Our Story

The meaning of Ylang Ylang [ee-lang – ee-lang]:
It is a yellow tropical flower, originally from Indonesia, that is known to promote creativity, sensuality, and exuberance. There are a few Ylang Ylang trees around the resort grounds.


Our Story:
Lenny & Patricia Iacono, the owners of Ylang Ylang Beach Resort & El Sano Banano Village Hotel, have been living in Costa Rica since the late 1970’s. They acquired a beautiful beach front property after their wedding in 1981, and set out to live off the fat of the land, tropical style. Fruit trees were planted, gardens were sown and shortly after their two children were born, Moraya & Syska.

Making a living at that time consisted of hard, physical labor and lots of experimentation and determination. It turned out that drying the excess fruit was the most profitable labor at the time, using only the heat of the sun, as there was no electricity.

In 1989 electricity came to town and new opportunities abounded. With the small but adequate income saved from drying fruit, they purchased a small lot in the village center of Montezuma and created a natural foods restaurant called El Sano Banano (The Healthy Banana). The first of its kind in Costa Rica, it took off and quickly became the meeting center for travelers from around the world. From the very beginning it established its excellent reputation for serving delicious fresh, homemade foods. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were served 7 days a week and every night a different movie was on display for all to enjoy.

From the proceeds of El Sano Banano, Lenny & Patricia began to develop their beach front property into a self sustaining resort, slowly building bungalows and guest rooms with the land in mind. Trees were never cut in favor of buildings and the only time a backhoe was used was for digging the hole for their enchanting swimming pool in 2000. At the time, the beach resort was called El Sano Banano Beach Hotel, an extension of the restaurant in town a kilometer away.

In early 2005, they changed the name to Ylang Ylang Beach Resort, named after the exuberantly aromatic Ylang Ylang flower which grows profusely in the tropics.
To distinguish itself, a lovely restaurant was morphed from the home of Lenny & Patricia into a one-of-a-kind eatery… a shady, beach front palapa a few yards from the ocean, saving the guests from having to walk into town to eat their meals and making it a more complete service.

Stone walkways snake through the property and lush gardens are everywhere. Much has changed since Patricia and Lenny bought the land the resort now resides on. Then only a grove of coconut and banana trees, years of hard work, dedication and a deep passion for nature have made the Ylang Ylang Beach Resort into what it is now – a small piece of paradise…