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“This hotel provides awonderful and unique tropical jungle and beach experience.”

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Ylang Ylang Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Montezuma
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 6, 2009

If you are looking for something a little out of the ordinary, you should come here! It is a little piece of paradise with your room right in the jungle and the beach a few meters away. The gardens and plantings are a horticultural delight, the wildlife is everywhere, the food is delicious, the staff are delightful and the pool with a waterfall is a slice of heaven. Yoga classes are offered every morning and a spa offers great services in a jungle "tent". The setting is idyllic.

This hotel is not for people expecting a standardized, homogenized, or sterile experience. It is unique in every way. The hotel is a 10 minute beach walk from town. Or if you come by landrover with your luggage, it will be along the sand and bumping over roots and creekbeds. You may find monkeys on your veranda. Our room had no traditional closet. There isn't a TV in your room. There might be ants in your bathroom - you are, after all, in the jungle! Lizards will visit the poolside. Early morning sleep may be interrupted by the roar of howler monkeys. Nighttime can be noisy too with life in the jungle right outside your door.

But in the midst of this jungle, beach and small fishing village, this small resort provides a luxurious experience with meticulous attention to detail. Delightful, efficient and creative maid service. Free wi-fi. Coffee maker, hairdryer, lots of towels, fridge, a/c and fan, indoor and outdoor shower, veranda, comfortable beds. Full service spa. Organic and gourmet food. A great happy hour.

We had a fabulous stay and recommend it without reservation.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Guatemala13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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671 - 677 of 814 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2009

First, let me say that I use Trip Advisor often to review hotels, but have never taken the time to add a comment of my own. After staying at Ylang, however, I feel compelled to share my experiences with others, to explain how disappointed I was with my time spent there.

I should acknowledge my own biases when writing this; I am not an overly picky guest, but I do expect a level of service and professionalism that is consistent with the way the establishment is advertised, and more importantly, consistent with the cost of my stay. All of this amounts to the "value" of the experience, and this is precisely where Ylang falls dreadfully flat.

The positives about this place are its proximity to a beautiful beach and generally friendly staff, and actually, decent food. I should say however that parts of that "beautiful" beach are covered in garbage as waste left adrift to travel along the coast comes to rest on the playa grande near the hotel.

My impression is that Ylang suffers from an identity crisis. It thinks it is a luxury hotel, but it is nothing more than a glorified hostel. I say this because of how it is managed, and the type of accommodations provided.

The owner, Patricia, is both greedy and completely unprofessional. You see, we booked our 3 night stay here through an agent, and when we showed up to find the place much less than we had anticipated, we wanted out. But it turns out they have a 30-day cancellation policy (which is absolutely absurd) and she would not grant us a refund for any portion of our stay. She made feeble excuses about the complexity of providing the refund, despite our pleading. It was my honeymoon, I wanted it to be perfect. Patricia just wanted to keep the money. Our happiness as guests was completely inconsequential to her. It was all about the money (a sentiment that her staff whispered to us as well). She then told us to "make the best of it" and to sign up (and pay her) for tours and activities. Any other hotelier would have offered some compensation if they were sincere about their regret regarding the circumstances. This was insult on top of injury. She then proceeded to leave, take a swim in the pool in front of us, and then go about her day. Smug, with a sense of entitlement. Shockingly poor etiquette and a general lack of understanding about hospitality.

I would say we stayed there the rest of the time begrudgingly, my wife would say we were kept captive.

Why were we so desperate to leave? If my wife were beside me should would list off many more reasons, but here are a few: there is no road access to the hotel and you have to wait for their one driver to pick you up from town to take you over the beach to the hotel, which is mighty inconvenient; the rooms are tiny and there is no door between the bathroom and the bedding area, and so the toilet and your pillow are no more than 10 feet apart with nothing between them; the doors do not lock properly, nor do they close properly, allowing bugs (and crabs!!) in to the room; limited hot water; no phones in the room to call the desk if (and when) you have a problem or request; the front desk closes early so you cannot get any assistance in the evening hours, in fact, they are very much under-staffed; you cannot flush toilet paper down the drain, so you have to put soiled toilet paper in a bin next to the toilet in the bathroom without a door...

Then, there is the price. We payed $275 a night for all of this "luxury". We also paid a similar price at other places in CR which were immeasurably better than this. The value was substantially lacking, and there was no attempt to make us happy when we made our dissatisfaction known.

I dont write any of this out of spite, but instead to warn others that this place is not as it is advertised. This is not a luxury, or even semi luxury hotel. It is managed only with an eye toward enriching its owner, with little regard for guest satisfaction.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank frankstar15
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 reviewResponded June 16, 2009

I am truly sad to read you were not able to experience the peace and beauty of our area that most guests rave about. Unfortunately, you apparently did not know what to expect, a result of inadequate research regarding your vacation planning.

Rather than placing the blame on us, and particularly me, one of the owners, Patricia, all you had to do was visit our website and read the information. Many of the inconveniences you mention, such as having no phones or television, being in a remote location away from it all with no road, along with your anxiousness and inability to relax, you likely would have decided in advance that this was not the right place for you. This, apparently, is the source of your discontent.

It really comes down to you not receiving what you expected, which is a level of luxury you prefer or are accustomed to that we do not offer at our resort. Once again, had you visited our website prior, you would have known.

To the best of our ability, we accommodated you in any way we could but whatever we offered and performed obviously was not satisfactory to you. We apologize that we were not what you expected and fell short of your satisfaction and acknowledge an incompatibility of philosophy regarding what you need and what we offer.

Our resort is a small, family operated outfit in a remote location on a lovely beach in Costa Rica. When you found the first Bungalow not up to your standards, we gladly and promptly moved you into another. We even threw in a bottle of wine. Admittedly, our accommodations do not offer TV and telephone. It is very likely we will never offer TV and telephones at our resort for reasons you may not understand.

We are an adventure hotel. A getaway.

Now, regarding your explicit paragraph calling me both greedy and unprofessional, I will reply. I deal with many guests. A vast majority of our guests are happy, non combative individuals. Happy to be on vacation, away from work and stress, happy to experience a new place and exotic country, happy to leave the world behind, if only for a little while. You happen to be poles apart from the guests we normally enjoy sharing with.

Rather than choosing to enjoy oneself, instead of turning it into a competition, blaming me for one's inability to lighten up and enjoy a honeymoon, the best of times could have ensued on that beautiful little beach, sighting monkeys in the trees, wildlife in the gardens, inhaling the scenic beauty and reveling in the romance of it all.

Rather than reduce one's happiness to a price tag, one could have had the time of their life. It was, begrudgingly, all for the taking. All of the elements were there for an unforgettably charming honeymoon... walks on the beach, afternoon dips and romantic candlelit dinners.

If you were truly so desperate to leave, you would have done so.
At no time were you held captive.

The reasons you were so desperate to leave are as follows;
No road access to the hotel. Check. The beach is our only access. We'll keep it that way for as long as we possibly can...

One driver to transfer. Check. Mario is not only informative, but sings pretty good, too. He's friendly and efficient, loves people and is savvy. Cars are not needed at Ylang Ylang. We offer parking at our sister hotel in town... a 10 minute walk via the beach.

Bungalow is the accommodation you chose. While definitely not large, it is satisfactory in size with a vaulted ceiling and spacious balcony. That thing between you and the toilet is called a wall, in case you didn't notice. That means that what you write "and so the toilet and your pillow are no more than 10 feet apart with nothing between them", is not only a poor description, it's false. Perhaps you should look at the photos on our website to refresh your memory...

Locks. Check. If you have trouble locking a door or window, we will gladly help you or fix the problem. This is a non issue. All of our accommodations are screened in with glass sliding doors leading to the balcony.

Limited hot water. What you mentioned to us was that the water pressure is low, by your standards. Our shower heads are water saving devices.

No phones. No TV's. Check. Enough said. We'll keep it that way.

Front desk is open from 7am till 9pm during the green season. We are certainly not understaffed. If there is any concern, we have 24 hour guard service and a manager lives onsite.

Toilet paper. While we prefer our guests to place the remnants in the bin, which takes the stress off of our treatment system, there is no one there watching you... so you can, essentially, just flush it down. No guilt. Things are kinda easy like that in Costa Rica.

Our Beach. We clean it of plastic flotsam every day and maintain the beach in as pristine a condition as we possibly can. It's a lovely beach.

Playa Grande. This mile long beach is located a mile northeast of Ylang Ylang. You write... "however that parts of that "beautiful" beach are covered in garbage as waste left adrift to travel along the coast comes to rest on the playa grande near the hotel". Whatever you are trying to convey is a mystery to me. Our beach is spotless. Playa Grande is the part of the Romelia Nature Refuge. Whatever "garbage" you're referring to floats in from the vast Pacific Ocean and is cleaned on a sporadic basis... plastic bottles and plastic artifacts as well as biodegradable flotsam. Some is turned into art.

Value. This is really the sticking point, isn't it. We feel we give very good value. A vast majority of our guests say so. When you consider that Breakfast and Dinner are included in our rate, as well as AC, free internet and all the other amenities, our rates do not come close to luxury prices. Remember, our rates are for double occupancy. Reasonable. Very reasonable.

In summary, I will venture to say all of your frustration came about out of your good intentions. This is understandable. When your visit to Ylang Ylang failed to impress, for whatever reason, your only recourse was to blame me for your exasperation. However, if you had done your homework, you would have found that our website accurately describes in pictures and text what we are all about. Likewise, your agent is also not directly responsible. No one but you can know what your likes and dislikes are. Apparently, our hotel was not the only one you held in disregard during your visit to Costa Rica.

I write this in all sincerity. I had hoped that the feel good vibes at Ylang Ylang would rub off on you and in some way lift your spirits, as it does to nearly all who visit. If only you had researched your destinations in advance, all of this drama would have been prevented and your honeymoon... undoubtedly... would have been perfect.


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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 1, 2009

I am in love with Ylang-Ylang. Being our first trip to Costa Rica, we were not sure what to expect. It turned our to be beyond our every expectation. The location, the town of Montezuma, the staff (Oscar and Tammy were just great!), and especially the food, were all terrific. I have never eaten so much in my life.

We stayed in a dome, and loved it. We had no problems with bugs (like our stay at a different hotel in CR). The location was close enough to Montezuma to go into town whenever we wanted, but removed enough to feel as though we were the only ones on the beach.

Although we did not bring our daughter on this trip, this is a great location for kids, and very accommodating. We can't wait to go back and make it a full family vacation.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MRShartman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 31, 2009

This resort is on the edge of a beautiful beach. The restaurant area is gorgeous and the food is excellent. Awesome pool area (though no one enforces the no smoking rule and everyone there was smoking). We did have a few problems with the staff (accidentally kept my credit card - don't worry I got it back!, and getting working Internet password was difficult). The tent option is not for everyone - there will be bugs inside - lots of them - and noisy monkeys and other wildlife waking you at 4:30am. Basically, not a very comfortable place to stay - but at least they had a good fan to keep cool. If I had to do it again, I'd go with a regular room. Also, tent option is expensive and not worth the bang for the buck.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Travel4441
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2009

We stayed 3 nights for our honeymoon.
Overall we enjoy montezuma beach and had an interesting stay.

This is not meant to be a harsh review, but I will say that considering the high price, this place disappoints in some areas.

The best thing about the place is that it is located at the end of the beach with lots of wildlife. You see monkeys, coati, agouti, snakes, iguanas, etc. This is really incredible.
But this is owed to nature and lack of development in Montezuma itself.

Now, as for the hotel, we upgraded to the Junior King duplex suite (JK4). Between the regular ground floor and the duplex, the duplex is the better choice as you get better views of the sea and beach .

But at $220, I still felt this was overpriced.

1st, the walls are too thin, you can hear the mildest conversation from the suite next door. This alone is a huge detraction to a romantic getaway. Despite nice neighbors, it still really makes you feel inhibited when people can overhear you.

2nd, the bathroom is really outdated-our sink was wobbly and you see it separating from the wall. Would have preferred a bathtub. Hot / Cold water faucets reversed in the shower. Tiles are dark and dated.

Kitchen sink and fridge were welcomed amenities. Balcony was nice.

Housekeeping always left the screen doors open afterwards and the place was always filled with mosquitoes. Bed covering and sheets were worn and rough. So many insects to swat at night. Had about 30 bites. Could have been nice to have mosquito net over the bed.

Food was mediocre. 1st dinner I had the barbeque shrimp which was the best option--oddly served with mash potatoes. Seemed a bit off in that regard--should be better with something light like rice or couscous. Shrimp pasta dish was off mark--shrimp overcooked. Tiramisu dessert was actually a crepe--not what a cake as I expected and a bit too sweet.

Happy hour drinks were good. But it was confusing which were included and not--mgmt should clearly indicate.

Pool was nice, small, but nice.
My wife enjoyed her spa treatment. Although why an extra 7% charge on the credit card appeared fishy--so i opted to pay cash.

Regarding billing, this was weird, but they make you pay for all whole stay up front not in the end. I recommend you check your room first before proceed with the transaction. I've never ever had to pay upfront for the whole stay in other resorts. Couldn't get a clear explanation why.

Overall, checkout was a bit confusing as some charges I was able to put on amex, while other charges, I had to use cash to avoid the 7% credit card penalty (huh?).

Also the walk to town is a long 10 minute walk--good exercise! Also, bring a flashlight to walk at night.

I will give 3 stars--I would have liked to give more, but given the high price it's natural to expect more.

In short decent place located near great wildlife, but don't expect luxury.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank CharlesGinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2009

Words cannot properly express how great this place is. A perfect setting on the end of the Montezuma beach - you actually have to walk 5-10 minutes down the beach just to get to the hotel as there are no roads to it (don't worry - they use a jeep to bring your luggage to and from). Unbelievably well landscaped and blended into the jungle, so much so that you really can't see the resort from the ocean. This of course lends itself well to having the local fauna present on the grounds - cannot believe how much wildlife we saw just at the resort! Monkeys scampering around the pool, huge boas slinking across the path, lizards and birds and butterflies beyond belief. The staff are warm, friendly and provide top notch service. The restaurant is absolutely fabulous, and my vegetarian wife was in heaven with the full sushi and vegan sections of the menu. My wife and I, our 2 sons (12 & 13) and my parents all stayed in a Jungle King room, with 2 queen beds on the main floor with another queen bed in a small loft above. I was concerned at first about the lack of air conditioning, as it was very hot during our stay in Montezuma (+30C every day) but with the patio door & window open and the ceiling fans on it was fine. I actually had to get up in the night to close the patio door as it got somewhat cool! The last night we were there some new people had arrived next door, and were obviously much louder than the previous guests, as we could very easily hear their (loud) conversation. I don't think there is too much soundproofing between the rooms and if you are unlucky and get some loud neighbours that could be an issue. The pool is lovely and in a beautiful setting; a hot tub would be a nice addition if it could somehow be integrated without spoiling the beautiful surroundings. We were only there for 4 days, but I easily could spend 2 weeks here. Montezuma is a great little town, and there are tons of places to explore and things to do. You can't go wrong eating at Ylang Ylang, but if you get a chance don't miss eating at Playa de los Artistas, even if it is just lunch - what an amazing restaturant. Can't wait to come back to Ylang Ylang - our new favorite spot!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank spungee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2009

We were fortunate enough to experience a truly wonderful time in our lives when we got married on the beach at Ylang Ylang this past February. We had done a lot of research over the past year but had never traveled to Costa Rica let alone Montezuma .So for us to plan the biggest day of our lives without seeing where we were getting married was truly a leap of faith. We had always wanted to visit Costa Rica and our wedding gave us the opportunity to do that. We had read a bunch of reviews about Ylang Ylang and the majority of them were very favorable. A couple who had gotten married there this time last year were kind enough to email us and fill us in on their experience (thanks so much Cheryl & Ken!).
We spent many months planning our wedding with Kaya who was so attentive to our every need and when we got there, was truly amazing and took care of everything for us.
We had approx. 30 of our family and friends who traveled from the States and Ireland. Of course some were a little hesitant in making this long journey but once they got to Ylang Ylang, all fears were set aside and major relaxation set in. From the get-go the staff took care of everyone starting from Mario to the reservation staff and the incredible restaurant staff. Xiomara with her outstanding cocktails and Patricia and Cristian with their wonderful smiles and patience looking after a boisterous crowd! The food was some of the best food we've ever had and every night we looked forward to trying something new on the menu.

The day of our wedding was truly special. Patricia (the owner) was our officiate who gave a wonderful and touching ceremony. She was always very courteous and made sure we had everything we needed. We were then treated to hor'dourves in the garden in front of the beach in which myself and my new hubby did not get to sample as we were getting the ole photos done! But by all accounts they were very tasty. We were lucky enough to be able to book the Firedancers who put on an exceptional show, which set up the Latin salsa band, Skala. All I can say is they were AWESOME and had everyone up on their feet dancing, including the restaurant staff.
We danced the night away with the sounds of the ocean & howler monkeys, falling coconuts and a blazing bonfire on the beach.

If you're looking for the Ritz, this isn't the place for you but if you're looking for a truly unique, tranquil, get away from it all, then this is the place for you. It’s definitely in the jungle and that's what makes it special. Don't leave food out, don't expect everything to happen in US time, just sit back and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and be lucky to be able to experience this special place.

Thanks to everyone at Ylang Ylang who made our trip with our friends and family a truly memorable experience. We are still talking about it and planning our next visit.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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Thank MR92
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Montezuma
#1 Romantic Hotel in Montezuma
Price Range: $237 - $401 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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