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“The BEST accomodations in Mal Pais or anywhere else for that matter!” 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   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
minneapolis
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“The BEST accomodations in Mal Pais or anywhere else for that matter!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2012

We just returned from a week at Casa Chameleon and we can't say enough good about it. We were greeted by a darling young woman, Jessica, who made us feel comfortable from the moment we walked it. It was a long day getting there but Vicky, who takes the reservations, set up our flight from San Jose to Tambor and our ride from Tambor to Malpais. Everything went off exactly as planned. We had a taxi ride and he was so awesome, took us the scenic route and not only did we see the beautiful jungle but we later retraced this route on our outing to Montezuma. Our accomodations we so incredibly beautiful. We did see all the villas and it would be hard to choose as each has something that another does not and is fabulous! The views, the sunsets, the pool, the open air hotel area, all perfect. Best of all is Rob the chef and Mark and Oscar that work with him. I can't even tell you how fabulous the food was. We ate 4 dinners here as nothing compared to these meals. They were not only delicious but beautifully accented with gorgeous flowers. Rob will make anything you want however we usually gave vague details and produced a masterpiece every night. The breakfast was fabulous and the "snack" we had for lunch a few days was also a memorable meal. Everyone was helpful and courteous. Before we arrived we wondered if things would be difficult to navigate to or far away. The hotel set up Canopy tours for us (5 min drive), we went fishing with a local guide and ate the fish for dinner! We went to the waterfalls in Montezuma, easy drive and spent time at all the local beaches. There are a couple of places close by (Vista de Olas) that has the most incredible sunset while having a drink and even as a guest you can wear your swimsuit and watch the sunset from the infinity pool. It was right down the street from our hotel. We loved every minute of it, had fun watching ALL the surfers, met friendly people from all over the world and didn't want to leave. GO, it is the best accomodations for the price you will find almost anywhere in the world. We did figure out how to "skype call" but otherwise our phones were pretty much out of commission which made it a true vacation. Charlie the owner is building 2 more villas. I know they will be fabulous as well. Every detail perfect. Thanks to all of the great staff.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong, all private, you feel like you are the only one there however we did meet a...
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  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon, responded to this review, May 21, 2012
Hi! We are so glad you enjoyed your stay at Casa Chameleon! Thank you for the wonderful review!! Our entire staff works very hard to ensure that your experience is one of a kind, from the travel arrangements to the accommodations, tours, activities, and of course the food! We hope you will come back and check out the new villas!!
Pura vida!!
Hotel Casa Chameleon Staff & Management
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217 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    201
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

Where do I start?? This place really is a paradise, we stayed in the ultra luxury villa because it was our honeymoon and we just felt so pampered, even though it wasn't an all-inclusive resort. We got massages in our room and swam in our very own infinity pool and lounged on our canopied four-poster bed and took a bubble bath in the stone tub. The front desk was helpful and attentive and organized any trips we wanted to take (ordered the cab, booked the trip, etc...) from zip-lining and snorkeling to casual dinner and grocery trips. The ultra villa has a full kitchen so we even got domestic for a few nights and cooked a few meals there in our room. We did encounter two scorpions in our room but this type of thing is unavoidable. The location is absolutely positively unbeatable! The view is amazing and it's so great that you can completely open up those glass doors and really enjoy the jungle. We had monkeys outside our doors in the morning and bats and lizards ate all the mosquitos at night. You have to appreciate nature and be ok with some bugs and things like that to come here. If you're ok with that, then you will have an unparalleled trip with beautiful weather and lovely people. This part of Costa Rica can be dusty but Casa Chameleon is up off the road and lovingly isolated and quiet. Our chef, Robbie, was sweet and ridiculously talented. The very first night, we had tuna and steak that both just fell apart in our mouths and we both agreed was the best of both that we had ever had. In the morning Oscar cooked our breakfast, ask him for the traditional Costa Rican breakfast! He was incredibly nice and always had suggestions for activities and places to go and eat. I just can't say enough about how wonderful a time we had. Since it's such a small place as well, there's only ever four couples max there at a time. It was so romantic and private and calming! I was a little freaked at the scorpions (one was hiding under my bathing suit one morning) but other than that, the resort and the people and the location and the beach and the jungle just made this the best vacation of my life. Oh, they claim to have wifi and we never got signal in our room... but who really cares? Get unplugged and enjoy your stay!

Room Tip: Ultra luxury villa, I mean, really, don't settle for less than your own infinity pool!
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon, responded to this review, April 26, 2012
Hi guys! We are glad you enjoyed your honeymoon at Casa Chameleon! Thanks for the wonderful review!!! We strive to make every guest experience unique and personalized, and are happy you where pampered by the staff :) We encourage our guests to unplug and enjoy what Costa Rica's beautiful nature has to offer, therefore wifi connection is available in the common areas (Restaurant, Lounge Bar, Poolside at the main pool and at Reception) but not in the villas. We are glad you did not miss it in your room. We will be waiting here in paradise for you guys next time you feel like "unplugging"!!!
-Casa Chameleon staff and management
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012

We have just spent a week at Casa Chameleon, staying in Villa Sol. It was an absolutely wonderful experience in all respects. The room was beautiful, looking over our own tropical garden and infinity pool and on to the setting sun and sea. The privacy was absolute and the atmosphere completely peaceful. With only four units in the hotel, we often had the entire place to ourselves. Meals were delightful. I wouldn't want to put anyone off by their description as "homemade". That means they all had a freshness and authenticity that is often lacking in restaurant foods. Although simple in conception, they all had interest and "umami". You never knew what you might get in the evening when asking for catch of the day in the morning. The fisherman hadn't come in yet with his catch.

There are opportunities for excursions--zip lining, nature walks in the nearby park with guide, horseback riding, snorkeling. You do need a vehicle to get around. The only time we walked into town was when we made a mistake to do so. The road is dusty, not expecially interesting and the hill to the hotel very steep. There are spectacular beaches with surf-boarding in the area but you will need a car or ATV to get to them. Having said that, this is really a place best suited for complete relaxation--and don't miss a massage, which was absolutely incredible.

The staff is wonderful. All travel arrangements in and out of the hotel worked as planned. So, pack your kindle and some sunscreen and your appetites; you won't need much else.

  • Stayed March 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon, responded to this review, March 22, 2012
Hi! We are glad you enjoyed your stay at Casa Chameleon and the wonderful creations of our Gourmet Chef and his team. The meals at Casa Chameleon are made from the freshest available ingredients to ensure a healthy, yet tasty culinary experience with authentic Costa Rican flavors.. we are so happy that you enjoyed them!
Pura vida!
-CC Management and Staff
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Chicago
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2012

Just back from 9 days/nights at Casa Chameleon in Villa Vista and everything people say here (perfection, blah-blah-blah) remains true. We loved virtually every second of our stay. “Virtually,” because:

1. They’re building 2 new villas and though management genuinely seems to be trying to ensure the noise and disruption is kept to a minimum, construction is construction. It was sometimes noisy from 7 a.m. through 7 or 8 at night; we could hear construction workers talking, in addition to machinery, etc. It’s most apparent from Villa Vista, closest to the construction. If you’re staying at CC over the next several months, I’d ask about construction.
2. Around the bar and pool, the music is dreadful and too loud. I know, it’s all subjective, but we chatted with the other 6 people there when we were, and every single person had the same complaint. The joy of CC is hearing the palms in the wind, the birds, the howler monkeys and crashing waves in the distance. So the music was especially intrusive. If people want music they can use their iPods.
3. Again, subjective: We thought the bed was really uncomfortable.

Despite these 3 caveats we LOVED our stay.

Lastly, as a gay couple we were made to feel welcome by everyone who works at CC. Jessica, Oscar, Alonzo - all fabulous people.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon, responded to this review, March 22, 2012
Dear guest (ChicagoMan09).
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and give us feedback. We are glad you loved your stay at Casa Chameleon despite the inconvenience of the construction. We apologize for this, and as you state in your review, our management worked hard to try to ensure that your experience was not damaged by the construction. We hope the discount provided both during your stay and the voucher for a future visit can mitigate any feelings of unsatisfaction on your part. We surely hope you and your partner return to Casa Chameleon and stay in our new villas!! They are very much on their way and should be ready soon. We will take note of your suggestion for the pool bar music, thanks. We hope to see you back in our little piece of paradise soon :)
- CC Management and Staff
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Seattle
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2012

We just got back from a week long trip in Costa Rica, where we spent the last 3 days in the Villa Sol.

The Villa Sol is there newest villa at the property, and also their smallest - but didn't lack in a single bit of luxury!

THE VILLA:
When entering the room, you are greeted to a beautiful king size bed that was some of the best sleeping I got in the country. The doors to your personal patio and pool can be pushed back to open the entire room to the deck, so you could lie in bed and listen to nature if you wanted.
The bathroom has similar doors - and the shower clear glass so you can shower and take in the view at the same time. The shower was amazing - one of those rain showers that fall directly over you.
The pool was the best part of this villa. It is an infinity pool, perfect temperature, with a fountain. There are two lounge chairs that sit within a few inches of water. When it's 95+ degrees out, this was a great way to relax and cool off during the day.
A few things to note:
I would suggest bringing an eye mask with you if you want to sleep late - there are no curtains, and it gets really light really early.
The one small miss from perfection was the power lines. Unfortunately, this villa is built around a power pole, so you get a few wires in your view - but it really never bothered us at all.

THE PROPERTY AND STAFF:
The staff here is amazing. They are friendly, and accommodating. Oscar - the chef, is a sweetheart that you will love. We ate one breakfast and one dinner here. The breakfast was really nice - lots of fruit, some exotic but we chose to eat out for a cheaper alternative the other days.
I would highly suggest doing at least one dinner here. It's a little pricey compared to other restaurants in the area, but the service and food are a treat. We had a really lovely evening together.

THE PROPERTY: I loved the way they decorated this property. It's so peaceful - also, since there are only 4 villas right now, there really aren't many guests there. You almost have the entire place to yourself. We met a few of the other couples staying there and they were nice as well.

You are a little off the beaten path here - so I would highly suggest a car. The property is on a very steep and large hill and then you are pretty down the road from the town of Santa Teresa. Also - Santa Teresa is pretty spread out - we wound up driving a lot there.

Overall - we stayed at some luxurious places in Asia, and the Casa Chameleon was paralell if not better to some of the greats.

  • Stayed March 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.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon, responded to this review, March 22, 2012
Hola from Casa Chameleon!
Thank you for the wonderful review! We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us at Villa Sol!! Oscar and the entire staff send their regards :)
Pura vida!!
-CC Management and Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canton, Georgia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

We have been fortunate to travel to Costa Rica many times and stay at many places. Santa Teresa/Mal Pais is a long drive from anywhere but boast some beautiful beaches. I suggest if coming here stay at least 3 days to make it worth the drive. This is a surfer’s town and has some of the nicest accommodations in Costa Rica, among those is Casa Chameleon. Casa Chameleon lies in solitude only 5 minutes from town. From our deck we saw all kinds of wildlife and had several fun conversations with monkeys.
We stayed in the Ultra Luxury Villa and it was incredible. This Villa is large and only half (the bedroom) has A/C and it will not freeze you, but you will sleep comfortably. This Villa is located further from other Villas, Parking, and the restaurant and you will have to climb some steps. With that being said, you can open windows and doors and watch all kinds of wildlife and birds as you swim in your pool. It is quite simply “special”. I had a chance to look at other Villas and to be honest there is not a bad one. They are not as big but they are easier to get too, have a covered porch, a cold A/C, and they all have great views.
EAT HERE! Enough said; this is as good as it gets. Oscar and Ronald cook just for the guest of these 4 Villas and will gladly bring it to your room.
Jessica, at the front desk is lovely, attentive, professional and great just to sit with and have a conversation about Costa Ricans and their culture or shoot the breeze (she speaks excellent English).
To sum up, everything here is about as good as it gets and it is personal, not like a Four Seasons. While here I had a stomach bug and it’s a bad feeling to be in a foreign country sick. Oscar called his mother to get a recipe for my sickness and then sent someone to town to fetch the ingredients, he made it and brought it to my room that night, he also wanted to take me to the clinic himself the next day if I wasn’t better, All of this without my asking.
I will be back.

  • Stayed January 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2012

My husband and I felt we were in paradise at Casa Chameleon -- It was a perfect honeymoon getaway. We ditto much of the past reviews: ultra-nice villa, serene privacy, and exceptional meals and service (especially from Oscar). We travelled by foot and wound up walking the beach when we went into town, because the roads are unpaved (very dusty in the dry season). Our original plan was to rent bikes, but due to the dust we decided against it. The hill was an incredible workout! We would dive into the plunge pool as soon as we returned to our villa each day -- very refreshing!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels 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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