the hell, lets stay there. Well I’d give just about anything to be back there right now. It really is the energy of the place, from the the land to the hotel itself to the Flora and Fauna of the area, but most of all the wonderful energy that Colin and Roberto have put into Banana Azul.
Jandui Cavalcante from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil – May 19, 2010
I want to leave this comment because our stay with you was so nice…thank you so much for help us to making this week wonderful..I hope go back a day
James J from Tellico Plains, USA - May 13, 2010
Well I don’t know where to begin so I will start from Nov 08. I booked the hotel through Gecko Travel and obviously didn’t do enough research. When I arrived the hotel owner Colin was very nice to me, I could tell that he preferred the same sex. No big deal except that he kept sticking his tongue out at me. I assume this a sign to feel for others of his type. To each his own. I noticed that there were quit a few more that were the same way. One of Colin’s guest followed me around for two days before I told Nina from Gecko about it. She asked me why I booked this hotel then and that I should have known because of the rainbow flag. I am a country boy from south Alabama, how was I supposed to know what that meant. Every straight person I talked to did not know this either. I assume that they do this on purpose because they know straight people have reservations towards them somewhat. She asked if I would like to change hotels. I said no I will try to stay here. Immediately afterwards Colin became rude with me and the other dude backed off so I know Nina talked to at least Colin. The next day I saw Roberto and I said something about the poodle messing with the other dogs. He quickly informed me that it was his dog andit was none of my business. I did not feel that it was that big of a deal.
I was booked for Tortugara and the Pacure. Colin told me that I would be going with another couple down the Pacure but I was actually supposed to be going to Tortugara. I packed an extra pair of shorts and a shirt and that was all. I know that it was my fault that I was not sure of where and what I was doing, but I was on a very nice vacation and didn’t pay attention. They could not rebook me so I went and made the most of it and had a blast, met some nice ladies!
I got my laundry done through the hotel and my clothes cameback cold, damp, and wrinkled. I complained to the owner but he blew me off because of the humid atmosphere. The next time I took my clothes down town, they came back superb, crisp, clean, no wrinkles.
I was interested in possibly purchasing some land there and the guy that followed me around suggested a Tico that he used. They knew that this was going on and did not inform me of the risks. The Tico tried to sell me an acre of land for 90,000 but I was not interested. On the way back, the same piece of land was now only 60,000. hmmm! I wonder if Colin’s buddy was getting some of his money back?
Now for my next trip which just finished. I arrived on the 7th of May 2010. Roberto was very nice and accommodating towards me but he and a few others kept on mentioning “trying new things.” I am friendly but not that friendly. I am open and brushed it off.
I spoke with David the receptionist about two days later and didn’t understand his response. I asked him to repeat himself and he got huffy with me. I apologized for the inconvenience on his part.
Well my time to depart came and I packed my bags. I told David that I would be there from the 7th of May through the 11th. He told me that hebooked me next door and it was my fault. He proceeded to tell me that the way I emailed it meant that I would be there through the 11th and leave the 12th. I didn’t argrue again and he told me he would fix it. If you were to tell someone that you were going to stay Monday through Thursday, would that mean that you are leaving Friday? Maybe we are from different countries or something. I got the feeling that he knew it was more of his fault than mine and was trying to shuffle the blame.
I ended up getting a cold and found out that the server had a virus with swollen glands. These people make enough moneyto send them home so as to not infect their guests, like me. I don’t know where I picked it up but when someone is sick serving you food, that is not good.
When I came to check out, the co-owener Roberto was standing right there so I didn’t want to cause a scene in pardise. Being a return customer I was supposed to receive a 10% discount but I did not.
All in all it is a wonderful place. It is a place to love and be loved, I enjoyed the squeaky beds. They have very accommodating staff and the grounds are exceptional thanks to Rick. Franklin the bartender makes the best drinks around. The food iswonderful. Almost everyone is how do you say, tranquilo. The security is great also. I still recommend this place for the value but I would rate my stay as a 6 out of 10 unlike the previous time which I would give a 9.
Leave your “reservations” at home if you are straight or prude and you will have a great time! Pura Vida!
Katherine from Toronto, Canada - April 15, 2010
WOW! We were so lucky to find this little gem on the beach! 2 years ago B.P (before pool) I spent a week at Banana Azul with friends. I can honestly say it was one of the greatest weeks of my life. The staff at Banana Azul are so warm and welcoming and will gladly go out of their way to accomodate you and make your stay for enjoyable. They also offer you lots of helpful information on the best snorkle spots, local restos, hicking paths to waterfalls, zipline, and other great activities. I have to say, I have travelled Europe a few times and the food we had in in Puerto Viejo was some of the best and most unique I’ve ever tasted. So frehs, colourful and tasty! The beautiful paradise-like beach, ocean-side hammocks, sunfilled bedrooms, fantastic food and unforgetable hosts really made for an unbelievable trip. I would highly recommend Banana Azul to anyone! I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. PURA VIDA!
mark werder from birmingham, mi - April 01, 2010
after staying at banana azul you have to hesitate before honestly reviewing it, understanding that each more glowing review threatens it’s hidden gem status. my wife found it a year ago doing CR vacation research and it sounded so good we delayed when we couldn’t get a room on our only available dates. this year we stayed in the Howler and another room (after a 2 day trip to Tortuguerro arranged by Gecko, their affiliated Tour operation that is equally excellent). BA is a truly unique boutique property that threads the needle for a whole host of variables that can make for a vacation-of-a-lifetime experience: it makes ‘rustic’ feel opulent and intimate; the decor reflects an extreme attention to detail and the lush landscaping/plantings/open air eco vibe (with a turtle canal virtually underfoot that you have to see) is right out of a movie set for the Secret Tropics. Gecko will set you up on truly amazing adventures but if you want to veg, you’ll lack for nothing: it’s got a bar and table d’hote food service all day, it manages to balance opulent privacy with divider-screened balconies that you want to just live on, the caribbean is so warm there you can stay in for hours; the pool/jacuzzi set up is very comfortable and welcomingand if you want to make friends, the eating arrangements encourage it. majorly casual. you belong from the moment you arrive. kudos for the concept.
George Traugh & Ray Wolf from Cresco, Pa. USA - March 25, 2010
Never in my life of traveling all over the world, have I ever met nicer people the those at Banana Azul. It was one of the most confortable trips with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Not only were they more then helpful, but the hotel and the grounds were by far the best. The place is clean and beautiful. The garders are outstanding and the pool, although small, was great. I think that Colin, Roberto and their staff were the greatest. I loved the waiters and waitresses, and the staff at Gecko, Wow, I can’t thank them enough for all their help. Unbelieveable, It really is a piece of heaven. Ray and I want to thank you all very much. We had a WONDERFUL time and hopefully will return again some day. Ray Wolf and George Trau
Deanna Sykes-Rohrer from Boulder, Colorado USA - March 10, 2010
Stayed in Howler Suite in early December 2009 as part of our honeymoon. Just want you to know… DAYDREAMING & MISSING you. Great property, beach and owners. The Howler Suite ROCKED.
Hoping to be back late next November. Leave the lights on for me
Damien, Patti, Megan & Chris - January 25, 2010
The Banana Azul resort was the perfect backdrop for a New Year’s vacation.
Tyler Ingram from Vancouver, Canada - January 10, 2010
When Robyn and I first started looking through her Lonely Planet guide for Costa Rica, we were reading up on the various accommodations that the Caribbean coast had to offer. Our friends went in the beginning of the year and stayed at a place called Cashew Hill Jungle Lodge which was a bit outside of town but further away from the beach. We found it in the Lonely Planet guide book, but Robyn kept looking. We decided on the Banana Azul, which happens to be the Lonely Guide’s “Our Pick” for mid-range accommodations.
After reading that and noticing that breakfast is included we popped over to their website to look up information such as rates, amenities as well as to see their location in relationship to Puerto Viejo itself. It was perfect and we were excited to book our stay with them, even if we booked it back in March of 2009. Did I mention that one of the co-owners of the Banana Azul is from Vancouver?
Isabelle from Switzerland - December 19, 2009
Hotel Banana Azul in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica, a very nice & comfortable hotel built out of local hardwoods that has 12 beautiful guest rooms, situated on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. One phrase to describe Banana Azul: This place is paradise! Thehotel is beautiful; the food is fantastic; the beach is gorgeous…and the staff and owners are great!
Susan Mausshardt from Kirkland WA USA - November 19, 2009
Hello everyone there in beautiful Puerto Viejo….wanted to leave this comment that hands down our stay with you last week was the highlight of our 2 week honeymoon…thank you so much for making it a dream!!!! Can’t wait to visit again, hope you are all well.
Susan and Ted
Josh and Mary O’Leary from Oneonta, NY - September 15, 2009
We stayed at Banana Azul for 4 nights this past August, and all we can say is we wish we had stayed longer. It was truly an amazing place, the room was fantastic, the staff and the owners were wonderful, hello to Franklin, and once you were there you didn’t really feel the need to go anywhere else. The surroundings were beautiful, the food excellent, best Mojitos, and we can’t wait to go back.
Kim Cavyan from Los Angeles, CA - August 27, 2009
My boyfriend Matt and I just went for a week. We absoluetely loved it. The beaches were beautiful and not crowded at all. There were times when they were empty. Puerto Viejo is a fun town and very close by. And best of all are the Banana Azul employees. They were all amazingly nice and friendly. We already miss Costa Rica and the hotel!
Juli Chiappa from Jersey, USA - August 12, 2009
I stayed at Banana Azul For a week with my Mom and had a fantastic time! Cant say enough about the staff! They are all so great! The room we had was AWESOME!
Cannot wait to go back!
Thanks to everyone at Banana Azul!!
Lori Sorrentino - August 04, 2009
Our photo album from our visit to Puerto Viejo including our stay at Banana Azul. The pictures say it all!
Lori Sorrentino - August 04, 2009
Our photo album from our visit to Puerto Viejo including our stay at Banana Azul. The pictures say it all!
Yeannid Murillo E from South Carolina - August 03, 2009
Hola Roberto,I stayed at the Banana Azul,with my brother Alexander and wife Sandra for a few days.I just wanted to let you know,how grateful I am of the way you and your staff treat us. It was a great experience.I actually let go of all my stress, and enjoyed the awesome view,the outstanding service,the friendly and fun chats in the evenings.It felt like I knew you guys for yrs.Thank you so much for your warm and kind heart.No wonder my brother and family are so crazy about you guys.Remember I got a big mouth, I’m telling everyone about your place!!!
Many blessings,look forward to see you soon with my kids.
Besos y abrasos
Colin from Costa Rica – August 02, 2009
As a hotel owner down on the Caribbean, I am often questioned what is the difference between the 2 coasts of Costa Rica.
The differences are striking but very difficult to put into words. I am also very careful about what I say as I am biased and The Caribbean is not as developed as Pacific and therefore not suitable for all travelers coming to Costa Rica.
I had the privilege (unbeknown st to me) to have a professional photographer as a guest do an amazing photo gallery of opposite sides of the country in the southern zone. They were just too good not to share.
Here is link for gallery of Puerto Viejo of the Caribbean.
Here is link for Osa Peninsula on the Pacific
My answer to all is that if you are the adventurous type and got the time… do both.
Lily N from Olivehurst, California - June 27, 2009
We stayed in the Apartment at Banana Azul for a week. The Apartment was the owners’ residence until they finished their home just a few meters away from the property. As a result, their pets would often wander up and sleep on the furniture in the Apartment. We had two cats who regularly visited and Benji the Dog. All were polite and lovely pets and it really made it feel like home for us because we have three dogs and two cats at home. There was an amazing open-air bathroom with a deep tub and shower that faced out into the forest.
daniel giaquinto from orlando florida - July 03, 2009
WOW, banana azul was great when we were there last year. Now they have a pool. I didnt think they could make it even better. I want to return soon!!!!! Congrats on the new pool Colin and Roberto, it looks great!! Everytime I go to book a vacation I think about Banana Azul and then I think nothing can top our stay with you.
Stephen from Tampa, Florida USA - June 15, 2009
What a GREAT time we had, Collin and Roberto and the whole staff were just great, so relaxed and refreshed. Only wish I could just live there..New POOL and Cool TUB is fabo… Just a nice place to escape the world but still have WIFI for those junkies that still need to stay somewhat connected.. EVERYONE should go here at least once…
Don Faust (& Chris Gray Faust) from Alexandria, USA - June 08, 2009
We stayed here in October of 2008 – our 1st anniversary. This was such a cool place and Colin and Roberto did such a fantastic job on the everything – I noticed all the little details in their fountain, tile work, grounds, etc – a true labor of love. It was what we like… very rustic and the red hardwood construction is very beautiful. The open-air design worked very well with great airflow and the 2nd floor porches with hammocks were very inviting.
The staff is excellent and the bar setup is perfect. All of the guests were really nice… you just don’t meet people like this at the Hyatt.
Check out my photo website – I have some pictures from Costa Rica and a couple of Banana Azul.
Kirsten and Henrie from The Netherlands - June 01, 2009
We stayed here for a few days when we were on our honeymoon last September. Just Great. Colin found out that it was our honeymoon, ..when we came from te beach our room was full with flowers, a nice bottle of wine and fruit. just loved the atmosphere.when you want to make contact it’s very easy and relaxed, when you want to be on your one ( like we newly weds wanted )you can too. The food is also great. Puerto viejo is a also near and a great place. Don’t forget to a hike at Cahuita national parc. Visiting this website makes me really wanna go back!!!
Diane from NewJersey - May 28, 2009
My daughter and I are going to Banana Azul in Aug 09…after reading all the comments and reviewing the webpage…I have informed my boss and friends that I may just be sending them my new address as I am sure I will not want to leave!!
La Toya from Washington, DC - May 27, 2009
I had the best vacation that I have ever had last summer when I stayed at this beautiful oasis. Can’t wait to come back.
Bruce McIntyre - April 19, 2009
Sharing some photos from our 2008 Costa Rica trip: Puerto Viejo. Lots of photos from Banana Azul, Flowers and life everywhere!
Ron from Toronto - February 25, 2009
Colin and Roberto as hosts have created the perfect low key Caribbean vacation haven, from the open concept bedrooms where you hear the surf as you nod off, to the professional attentive staff that are there to tend to your every need. The breakfasts and dinners are home cooked goodness, and the mingling of the guests in the lower open air dining area lends to the enjoyment. Costa Rica has much to offer, Banana Azul and hosts Colin and Roberto have made it a bit more special. I’ll be back.
Lynne + Joe Arsenault from Fontana, CA - February 20, 2009
Thank you, Colin, Roberto, Franklin, Nina and everyone else for making us feel like part of a big family. Banan Azul is a perfect place to spend time, great food, fantastic margaritas, and the most friendly, well behaved dogs, I’ve ever met. Blackie, I already miss seeing you outside our door in the morning! We’re looking forward to coming back, ASAP!!
Emily and Janet from San Diego, U.S.A. - February 11, 2009
My mother and myself stayed at the Banana Azul for 5 nights while in Puerto Viejo. It was so amazing! The staff went out of their way to accomodate us and the full breakfast was such an unexpected surprise upon arrival! We are planning on going back in the next year and my dad is already looking forward to staying there when he comes to Puerto Viejo! Thank you so much Colin and friends at the Banana Azul!