Colin Brownlee of Canada says he’s not renting rooms, he’s selling experiences, and it seems to be a winning formula at this popular beachfront hotel. It’s located on the far northern end of Playa Negra, a vast stretch of beach backed by thick forest that stretches north from here all the way to Cahuita National Park. The decor features such fabulous touches as koi ponds with turtles in the middle of the ceramic-tiled common lounge. One of the top draws here is the Azul Beach Club, which serves food and drinks on the beach, with shaded lounge chairs and a great ocean view. Banana Azul calls itself “straight-friendly,” with a clientele that’s 20% gay, and caters mostly to couples. Four snazzy two-story condo-style units, called Villas Banana Verde ★★★, have full kitchens and private plunge pools. Additionally, they have another four more rustic and affordable rooms in an annex next door, called Casa Las Brisas.