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“A fantastic family holiday at Ylang Ylang” 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
East Windsor, New Jersey, United States
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A fantastic family holiday at Ylang Ylang”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

We have just returned from a wonderful family trip to Costa Rica's Pacific coast and the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. I can't say enough about the people at this resort and the area in general. From the moment we met our driver Edwardo at Liberia airport to everyone that we encountered during our many excursions. Our long 4 1/2 hour drive from the airport at first seamed daunting but the scenic drive and the stops along the way to see the wildlife made it an adventure. Ylang Ylang was fantastic. Directly on the ocean front but nestled within the jungle just enough to give you a real feeling of privacy. The Drinks were great and the food is amazing. The staff here as I said before really stand out. Always making sure that our stay was enjoyable. The restaurant setting overlooks the ocean beach and was beautiful night and day. My wife two adult daughters and myself were in one of the three family suites which are located and the far end of the resort. There was plenty of room with two queen beds on the main level and a king bed in the loft. The only issue is that if the people who are next door decide to stay up and talk you can hear almost everything they say. This turned out not to be an issue as our neighbors must have been as tired as we were after the long day of activities and didn't talk for very long. If you are looking to lay on the beach and tan and then wade into the water and do nothing else then I would suggest going somewhere else. There is a really nice secluded beach about a 20 minute walk called "Playa Grande". The walk is not to difficult and very scenic with jungle and rocky beaches along the way. You can even venture up a stream to a small waterfall and sit under it as the water massages your troubles away. We booked four tours directly from the resort front desk. Tortuga Island, Zip line canopy tour, Horse riding and "Curu" wildlife refuge. All were fantastic and very reasonable. If you are looking for adventure, fantastic food, wonderful people, and the beautiful surroundings of the jungle then go to Ylang Ylang you won't regret it. " Pura Vida "

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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607 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 (183)
Date | Rating
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English first
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

My new husband and I stayed for 5 nights at ylang ylang. It was the most incredible place! Not just the resort, but the whole experience. The resort staff was amazing. Rafael was a wonderful server and always so professional and nice! The female receptionist was pleasant and very helpful. She was always smiling, which is a wonderful quality. The maid staff is awesome. They were great and friendly. We probably won't be back to Montezuma because we spent a week there and that about covers that area for activities, but I will forever remember Ylang Ylang and cherish the photos and memories I had there. We stayed in the beachfront rooms and loved that we each had our own bed! The room was perfectly situated with a beautiful view of the ocean and the best little sitting area that I loved to drink coffee and watch the waves.
The beach was so clean and very beautiful. I would not recommend swimming at the beach. But a wonderful 25 min walk toward the left, playa grande (I think?) was a great place to swim. I loved that the resort was a 10 min walk from the town. The food at the resort was AMAZING! But do try Puggo's for dinner one night. Montezuma bar was good for lunch. Their sandwiches were great. Cocolores had a great beer selection. Our server was awesome there. And El Sano Banano was our favorite happy hour spot. The caparisima is a new fave of mine bc of that hotel. We rented an ATV through Eco tours for $65 for 12 hours. Awesome deal. We drove hours through the country. Had to fill up on gas but was the most beautiful drive. Ended up on Santa Teresa and Mal Pais. Beautiful spots to go relax there. And hiked 3 hours starting at the Montezuma falls and through the jungle there. Zuma tours is the best for Tortuga Island. Our guides were awesome. And we saw several humpback whales!!! What a blessing!!
DONT FORGET TO TIP! Maids, servers, tour guides, transfers. We are used to tipping 20% in USA so we contined that in Costa Rica because they are used to 10% which is typically
Included in bill. Especially don't forget to tip servers at Ylang Ylang even though the meals are free!!
Thank you for an amazing experience Ylang Ylang and everyone in Montezuma!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, CA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2014

Beautiful resort, right in the jungle on the edge of the ocean. Each bungalow is surrounded by greenery, tucked away to provide a feeling of solitude. The baths are open air, which is a very nice touch. We stayed in Coco Joe's, which has a queen downstairs and a king bed squeezed into a small loft on top. It was sufficient for 4 people. We could see onto the beach from our patio, and had a paved path directly down to the beach, with two hammocks just for us right on the water. It would have been nice to have a couple of beach chairs down there, too, as there weren't many options for relaxing on the beach except for the hammocks. The food was absolutely delicious - beyond our expectations. We only wished we had been able to stay long enough to try everything on the menu. Every person on the staff we interacted with was friendly, cheerful, accommodating, responsive - they couldn't have been more wonderful! The pool area is very nice, with a beautiful setting. We saw two types of monkeys and several types of lizards. We were also visited by a black scorpion in our bungalow the first night. Along with lush jungle also comes animals and insects of all kinds, and we were not bothered much. The only slight negative for our family is that the ocean is strong and rocky - it was not suited for swimming in front of the resort or anywhere nearby. It may have been the time of year, perhaps other times the ocean is more inviting. We walked the 25 minutes to the Playa Grande, jumped into the calm looking water, and our two adult girls were immediately caught up in a rip tide from waist deep, leaving us with the knowledge that the ocean in this area has strong currents and may not be as friendly as it seems. The walk into town wasn't long - perhaps 15 minutes, but it wasn't too inviting walking along the dirt road, and we were a little concerned about our girls walking into town without us at night (20 and 22 years old), as the walk is dark and rather deserted. While I'm sure it was safe, we didn't go in town at night. We walked to the waterfalls, which was a fun and memorable adventure. With the help of a local, we made it to the third and highest waterfall. Quite a trek, with some climbing up steep rocky terrain holding on to tree limbs and vines - great fun! While we may not be inclined to visit this area again, we will have fond memories and great photos of the Ylang Ylang Resort long into the future!

Room Tip: Coco Joe's was great - hidden in the jungle with a full view of the beach from it's patio. I...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 Jose, Costa Rica
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Coming from SJO you easily take the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera, from there another 60min drive on non-tarmacked but OK roads.
You leave your car in Montezuma town, on a parking owned by a hotel and are shuttled to the YYBR. Nice landing.
Our Bungalow (D2) is facing the beach/ocean, palm tress around, all sunshine, perfect! The room itself could well be bigger, but since you're outside most of the time...
There is a fan as well as air con in the room, as well as a coffee maker.
Their tap water is extremely tasty and safe for drinking.
The restaurant: wow! The Spa: wonderful treatments! The beach walks: miraculous! The pool: nicely landscaped!
On the higher priced side, but definitely worth it!!

Stayed July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2014

My daughter and I found Ylang Ylang searching for a hotel with vegan options, and we were not disappointed. The staff helped us set up excursions well in advance, including both arriving from Arenal and leaving from Tambor, and were always very attentive. The grounds are great for exploring, and the beach is great both for swimming (the surf is pretty serious, so mind your goggles), and just watching. We loved the creative towel folding incorporating fresh flower petals that the maid service executed daily. The walk into town is a nice way to start the day, and there are a number of excellent trips that can be made. The menu had the widest range of vegan options we found anywhere in Costa Rica, and everything we tried tasted great. We would definitely consider staying again.

Room Tip: We stayed in a tent cabin which was just fine, but is definitely best for those who don't need a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2014

i feel bad writing a not great review, but the aesthetics at the hotel are horrible-- akin to disney land & that's not an exaggeration. The rates were not inexpensive-- if it was then i would have felt a lot better about the experience. We went from a gorgeous hotel in santa teresa (latitude 10), which didn't cost much more, to come here b/c we thought that the beach was more swimmable (it was not) & that it would be easier to get to town (It was in fact much more difficult). they did not tell us beforehand that only their own vehicle (not even a taxi) can take you from town to the hotel--about a 10 minute drive on the beach. If that's what you are looking for then that would be ok i suppose. but i was looking for the opposite & felt very much trapped in an aesthetically displeasing environment (at night they inexplicably had a black light on with small spotlights next to the restaurant). the hotel was also quite large & felt a bit overcrowded to me compared to santa teresa. The beach at santa teresa was also a LOT cleaner. aside from the area directly in front of the hotel which they clean up, the beach was filthy. the hotel seemed like it would potentially be good to go to with kids because it was set up well for that. but as adult travelers, i wouldn't recommend it. there are much better places in costa rica. I stayed here because it was well reviewed; i felt compelled after staying here to contribute my own opinion which differs quite a bit. I would say that everyone at the hotel was very nice & do not have complaints about the service (for a relatively big hotel by costa rican standards). Everyone in costa rica overall was very nice in fact.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, July 16, 2014
Dear Neenz,

It is unfortunate, but since the moment of your arrival we were unable to acquiesce to your needs. You arrived at our sister hotel, El Sano Banano, at 10:30 in the morning and immediately wanted to be driven out to Ylang Ylang Beach Resort. You did not call us to ask for an early check-in nor did you, apparently, read our website or confirmation email we sent you... which specifically details our transportation policy, including your check-in time, which happens to be at 2pm and mode of transport to and from our hotel. There is a reason we sent you this info. It was your responsibility to read it... I understand your mobility may have been limited due to your pregnancy. However, in clear contrast to your comments, our policy was spelled out for you.

I was called to assist in your matter, our receptionist at El Sano Banano pointed out that you were pregnant and stressed, but since our driver was in the midst of a check-out, unfortunately, he could not divert his attention. You were immediately informed of this and our driver arrived shortly after 11am. All in all, a 35 minute wait with comfortable seating and pleasant surroundings. Please be aware that our departing guests are just as important as our incoming visitors and our attention to this is what irritated you at the onset.

You mention that our rates "were not inexpensive", rather than say outright that we were expensive. This is an interesting remark. Let me point out that if you factor in that your BREAKFAST and Candlelit DINNER are included in the rate, along with other amenities, we fall somewhere in the middle, comparable to resorts in our category. All in a gorgeous environment akin to a lush botanical garden. Thus, you are correct... we are not cheap and don't intend to offer an inferior experience.

Your remark that "the hotel was also quite large & felt a bit overcrowded", I find quite amusing and thoroughly distorted. Compared to many other hotels on the peninsula, yes, our property is more spacious and extensive and on average offers 500 more yards of beachfront to roam, an ecosystem that we cherish and protect and gardens to get blissfully lost in. This also means you are very likely to experience more wildlife on the grounds, monkeys in the trees and exploring to do safely. Considering our spaciousness, we only host up to 46 people at any given time on average and with all that space the environment is wonderfully devoid of large buildings and full of lush vegetation. BTW, during your stay, there were 34 guests on the premises, including you and your partner, on 20 acres of gorgeous beachfront. Sounds pretty divine to me.

Regarding your comment on the condition of our beach, some days before your arrival, there were many small storms and extraordinary high tides that altered the coast, exposing rock strata that is usually covered by sand. Though our beachfront was cleaned up quickly by our staff, there still remained some disarray on the adjacent beaches that take a little time to recover. This is out of our control and we work diligently to clean up the mess created by the normal cycle of calm and storm during our Green Season. Please be aware that we also organize beach cleanups when needed.

Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is a family run resort. We love what we do and enjoy sharing our property with you, our guests. In my personal experience, most people associate "Disney Land" with happiness, fun and a place full of wonder. Not many people say a place is "like Disney Land" and use it in a negative manner. Quite the opposite. Likewise, your use of the word "kitschy" is malevolent and misplaced. "Artsy" is what we really are. By saying you didn't like the aesthetics, I assume you prefer buildings over flora. We don't have a lot of buildings but we sure do have a lot of flora.

Nevertheless, the majority of our guests are romantic couples looking for a little awe and wonder. We also host many families who are piqued with our particular blend of aesthetics. We love families... and congrats, you are about to start one!

Lastly, I am very sorry we did not live up to your expectations nor fulfill your desires. Thank you for mentioning that our staff was very nice and that you "do not have complaints about the service". I appreciate that gesture of kindness on your part. A lot goes into running our resort and if you knew all the details involved, I believe you would have been much kinder and broadminded in your review.

Sincerely,

Patricia
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

I can not fault the ylang ylang, from the moment you are picked up and have a drink on arrival, the service is amazing. Nothing is too much trouble.
We stayed in a tent cabin, which is a little on the cosy side but perfectly adequate. The bathroom was big and the veranda overlooked the beach which was great.
The restaurant area was lovely, again overlooking the beach and the food was amazing! For breakfast and evening meals, the choice is great and so tasty!
The pool area is great, so relaxing and a great place to swim and cool down.
There are also little seats on the beach if you want to relax there.
Montezuma is not far away, a short walk on the beach. There are plenty of bars and shops.
Take bug spray as the mosquitos are in abundance!
And if you get chance, visit the waterfall, although don't expect a path to get to it its an interesting trail!
All in all, can not fault my stay, amazing!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Montezuma
#1 Romantic 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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