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“As expected for the price, has it's pros and cons.” 3 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 #8 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Kennesaw, Georgia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“As expected for the price, has it's pros and cons.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2010

Just got back from this hotel last week. Definitely was an experience.
Firstly, I suppose you have to look at this hotel from the perspective of the area and amenities available in this part of Costa Rica. Montezuma has it's challenges with water and sewage and a few other amenities I, as a United States citizen, take for granted.
I'll break is review into sections for optimal description.

Location - This hotel is smack in the middle of the small town of Montezuma. It is directly beside a small grocery store (very convenient for snacks, drinks, and whatever you forgot to pack) and between multiple restaurants and travel/adventure companies. It is a 5 minute walk to nice beaches, 10 minutes from the trail to a waterfall and swimming hole, and about 12 minutes to it's sister hotel, the Ylang Ylang resort.

Staff - The guys at the front desk were excellent. Check in was no issue. The answered every question we had, or at least tried. We organized a few group trips (my husband and I meet 22 additional friends in Montezuma for a wedding), booking for these excursions was as easy as telling the staff what you wanted to do, when and handing them the cash. The contacted the provider and worked everything out. Vans/Boats picked us up at the allocated time with minimal issue.

Restaurant - Rooms include free breakfast. It was "ok". The French Toast was good as well as the Costa Rican Breakfast, but some other items were lack luster. We stayed a total of 6 nights, 2 of those mornings we opted for a breakfast in neighboring restaurants for some variety (I recommend the Ma Tia place on the corner just to the right, excellent food and real fruit slushies). We also dined in house one night. The restaurant offers a movie viewing every night at 7:30. We arrived early got a great seat and enjoyed an excellent dinner and drinks with our film. The serving staff is the same as the check in staff and they were again great everyday.

Rooms - The rooms were modest. If you live in the United States think Motel 6. Beds were not soft, but I can sleep on almost anything so I worked for me. Only annoying thing was that bottom sheet didn't quite fit the bed and would come loose in the night resulting in you sleeping on a bare mattress. :P The floors are tile, so if you walk in with sand on your feet you will most likely carry it all around with you at night. I wished I had brought some small slippers, but socks worked out ok. Each room has a single AC unit. We stayed in a room with one full/queen bed and a small twin bed. The room faced out to the street. There was no real off the street noise to mention. The AC cooled the room well at a moderate setting. The space was adequate for a couple, but 3 people would have felt crowded. The rooms open into a hallway that is attached the the restaurant by a stair. I mention this because many rooms at hotels in the area open directly outside making them more accessible to theft. Security did not seem to be a concern in our hotel, however there was a guard downstairs at night. When we left during the day I felt my things were secure.

Bathroom/Water - The bathroom had a stand in tile shower of generous size. However, there is only one control for the water on/off. Above the shower is an electric box for controlling the water's heat. Unfortunately this box is terrible. The control does turn on the hot water, however there is no middle ground. No matter how small of a hairline fraction you turn the knob you either get cool/cold straight from the pipes water or scald your skin turbo hot water. After much effort on our second day we involved the staff to see if we were just "doing it wrong", but he could not get any better results. He acknowledged that it was not supposed to work that way and said he would call the plumber to check it; however, two days later he asked if he had come we said we were unsure but that it still did not function correctly. At this point we had gotten used to quick 2 minute cold showers and told the staff not to worry about it as we didn't want to be a bother, but honestly, it was a little frustrating to not get a "good" shower all week. Additionally, the water sometimes cuts off at night. I am not sure if the hotel does it or if it's an issue in town (though we were notified by a restaurant while dining that their water had just stopped), but there was a night that we did not have water for 4-5 hours. Fortunately, most of the time we were sleeping, and it was back on when we arose. The hotel also asks that you do not flush toilet paper due to the water system.

Ylang Ylang - Our friends wedding was at the Ylang Ylang so we went there several times throughout our stay. The walk was fairly short and only mildly unpleasant midday (if you aren't in a swimsuit) because of the heat. Walking in the earlier or later hours of the day was quite nice and a beautiful view. The resort it's self is beautifully landscaped, has a friendly staff and an excellent pool. We swam there several times, if you are staying at El Sano Banano you simply go to reception with your key for towels. There are several hammocks on site, and the restaurant there is nice offering most of the things at El Sano plus a few extra items. They also organized the wedding of our friends and did an excellent job with the ceremony and reception. They also have a 2 for 1 happy hour from 3p-6p everyday.

The area - Montezuma is a small relaxed organic style town. There are several other small hotels and hostels in the area, but from what we could see it appears El Sano Banano/Ylang Ylang is one of, if not the, best. My husband and I ate at at least 7 different local places in town and each one was a good experience. Locals were friendly and most spoke at least some English, we only know minimal Spanish words and phrases. Most menus were in Colones, some in US Dollars. Each place we dined appeared to accept both, tho if the menu was in another currency than the one you had they would convert at their rate, not the current rate, so you might gain or lose a few dollars on the swap. We carried around both currencies and had no issues. Menus were also both Spanish and English. Once while dining we did experience a sewage leakage coming up from the cracks in the sidewalk. We quickly moved to a more ideal seating location. The odor was less than pleasant. The restaurants staff was concerned and we were informed it happened occasionally due to the town's system. However, it must have been a fairly minor issue because it was quickly handled. Additionally, there is an ATM in town, we made a withdrawal without issue, but saw other people have issues. The ATM is also rumored to run out of money frequently, so come prepared.
Outside of town you can expect to see great beaches, tropical forests, monkeys, iguanas, birds and other wildlife. We hiked to the local waterfall and swam, swam in the ocean, rode a boat to Tortuga Island, and zip lined though the jungle. All and all a pleasant trip with a lot of ambiance and fun paired with a few minor inconveniences.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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166 reviews from our community

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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 (33)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winnipeg
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2010

The rooms are quite nice and the location close to the beach but we did not have water for 2 days that we stayed there. Despite multiple requests to have it fixed it kep shutting off! Bit ridiculous to spend this much on a waterless hotel! Although - access to the Ylang Ylang resort hotel was great. We recommend the Ylang Ylang happy hour!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2009

Although the rooms are much like dorm rooms for the price to stay per night it is reasonable. The staff are extremely nice and accomodating. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
stlpisces
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

My husband, nephew, his wife, and I traveled to Montezuma for the film festival and vacation. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our stay at Sano Banano.

Rooms are clean, but a bit musty. I think primarily due to the humidity. I always take ear plugs with me when I travel so even though there was some noise, it did not disturb me. No problems with hot water in room 2. The window in rooms 1 & 2 actually face the hallway, but we only used the room to sleep or nap, so it was not a problem. Sano Banano is in the center of town so a great location.

I thought the staff and service was great, if you're in a hurry, you may not like waiting for your check, but it's no problem, just ask for it. Everyone at Sano Banano is friendly and helpful. Loved the fruit and yogurt plate for breakfast. Yang Yang has a few more selections on the menu, both restaurants had decent food and your check is printed with both colones and US Dollars. (These were the only establishments we visited who did this) The pool at Yang Yang is nice and the view from the restaurant is great. There is a place around the corner that will do your laundry for a few bucks if you want to pack light. The white faced monkeys visited us at both Sano Banano and Yang Yang. They are cute!

The beaches have both rock and sand, the surf does bring in some trash close to town. If you don't mind walking, you can find your way to a nice spot to swim. Chico's is the primary nightlife, there is music, food, and a pool table. We rented 4 wheelers and drove to Mal Pais, visited the Butterfly Garden, and hiked to the waterfall. Our group of 4 did not have problems with insects but would recommend taking and using bug spray.

The internet access next door was not free but the cost is minimal.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
New York, NY
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2009

I went to El Sano with my fiance we are 27 and 29 and we had an amazing time. This hotel is amazing! The staff is so sweet, from the receptionist to the waiters. Everyone greated us with a smile. We were not sure what to expect when we went but once we got there wished that we had scheduled out more time here OR picked is as our last place place to visit b4 we left bc we enjoyed ourselves so much it almost ruined everywhere else we went after. The beaches are rough but very pretty and clean. Like anywhere, you do have to watch your things but thats anywhere you travel. The food is also very good, I recommend you try the veggie quesedilla and they tuna salad. The best is getting a table on the front porch and people watching. The rooms are basic but very clean and kinda cute, beware you may find a gecco in there :) They show movies at night, so my fiance and i would grab a good table for dinner and then stay put and continue to have drinks once the movie started. We spent lots of time at the beach and also went to the sister resort Ylang Ylang which has a very nice pool and is fun to walk around (you can order drinks by the pool) At night the streets of Montezuma turn into a party with fire dancers and jugglers and there is a small bar with a dance floor if your into that. If not, you can grab some drinks and sit on the rocks by the beach and watch the stars. In the mornings if you are up REALLY early you can catch the monkeys in the trees above the bakery across from the library. The only problem we had was that the one ATM in town was broken and had been for months ( take cash) but we had no problem using our credit card. I do feel like I should respond to a previous review on here regarding ppl of other races being treated unfairly. I am black and no one made me feel uncomfortable, called me "negro" or offered me cocaine. And i have a hard time believing this bc there we other non-whites there, including some of the staff who do not fit the description of the other post. Everyone here is redicously friendly. Oh, just a note, if you go take off walking down the beach towards Ylang Ylang its a very pretty and a fun walk if you like to explore.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
New York City
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2009

The food, especially the seafood, is surprisingly good. Good, friendly staff. And it's nice how they show a movie at night in the restaurant. The hotel is near the beach and other local hangouts, which is good if you want to mingle with others - but it gets noisy at night. But we had a couple of major issues: 1) they claim they have Internet access in the hotel, but you actually have to go to the usually packed Internet store down the street and pay to use the Internet there (i.e. no Internet at the restaurant or in your room); and 2) There is no running water 85% of the time and you have to tell them early in the morning to turn it on so you can shower, etc.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Portugal
Level Contributor
112 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2009

Nice rooms ,spacious bathrooms. Good breakfrast with a choice off juices, food and fruits. Excellent staff, always fullfilling any need U may have.Close to everything. The chance to enjoy Ylang Ylang resort facilities is a bonus (wonderfull place with a marvellous restaurant).

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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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 #8 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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