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Reviewed May 30, 2011

My boyfriend and booked a trip to Costa Rica last year and stayed at Casa Chameleon through a recommendation. We were beyond pleased with our stay. We were greeted by Alonso when we came in with cool face towels, to cool off after our drive over. Walking into our room felt like a dream. The pool wrapping around the main room to the bedroom was breathtaking. The town was full of cute shops with local handmade items. It had a nice laid back feel but also offered a fun nightlife. We had the most wonderful time and would recommend this beautiful and unique hotel to anyone. We plan to make a trip back and stay at Casa Chameleon sometime soon!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank JessicaD17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2011

Knowing Casa Cameleon was a great getaway from all that is hectic in life, we decided on a second trip and found that everything had improved. We stayed in a new villa (4 now and soon to be 5 ) and experienced the same remarkable view overlooking the forests and Pacific Ocean from bed, deck or plunge pool. We even had 2 deck chairs sitting in the shallow end of the plunge pool, never having to leave the cool feel of water lapping around us. The service remains impeccable and the food centered on exactly what we wanted, cooked the way we wanted. It was always fresh and perfectly prepared by the hotel's chef. It was such perfection with no phones, no TV, just the beauty of Costa Rica's natural bounty from forests to wildlife to ocean! They say a sequel struggles to meet the level of expectations of the first version but Casa Cameleon does not disappoint!

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank rebeccar1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2011

My fiancée and I took a trip around Costa Rica last year and were only in Mal Pais for two days, which we spent at Casa Chameleon. We enjoyed the location and the hotel so much that we decided to go back this year and spend our full vacation there. We loved the hotel the first time, and it only got better the second time around. Not only was it beautiful, clean, and near the beach, but the pivacy of the villa and the fact that you have your own pool IN THE ROOM makes it a very unique, unforgettable experience. While the staff is very attentive and can accommodate any personal requests, they make sure that you enjoy your privacy by not over crowding you. Rob (the chef) will cook you a luxury meal with whatever you are craving, and it will make you feel like you are on "Top Chef". Every aspect of the romantic vacation that we wanted was met here. I highly recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank rolony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2011

After getting married in Manuel Antonio, my husband and I decided that honeymooning for a week in Mal Pais would be a perfect way to decompress from all stress and craziness of wedding planning. We were right...well, sort of. Our vacations are usually pretty action-packed and we found after a few nights in Mal Pais (staying at Villas Hermosas) we were actually ready to move on to something else. One problem, we had already paid in full for 5-nights at Villa Hermosas and 2-nights at Casa Chameleon. So we starting looking into our options. We stopped into Casa Chameleon 3 days before our scheduled check in date to see if there was any possibility of changing our reservation. After some confusion due to new management staff, we were able to bump up our reservation a couple of nights earlier. Of course, this meant we had to burn 2-nights at Villas Hermosas but because it was the less expensive of the two options (and you only have 1 honeymoon) we went for it.

So glad we did. Casa Chameleon was awesome! The steep road/driveway to the place is a little intimidating (though at least it's paved!) but in general you should have a 4WD if you're visiting Mal Pais since practically all the roads are sketchy (try taking the road up to Brisas Del Mar or the road from Mal Pais to Cabuya). Anyway, it's worth it. The property and gardens are pristine and meticulously maintained. Really gorgeous views from the common areas. There is also a cool lounge area with an outdoor kitchen where we had a gourmet dinner from chef Rob one night that was both mouth-wateringly delicious and highly entertaining. If you are a seafood lover, Mal Pais is heaven. Rob made the most tasty and fresh fish (snook) that I have ever eaten in my life (and I live in San Diego) along with caramelized sweet potatoes and a bright and fresh (from his garden) salad that were to die for!

As for the villa itself, in the process of changing our reservation we wound up upgrading from Villa Palma to Villa Ulta and it was luxurious! So private, pristine and comfortable -- a perfect honeymoon hideaway! The private infinity pool was the perfect temperature, so peaceful and quite and an awesome spot for just chilling out, checking out the amazing view, and taking in the beautiful natural surroundings and wildlife (we spotted monkeys off in the tree canopy in the distance). The place also has a huge kitchen though admittedly we only used it to make ourselves some iced coffee one afternoon.

Our only gripes were:
1) The awesome glass doors of the villa (which afforded amazing views) did not slide or lock properly leaving you feeling a little vulnerable out in the jungle when sleeping or when leaving your valuables in the room.
2) Power went out, which meant no AC for a large part of the night/day the first night. I guess it happens a lot in Mal Pais but it's especially painful when you're paying such an expensive rate for the room.
3) Management staff appeared to be in transition, which meant working with a different person every time we interacted with the front desk (Eric was awesome and super-friendly though).
4) Unlike every other place we stayed in Costa Rica, breakfast was not included. And when we were asked if we would like breakfast and what we would like, no mention was made that we would later be paying for it. However, it was DELICIOUS (fresh fruit, banana nutella crepes, and scrambled eggs with avocado -- yum!) and definitely worth the $32 we paid for the 2 of us.

Other places to eat/check out while in Mal Pais:
RESTAURANTS:
* Mary's just down the road to the left of Casa Chameleon (awesome fish tacos)
* Brisas Del Mar (head towards Santa Theresa and take the dirt road to the right when you pass Pasta Basta). Amazing view! Go for sunset cocktails, and dinner. Note: road is steep and unpaved; you need a 4WD.
* Pizza Carmen: beachfront, really delicious woodfired pizza and a great spot for people, surfing, sunset watching. (left - towards the ocean - at the crossroads in town).
ACTIVITIES:
* Curu Wildlife refuge / Tortuga Island tour (saw tons of monkeys, lizards, birds, butterlfies); snorkeling off the island was good with lots of fish, eels, starfish.
* Sunset horseback riding on the beach with Katharina (www.skaf.at)
* Cabo Blanco National Park (just driving there is entertaining)
* Snorkeling/checking out the tide pools (we saw lots of fish, an eel, puffer fish, starfish, sea slugs...)

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank webminx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2011

The villas and grounds are stellar and then Chef Rob does his magic in the outdoor kitchen/dining area. WOW! This spectacular facility is difficult to describe in words. Never have I stayed at a place that was this superb. The ambiance is so sublime that it worked its way into our souls and transformed the entire vacation. I will return!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank wayneGrandMaraisMn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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