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Reviewed 1 June 2009

We stayed for 7 nights at Banana Azul and it was really amazing. The service was top-notch by all staff, especially Xio at the reception desk and Franklin at the bar. Roberto, one of the owners, was the best though. He brought us on an unforgettable bike tour through beaches and hills, and the tour ended by a swim at a waterfall. Wonderful!

Franklin made the best cocktails we've had, especially the pina colada and margarita. Breakfast included at the hotel was always good (juice, coffee, eggs, toasts, fruits, jam)but we would have like more diversity in the fruits made available. It is true though that, in general, Costa Rica doesn't have the same diversity in tropical fruits as in Viet Nam or Thailand, for example.

We stayed in one of the Ocean rooms (#5) and it was great. No need for AC and we only used the mosquito net once. You can hear the rumbling waves throughout the night. If you like to get asleep by the waves sounds then we would recommend that you stay in the first 5 rooms (1 to 5). The other rooms are further away and we are not sure if you can hear the sea from there. We did not have any problems with the wicker bamboo bed, maybe because we are Vietnamese and are used to it. The only complaint we would have about the room is that the closet is not big enough for a long stay. Another suggestion we would have is to have a big water pot with the coconut splasher near the entrance of your room to clean your feet from sand.

The beach was very clean with black sand and there were very few people. Lots of time, we were alone by ourselves. The sea was rough but we loved it; we had so much fun with the strong waves.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NicolasQC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2009

Banana Azul was sooooooo much fun!! Pura Vida! My boyfriend and I traveled to Costa Rica and we stayed in three different areas of the island. Banana Azul was our final stop and we spent 4 nights there and it was our most memorable 4 nights in Costa Rica. The staff were great and really helped to make our stay memorable. It was our first time in Costa Rica and Nina (tour specialist) created and coordinated our entire trip, tours, transportation, food, etc... They really took care of us! We had an amazing time there, waking up to the beautiful sounds of the ocean and birds. We stayed in the garden room and it was spacious and cozy. The only thing missing was a closet or dresser to put our clothes. (bring a few hangers) The beach was right in our backyard and we were on the beach everyday and even checked out Cocles Beach (nearby). Breakfast was the most enjoyable meal, everyday a huge variety of fresh fruit, delicious all natural fruit juice and every morning is a different delicious meal. I loved waking up in Costa Rica because it felt better than home, especially when you live in NYC. hehehehe Can't wait to go back to Banana Azul!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank T-Buggs1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2009

We booked our honeymoon at Banana Azul. After narrowing down what we were looking for, we found Banana on Trip Advisor, and said, sure, let's try it. It was beyond our wildest expectations!
When we arrived, we were greeted by extremely friendly staff, and made our way to our room. Dinner was already through being served, but they managed to scrape some food together for us anyway. Which was fresh, and delicious.
We were also introduced to two of our favorite things that night. Franklin, the bartender, and his Caipiroskas (sp?). We asked for a mojito, but since mint has to be shipped in, they were out of that ingredient. Good thing for us! Franklin is a master bartender, who makes daquiris with fresh fruit. If you get a mango, or strawberry daquiri, there is 100% fresh fruit in there. It was amazing! Same with the Caipiroska, delicious, fresh lime.
Since we're still on food, the breakfast was amazing every morning. My personal favorite food down there, was the jam! OMG!!! And fresh fruit juice every morning. Some juice that you've never heard of in America, but that's so fresh and tasty, you look forward to it every morning. And the cooked breakfast (which is complementary) is out of this world! Different variations, flavors and tastes. The breakfast staff is extremely friendly and warm as well.
Now, onto lunch! Chicken quesadillas.... we ordered them numerous times. And the nachos were to die for!
Dinner, not many more adjectives left. but this food was constantly incredible. The prices for all the meals are very reasonable, but the quality of food is unparalleled by anything in America.
Onto the other staff. David, and the girls at the front desk were completely warm, and friendly. They were easily approachable, and helpful with all of our questions/concerns.
Roberto was quite the host. I think he is one of the owners, and he really made sure that everyone was having a good time, was comfortable, and enjoying themselves. He even set up a special day for my wife and I, and a few of our friends.... who we met at the hotel!!!! That's the kind of place it is, all the travelers there were extremely friendly! Mostly american, canadian, lots of couples. But this place draws a certain type of person there. You either get it, or you don't.
Anyway, a big thanks to Roberto for a very special day. I can't think of a better way to have spent our last day at Banana Azul than by following every one of his recommendations. He is a complete sweetheart, and really made our trip special.
Also, Nina was terrific. She set up all of the tours that we had booked while we were staying there. And she was very accommodating if we had any questions, or changes we wanted to make to our itinerary. We did the zipline/canopy tour, which we had the best time on, and give a full endorsement to! We also did the waterfall/sloth/chocolate tour, which we loved as well. And the White Water Rafting down the Pacuare river is something that MUST be done while you are in Costa Rica!
Cabs to town were $4 american each way, and we rented scooters a couple of days too, to get around. That was so much fun, and we got to explore on our own.
Every day was better than the last. Each day there was the best day we had. This was the most incredible trip that either one of us had ever been on. A BIG THANK YOU TO BANANA AZUL!!! WE WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE BACK FOR MORE!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank StefandJordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2009

Beautiful, Relaxing, Tranquil, Private... a wonderful stay. Great staff. Great Food. Wonderful bartender.

Only one complaint: The pool construction bothered me. We felt like we were being watched by the workers several times and tap, tap, tap does get annoying. Fortunately the power tools were kept to a minimum. My four star cleanliness rating is only due to a little construction mess and does not reflect on the rest of the hotel. Just move the tarped thing and put away the wheelbarrow!

That said, I am sure the pool will be as excellent as the rooms and the gorgeous landscaping... I would book another stay today, the construction would not deter me. This place was wonderful.

The staff is very honest. My girlfriend accidentally left my ipod on the table and cleaning staff left it there. As many who have travelled extensively in developing countries know, this is a fairly uncommon occurence.

We booked the day before we arrived and were unfortunately only accomodated for 3 of our 6 nights. We were sad to leave and after arriving an at our next hotel (Azania), sad to know we paid 50% more for half the comfort and enjoyment.

20 minute walk to town is a bit of an underestimate though...

My only suggestion for improvement: add a second reclining chair to every deck. Hammocks dont agree with some backs.

We WILL return to Banana Azul in the future. I have hardly ever been so relaxed. What a beautiful place.

Thanks for a very memorable stay.

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank seamusyams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2009

My boyfriend and I spent a wonderful week at Banana Azul. We stayed in one of the Ocean rooms, which I would highly recommend. The photos on the site do not even compare to how beautiful the hotel actually is!

The staff is wonderful. The waiter/bartender, Franklin, was absolutely wonderful!! Try his mango or banana daquiris, which are made with fresh fruit. The ladies in the kitchen make an amazing breakfast, and lunch and dinner are delicious as well, and for a great price if you choose to purchase them. (Try the cheeseburger for lunch... it was the best I ever had!!)

The town is about a 30 min walk along the beautiful beach. Nice to visit during the day, but I am SO glad we did not stay there. Banana Azul is so tranquil and quiet, but yet not boring. I can't imagine staying in town. This place is safe and quiet, and you are getting a great deal for the price.

We really liked the fact that it was adults only, as children running around would have spoiled it for us. Very romantic! It's not for everyone though. If you are looking for a loud, rowdy place, it's not for you. If you are afriad of dogs, you won't like it there. (Might I add, the dogs at the hotel are well behaved and adorable, and it was fun to have them around!) If you are homophobic, the place is not for you. When I was there, it seemed to be mostly young straight couples, but there was a diverse group of travelers, including singles, and everyone was very nice and friendly. Definitely a wonderful atmosphere. We loved it and cannot wait to return!

Also, we were not sure, so we brought our own beach towels, but they do provide fresh beach towels at the front desk, and there are beach mats for anyone to use. If you are looking for a relaxing, romantic, fun vacation, then look no further!!!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank thenaturebabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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