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“Thank you for the memories!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ylang Ylang Beach Resort

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Ylang Ylang Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Montezuma Beach | 10-12 minute walk North along the beach, Montezuma 00000, Costa Rica (Formerly El Sano Banano Beach Hotel)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Thank you for the memories!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

This has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. We arrived the first night and stayed at El Sano Bano, the sister hotel. The staff took great care of us and our family. The following morning we walked across the gorgeous white sands to see the resort for the first time.
Ylang Ylang Beach Resort was a beautiful paradise. The facilities were top notch and the scenery was breathtaking. The animals, monkeys and iguanas are always around to provide entertainment. The staff always greeted us with smiles and greetings and after our first few hours knew us by name. They truly made us feel like part of the family. The food was prepared to perfection and the drinks truly refreshing. Every meal was very enjoyable and the prices reasonable considering the high quality.

On our 3rd day at the resort, we got married. Moraya, Emma and his staff took great care of us and listened to our many requests. They took my brides vision and molded into the best day of our life. Special thanks for taking one of the drinks from the menu and modifying it to match our wedding colors. The wedding was "perfect" and the entire day was "magical". Our server for the cocktail party and the wedding, "Christian" went above and beyond to make sure us and our guests had an amazing time. We still sit at family gatherings and rave about how amazing our wedding was.

The rooms, the view, the yoga, the staff, and the energy surrounding this resort made it hard to leave. To Moraya, Emma, Patricia, and the staff, I can't thank you all enough for making our stay and our wedding a moment in time to always be remembered. We look forward to returning for our anniversary.

Room Tip: Coco Joes is truly magnificent! Nestled in the woods, the outdoor shower is amazing and the view bre...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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615 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (189)
Date | Rating
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English first
Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

I have struggled to write this review more than any other CR review because I wanted to drool over this resort like almost everyone else but it was not to be. I try to review according to my expectations and then look at everything as objectively as possible always giving the benefit of the doubt considering all factors. Also, I think one big thing that affected this review is the fact my wife and I had just come from a 4 day stay in the OSA as part of our honeymoon that was beyond fantasic and I am not sure any other place could live up to our stay at the El Remanso. Anyhow, we stayed 2 nights here and overall enjoyed the town and vibe of Montezuma. While here, we went to a very nice restaraunt on the beach for lunch (Playa de los Artistas) and ate the remainder of our meals at the resort. The Playa de los Artistas meal was the best we had in our 2 days here. The Resort itself is very nice in appearance but in my opinion has a very blueprinted and planned feel to it. We thought the staff at the resort including the restaraunt were ok friendly but did not really have that personal touch. The wait staff reminded me of what we would get in North America more than Costa Rica. At the previous place we stayed at, we knew everyone by 1st name by the end of the 2nd day. Also, I can't say I was real comfortable with the way you have to leave your vehicle parked a substantial distance away which to me almost made it useless for us to have a vehicle here. We had dome 7 which was nice including the Capuchin's all over the place. The room was ok, nothing great, I guess you could say cute although it would not match up to any other room in the 5 resort /hotels we have stayed in, in CR. The food to me was a mix of good and average similar to the hotel. The food certainly did not have that Wow factor that I have experienced at a number of CR establishments. Would I recommend coming here...yes but I would suggest looking around and seeing what else is out there as well.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uumatter, Owner at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thanks for your "mostly" positive review. It struck me as unusual that you stayed with us in March of last year and decided to write until now. Nevertheless, I would like to respond to a few of your critiques and show you another side to the story.

First off, the fact that we do not have have a road and hence no parking at the hotel is actually a plus. You were able to leave your car at our parking lot in town. Even better yet, you did not need a car in the first place and could have saved the expense. We are happy to transport our guests on their arrival and departure. You gave us 4 stars for location by the way, and I assume not having the car at your side caused you some discomfort.

Secondly, that "blueprint and planned feel" you mention could actually be translated to well organized and efficient, don't you think... I don't mean to assume that everything runs "perfectly" but would like to point out that most people happen to notice when something goes wrong more so than when something goes right. Your 4 stars for service, I think reflects that. Thanks for mentioning that the resort "is very nice in appearance", by the way. I particularly appreciate that.

Regarding your mention of the staff as being OK friendly and lacking a personal touch, I will take that to heart and look into it thoroughly. I must mention, though, that a vast majority of our guests praise our staff effusively for their friendly and kind hearted nature... and I personally can assure one thing about our staff... they are genuine in their hospitality.

Personally, I believe your stay of two nights at our Beach Resort is too short of a stay to really get the feel of it.

Think about it... you arrive in the afternoon, check-in, explore a little, eat dinner and within a few hours of your arrival the day is done. Your next day begins with a beachfront breakfast and either spending a day at the resort or taking in a tour... or going to town and exploring a little and maybe eating lunch there. Then early evening having a candle lit dinner on our starry terrace and once again the day is done. Next morning, another lovely breakfast and you're off early to the next destination... Sounds a little rushed to me.

I can't help but think of all the divine evenings under the stars and delicious dinner entrees you missed out on...


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Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We've stayed in Costa Rica for a total of 6 weeks over 3 occasions, each time as a family of 4. The boys are now 13 and 10, and were 9 and 6 when we first visited. Of the 8 different places we've stayed, Ylang Ylang is definitely our favourite.
The staff are wonderful and the most consistently cheerful and helpful we have come across.
The beach is gorgeous, the classic Tropical affair with white sand, palm trees, hammocks, and the warm Pacific Ocean.
The pool is just big enough and deep enough, not busy (we often had it to ourselves) and again with hammocks and plenty of sunloungers.
The food is delicious, especially breakfast, with plenty of choice including fruit, pancakes, home fries, omelettes and Costa Rican specialities. All meals are served at the beach side restaurant - I can't get across how fabulous a setting this is.
The wildlife is all around, monkeys of various types, coatis, agoutis, lizards etc. We were also thrilled to be able to witness the hatching of a clutch of Olive Ridley sea turtles and their journey down the beach into the ocean - amazing and so cute.
Finally, the town itself (Montezuma) is a short walk along the beautiful beach and has lots of options for lunch (if you need it). The kids really enjoyed the home made pizza at the little Italian called something like L'Angolo....
We will definitely be making another visit to Ylang Ylang.

Room Tip: We've stayed in the same room both times, a beachfront suite. It is pretty much on the beach wit...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

We opted to spend more and stay in one of the beach front bungalows. WORTH IT!! The "Dome" we stayed in was secluded, a few yards up from the beach and tucked into the jungle. Each Dome has a/c (needed when taking a break from the heat and humidity), a fabulous bathroom with an endless supply of delicious smelling ylang ylang shampoo, shower gel and conditioner, hairdryer, an in room safe, fridge, ceiling fan, decent sized patio with view, and a private outdoor shower for washing off saltwater and sand. They also provide you with free wifi and U.S. electrical outlets so no need for adapters. Forget clocks, television and in room telephone, because thankfully there are none! Bring an appetite for some of the most delicious food you will ever eat, consistently meal after meal (breakfast and dinner is included). Highly recommend the stuffed Mahi Mahi and the Fresh Catch of The Day. They also have an extensive raw live vegan menu and loads of sushi. The hotel is remote and there is no real road to get to it. When you arrive to town they pick you up in an off roading Land Rover. The walk to/from town is about 15 minutes (in sand) so leave sexy strappy heeled shoes at home!! If you are staying at the hotel when they offer a garden tour with the owner, Patricia, take it! A lovely hour spent combing the grounds learning about Costa Rica, the plants, the animals, ylang ylang and how it all began. If your lucky and fruit is on the trees, she will happily cut it for sampling. Our tour was a Friday around 4:30pm. I can't say enough wonderful things about Ylang Ylang and what they stand for. Health, beauty, wellness, love and happiness. If you make the trip to montezuma, pony up the few extra bucks and stay here, it's worth every penny. Quite the hidden paradise. And yes, there are ylang ylang trees if you were wondering! A+ and we will definitely make the trip again and again.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

While my husband and I opted to stay in the more primitive tent cabins, it didn't feel like it at this lovely beach oasis. From the moment that David picked us up in town with a giant smile and warm welcome, we knew that we were in for a treat. Most of the staff were extremely friendly, going above and beyond what we expected. The grounds are beautiful, with just a stones throw to the beach. The beach is clean and uncrowded, and we spent a whole day in the ocean's warm waters. Definitely get a spa treatment while there- my deep tissue message was absolutely blissful! The pool area is relaxing and tropical. It was extremely convenient to have the restaurant on the premises, and we ate breakfast and dinner there everyday. The food was amazing! I would have liked to know up front that my selection of beverage on my first day was $12 each, as I was quite surprised at our first night's bill! In addition, we noticed that there were some people on the resort, using its facilities, but not actually staying there. We were approached by someone who we thought was also staying there, only to find out that he was camping on the beach but needed to shower. However, there are security guards that cover the area 24/7- it is just hard for them to determine who is staying there, versus who is a patron using the restaurant, versus who is squatting. Overall, we had an amazing stay at Ylang Ylang and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in a few days of R&R! From what we saw of the other options in Montezuma, Ylang Ylang far surpasses any of them, and it is far away from the dusty roads, but only a short walk to town.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Ylang Ylang beach hotel is situated on the Pacific coast of the country.The hour long ferry ride across the mouth of the "Golfo de Nicoya" and the tranfer by road(also about an hour)to the township of Montezuma adds to sense of remoteness that pervades this experience.
The design of this retreat is truly beautiful,no rooms are more than 80 yards from the beach most are much closer,we stayed in a "dome" which was less than 25 yards from the waters edge.A "dome" is a small beehive shaped bedroom,almost hobbit like in appearance,which has a shower room and toilet attached.They are well furnished and brightly decorated.A small verandah ensures that you don't miss any sunshine.None are overlooked.There are other types of rooms available but if you want to be near the sea,book a dome.
The pace of life is leisurely,the setting idealic.
Pelican,frigate birds as well as macaws are in good number and add to the scene.
The beach is wide,the palms offering some shade and the sea is inviting.The waves pound in and some bays,including that at the resort, warn of rip wides and cross currents however if you are sensible and don't venture in alone(unless you are a strong swimmer) all should be well.
The staff were very friendly and eager to make the visit as enjoyable as possible.
There is a small pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens which are a stricking feature of the resort.
The restaurant is open on three sides which offer fantastic views of the lawns and the bay beyond.There is also a spacious patio to the restaurant and I would recommend that meals are taken there as this just adds to the whole tropical experience.The food is amazing and choices are made from a wide selection. The fish dishes are great.One disappointing feature is that there is no dress code and while the vast majority dressed smartly(albeit leisurely)for dinner a very small minority didn't(coming in STRAIGHT from the beach and with 2 teenagers that seemed to be in the "Kevin and Perry" mode this detracted from the experience)
The small town of Montezuma is a 10 minute stroll along the beach(beware the temperature hit 108 degrees F one morning) or along the shaded track which runs parallel to the waterfront.The town is a throwback to the hippie days of the 60's and is a charming place to just sit in one of the many bars and absorb a gentler way of life.Locals peddle wares for those who are interested and ignore those who are not.There are 2 small but well equipped supermarkets to enable stocks of virtually anything to be replenished.

Room Tip: Nothing more to add to above however the rooms offered in a small block "flats" at the far...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

Not necessarily the easiest place to get to, but once there, superb. The staff, facilities and food were outstanding. Have travelled the world, and worked in fine dining for many years, and have rarely encountered staff and food of this consitant high quality. The variety of rooms should suit everyone and every budget. The beaches and pool are intimate and the hospitality is unrivaled.

Room Tip: The rooms, while small, are everything you need. One thing to note is that there is a conspicuous la...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ylang Ylang Beach Resort

Address: Montezuma Beach | 10-12 minute walk North along the beach, Montezuma 00000, Costa Rica (Formerly El Sano Banano Beach Hotel)
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Montezuma
#1 Family Hotel in Montezuma
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Montezuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Ylang Ylang Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This family-owned resort is known for its natural tropical beauty, variety of wildlife roaming the grounds and outstanding customer service. Located a 10-15 minute walk on the beach from Montezuma, one will find romantic Beach Front Bungalows with A/C, a Spa nestled in the jungle, and a tropical pool edged by waterfalls. If you're looking to get away, this is the getaway place. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ylang Ylang Beach Hotel Montezuma
Ylang Beach Hotel
Ylang Beach Resort

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