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“Awful. Is this a joke? Look at the photos.” 2 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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35% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Cocles
Los Angeles, California, USA
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
85 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
248 helpful votes 248 helpful votes
“Awful. Is this a joke? Look at the photos.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

Pictures and reviews can be deceiving. Why its vital to check that the reviewer travels and has posted more than 1. So over Costa Rica. Its become over touristed and the tourism industry could care less about you. The attitude has become, "We don't need you, you need us."

Have been traveling off and on to Costa Rica for the last 15 years and its over. If you want to go to a beautiful place where people are miserable and don't welcome you, then Costa Rica is it. People generally don't smile, wish you a good morning, or care for your well being. It reminds me of what the US airline industry has become. Asking for more, and offering you less. This was my experience in all three hotels during this trip. I won't go back for a long time. Best to travel to Asia or Mexico where people are more socially educated in the tourism industry and "welcome" you.

Hotel has such potential but the uncaring attitude and disregard to tourists makes it not worth ones time to travel so far. No amenities at this hotel or any for that matter. Yet you pay top dollar.

Look at the photos. The employees know there are insects in the food. They can see the public areas are filthy. They're not blind. Its that the just don't care about you or your health. I ordered lunch to find insects crawling ALL over the plate it was served on. The response, "Well do you see them on the food?" I left. Checked out the next day. I work way to hard to travel to a place that doesn't want you there.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel or country.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lorena g, Director of Sales at Le Cameleon Hotel, responded to this review, April 24, 2013
Dear guest,

We are very sorry that you didn't enjoy the Caribbean and neither the service in our hotel.
As soon as you arrived in the hotel, the Manager and the receptionists understood from you that you had other expectations from the place and the area .
That is why they were very focused on you, in order to satisfy you and they have made their best for you to appreciate your stay.
Our restaurants,bars,beach club and reception situated in a beautiful tropical garden are all open spaces that's make the beauty of The Cameleon.
During certain periods of the year,there is more insects then usual,according to the biodiversity of life in the jungle.
Fumigation is not part of our policy as an environment friendly hotel.You have to know that fumigate in an open area doesn't mean just killing ants and bees it also kills hummingbirds ,blue butterflys and a lot of others species that are constantly around open spaces.
Our kitchen is on norms of HACCP guidelines,our breakfast buffet during this period of the year, we are using special covers and cellophane to protect marmalade and sweets staff.We recognize that it is not excluded that a bee can comes on a marmalade's plate of a guest.
Our motivated personal is very sad to see your pictures of our beach club knowing that they are not in the right context.During the rain we close to beach club in order to clean it and open it again when the weather is sunny.Those pictures had been made when it was closed!
We are anyway thanks full for your critics and our team will try to do their best to reach the goal:" complete satisfaction of the guests".

Best regards.
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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
Skaneateles, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

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.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Santa Teresa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Nice size hotel, location, service & food with Miami Vice style all white rooms, and changing colored lighting and details (art, towels). It's a cool vibe & concept, leave it to the French ! Constantly changing pool & restaurant lightning at night & different colored art towels and pillows in the rooms daily. Beach club is fantastic as well, very chillax vibe, many hammocks & lounge areas. Pto viejo has changed tremendously since I 1st visited in the 90's, but is still an amazing stop for any traveler, new or seasoned on the CR tour. Personally, I like being out of town a bit more to relax, yet Le Cameleon is close enough to shoot in and enjoy the local scene any time. Also, close to Pta Uva & Manazanillo. Among the best in Pto Viejo.

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

After a tragic loss of a friends family member, an adventurous backpacking trip through Nicaragua and the Pacific Coast I found my self lucky to end up in Puerto Viejo's Le Cameleon.
I decided to pay tribute to my buddy's brother by traveling to costa rica, learning about culture and nature of this unique treasure.

Having found the perfect environment and infrastructure to get along with the my thoughts,
I couldn't stop feeling very spoiled in this most beautiful Hotel I have ever had seen.
The pool area invites, or rather bonds you to stay, relax, enjoy the rich fruit juices served by
local employees. Same for the stunning Beach club named NUMU, with it's charming red beach beds, where bonfires taller than my self will always remind me of true paradise.

Far of (about 6km) down town puerto viejo, where at night time the wild party scene can sometimes be scary, specially if you seek spiritual enlightening,
Le Cameleon spoils you for choice.
Enjoy "rico" fresh food at cameleon's restaurant, or check out town in reachable distance (I walked 30-40min, taxi recommended).

Le Cameleon will for me stay the most impressive Hotel I've ever been to,
leaving me this beautiful knowledge that environmental preservation is worth it.
By the way no damage to the environment had been done to build those beautiful 23-everyday camouflaging rooms right in the jungle.

All in all, this Hotel keeps it enchanting charme by keeping it green, offering a private beach club, safe family environment and of course all the possibilities to explore the country's beauty.
As a 22 year old student, I found my self lucky again, and quite surprised that this -beyond doubts- most fancy hotel on the Caribbean coast was affordable.
Specially if you seek some standards after sophisticated nights in hammocks or dorms throughout central america, le Cameleon will welcome you arms wide not to worry!
Lots of Sloths, Morpho butterflies and even those japanese Koy fish all over the property.
I would recommend this experience to every one!

If someone from Staff reads this, i would like to say hey to everyone, cheers from snowy Vienna!!! And as an Austrian has to say: I'll be back!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Vienna, Austria
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My fiancée and I decided to end our three-week vacation in Costa Rica, in the hotel “Le cameleon” in Puerto Viejo (5 nights). We were extremely happy that our choice had fallen on this hotel surrounded by jungle, we had never experienced such a sensation before - pure relaxation and rest (except for some animal noise that - even as a city person - to me still provoked calm). The room was clean, very minimalistic and for a large part held in simple white BUT the most important thing in a room - the BED was incredibly comfortable and invited just to spend time together (especially on rainy days - which can occur frequently in this region).

The staff was always very attentive and tried to do the best (though not perfectly trained) to respond to guest needs. The breakfast was very satisfactorily and offered everything that we believe belongs to a balanced breakfast (croissants, cakes, cereals, yogurt, fresh fruits, whole wheat bread, coffee, tea, jam, rice & beans and freshly prepared eggs in all different variations).

We loved very much the beach club, which is right on the beach maximum 50 meters from the hotel , where, under the blazing sun, in a hammock or in a comfortable beach bed, we enjoyed the tanning and sipping delicious fruit cocktails. All in all, my fiancée and I spent a wonderful and very romantic time in this hotel, which of course is also associated with this beautiful place of earth where it is located.

Of course, at a closer look we also discovered a few minor flaws such as for example waiting times in the restaurant but so far such minor flaws we have found in each of the hotels we stayed. But that did not disturb our balance – why should it!! – and we enjoyed our well deserved vacation together.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

we had a great stay, the receptionist and employees were very nice.
rooms very clean, comfortable, the tv is very complicated to turn on
the beach club is nice sourrounden by nature.
good location, sourounded of good restaurants
the beach is excellent for the surfers.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

After six months went back to the hotel and it was not was it used to be.... the first time I visited the hotel was in June 2012..at that point the staff available was extremely more pfofessional and the conditions available were completely different. Nowdays they have an extremely bad customer service (worst we have ever had...).
We have stayed at the hotel on 4-6 January 2013. We have organized our wedding party at the hotel on 5 January 2013. When I first visit the hotel, it was indeed a beautiful hotel, the best in the area (and believe me, I am Costa Rican, and I have been visiting the area for more than 12 years). Nowdays, I would recommend people to visit other hotels in that area. At least they will pay less and obtain what they pay for... I have read other comments made by visitors to the hotel, and I could not agree more that even breakfast has changed so much, and what they offer now is not what they were offering when I first visited it.
Moving on, on the day of our wedding celebration other problems arose, showing the lack of customer service they currently have: to start with, what we paid for in the contract signed with the hotel was not offered. We paid for an open bar which was not offered in the condictions signed, nor they provided waiters as we paid for. Additionally some comments showing the lack of customer service of their personel:
1- A staff member of the hotel told our invitees to place their fingers in a soup, if they wanted to find out whether it was a soup or dressing. Additionally, our invitees were told they had to serve their soups in the same plates used for the main course/appetizers (...).
2- The staff asigned for the open bar did not know how to prepare beverages, and they complained in front of our invitees that they did not know how to prepare them and that they were only told to stay on the spot.
3- The food provided during the reception was not fully the food offered in the menu provided by the hotel and paid to them fully in advance.
We have more examples to share, in general, what is visible is that the hotel is no longer what it used to be, it seems to us mainly there has been a change of administration or staff.
We have contacted the hotel to inform them about the above mentioned aspects and try to reason with them what went wrong and what was good. At first they answered and were open to reimburse us for the aspects we have mentioned (and experienced by witnesses), and after offering a compensation (agreeing to our points) THEY NO LONGER ANSWER OUR EMAILS....what kind of professionalism is that for a hotel that is supposed to be 4 stars??? (are they really???). Seriously, if you have a problem with them, they will not get back to you (specially if they have your money already....).

Do not organize weddings in this hotel!

Daniel Redondo
Email: ldredondo@yahoo.com

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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