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“Ask about new-villa construction before your visit”

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Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Ask about new-villa construction before your visit”
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
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Helpful?
Thank ChicagoMan09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais, 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
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank sugarmags03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puravida5, General Manager at Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais, 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
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
Thank theeppersons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
Thank Jaa2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Argyle, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2011

We have literally just returned from our stay at Casa Chameleon, and I couldn't wait to sit down to write a review. This was the best vacation we have ever been on! We arrived to find everything just as it was pictured on the website. However, the website cannot capture the beauty and tranquility of it all. The grounds are amazing. The villas are beautiful and each have their own character and vibe. We were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, and we asked some friends to join us on the trip. There were 6 of us, so we occupied 3 of the 4 villas. The hotel was pretty much ours. It was awesome!

As beautiful as the grounds and villas are, I have to say that what makes Casa Chameleon truly spectacular is the food and Rob and Oscar, who prepare it. We were lucky enough to eat 5 dinners at Casa Chameleon, and each one was simply amazing. Rob really was cooking just for us. Everything was fresh, exquisitely prepared, and beautifully presented. They were, hands down, 5 of the best meals we have ever eaten. Then every morning Oscar was there to prepare our breakfast to order. From a traditional Costa Rican gallo pinto to french toast and crepes, we looked forward to breakfast every morning. In addition to preparing our meals, Rob and Oscar are super, super friendly. They chatted with us each day and offered suggestions of things to do and places to go. By the time we left, we felt like we were leaving friends behind.

There is so much to do in Mal Pais and the surrounding areas. Every day was an adventure! We would have breakfast, head out on our quads for a planned excursion or exploration on our own, and not return until dinner time. Quads or a 4X4 are a MUST. Without them, it would be difficult to leave the resort. With them, you can go anywhere!

If you have the opportunity, you must stay at Casa Chameleon. It is a trek to get there, but it is SO worth it. Our week there flew by. We fell in love with Costa Rica and Casa Chameleon. We were not ready to leave, and we are already trying to figure out when we can visit again! Pura Vida!!!!!

Room Tip: All of the villas are great! We stayed in the Ultra Villa, which has a spectacular view, is the lar...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank argyleboymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2011

My wife and I loved our relaxing, week-long stay at the Casa Chameleon in February 2011. The property is super-private, with only 4 villas (maximum of 8 adult guests). We stayed in the Villa Palma, which has a terrific balcony (and plunge pool) overlooking the jungle and ocean. The room was spacious, with a comfortabel bed and sitting area. The bathroom was hugh and includes a cool, stone shower with a floor-to-ceiling sliding door the opens up to the plunge pool and has the same great view as the balcony. The jungle sounds can be a little loud in the morning, but after a couple of days, you get used to the rhythm of Mal Pais, where people go to bed and get up early.

We got a package-deal, which included 5 days of meals, a 3-day rental car, and 2 activities of our choice. The food was AMAZING and FRESH. Nearly everything we ate -- breakfast, dinner, and dessert -- was either picked, caught, or baked that very same day. And we got to pick the menu! We used one of our activities to get a couples massage in our room at sunset, which was very relaxing.

This resort is also a great value, compared to similar-type places in the Caribbean and even compared to other upscale resorts north of Mal Pais. It was a truly unique and wonderful vacation experience that we will remember forever.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank WashintonDCTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hawaiii
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2011

My husband and I have stayed here on several occasions now. I don't know why my reviews don't show up!? However, I'll try again. From our first visit we found Casa C. to be the most unique and exceptional little hotel we've ever come across. And we travel extensively!
The design by original owner Anthony and his wife Bobbie was profound! I had never seen such attention to detail and customer service. Especially given the true boutique setting. The villas are so well spaced and lushly private one feels they have the place to themself! It is great to see that the new owners have taken the original concept to heart and today even more details have been added. Nothing takes away from the nature and true escape of the entire property. In a world filled with boring run of the mill places to stay, Casa C. provides a unique escape. Luxurious while still keeping balance with nature. You know you're in Costa Rica. Otherwise, why travel so far? Casa C. is one of a kind and we'll keep coming back to refuel from our fast paced lives. Thank you all for continuing a magical tradition and great customer service! Above and beyond! And the food was spectacular Rob!
G. Klein

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Gklein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais

Property: Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais
Address: Punta Barrigona | Province of Puntarenas, 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:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Mal Pais
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chosen as one of the "Best 101 Hotels in the World" by Conde Nast Publications' Tatler Travel Guide, Casa Chameleon hotel Mal Pais is a favorite with honeymooners and couples looking to relax and unwind in an enchanted adult only environment. Casa Chameleon is vacation as it should be: a warm welcome, rich privacy, authentic experiences, and endless adventure. Regardless of which Casa Chameleon Hotel you find yourself enjoying, you can count on handcrafted cultural experiences and endless adventure. At each Casa Chameleon property, it is our priority to help you slip seamlessly into the best of local tradition and cuisine-from cooking fresh-caught seafood side by side with our in-house chefs to paddling the coastline to sipping a nightcap in your private pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Chameleon Mal Pais
Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais Costa Rica

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