We stayed in the Ultra Villa in mid-September 2012 and really enjoyed our 3 nights at Casa Chameleon. I was surprised by the review below, and agree with the management response as it must have been a blip in their level of service that since been resolved.
The Accommodation: The location high on the hill was fine for us as we had a car, which was also necessary because many Mal Pais businesses were closed at this time of year forcing us to drive a little to find decent lunch (we recommend the restaurant at the Flor Blanca hotel down the coast). The rooms are all very private and have great views and nice pools. I would agree with comments by some that the Ultra Villa room is starting to look ever so slightly run down with 1 or 2 broken fixtures that should be repaired and polished. If you want brand new perfection I would suggest you grab one of the two new villas (Estrella).
The Food: We paid for the half-board which included breakfast and dinner. There are two sous chefs, Ronald and Oscar, who alternate 2-4 days shifts and both cooked excellent food with fresh local ingredients. We loved Oscar's Caribbean-style Gallo Pinto and have cooked it ourselves several times since. The dinner meals are delicious and not overly flamboyant e.g. chili marinated snapper on garlic mashed potatoes with fresh steamed broccoli. It felt healthier than most restaurant food. Presentation was great with a different crazy-looking local flower atop each meal every night. We typically hate inclusive resort food but we could have kept eating here happily for at least another two nights. A little more variety for the breakfast options would be good.
We hope that the owners continue to invest in this hotel to maintain the rooms, and to ensure they keep their staff happy (Oscar seemed to be having to work very hard at times with no wait staff to help him). We also hope they don't overload the property, currently each villa is very isolated from the others and it needs to stay that way to maintain the charm of the property.
Thanks for a great stay!
- 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