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“Great honeymoon spot!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Chameleon

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Casa Chameleon
4.0 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   Punta Barrigona, Mal Pais, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Rhode Island
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great honeymoon spot!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2008

We stayed 3 nights in Villa Vista in December for our honeymoon. We found the service and staff to be excellent and very helpful. The views were amazing, with only the jungle between you and the ocean. It was extremely relaxing. We really enjoyed the huge terrace with the hammock of course. The breakfast was very tasty, banana crepes was our favorite. The villa itself was enormous with a great stone shower open to air, if you so choose, with great views of the ocean. This was by far our favorite of three hotel stays during our honeymoon. We would highly recommend it even though the drive up can be scary. Try to arrive during daylight and we would also suggest renting a 4x4 to get around. We drove to an awesome secluded beach one day recommended by the hotel staff.

  • Liked — The Terrace and the View
  • Disliked — Steep road leading to Inn
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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241 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Nova Scotia
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2008

We just returned from our honeymoon in Costa Rica. We did tons of research before deciding on Casa Chameleon. This place was just heaven! David and the rest of the staff couldn't have been more attentive to all of our needs! We spent 3 nights in Villa Palma and 3 nights in the Ultra Villa. Of course the Ultra Villa was insane! With our own private pool just a few steps from our incredibly comfy king size bed! But Villa Palma was great too! It had a queen size bed but very comfy. It was also large with the greatest ocean view from the rain head shower! I read the last review and don't get what the person was complaining about . This is obviously a very new hotel! The fridge in Villa Palma was a stainless mini fridge. Which for us only held beer! And they were perfectly cool and happy! The Ultra Villa had a brand new full size kitchen with the big fridge. Again, it only held beer! Since we took full advantage of Kevin's amazing cooking!
Our a/c worked perfect in both rooms with normal A/C noise. Okay, the overhead palm fan is definitely more decorative . But I think thats why they also have a stand up fan at the foot of the bed. Most nights we slept with the doors open and just the fan and loved the breezes that came off the ocean at night. The sound of the waves were awesome! We were perfectly comfortable. For us this was a perfect combination of luxury and nature! The location was perfect because it is only a few minutes drive to the main cross road where the most popular beach Playa Carmen is. It was only about 5 minutes walking down the hill to Mar Azul. Which was a great beach to hang out in the tide pools with a beer! This place is definitely a bargain and I recommend it for any honeymooner!

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2008

Based on all the reviews we had read, we decided to stay at Casa Chameleon for our trip to Mal Pais. I am sad to say we were disappointed with our choice.

First, let me say that the hotel manager David and the chef Kevin were amazing and friendly and great help, with great recommendations and fun to be around. Kevin also made us a great dinner, and as foodies, we were both plesantaly surprised. So we have no complaints about them! David also had great recommedations about surfing, great restaurants and great day trips.

Also, the grounds themselves are really well maintained and clean, especially the pool area and the views are beautiful. And to echo other people's reviews, you do feel like you are in your own private house away from the dusty roads of Mal Pais, which is really a nice treat.

Our main complaint is about the villa we had. For Costa Rica, this place is definately on the pricey side, yet based on the reviews and the pictures on the website, we thought it would be worth it.

However, the room is pretty old and worn down. Specific problems: 1) The A/C is from about 1950 and is at loud as a jet engine (I am not exagerrating!); 2) The fan in the room is very pretty but does not work at all in circulating air around the room; 3) The refrigerator in the room, again pretty old school, was very loud and made this explosion type sound every few hours; 4) The bed was a double--for a place that caters to honeymooners, they should at least have a king size bed!; and 5) Breakfast is not included in the price (which it is in most other hotels in the area).

Now, I know you are thinking, this is Costa Rica, deal with it. HOWEVER, if we were staying at a place that was more reasonably priced and not advertised as being luxury, we would not complain. But based on what we paid and what we were expecting, it was definately very disapppointing. We did look at the ultra luxury villa. In terms of its amenties, it is newer and more along the lines of what I was expecting in our room. But I don't think its worth the price either for Costa Rica.

Also, the hotel is located up a giant hill and is not at all within walking distance to the main surf beach. We drove down the hill once and walked from there down the beach and it still took about 30 minutes.

We were sad to say that we were disappointed with our stay and despite the fact that our hosts Dave and Kevin were great, we would not stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Carolina USA
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2007

This was probably the most adventurous yet relaxing vacation my husband and I have ever taken! The adventure to get there and voyaging into the jungle on an atv were something we have never done. The small flight from San Jose to Tambor was scary but beautiful. It was only scary because I don't like flying and it was very loud on the small plane. The landscape from above was just beautiful. It only took 30 minutes in the air. It seemed as though we were landing just after taking off. I would recommend this as a way to get there quickly. The drive back to San Jose was beautiful but looong. The hotel was just beautiful. I could have just relaxed in the villa staring at the views the entire time. We did get out exploring though and it was worth it! We rented the ATV and rode to Montezuma. They gave us maps for exploring and that was very fun. It was like the Amazing Race or something because we really needed the maps and information to find all of the hidden beaches and areas. We tried surfing and Ross(our instructor) was a doll! We hiked the reserve, walked the beaches, and visited different restaurants. The restaurant in Montezuma was our favorite. Mainly because it was just so much fun travelling there and it was located right on the beach. The best meal was by the chef at Chameleon. Four very perfect courses with a bottle of wine. Served on our private balcony with candles watching the sunset. How romantic !!! This was a very unique vacation. I am very happy my husband talked me into it because I was afraid there would be bugs and insects all over. It wasn't like that at all! We were surrounded by nature but I didn't see many insects at all. The landscape variety was incredible with beautiful lush jungle, waterfalls and beaches with volcanic rock formations leading into white sand. We saw so many kinds of birds, iguanas and my favorite were the monkeys! It was just fantastic!

  • Liked — SCENES,ATMOSPHERE, HOSPITALITY,FOOD, CLEANLINESS & FRIENDLINESS
  • Disliked — NOTHING I CAN THINK OF. WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND WONDERFUL
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2007

Upon a friend´s recommendation, we made our first visit to Costa Rica to the Mal Pais area and the Casa Chameleon hotel. I am writing on this website because I think I have to add how special this hotel and this area really are.

After booking I read up on things on the internet and although excited we were both a bit apprehensive. Especially reading about dangers and such in Costa Rica on the many travel websites. I found all of this the opposite. Our car was stuck and several locals bailed us out of a hole. They came to our rescue and we were on our way in 5 minutes. They wanted nothing from us.I have to say that we experienced some of the friendliest people I have ever encountered anywhere.

The hotel staff were so helpful and gave us great guidance. The entire experience was much greater than we even anticipated. The hotel with it´s incredible design was much more beautiful than I thought it would be. The views were beautiful. The peacefulness on the property made us instantly relax every time we returned from our days adventure. Costa Rica is a great discovery. Mal Pais and the Casa, one of the true hidden paradises.

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — not applicable
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2007

We searched and searched to find a place that would give us something different for our honeymoon. We wanted something tropical with privacy, a great room, and great food. Casa Chameleon was above and beyond what we even expected! It already looked nice from the photos we saw, or we wouldn´t have booked it! But, we weren´t prepared for how surreal everything was. The property was so lush and there were incredible wooden teak paths to the pool and rooms. They were villas, not rooms. The view from the room was insane! All you could see was jungle and massive ocean with interesting mountains along the coast line. The concierege, David helped us with everything. He was sooo nice! The chef, Kevin was any foodies dream. We loved everything he made! We even met the owners and they were awesome! This place is not just a hotel it´s an experience! We fulfilled our honeymoon dreams and will send all of our cool friends so they can see it themselves! It is a place for people who want adventure though. I can´t imagine my mom on the crazy roads there! But, if you want something different with luxury and adventure then this is the perfect honeymoon place!

  • Liked — It was really private, we felt like we had our own resort
  • Disliked — nothing but you need a car or atv to get around
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New Jersey
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2007

My husband and I just returned from our second stay at Casa Chameleon. We are big travelers and not the type to return to the same place over and over, but Casa C and Mal Pais were so great we had to go back. After a year and a half, we finally made our return, and were not disappointed.

Since our first visit, the owners, Anthony and Bobbie, have added the services of a general manager, Dave, and Chef, Kevin...both are a great addition, and made our stay even better.

As you can see, there are numerous rave reviews about Casa Chameleon, so in brief I will just say that the villas are well maintained and very private, the property is beautiful, and the staff is committed to making your stay enjoyable. If you are looking for an authentic, relaxing experience in a boutique-like setting, without the wrist-bands and crowds of people, you can't go wrong with Casa C....

  • Liked — Very peaceful and relaxing
  • Disliked — No Complaints
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Chameleon

Address: Punta Barrigona, Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Chameleon 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chosen as one of the "Best 101 Hotels in the World" by Conde Nast Publications' Tatler Travel Guide for 2006, Casa Chameleon is a favourite with honeymooners and celebrities to relax and unwind in an enchanted environment. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Chameleon Mal Pais
Casa Chameleon Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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