Walks the line between true Caribbean and “brochure Caribbean”…but endlessly impressive either way you end up calling that debate. Myself, I call it far enough away from Central New York snow that I truly just don’t care either way.
My wife and I stayed at the resort next to Le Cameleon (see my other review for Carib Town which was a wonderful place also). The hotels and businesses in this area all seem to function as a well-oiled machine and wandering from one pool area to the next bar to the next beachfront all seems to be of no concern to any of them. They fully expect that if you are staying at a neighboring hotel that you would visit them for their amenities during your trip. No covers, no funny looks like “where did you come from?”. Just warm genuine welcomes and smiles.
We took advantage of their breakfast buffets on occasion and also enjoyed their beach. The breakfasts were good (no, not amazing but not shlock either). Typical hotel fare like pancakes, juices, bakery items and eggs. I was a little surprised to find the juices were from a carton. Their world is full of amazing fruits and produce. Why not fresh? The fruit was fresh though which was nice. The omelet’s were…well, omelet’s. meh.
Where these guys excel is service and the beautiful gardens. The times we would hike up the beaches we would end up in front of this place and plop ourselves down in the beach chairs nestled in the shade of the palm’s. Almost instantly Ricardo (the bartender at the outside bar) would be in front of us with a warm smile asking us if we were just here to enjoy the beach or if we wanted something to eat or drink. Sometimes we got drinks and others we got light food. One of the most delicious dishes I've tasted was a tuna napoleon that my wife got (and I tasted). Very fresh and using local fruits.
Prices are what you’d expect -- maybe $5-$10 for mixed drinks and $8-$12 for appetizers. The breakfast was about $8 per person which is the price they have for the guests staying at the hotel.
The gardens are beautiful and well maintained. They have a large patio with a coy pond that we enjoyed for a while. They have massage beds in the gardens near the beach and though we didn't partake, I must say it was tempting. That from someone who doesn't like stranger’s hands all over them. It's just weird.
Overall, this place is not at all somewhere I would want to stay. I prefer a less polished experience. We enjoyed visiting very much though. If you like the spa feel, white linens, relaxation and good food and money isn't a major concern then you will love Le Cameleon. If you prefer your food with the occasional mosquito and mud floors in your suite (as I do), stay elsewhere but show up here when it gets to be a little too much. They’ll welcome you with open arms.
- Also Known As:
- Le Cameleon Hotel Costa Rica/Cocles
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Le Caméléon Boutique Resort is located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast within the tropical forest of Puerto Viejo, Limón. 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, snorkeling or diving among the many reefs in crystal clear waters, world-class surfing, mountain biking, kayaking and cultural visits to indigenous communities creating a natural and soothing ambiance. Cocles Beach, with its beautiful golden sands, is within walking distance from the resort. ... more less
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