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“Great little hideaway in a Hippie town” 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
New York, NY
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great little hideaway in a Hippie town”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2007

It may be a little hard to get to the town of Montezuma if you a traveling by car. We had to take a ferry over from Puntarenas, which was a nice 1 hour break from driving!!
We arrived in Montezuma early afternoon. After checking in at the sister hotel, we walked the 10 minute walk down the beach to this hidden paradise.
All of the staff was excellent, especially Eduardo, who is you go to guy with any questions you have about Costa Rican nature and history.
The bungalow we stayed in was very private. I thought I would have a problem showering in the outside shower, but it was very private. The room was small, but the balcony was great for relaxing and listening to the ocean.
The food was excellent, and inclusive for breakfast and dinner. The menu had many different options, but I would recommend trying a seafood dish!!
The resort offers massages and yoga classes, and will also plan you trip to Isla Tortuga. There were capuchin monkeys everwhere!!
If you are going to stay in Montezuma, stay here. It is the priciest place in town, but well worth it!!

  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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601 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 (180)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2007

I must say that I really loved this place. Keep in mind though you need to do your homework and know as best you can what you are getting. I found this place in Frommer's book on Costa Rica and it sounded "Enchanting" and Unique. I got my reservation in and then started finding reviews on it. I will say that after reading negative reviews I was really upset and didn't want to go there. I contacted the hotel via e-mail and Moraya answered all my questions and was always returning my e-mails. The negative comments just helped me know what to expect. It was up to me if I was going to let those things ruin my trip or make it an adventure. I chose to make it an adventure. Some of the negative comments you might hear is the ocean is so loud you can't sleep. True! The ocean is very loud. That is what to expect though when you are sleeping in front of it. Solution: ear plugs. I just popped mine in at night and slept fine. My husband did not sleep as well becuase he chose not to wear ear plugs. The monkey over our bungalow also kept him up. How cool is that though to have monkeys around your bungalow. There are these purple crabs everywhere too. At first when I saw them I was stunned. There were so many but really you get use to them fast and they are more scared of you and get out of your way. They are all over the beach too. They are very colorful though. There can also be bugs. We had one night, after a big rain storm (that was really loud but really cool) and that really brings on the bugs. They didn't bother us much and the mosquito netting did a good job at keeping them out. The bungalow itself was quite cute. It is true that the beds are small and a bit hard. I decided though that you give and take and just deal with some things. The bathroom inside the bungalow does not have a door on it, just hangy things, which are a cute decor for the room but I would have preferred a door on the bathroom. We never had a problem with the pool being too crowded, we found it to be really nice and loved the waterfall. We loved the restaurant and the food too. The scenery is beautiful with a great ocean view and the food is very tasty-best meal I ate in Costa Rica and George our waiter was so great. We took a sunset tour while we were there and loved it! Eduardo was great and we had a fun time. Also if you ask where the secluded beach is (I think it is Playa Grande) -go there. It is about a 25 minute walk from Ylang-Ylang. It is beautiful and you can play in the ocean. We were the only two in site at the ocean there for about 1 1/2 hours. That was fun. Suggestion-get up early (like 7:00 am) and go there. The sun sets early in Montezuma and rises early. I would highly recommend this hotel for anyone looking for a romantic adventure. Just go with an open mind. Have fun and enjoy the beauty that is there. The staff is excellent as well. I would also recommend the ferry over the plane if you get motion sick easy. We rode the ferry over, which was nice, and took the plane back. The plane was much quicker of course but I got so sick and threw up a lot. So try out Ylang-Ylang, it is an adventure never to be forgotten!

  • Stayed April 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mammoth Lakes, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2007

My fiance and I visited here in May 2007. Due to the reported lack of safe accommodations in town, we splurged on the highest end option - Ylang Ylang. I'll admit we loved the novelty of being picked up in town and driven along the beach in a Land Rover Discovery to this "secret" spot. Once there, we found the grounds to be lush and exotic. The wildlife sightings, the hiking, the beaches, the staff and the food were first-rate, but, sadly, that's where the good review ends.

After seeing the tiny Jungalows (@ $195/night), we opted for the lowest-priced room in the main building. To say these are in need of an upgrade is an understatement. The beds were short and terribly uncomfortable - rock hard, short sheets, small. There was no circulation, even with the fan on. The windows in the bathroom were simple concrete slats, offering easy access for bugs; and an open drain in the shower provided even easier access for a sinister-looking crab, which hung out during our entire trip.

Suspecting the rooms would be easy to break into, I lightly pushed the "locked" window shutters from outside to test my theory, and they busted wide open with the slightest touch.

I will say security seemed to be omni-present, which was nice. But it seemed to be absent when a drunken, beligerent man next door to us was vomiting and spouting obscenities at 10 in the morning. Not the hotel's fault, but still - the walls are so thin, it felt like he was in our room. Not pleasant.

I'm torn because the staff was so friendly and the setting was beautiful; but for the price, the accommodations could be much nicer. (We've stayed at much nicer places in CR for less money, with breakfast included.)

  • Liked — Food, staff, location
  • Disliked — Rooms
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
97 helpful votes 97 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2007

There is a reason the Ylang Ylang is the number one place to stay in Montezuma - it is paradise. The property is fantastic - all elements of the grounds incorporate the natural beauty of Costa Rica. We could not snap enough photos. Even the paths to the bungalows are beautiful.

The food served for the all inclusive breakfast and dinner is mouth watering. Breakfast is a menu, with a variety of options. Dinner is also a menu, with so many options it was hard to decide (try the tuna - best meal I ate the whole trip). Plus the meals are served on this lovely ocean-view patio.

The bungalow that we stayed in was so close to the beach that sometimes I woke up thinking the waves were crashing through our door! Everyday our room was made up and the ladies left a lovely flower arrangement and flower petals all over our room. We NEVER had an issue with any bugs (as some people previously posted on this site), despite the fact that we did not sleep with the mosquito net over us (too hot).

While I do agree that there seemed to be a lack of lounge chairs at the pool, whenever we had an issue getting a spot we simply found an empty hammock by the beach (plus, I see that they have just ordered more chairs).

The most positive thing about the Ylang Ylang resort are the people that run it. Everyone was super friendly and went out of their way to make our stay more than perfect. We got married on the beach at the resort and they attended to our every need (thanks Kaya!).

If you don't stay here on your next trip to Montezuma you are making a huge mistake (huge).

  • Liked — Service
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kearney, Nebraska
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2007

Loved this place. If you need to escape to another world, where everything seems to be at peace, this is the place to go. Bring extra money for jewelry. There are several artisits that make some very beautiful pieces. They are not the cheap, fall apart stuff that you are used to getting on the street, some of them are real works of art. I read a lot about the food in Costa Rica, and most places said the food was lack luster. I thought the food was beyond excellent. I suggested the blackened tuna. It tastes like very tender steak. They also have a great selection of raw food. The staff was friendly, and by the end of our stay you feel like you are part of the family there, and it is sad to leave. We are already planning our trip back. Another thing that I suggest that you do while in Montezuma, take the zip-line canopy tour. Even if you are afraid of heights (as I am), this is one of the most exciting and liberating experiences. I do suggest that if you are going to the Peninsula from San Jose, take a plane, don't try to take a bus. I know it is cheaper, but I wouldn't want to be crammed into a bus on those road.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The check in process
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed 6 nights at Ylang Ylang in one of their bungalows (#2)... Really an experience... The bungalows are surrounded by the jungle and facing the ocean... Don't expect windows, meshes on the windows or even a door between the bedroom and the washroom... The bungalows are more some kind of a honeymoon version of Robinson Crusoe's house. Very confortable though and very clean. A nice terrasse to have a cool Imperial (the local beer) at night watching the ocean or to bite into a delicious Papaya purchased at the village in the morning...

The place was very quiet and walking at night on the small paths was very relaxing, although full of surprises with crabs and the likes running around...

During the day, the white face monkey family living in the area was usually jumping around... Pretty funny how they look at you with a face that seems to say ... "Still you... haven't checked out yet?"

The beach is nice but the water is the Pacific Ocean and people who are looking for a blue laggon will be very disappointed... Waves are pretty big (I had a lot of fun) and while we were there, the red wave and jelly fishes took control almost every afternoon which prevented us from enjoying the water... The pool is always a retreat in these cases...

Overall, a very nice experience, although I agree with other reviews that the food was not as good as I would have expected (typical fusion style cuisine where sauces are taking over the main ingredients), especially fo the price you end up paying on top of the free main course. We had much better and more typical complete meals in La Fortuna for 1/3 of the price... ...that being said, the setup of the terrasse facing the ocean under the stars is absolutly amazing to celebrate with a glass of Champaign a certain ring I had brought with me there ;-)

We strongly recommend the tour to Curu with Eduardo... Cool guy, passionate and very knowledgable. If you read this, thanks again for a great day !

Logistics to get there...we do not recommend flying Sansa to reach the penisula... although an experience to fly in a small Cessna, sitting right behind the pilot, they have a very low limit for luggages and use magic balances to calculate your overweight .Your luggages will magicly lose 1/3 of their weight during the 5 minutes walk between Sansa and your international ariline counter in San Jose... Because of that the final price is pretty high, and you also need to pay for the transfer to the hotel... Having to go back, I would ask Eduardo to come and pick us up in San Jose, driving back using the Ferry...

We also went to Tortuga Island where I enjoyed diving while the group was snorkelling. Zuma tours is great and well organized. Nice lunch on the beach with fish BBQed and fruits... Everything very fresh and tasty. I just wish I could have done more diving but besides full day tours at Tortugua, they could not really propose anything else for the rest of our stay.

Finally, was hard for us to get a clear story as to how close to the beach the bungalow were as we were booking our trip.... Here is the deal: you have two rows, one on the beach front and another one higher up the hill with very nice view of the ocean but further ... So if you want to be close to the water, go with #1 to #4... You might think the ocean is reaching your bed at night based on the noise waves can make... but you will feel completly alone, with a nice breeze coming in and one of the most amazing views I have seen ...

  • Liked — How secluded it was
  • Disliked — the food (was OK but not great)
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2007

I've never written a review about a hotel but felt compelled to write about Ylang Ylang. We stayed in what their website called a beach side Jungalow, which is really just a tent and it is not on the beach. You can't even hear the waves crashing in from these tents. The shared bathrooms were clean and always nicely maintained, but when a website claims that something is located on the beach that is what I expected.

Secondly we were there during the week and always had to wait hours before getting a lounge chair by the pool. Ylang Ylang shares the pool with their hotel in town and all of those guests come to Ylang Ylang daily for the pool, so there is never enough room for everyone. This caused a lot of frustrations amongst the guests as everyone was milling about waiting for a chair to become available. Also, this may sound petty but the water fountain at the pool was so loud it over powers the sound of the waves. I don't know about you but I'd much rather hear the sound of the waves over a manufactured water fountain any day. I can hear a water fountain at the local mall.

There are no lounge chairs or seats of any sort close to the beach. So if you want to be near the beach or water you have to lay on the sand.

Although dinner was included we still had a $50.00 plus tab every night which was just two or three coctails combined not each and dessert.

The vibe of this hotel was very corporate. It felt like a Holiday Inn in disguise.

The staff was as nice as could be. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone.

Stayed March 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
uumatter, Administrator at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2007
Dear Guest,
First off, thanks for staying at Ylang Ylang. Let me start off by clarifying a few of your comments...

On our website;
7 Ocean View Jungalows
We do not list them as "beach side" as you mention... nevertheless, our lovely beach is right there in front of the Jungalows, so close you could throw a stone and hit the sand. If this is not "beachfront" or "on the beach", then all coastal hotels around the world will have to re-classify their locations.

Dinner AND Breakfast are included in the rates.

Our pool is a popular hangout spot! The waterfall at the pool is intentional. It oxygenates the water and clears the surface by forcing floating debris towards the skimmers. Plus it sounds great! It seems to relax people, by the way! It looks nice, too!

We just ordered 21 high quality chaise loungers. The demand for more loungers has been answered! Thank you for your request.

Our prices are very reasonable. If you consider your stay in a Jungalow at $135/nite double occupancy, with breakfast and candle-lit dinner included for two people...sheesh, what's there not to like?

Holiday Inn vibe? Couldn't be farther from the truth...how about more like Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island.

"The staff was as nice as could be". Thank you for noticing!

The surroundings are beautiful, the beach is lovely and uncrowded, the gardens are lush and exotic, the food is generous and mouthwatering and the staff is as nice as can be!

My kinda place!


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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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