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“Fanstastic find in Mal Pais Costa Rica” 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
CHICAGO
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fanstastic find in Mal Pais Costa Rica”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2009

I read a lot of reviews on TripAdvisor before finally choosing to stay at Casa Chameleon and I couldnt be happier.

The hotel is situated on the hillside about a 1/2 mile up from the beach right on the edge of the jungle. The owners Anthony and Bobbie live on the property and are super friendly, inviting, and will do anything you need to make you comfortable. The manager David is also very nice and gave us a lot of great recommendations of what to do.

The hotel only has three rooms but they actually small little bungalows. They all look about the same size and ours was fantastic. We had a large balcony that has unobstructed views of the ocean, the queen bed was comfortable, and the bathroom was super cool with a rain shower and a great view of the ocean. The room was very clean, my wife can attest to that. It also had a small fridge and sink. No TV's here, you wouldnt want it anyways.

The property also has a moderately sized pool with some comfortable hammocks next to it.

At first i was a little apprehensive to stay at a hotel that wasnt on the beach, but once we got there we were so happy with our hotel. There are so many great beaches in the area that we were glad we didnt just stay at one.

Overall this place was great, the owners are wonderful, and we would go back anytime.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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217 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 (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Yorker in London
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

We searched and searched for the perfect place for our honeymoon. Friends that visited Mal Pais had us convinced this is where we should honeymoon. However, deciding on the proper hotel that offered the speciality for our occasion proved rather trying. Originally the Chameleon was booked but I kept trying and with a slight alteration of dates we were able to make it work out.

Our stay really was a treat and good to know that luxury can be achieved whilst maintaining a connection with nature. The rustic undeveloped area indeed feels like you have discovered somewhere special. Chef Mario is as talented a chef as I had read. David was the most splendid concierge! The roads are quite dusty going to town but the retreat is located up a hill-a steep hill-that nevertheless, is well worth the climb to quiet comfort and cleanliness. The location we thought quite perfect.. It was centrally located in Mal Pais. We enjoyed Mary's restaurant which was only a few minutes south. We also enjoyed walking the beach to Carmen where the surfers can be found congregating . Further past Carmen is Santa Teresa which had many shacks and surf shops. Our favorite adventures were ones David sent us on which included a visit to waterfalls and a lovely private beach. The most memorable meals were by chef Mario at the resort -and were to die for. Due to Chameleon's intimate size, great attention to detail and superb staff this was the perfect honeymoon.

  • Liked — Intimate size and superb service.
  • Disliked — Dusty roads
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 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)
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Chicago, IL
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2009

I cannot say enough good things about Casa Chameleon. My husband and I stayed here for our honeymoon in early December and we loved everything about this place. We stayed in the Luxury Villa and it was beautiful. I actually had tears in my eyes the first time I walked in the door! It's very private, with its own pool, kitchen, super comfy, King-size bed and amazing view. And I can't even describe how cool the bathtub is! It was so quiet and relaxing - we just loved it!
The little touches in the room were great, too. We had a set of binoculars that we used to watch the hummingbirds every morning. Fresh flowers were placed in the room each day and the organic bath prodcuts were nice, too.
The owners, Bobbie and Anthony, are wonderful hosts. They are very considerate of your privacy but are available for anything that you need. We enjoyed talking with them - such cool people! David, the eco-conceirge, is great, too. He recommended day-trips and restaurants and set everything up for us. (We rented an ATV and drove through the jungle to Montezuma. So cool!! He also set up a private yoga session for me in the villa - fabulous!) He is also available for whatever you need and was very fun to hang out with. The chef, Mario, is AWESOME!! We had barracuda fish tacos, fresh oysters, tuna, peanut butter ice cream - anything that you want, he'll do! We had Mario make us dinner every night and he outdid himself each time!
My husband and I were in Costa Rica for 2 weeks and we stayed at a few other very nice places but nothing came close to Casa Chameleon. It is such a unique place that is great for couples looking to relax, enjoy each other and the beautiful scenery.

  • Liked — The uniqueness of the property and the experience.
  • Stayed December 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)
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Palm Beach
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2009

My wife and I wanted a get away before the busy holidays. After scouring the internet I came upon this place and had to check it out. A short flight from Miami to San Jose and then a very short flight on a very small plane and we were almost there. We took their advice and had a 4X4 waiting in Tambor. Driving the 40 odd minutes to Mal Pais was interesting on the dirt roads. With our special directions we found it without any trouble. Once we pulled in, we were extremely pleased with our choice. Greeted warmly by the staff and guided through a paradise of flora and tropical walkways to a stunning villa. The chef soon had our dinner ready and it was sublime. Our 5 day stay was relaxing and everything we hoped it would be. We didn't realize there were as many activities in the area and hope to do more on our next visit. Since this one was just about relaxation. The Mal Pais area was rustic yet beautiful. Reminders of a simpler time. We both agree wholeheartedly with all of the fabulous reviews here. It is a very exclusive and unique experience for an incredible price.

  • Liked — Very Unique
  • Stayed December 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)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

You couldn't ask for more from a vacation than what we got at Casa Chameleon! The grounds were so, so beautiful. We reserved their chef most of the nights of our stay who prepared the most fabulous gourmet meals for us right there by the pool and lush landscaping. Amazing food! We didn't even have to leave to enjoy a fantastic dinner.

The rooms were so, so beautiful with so many extra touches that really finished everything off. Of course the amazing views didn't hurt either!

The owners were as nice as could be and made sure that we had everything we needed, including getting us all set up for massages, yoga, ATV's, last minute lunch orders, gourmet snacks prepared by the chef, laundry and on and on. They were great! And their place is even better.

It was truly a great place to stay and it was heartbreaking to leave! We can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — Everything! Rooms, service, hospitality, food, views, helpful & friendly advice...all of it!
  • Disliked — The road leading to was a little rough, but that wasn't the fault of the hotel.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 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)
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New Jersey
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2009

I can't say enough about our wonderful experience at this hotel! We were personally greeted at arrival by the owners. The property is small, romantic and just perfect! Our bungalow was on our own private path filled with flora, butterflies and lizards. The room was very spacious with a fridge, four-poster bed with netting, fans, a large balcony with hammock and dining table, fresh flowers, and a huge stone shower with an open window over looking the pacific ocean. The view was gorgeous! The whole time we were there it seemed like we were the only ones at the hotel. We went all out and did the personal dinner....amazing food and service...highly recommended! The only negative thing that happened was that we had to move the dining table inside at night because there were too many bugs...but that was really no big deal at all! David set up trips for us, made sure our laundry got done and recommended places to eat. Mary's is by far the best place to go! One night we drove down to At Flor Blanca's Nectar restaurant and that was much more expensive, but the food was amazing...I had fresh sushi and it was the freshest I've ever had and the chocolate melting cake was gone in 5 seconds! This hotel is a dream and I will most likely not find anything like it in the world! I wish we could have stayed longer! Mal Pais is a secluded tropical retreat and made our honeymoon magical!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — couldn't get a longer stay
  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2009

The owners and manager were incredible. They we very knowledgably, always there to help, and were very cool people. The chef cooked up some tasty meals too.
I miss the room we stayed in and the shower and how the doors opened to the view of the ocean was the best! I loved lying on the hammock with my husband and just watching the birds, or reading a book.
We checked out other hotels in the area, and we thought this was the best, especially the service, and how our room was up on the hill overlooking the ocean with a light breeze.

  • Liked — How relaxed we were, the shower, and service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 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
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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