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“Reasonable priced hotel with excellent food and service!”

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El Sano Banano Beachside Hotel
Ranked #8 of 18 Hotels in Montezuma
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 6, 2010

My husband and I loved our stay at El Sano Banano! Here are a few things that we enjoyed about our stay:

-Food: The food here was the best food that we had during our 10 day trip to CR. The food here was even better than the expensive sister resort Ylang Ylang. You have got to try their fresh fruit smoothies!
-Service: The staff was very accomodating whether it was during check-in or at dinner. They always had a smile on their face.
-Room: The room was just as others have described. Nothing extremely fancy but accomodating to our needs. We loved having a tv in our room!
-Movie: We watched several movies during our stay in Montezuma. The staff will reserve you a table in front if you ask them.

We would highly recommend this hotel to a friend who is traveling on a budget and wants to experience the town of Montezuma!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Huff925
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 154 of 219 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2010

Really enjoyed our 3-night this hotel. It’s pretty simple and basic but it’s extremely central, right in the heart of the town of Montezuma, next to the supermarket that we made use of every day and the popular nighttime hangout Chico’s Bar. The staff are really nice and helpful (the norm in Costa Rica) and they offer a yummy free breakfast. The rooms are clean and large enough for two people and the AC was a nice plus on hot days. The shower took some getting used to—you basically have to adjust the hot water flow every 2 seconds b/c it switches from hot to cold constantly. The best part of the stay was that we were able to use the gorgeous, luxurious facilities at Ylang Ylang. It’s a 10 minute beach walk (which happened to be a pain in the butt, treacherous walk because of all the debris that had washed up on the beach from the storms) and we spent most of our days there. Yoga, massages and just relaxing by the pool—enjoying the hammock and the delicious food and drinks that the waiter brought us all day while monkeys and other animals ran around the property. It was heaven. And since we couldn’t afford to actually stay there, staying at the sister hotel and pretending we were guests of Ylang Ylang was a nice compromise. There are other options in Montezuma which might be cheaper but for location, access and that great free breakfast, I highly recommend El Sano Banano.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank sc10009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2010

Stayed there in August(off season) so rates were a bit lower, 50$ US. Beautiful rooms, high ceilings, very clean, nice bathroom & large shower. Beds were quite comfortable and cable TV included w/room. Nice restaurant in hotel that shows movies everynight, food was ok but there is better to be had in Montezuma. Location is great, right downtown and you can use the beautiful pool at their sister hotel which is a short 20 min walk along the beach. Will def. stay there again if ever in Montezuma

Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
Thank bullshields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2010

Our stay at El Sano Banano was phenomenal. I traveled in a group of 4 twenty-somethings on what was a budget style trip. El Sano Banano was our splurge! We stayed one night at a hostel right on the beach and came to El Sano Banano after our stay at the other place (Hotel Lys) was awful. El Sano Banano was $25 a night and included breakfast and the pool services at a sister hotel, Ylang Ylang.

Sano Banano is directly in the center of town and less than 5 minutes from the public beach. It's about a 10 minute saunter to the Ylang Ylang resort to the pool and 20 minutes from town (all in the same direction) are the most pristine and secluded beaches I have ever seen.

The rooms are spotless and a nice size with a lovely Costa Rican feel. We stayed in rooms 1 and 11. Room 11 was huge with a double and a twin and a table for eating or playing card games. Room 1 was a little squished but still incredibly clean and with a large bathroom. The rooms come with free wi-fi and are located inside up a stairwell in the restaurant--making this a very safe, secure place to stay!

The food at el Sano Banano was AMAZING. Breakfast was huge and delicious. We had Banana Pancakes, Huevos Rancheros, French Toast, Fresh Fruit with granola and yogurt, and more banana pancakes.... :) We also had dinner at the Banano one night--the food was out of this world. Super fresh fish in amazing sauces and paired with vegetables and a delicious mixed drink. At 7:30 every night there is a movie played at El Banano and is free with a $6 purchase. Truly some of the best food of our trip and some of the best food I (a self-proclaimed food junkie and Food Channel devotee) have ever had.

I recommend the Sano Banano to anyone who wants an amazing experience in Montezuma, who values impeccable service, and who loves great food!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank RioftheMal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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3  Thank KitStrickland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank ramblintravella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank Ronda404
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 Beachside Hotel

Address: | In Front of the Park Montezuma, Montezuma, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
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 18 Hotels in Montezuma
Price Range: $60 - $97 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — El Sano Banano Beachside 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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