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“Best hotel we've ever stayed at!! AMAZING.” 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 #3 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Best hotel we've ever stayed at!! AMAZING.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2013

We have done a lot of traveling, but this was our first vacation in Costa Rica. We wanted to end our trip on a luxurious note, and we are so glad we chose Casa Chameleon! It is, without exaggeration, the best hotel we have ever stayed in.

Mal Pais is very much in the jungle, and we were a bit worried about our trip being TOO rustic. We wanted to see wildlife but didn't necessarily want to sleep with bugs - we wanted to feel like we were in the jungle but also feel pampered. We got exactly what we wanted at Casa Chameleon. All 6 villas are very private. We were there in August during Costa Rica's technical rainy season (we actually had great weather), so we noticed that a lot of the other hotels and restaurants were a bit empty. Casa Chameleon was still completely booked - a testament to how terrific they are.

The villas are breathtakingly beautiful down to every last detail. They are even more beautiful than the photos on Casa Chameleon's website suggests. Our infinity pool had a Buddha fountain in it. Our bed linens were pulled back by sea shells. Our inside rain shower was attached to an outside, more jungle-feeling rain shower... We were so fascinated by our room, we made every effort to stay in it for as long as possible over the 2 days we were there. Our only regret is not staying longer!

The restaurant is AMAZING. Dinner is on the pricey side, but it is worth every penny. We ate there our last night, and it was the best meal we had in Costa Rica.

The ONLY downside to the hotel is that wifi is not available in the rooms, only in their main bar (I think this is probably an issue for every hotel in Mal Pais). In theory, of course, you don't want to be online during vacation, but if you do have to send out a quick email for work, it would be nice to do it from your private infinity pool. :)

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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214 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

My wife and I spent our honeymoon at Casa Chameleon and absolutely loved it. Our villa, Palma, was stunning, the staff friendly and attentive, and the grounds were beautiful. First class service across the board. By all means take them up on the meals. The breakfast every morning was fresh and delicious. There was always a variety of tropical fruit, fresh coconut water, and freshly ground Costa Rican coffee. Dinner... dinner was out of control. The chef is extremely talented and easily the friendliest person on the planet. Not to be missed. I don't often write Tripadvisor reviews, but felt the need since our experience was so amazing.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Key Biscayne, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

This place is really nice. The views are beautiful and the immediate proximity to a natural forest right outside your window will be difficult to find again. The staff have been trained by the owner, a british millionaire, to provide the most impeccable service and, mostly, they do.

Unfortunately I have to say "mostly" because from all the great people in Casa Chamaleon, my girlfriend and I found the manager, Alonso, to be the least helpful. Maybe he was having a bad week, but on 3 separate occasions he had comments or attitudes that completely contrasted with the rest of the staff. We were told about the goal, the owner of the hotel has given them of being the first on trip advisor, and I do not want to punish the whole team for 1 persons attitude. That is the reason why the hotel will get a 5, but Mr. Alonso definitely needs to improve his service because others might not be as lenient.

For the rest of the staff:

The chef was amazing cook and very nice (the 69 dollar per person is expensive but the food and personalized attention made us come back on several occasions). Ronald, the suchef, cooked by himself on one occasion and the food was incredible as well. John and willy, the waiters, had a great attitude and knew how to serve. The assistant of the manager, carol (I might have the name wrong) was helpful and courteous. Finally, Doña, who prepared the breakfast every morning made them all memorable with her incredible food and service. The night security guy was always smiling and in great spirits.

The hotel is overall very well maintained and malpais y st teresa are great places to go and relax. Make sure to get one of the renovated rooms.

Room Tip: Vista is very nice but is not renovated like some of the other cabins
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dublin, Ireland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Our expectations of Casa Chameleon were exceeded in all regards. The villa was immaculate and devoid of creepy crawlers despite the fact that it was surrounded by lush greenery. Facilities were beautiful and decorated very tastefully. The bar was a lounging heaven and the staff was super happy and friendly. However, the real gem was the chef. It will be hard to find another restaurant that will match the chef's passion for food and the quality of the dishes that were served. He was even kind enough to share some of his cooking tips! I would also wholeheartedly suggest having a car because there are lots of beautiful areas to explore nearby. If you are staying in Mal Pais, don't miss this place, nothing else we saw in the area came even close.

Room Tip: Villa Palma was on a steep hill with a cliff-like falloff, providing spectacular views of the rainfo...
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  • Stayed August 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.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

My wife and I spent several days of our honeymoon here. The only problem we had was having to leave- tears! Each villa is spaced out for maximum privacy. There is a central lounge/restaurant area at the top of the hill that afforded great views of the ocean. The staff are very attentive - they want to spoil you and they do a great job of it. The food is great - it feels like you have your own chef. I would recommend renting an ATV to do some exploring around Santa Teresa and Mal Pais. Extra bonus: as a "honeymoon" location we were a little nervous as a gay couple, but we were accepted with open arms. "Hola, chicas!"

  • Stayed July 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed at Casa Chameleon the last few days of our honeymoon in Costa Rica. I wish we could have stayed longer. I loved every minute at this oasis in the forest. It is a very small hotel. Only 6 villas total. We chose our room for the beautiful plunge pool and view of the ocean.
The staff was so sweet and very kind. The little restaurant is very private and the food was amazing. The chefs and bar staff were truly wonderful. Every meal we had was top notch. We look forward to going back soon!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keller, Texas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

If you are going to CR than this is the place to stay. The villas, staff, food......everything is amazing. My husband and I just got back from a wonderful 7 days at casa chameleon. We would highly recommend it to anyone looking for seclusion with plenty to do and enjoy.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
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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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