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These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
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- 98%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 98%Adventure Travelers
- 76%Budget Travelers
- 76%Luxury Travelers
- 73%Local Culture
User Reviews (3 Reviews)
- Hotel Banana AzulDec 19, 2013
Hotel Banana Azul is a great little resort located on a black sand beach just north of the popular surfer/backpacker town of Puerto Viejo. The hotel is a laid back place with lush grounds, a new pool, and a large cool-water Jacuzzi. There's a good range of reasonably priced rooms--from basic garden level to a two-bedroom apartment--that feature rich local hardwoods and artful decor; a full breakfast was included in the rate the last time I checked. The only bummer, which is kind of random, are the bamboo beds frames, which creak at the slightest movement (the owners definitely are aware of the situation, though, and are dealing with it).
It's also located next to Cahuita National Park, which in combination with Puerto Viejo, has tons of outdoor options beyond snorkeling and diving: hiking, animal-spotting, zip lines, river rafting, kayaking, fishing, and of course, surfing. It's easy to plan your own excursions but if you prefer to let someone else do the work (it's your vacation afterall!), there is a recommended tour operator on-site, Gecko Trail Adventures.
- Hotel Banana AzulMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Jul 04, 2012
**KEEPIN IT REAL YO**
We loved the awesome staff at Banana Azul. We stayed there for 4 nights (late Nov through early Dec) and it was a fantastic vacation, thanks to them.
We dined at the restaurant ($10 for 3 course! Great deal) and met some wonderful people (Hi Scott and Meredith! You rock) during our stay.
Colin and Roberto were top-notch and catered to our every whimsical demand and requests. They communicated well and went out of their way to make their customers happy. No complaints there.
HOWEVER, I need to complain about the following:
(1) Uncomfortable beds and poor bedding - By all means, I am not a diva, but the Ocean Room beds were uncomfortable and they creak a lot. The sheets were not particularly soft either. The 2 provided pillows were flat and lifeless. But then again, some TA reviewers did not seem to mind about the bedding situation, so this may be acceptable to some.
(2) The neighbor's roosters cockadooing at 3AM through 5AM - WTF. If you are a light sleeper, forget it. I discussed this with Colin and Roberto and they are taking measures to correct this problem. In the meantime, it was pure annoyance. It doesn't help that the Ocean Room's bathrooms are open directly to the roosters' yard either. I was very surprised that this was not a big issue or emphasis with other TA reviewers. Every person who stayed at BA during our week complained about the roosters.
(3) Poor lighting - I believe the lighting can be updated. Just too dark.
I believe BA could get a 5 star if they rectify the above-mentioned issues. Per my earlier mention, their customer service is superb and that alone, will get itself 4 solid stars in my book. They have accommodated us graciously and we appreciated that very much.
But 5? Isn't that perfect? Hmm, questionable.
Maybe next time we visit BA, it will get a 5.
Tour suggestions: You need to do the river rafting and definitely the Volio Waterfalls Hike Tour and Sloth Sanctuary. The Chocolate Lady tour was whacked (it was a joke really).
Cafe Viejo is pricey. I can't believe stupid Frommers gave it a one $ sign, it should have been $$$. The pizzas there were excellent, but the pastas were meh. You have to order the choco souffle. The best I've had. I disagree with one of the TA reviewers saying it was one of the best culinary experiences she and her chef hubby ever had. She needs to come out to San Francisco then.
I highly recommend Loco Natural in town. The curried plantains were out of this world. I loved my sea bass in Caribbean curry. Wow. Insane in the membrane good.
Don't leave your belongings on the beach. I had to stare some fools down who were eying my mom's purse on her beach towel while she was in the water.
Another tip: don't tip more than 10% and make sure not to double tip . . some places already include 10% service charge and a 13% tax. Keep in mind that the median salary is like $5K, so don't overtip either.
Anyway, pura vida!