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“Not worth the price” 2 of 5 stars
Review of El Sano Banano Village Hotel

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El Sano Banano Village Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Main Road - Town Center, Montezuma, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Not worth the price”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

I'm not sure how this hotel managed to obtain such a high ranking. Although the staff is amazing and the food is good, the hotel itself is horrible.

1. In some rooms, there is not a single window. In other rooms, there is a window but you can't get the sun blocked in case you decide to have a nap during the day. Also, if there is a party outside, you will have a hard time falling asleep.

2. No hot water, or should I say, no water at all? This is the most frustrating part. After a day at the beach one would hope that for over a $120/night you can get a basic shower. Well, no. There is a serious problem with water pressure and if you are lucky and there is some pressure, it will be cold anyway. At some times, there was no water at all!!!

3. No room for clothes/stuff.

On the positive side, the staff is very nice and the hotel is secured at night. The food is pretty good too. There is a/c & internet. Also, when you reserve a room at Sano banano you may access the pool and the restaurant at a fancier hotel - ylang ylang. This is a good option if you're willing to walk 10-15 minutes along the beach.
Let me finish with a comment on the location that many mention in their review. Montezuma is a tiny place. Everything is in "downtown" except for the above mentioned ylang ylang resort. There is absolutely nothing special in the Sano banano's location.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
uumatter, Owner at El Sano Banano Village Hotel, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Thank you for mentioning the positives regarding your stay: Nice Staff, Security, Air Conditioning, Free WiFi, the Good Food offered at our restaurant and free access to our sister hotel Ylang Ylang. It makes us happy that you noticed these very important details as they are the points most mentioned by travelers when traveling. Let me add that the hotel is clean and quiet for a hotel in an energetic little town.

Regarding your review, let me clarify a few points:

First, we only rent one room that does not offer any window, Room 11. The rest of our rooms all have windows that either look out to the Park/street, Garden or a hallway. All of our rooms have curtains, except for Room 11, which has no window due to its location and is often preferred by people who want to sleep in late as it is also our most quiet.

Second, we do have hot water in all of our rooms, unless there is a problem with the town's water supply. The in-room hot water units we offer are On-Demand heaters which only heat up the water when you open the valve to shower. Each unit has a dial where you choose the temperature. It is possible you did not notice this and the temperature was set to off or cool. On occasion the town's water supply experiences brief outages related to excessive use and/or pump failure. These likely were the issues you experienced during your stay. We do have reserve water tanks at the hotel for times like these but the amount in reserve is exhaustible.

Third, all of our rooms have shelving space and hangers. We apologize if there was not enough space for your belongings.

We believe our prices are very fair in relation to the services we offer and we do our best to keep our guests happy. It is with pleasure we serve you and hope to make any corrections we can as long as our guests let us know what is needed during their stay...

Sincerely,

Patricia (Owner)
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141 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cancun, Mexico
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I recently stayed here and the staff was truly amazing. Everyone was extremely helpful and prompt in anything we asked. The food was top notch in taste and presentation. The rooms were clean and everything worked well. Great location to everything and we enjoyed movie night.

Stayed November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

El Sano Banano is in the middle of town, which is great to be so close to all the town has to offer in food, beach, and entertainment. There is A/C, which is a must in the hot, humid town of Montezuma. Every night they play a movie in the restaurant. Everyone was super friendly! They also let you use the pool at their sister hotel Ylang Ylang, which is a super awesome pool about a 15 minute walk down the beach. My friend and I were very happy with our stay. Negatives: our room had a view of a wall and a roof. Our room was above the kitchen, so we were woken up each morning to the sound of silverware clanking. You can hear everyone in the halls and yelling coming from the streets all night, but ear plugs blocked it all out enough.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Athens, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

We spent three nights at hotel and in Montezuma as part of a two week CR trip. We are three old friends who were last in CR in the mid 70s. First time to Montezuma. What a great little beach town and what a wonderfull hotel. El Sano Banano could not have a better location. The rooms, facilities, meals all exceeded our expectations and are a real bargain. Great complimentary breakfasts. Be sure and try the Gallo Pinto. We also enjoyed our trip up the beach to the resort and appreciated the access to their facilities. The service was exceptional and all employees went out of their way to accomodate our every need. We would like to thank Jairo, who provided us with very good advise and directions concerning road conditions and suggested route planning for a side trip to Mal Pais and for our trip north to Samara at the conclusion of our stay. Also, a special thanks to the Mgr. Emma, whose good humor, wit, and kindness made us feel especially welcome and who would be reson enough, by herself, to warrant a return trip. Having spent time in the hospitality business myself it is not lost on this guest that the attitude of the entire staff begins and ends with the attitide of the boss and Emma's family of employees are a great example of how to make travelers feel at home. Thank you Emma. We look forward to coming back.

Rick Peckham
Athens GA

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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.
Carrboro, NC
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

I had only planned on staying here one night, on my way from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde. I chose the hotel because it offered vegan options. I had reserved a four-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle with Europcar through Expedia, but when I arrived in San Jose, Europcar pulled a bait-and-switch and all they had was a beat-up Toyota Corolla with manual everything and no hubcaps. It became clear after a few days with this jalopy that we weren't going to make it up to Monteverde, so I had to cancel (and lost a night's hotel charge), and stay in Montezuma for three nights.

The rooms at El Sano Banano are pretty basic, with saltillo tile floors, colorful bedspreads, and a small television, which we never used. Our room had dormer-style windows, and the double bed was under the slope of the roof and against the wall, so it was a bit claustrophobic. The batteries were falling out of the door of the room safe, so we didn't risk using it. We never got clean towels or fresh sheets, so things got pretty gritty by the last day.

There is no shampoo or drinking cups, let alone in-room coffee, so make sure to bring all the essentials. The shower never really got hot. The WiFi worked very well, though.

The good thing about El Sano Banano is that guests can use the facilities at the much nicer Ylang Ylang resort, which is a 400-meter walk up the beach, so we spent a lot of time there at the pool and restaurant.

Breakfast at El Sano Banano is okay. I had the scrambled tofu one day. It was tasty, but runny. Stick with the fruit. You will get one refill on your coffee and that's it.

There is an evening movie, but they expect you to order food or drink if you want to watch it, even if you are a guest at the hotel.

We only had dinner at El Sano Banano one night, and it was very good. I had veggie fajitas, and they were accompanied by little fried tortilla cups filled with salsa, beans, and guacamole.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2012

I've stayed here in januari 2012 with my parents and my husband. The location is great and so is Montezuma!
We had separate rooms in El sano banano and they were horrible! The beds are hard and there wasn't any space between the bed and the walls. My parents room didn't had a window, just a high placed no-see-tru window. Our room had a 'indoor window', facing the hallway. With all the other guests walking straight by it wasn't an option to keep the window open and not even an option to open the curtains. (really like my privacy!)
After taking a shower it became very musty in the room. It really wasn't very sano (healty)!
I think being in jail feels like this.
The staff however was very friendly and helpfull. The breakfast was great and the pies are to die for!
Luckely it is possible too use the restaurant without sleeping in the hotel. I recommend eating in El Sano Banano but I definitly do not recommend sleeping there!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
uumatter, Owner at El Sano Banano Village Hotel, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
Regarding your review, Thank you for mentioning that we have a great location in town and may I mention that is a very important detail. Please note that we have a variety of room styles and all of the rooms are AirConditioned and have sealed windows that are specifically made that way to block out the noise. Montezuma is a boisterous town, day and night. Some of the rooms look out toward the street and garden and a few look towards the hallway. You had a hallway room. All of our rooms are safe, secure and clean.

You are the first person to mention that the mattresses are too firm. They happen to be the highest quality semi-orthopedic mattresses available in Costa Rica. I assume you did not ask the front desk for assistance regarding a room change or comforter, which is a normal thing to ask if you find your room not to your liking. I do it occasionally while traveling to other countries, usually with positive results.

Regarding your shower, all you need to do is keep your door shut while showering and like any hotel room in the humid tropics with a tile floor, all will be fine.

I notice that you mention that the "staff however was very friendly and helpful" yet only gave 3 stars for their efforts. Perhaps this is an oversight on your part.

To compare the Room to a Jail is quite harsh in my opinion and also quite surprising. Perhaps, fortunately, you have never seen the inside of a jail.

We are very happy you found the restaurant and food to your liking.

We always strive to do our best and accommodate our guests in any way possible. Thank you for your review.

Sincerely,

Patricia Slump
Owner
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San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2012

When we first arrived in Montezuma we were staying at a different hotel. When we were walking down the street, however, we saw a sign in front of El Sano Banano advertising a reduced room rate. Upon walking in and checking out the hotel, we were sold.
* The Staff (Martin, et al) were amazing! They went out of their way to make our stay fantastic.
* The cost (June, 2012) was $45 a night for an air conditioned double room, right in the center of town that included an amazing breakfast. The rooms were cleaned every day.
* The breakfast was no ordinary hotel breakfast. We got to choose off of a menu that included the typical Costa Rican breakfast, banana pancakes, french toast, yogurt/fruit/granola, coffee or juice. It was fantastic.
* The restaurant downstairs shows popular movies every night, in English with Spanish subtitles.
* One of the best things about El Sano Banano is the fact that it's linked to the Ylang Ylang resort so you can go over and use their facilities (which you should!).

I would definitely stay there again.

Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Additional Information about El Sano Banano Village Hotel

Address: Main Road - Town Center, Montezuma, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Montezuma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — El Sano Banano Village Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the main street in the heart of Montezuma, this hotel offers 11 comfortable rooms that are economically priced just a block from the beach. The rooms are above the well-known restaurant and have A.C., hot showers and SkyTV. The rooms are quiet and secure for those who prefer in-town comfort. Breakfast is included and the hotel guests are welcome to use the pool and hammocks at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, just a 10-12 minute walk on the beach from Montezuma. ... more   less 
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