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“Excellent Visit” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Le Cameleon Hotel

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Le Cameleon Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Across the Street From Beach | Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7300, Costa Rica   |  
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Hotel amenities
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35% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Cocles
Cary NC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2012

I recently stayed at this hotel with a friend. I chose this hotel based upon the reviews of others. It does appear to be the best hotel in Puerto Viejo. I thought it was an excellent value - the hotel staff was super friendly; the room was nice (but not fancy); the bathroom was over-sized and comfortable; the hotel was superbly landscaped; the free breakfast was delicious (omelets do cost extra), and the hotel was well maintained (I saw reviews to the contrary). The beach club and beach across the street (very light traffic) was very nice and well maintained. Cocles Beach which is larger and more popular, is about a half mile down the road. I would recommend renting a bicycle or scooter (aka moped) because the hotel is about 3 kilometers from downtown, but the cab fare is only $4 if you prefer not. The area is very pleasant and relatively inexpensive for a resort area. I would highly recommend this area for someone considering surfing, honeymoon or vacation. Try surfing, ziplining, or a whitewater rafting trip. Tons of fun!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
washington dc
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2012

Let me preface this review by saying that all of all the hotels (with airconditioning) that I researched in the Puerto Viejo area, Le Cameleon is by far, the nicest. However, I don't believe it's worth the $200 per night ($300 bucks regularly) that we paid for the Junior suite. I'm sure the hotel looked nice and shiny when it was new but it's definitely beginning to age. The room was clean (we were in room 15, first floor), which is easy to see when the color scheme is all white. However, it does have this musty smell that we just couldn't get rid of. Our friends who stayed in another room also had the same problem. They even had to move to a less musty room. The small closet also looked a little moldy at the bottom.

They have a beach club right by the beach but we did not spend anytime there at all as it was ghastly. It looks nothing like the website. There were only 2 or 3 cabinas. All dirty. The white drapes look like they've never been washed and the red cushion covers were stained. You would not wanna sit on the lounge chairs either. The beach itself is ok, although the waves were a little big for our taste. We preferred Punta Uva Beach which is about 5 mins away by taxi (or you can bike there).

The restaurant is also all-white. They need to replace the chairs and seat cushions. They're rusty and stained. The food was nothing to write home about. Not much choice in the breakfast spread. They also need to do something with the flies. We pretty much ate all our meals in Puerto Viejo (mostly at Soda Mirna). Puerto Viejo is 5-10 mins by taxi ($4-$5 bucks)

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
eflorian, General Manager at Le Cameleon Hotel, responded to this review, August 30, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments regarding your stay at Le Cameleon Hotel. We appreciate your feedback to improve our guest experience. Presently, we are refurnishing our Beach Club with new Sun Beds to enjoy the Carribean experience. Also, we are upgrading our junior suites and deluxe rooms with new deck terraces that will make a real natural experience inside your hotel room. For a future stay, please contact me directly to coordinate your trip in Costa Rica. Hope to see you in the near future.

Best Regards,

Edward Florian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodridge, Illinois
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012

Great place to stay for two to three days. Great responsive service by all staff. Food is good. Facility could use updating and improved maintenance. Beach was great. Enjoyable trip!
We booked a coast to coast package this being one of the three hotels. Which we thought would be a great way to experience Costa Rica for our first time.
The trip from the airport to the hotel Le Cameleon was about four hours long, but our driver Marvin was great ! He was very informative and introduced us to some native fruits that we purchased roadside. Marvin also recommended a place for lunch where we had their traditional dish of rice and black beans with chicken and plantains. (delicious)
Once we reached the hotel the reception was nice and we were immediately shown our room.
Diana who worked in the reception area was definitely an asset .
The beach is not white sand beach but it was beautiful, water was great and the massage on the beach given by Andrea was awesome!
Thanks, Tom & Bedsy

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Laguna Beach, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

As an aside, this is the first negative review that I have ever posted to a travel website. My significant other and I have spent a significant amount of time traveling through Costa Rica . . . and we know what to expect and we do not have unreasonably high standards. Despite negative reviews of this hotel, we decided to stay and see what the nicest boutique hotel in the area offered; unfortunately, we regret this decision.

We were staying at a nice boutique hotel in Manuel Antonio, and on a whim, we booked a room for three nights at Le Cameleon. Upon our arrival, we were advised that we needed to pay for the entire stay upon check-in. Despite our misgivings (i.e. the fact that we would be forced to stay for three nights whether we liked the hotel or not), we were tired from the long road trip and simply handed over a credit card.

We were shown to a room that had the odor of chemicals and mold. We requested a different room. Though the second room had less of an odor, the odor was still present.

The exterior of the hotel is beautiful, but the interior of the hotel is pretty horrible (and best described as "trying too hard to be hip"). Both rooms were decorated in white--the floors, the walls, the curtains, the ceilings, all of the furniture. Although this hotel was built within the past three or four years, the rooms look terribly aged and tired. White furnishings and fixtures do not age well, and some of the white leather furniture looks filthy (i.e. as if it has never seen a sponge). The door to the bathroom is see-through...which is a shockingly impractical design choice that ignores the fact that many people value privacy while in the restroom.

Our first evening in the room, the shower was ICE cold. We called the front desk and were advised that because it was 8pm on a Sunday evening, the maintenance man was unavailable.

The staff of the hotel canceled a reservation that we made OURSELVES, for a horseback riding tour on the beach, at sunset on our last day in Costa Rica. We did not discover that the hotel accidentally canceled the reservation until the tour company failed to pick us up. We spoke with both the front desk and management regarding the fact that our horseback adventure had been ruined-- and were met with a muttered apology and a shoulder shrug (the body language was, "Well, what can we do about it?").

We were told that the hotel has hired staff from the local area of Puerto Viejo, which is something that I applaud. However, the staff needs to be trained on the basics with regard to hotel management. I feel badly writing this, as the staff are extremely well intentioned. However, it is too big of a task for a hotel to be properly run by people with insufficient training. Our second and third night at the hotel, the front desk was manned in the evening by one woman, who spoke no english, and who (we were told later) was a trainee. She would leave the front desk completely unattended for long stretches of time. She was doing her best to manage everything but she was clearly overwhelmed. On our second evening, I had to wait 20 minutes for her to get me a towel (as the maid left only one clean towel in the room); on our third evening, I had to wait almost a half hour for her to get me a bar of soap (as the maid decided to leave no soap in the room).

Our last morning at the hotel, we asked why a trainee would be left on her own at the front desk and we commented that the hotel seemed terribly understaffed. One of the employees stated simply: "There is no money."

If you are interested in staying at this hotel, I would recommend booking a room for only one night (to provide yourself with the freedom to move to another hotel if you are not pleased).

On a positive note, the Beach Club (across the street) is breathtaking. You need not be a guest at the hotel to use the Beach Club, and so whether or not you choose to stay at the hotel, I highly recommend that you visit the Beach Club.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edward F, General Manager at Le Cameleon Hotel, responded to this review, August 1, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your stay at Le Cameleon Hotel.
Unfortunately, our reservation policy does not give refunds for rainy days, Our hotel offers many activities that include movie nights, tours, table games, private dinners at Le Cameleon Loft and other actvities when the weather is not sunny. This is part of the charm of the tropics and that is why the natural beauty in Costa Rica is abundant and diversed. Our commitment is to ensure top service with simple luxury atmosphere. We take pride in training our employees to personalize the service of each of our guests. For a future stay, please contact me directly to ensure an unforgetable experience at Le Cameleon Hotel.
Thank you for your comments.

Best Regards,

Edward Florian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monarch Beach, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

My new bride and I came to the Puerto Viejo area for our honeymoon after getting married on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. We had reservations somewhere else that was reported to be "four star", but sad to say we were hugely dissappointed. Scrambling to save our trip, we quickly went into Plan B mode to find better accomodations and came across a contemporary white tropical paradise known as Le Cameleon. We met with a very gracious host at the front desk named Gerardo, who toured the facility and room choices for us and answered all of our questions. We immediately knew that we found what we were looking for and immediately sighed in relief that our honeymoon was not ruined! When we checked in they even had a beautiful presentation of flowers on our bed to welcome us. What is even better, and the main reason for this review.....the entire staff made our trip so enjoyable. Each and every day we were greeted by warm smiles and impeccable service, and the laid back caribbean vibe settled us into a very relaxing honeymoon. There is a very nice and convenient beach club on their beautiful stretch of Cocles Beach, and breakfast, lunch or dinner....the food is wonderful! A big thanks to all who made our stay so special - Diana, Gerardo, Deybi, Marco (the awesome Chef), Ronnie, and Roberto. We were so impressed with your graciousness and beautiful paradise, and cannot wait to come back for a visit next year.

_ Sean & Natalie Madden

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

Great place, excellent food at the restaurant, outstanding staff. We stayed with our 2 year old toddler and it was a very relaxing family getaway. Clean, safe and comfortable. Very good and complete a la carte breakfast.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012 via mobile

We spent 5 nights at this nice hotel during our Honeymoon vacation in Costa Rica.
The service of the hotels stuff (reception, restaurant) was excellent. The breakfast (included) was wonderfull as well.
But the maintenance and the cleanliness of the rooms did not match the price of the room and must be improve. The furniture had rust, the air conditioner was noisy (we asked to changed the room), the room had all the time an oder of mold and sometimes we even smelled the sewerage. Most of the time we had lukwarm water in the shower.
We really enjoyed the place but we expected for the very high price we payed a better condition room than the hotel has to offer.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Le Cameleon Hotel

Address: Across the Street From Beach | Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo, Cocles, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 7300, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Limon > Puerto Viejo de Talamanca > Cocles
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Cocles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Cameleon Hotel 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel offers upscale beach accommodations within the tropical forest of Puerto Viejo, Limon. The 23 Rooms sit around the pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens, across the street from its Beach Club. The all-white minimalist rooms are decorated with a touch of bright colours and have all the comfort expected in order to have a restful night after your day at the beach or for your afternoon nap after touring the region. All the rooms feature A/C, Satellite TV, WiFi, Rain Shower, Mini Bar, phone, Ipod/Iphone docking station and Yves Rocher amenities. You have a choice of King size, Queen size or two Full size beds. With its laid back attitude and Caribbean lifestyle, Puerto Viejo has it all: long walks on the pristine beaches, exotic flora and fauna in a wildlife refuge. Ask our tour desk about our tour options ranging from snorkeling or diving among the many reefs, world-class surfing ,kayaking horseback ridding, deep sea fishing, zip lining, cultural visits to indigenous communities and more. Should you prefer to hang around the hotel, we offer private yoga classes, Spa treatments in our 'tree-house' Spa, Nunu gastronomic restaurant, lap pool and cool water Jacuzzi, reading/lounging areas surrounded by wildlife and of course La Sula Sea Lounge with its day-beds, hammocks, lounge chairs, bar and restaurant service right on Cocles Beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Cameleon Hotel Costa Rica/Cocles

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