HOTEL YLANG YLANG BEACH
This place is the sort of tropical retreat many travelers dream about finding. Set in a lush patch of forest just steps away from the sand, the hotel offers rooms that are about a 15-minute walk northeast of town along the beach.
There is currently no road to the resort, but one may be in the works. Still, for the foreseeable future, arrival and check-in will continue to be at the downtown namesake Sano Banano Village Café. Rooms and cabins come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Coco Joe's Rancho is the largest cabin and features a luscious wraparound balcony and a small sleeping loft. But I also like the smaller cabins, which are yellow ferroconcrete geodesic domes that look like igloos. Some of the showers are outdoor garden affairs, which match the surroundings perfectly. There are also three spacious suites with private balconies and sleeping lofts in a separate building, with three standard rooms on the ground floor below them. Many guests opt for extended stays. There's a beautiful little swimming pool with a sculpted waterfall, and the whole operation is set amid lush gardens planted with lots of banana, heliconia, and elephant-ear plants.
These folks also run an in-town B&B, located just off their popular restaurant.
The rooms here feature air-conditioning and satellite televisions; because of the design, you are basically forced to use the air-conditioning. By the time you read this, they may start branding the beach hotel as the Ylang-Ylang Beach Resort to distinguish the two.
This colony of eight tropical cabins is a fantasy island, huddled in the woods north of town close to the beach. Each geodesic-dome bungalow is a luxurious, cozy cave for two, perfect for honeymooners. A two-story building has three comfortable suites, with kitchenettes above, and three double rooms below. They're decorated with original watercolors of local birds. Adding to the romance is a garden-fringed pool with a waterfall.
Ylang-ylang does have amazing food and the property is beautiful. The beach access is superb - you are right there on the beach all by yourselves. Their yoga studio was beautiful, although we didn’t use it. The staff is friendly and helpful. It is obvious why this property is the darling of guidebooks.