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“Beautiful, Secluded Resort” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ylang Ylang Beach Resort

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Ylang Ylang Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 19 Hotels in Montezuma
Certificate of Excellence
virginia
Level Contributor
38 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful, Secluded Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2010

We stayed at the Ylang Ylang for 4 nights and it is absolutely fabulous in every way. The location, food, rooms and staff are all wonderful. The website pictures do not do it justice. This place is amazing. The only advice I would give is that if you are looking for the conventional location thats easy to get to with lots of activities, this is not your place. To get to the hotel, you need to take a jeep over the beach and getting to and from your car requires a 15 minute walk down the beach. You can't beat the location, though, as it is absolutely beautiful and quiet. Keep in mind that you should not go there for the activities. They are fair compared to other places in Costa Rica. The snorkeling trip to Tortuga Island was fun, but don't plan on the best snorkeling. We did not see a thing. Swimming on the island and the boat ride was fun. The horses were okay but not a wow. Some of the other guests enjoyed the canopy zip line. We had 2 teenagers and so I was concerned about the food. We all LOVED the food and the service. The pool is lovely. The spa is delightful. And, don't miss the Sana Banano Restaurant in town. This resort is a treasure.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
Helpful?
1 Thank karkeys16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (220)
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English first
Kew Gardens, New York
Level Contributor
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2010

In my second trip to Costa Rica, I had very high expectations. In 2005 my wife and I celebrated our Honey Moon at the Tabacon Spa near the Arenal Volcano. We had the time of our lives and were treated with absolute professionalism. Unfortunately, Ylang Ylang was not able to offer a similar experience.
In almost every aspect of the resort, it seems to fall short of our prior experiences.
It is a beautiful place, and offers its guests an opportunity to experience some of Costa Rica's natural beauty. The problem, however, lies in the reality that there are far better opportunities in the country to do so at a better price and without the hassle of walking 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour (one way) each time you want to go into the lively, Bohemian atmosphere that Montezuma offers.
The food was OK, but considering the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables that Costa Rica has to offer, the quality seemed to leave a great deal to be desired. And once again, did not match up to the standards offered by Tabacon, for example. This lack of quality was often masked by the chef's inclination to add a significant amount of butter to his/her dishes.
The beach area is not ideal for swimmers, as the ocean there can have very strong rip currents, nor does it offer the type of surf that you can find at Malpais or Playa Hermosa. The nearby campsites also ruin the walk to and from the town as campers leave the sand a mess and are accompanied by dogs that defecate all over the place.
If you are looking for wildlife, Ylang Ylang offers an opportunity to see cappuccino and howler monkeys, as well as iguanas walking the property, but it does not even match what you will experience heading down towards Manuel Antonio or Monteverde. Having visited both places we were fortunate to see everything from Sloths to Crocodiles, humming birds to a Quetzal.
We looked forward to the luxury tent as we thought it would give us the opportunity to add a sense of "adventure" to our stay. The unfortunate aspect of it was that it was just too warm (the installed ceiling fan did very little to remedy things) and, despite what members of it's staff told us, we were "eaten" by mosquitoes.
Lastly, and perhaps most disturbing, was the gross lack of sincerity demonstrated by the manager Caya. Upon our arrival, he spoke to me and my family with cordiality ad nauseum. It became evident as our trip progressed that this was clearly insincere.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank angelomusto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
YlangYlangManagement, Owner at Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, responded to this review, September 12, 2010
We are very sorry to hear that you weren't happy in Montezuma. Tabacon Hot Springs is located at the foothills of Arenal Volcano. Montezuma is a beach destination. Hotel Tabacon is an investor owned establishment. Ylang Ylang is a small, family-owned, casual resort which prides itself on friendly, personal service. We offer a very different experience than Tabacon and so feel that it is unfair to compare the two destinations.

We would like to give readers some facts about our property that were distorted in this review: 
1) Ylang Ylang is located a 10-15 minute walk from town. Of course you could turn that walk into a half an hour if you so desired to stop and take in the beauty along the way. 
2) There are no rip currents in our surrounding area. While the waves sometimes make it not ideal to go in the ocean directly in front of the resort, there is always a place to enjoy the water: Playa Grande a fun 20 minute walk up the coast, the beach towards town, a local swimming hole & river just 5 minutes away, our swimming pool, and endless tide pools to discover.
3) We have hummingbirds fluttering around all over Ylang Ylang and you will see them if you look for them. They love the flowers we have growing everywhere in our gardens. 

The grand majority of our guests rave about our fresh, delicious food and ask for recipes when they return home. We're sorry to hear you weren't able to enjoy this as well. Again, our style of food is different from that of other restaurants. We have an original and varied menu that we have created over the years and are visited by many travelers apart from our hotel guests who want to experience a delicious and unique restaurant. We have a style for practically everyone.

In all the reviews and comments that we have ever received from guests about wildlife, they have always mentioned how they see far more wildlife at Ylang Ylang than in their whole trip combined. Perhaps they were out to enjoy the property as opposed to endlessly comparing it to other places and failing to see the natural setting. If you wanted to see just crocodiles and sloths then Ylang Ylang is not for you. What are possible and very likely to be seen at Ylang Ylang are the following: white faced monkeys, howler monkeys, iguanas of all shapes, sizes and colors, hummingbirds, agoutis, coatis, tiger herons, armadillos, and the list goes on.

We offered you a Beach Front Room for your family of 2 adults and 2 small children. We told you that the tent would be a tight fit for your family of 4 when it is made to sleep 2. You did not want the Beach Front Room and insisted in staying in the tent, our smallest and most economic room and the only option without a/c. We wish you would have told us about your problem with the heat when you were here so that we could have given you an extra fan to solve your problem. The tent has screened windows. If you leave the doors open, like in any room, a few mosquitoes may enter. Nevertheless, due to the ocean breeze and our location, mosquitoes are not a real problem at Ylang Ylang.

During your stay in which your sister had a beautiful wedding with us, you abusively yelled at our receptionists because there was a glitch with a tour operator. We do not appreciate this kind of behavior, which disturbed other guests and our staff, so the owners had to come to talk to you, calm you down and then you left, seemingly happy, specifically saying that all was well and taken care of.  We are flabbergasted to see that 7 months later you decided that you hadn't left happy and that you were still so upset that we are not That Other Place. Please note that we went out of our way to help you, to accommodate you and to get you to relax, which is the real issue here.

Again, we are sorry you weren't able to enjoy the unique and exotic setting of Ylang Ylang that we enthusiastically offer to our guests. We offer beautiful surroundings, friendly staff, delicious food, loads of wildlife, a beautiful beach and lovely accommodations. All the ingredients for a relaxing and invigorating vacation. The rest, my friend, is up to you...
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

The most beautiful and exotic place I've been to. The setting is simply amazing: at the far end of a long strech of beach, a couple of beautifully-decorated cabins are tugged underneath the palm treas, in a lush tropical garden. If you go to Ylang Ylang, go for the individual cabins. They are the most expensive type of accommodation, but they are worth every single dollar. We had an amazing view of the sea and a direct access to the beach from our cabin. I can hardly imagine any more beautiful place...

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nyjan1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2010

A truely great boutique resort with the friendliest staff I've ever come across. Offering plenty of amenities and extras, this resort kept a simplicity about it you would never find at a Hilton or Marriott making your stay more unique and far more memorable than most other trips you will ever take.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 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
Helpful?
Thank Jamesbonline
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fremont, Ohio
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2010

We stayed at Ylang Ylang five nights during the "green" season. We had feared rain all day, every day. Instead it rained all night every night which, added to the sound of the surf against the rocks outside our room, brought us peaceful sleep. Most days there was clear sky and sun until We were in a suite with a loft and a covered balcony/porch. The view was a mixture of jungle plants, rocks, beach and crashing of waves on the shore. Room and amenities were basic, but adequate.

Food at the Ylang Ylang restaurant was greatly varied, and all ingredients were fresh from local farms and fishermen. The rate included one entree at breakfast and one entree for dinner, along with a choice of juices freshly prepared like smoothies made with ice. Every single dish we ordered seemed to be even better than the last. Presentation of all dishes showed extra creativity and care. Service was friendly and accommodating. A good selection of wines were offered as well as many creative drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

The resort is accessible from the tiny village of Montezuma only by walking along the beach a little less than a mile to reach the resort grounds, except on arrival and departure when the resort sent its LandRover to pick up guests with their luggage.

Our entire experience was unique, memorable and one we would repeat in a second!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank Mar9457
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2010

Just returned from Montezuma, and WOW! We got an unbelievable low-season rate of $70 pp/per night for the room, breakfast and dinner. I hesitated, wanting to be able to explore restaurants in town, but this was SO worth it!! The cuisine here is mostly organic, local, generously proportioned, sophisticated but not stuffy, and delicious.

Our room in the main building was on the first floor, and looked directly out onto the beach. A 10-second walk takes you down a path to the beach, with hammocks under the palms on the way there. Absolutely perfect! This is a private beach, so there is no noise except for the crashing surf. It's a rocky beach, so don't expect Caribbean blue waters and all sand.

The landscaped grounds at Ylang Ylang blend perfectly into the surrounding rain forest, giving the whole place a refined yet natural feel. The waterfalls in the huge pool gave a much-needed massage after a 5-hour RT beach hike to a natural waterfall further south.

2 days in Montezuma were not enough. We should have stayed longer!

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
Helpful?
Thank 777puravida777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2010

We arrived at Sano Banano in Montezuma (the sister hotel you have to route through) with no real expectations... we had a travel book in our possession that highly recommended Ylang Ylang but we did not expect it to be sooooo incredible.

Once you arrive at Sano Banano they call the hotel and... depending on the tides... they send transport for you. Sano Banano is a different story... put up with them as those at Ylang Ylang are incredible. I met two members of the Sano Banano staff that I thought were accommodating and kind and three who literally delivered the worst service I have ever had and were rude on top of that. But as I said, put up with them, Ylang Ylang is more than worth it, and maybe you'll be lucky and get one of the nice employees who is still nice to tourists.

You can only reach this hotel via Land Rover on the Beach. It's only a 10 minute ride... and a very cool ride at that... it is definitely 4x4ing on the beach and then all of a sudden paradise appears. It's such a neat feeling to only be able to reach your destination this way... Ylang Ylang is an amazing, secluded, hidden jem.

I recommend staying in a dome... I did not see the inside of their standard or tent style rooms though I presume they are very nice because everything at this hotel was well done. The Dome's have beautiful balcony's that view the ocean. Some domes are set back in the Jungle a bit, which I personally really liked, I highly recommend Dome 5, though as I said, there are others that are closer to the beach.

The service at this hotel is impeccable, we arrived to a welcome drink and never once had to touch our bags. The reception organized all of our transport for us and did extensive research to find us the best options. The restaurant staff are amazing as well.... the only thing I would say here is that if you are someone that has spent a lot of time in Mexico (as I have) service is much different in Costa Rica... they seemingly would rather leave you be until you call them over so as not to harass you. But once you call them over, they are most accommodating.

The room rate includes breakfast and dinner and believe it or not the menu is lengthy... I believe there is only one dinner meal that you have to pay extra for out of a list of at least 20 dishes. Breakfast is a little more limited, there are only maybe 10 choices, but really who needs more than that. All the food was excellent and the presentation was impressive. The only other thing to mention here is that they do not serve red meat.... so not steaks for dinner and no bacon for breakfast....

This place is paradise, the pool is secluded and has a beautiful waterfall flowing into it.... every afternoon white-faced monkeys play on the roof of the reception... happy hour has great drinks to choose from... I cannot recommend this place enough... This was one of the last places I stayed on a month long trip and most definitely one of the more memorable.

Stay here, it's worth the extra money, and have an amazing trip!

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 4 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
Helpful?
2 Thank KTBecerra
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

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Montezuma
#1 Romantic 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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