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“Great honeymoon!”

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Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 February 2008

My new wife is a genius! She read about this place in one of her bride magazines and I fought her for months. I really thought we should go to Hawaii for our honeymoon. When we were comparing the cost and what we would get it just kept bringing us back to Costa Rica. She kept showing me reviews on all of these sites and i finally gave in and we booked our costa rica honeymoon. We stayed at 2 other places before the chamaleon but it was chamaleon that made us want to go back to costa rica again. It really does make a difference where you stay. We want to go back for our anniversary. I would say dont take a chance on a honeymoon because its worth making sure it's special. Im very glad I listened to my new wife. I guess im learning fast, huh? Thank you to David for showing us what is so great about mal pas!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jimmyKan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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319 - 325 of 394 reviews

Reviewed 14 February 2008

This place is off the hook! Never seen anything like it, anywhere! The parking lot was even cool! We had such a great time we already booked for November. Every single person there, the owners, staff were great, nice, and super cool! They all really want everyone to have a great time. The villas were first rate with every detail taken care of. Im talking about the regular villa. Cant imagine what the luxury one was like! My only regret is that we didnt just spend our entire vacation here. We will in November!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chncebk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2008

We had an amazing surf vacation beginning in Nosara and heading down the coast ending up in Mal Pais! The surf was great, water warm, and no crowds! Driving was gnarly because of the dirt roads, bumpy and dusty, but a fun adventure! Definitely want to return and spend more time in Mal Pais at Casa Chameleon! Awesome hotel with a great view of the waves. The location was awesome because it's close to everything, but with the way the property is it's really peaceful and quiet. The views are just of the jungle and the ocean.
You feel like you're in the middle of nowhere. But, we'd hop in the car and in just a few minutes we were at a great surf break.
The service was the best ever!

David is the perfect host and always had great tips about where the surf was best for the day. He got a tip about a left break in Montezuma that was really happening and we took the back road to get there. He was right, it was awesome!

The chef was equally amazing and being vegetarians, he hooked us up with amazing meals!

Great place, great people!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Skip17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 February 2008

We rented out all three villas for my parents anniversary and boy did we score! My father has been in the entertainment industry most of his life and all of ours. Read: SPOILED AND HARD TO PLEASE. My mother was concerned that the trip would be too adventurous for them at their age. My sister and I agreed that this was the place and moved forward with our plan.

We took a private charter from San Jose to Tambor. Very reasonably priced at approx. $150 per person for our own private plane. We could have taken the Nature Air charter at approx. $70 per person , but the flight times did not meet our international schedule. It was well worth it to have a plane at our disposal for the time we wanted. We had a pick up at the Tambor airport(loose word for patch of grass where planes land). It took approx. 40-50 minutes to arrive at the hotel.

The moment we arrived we were welcomed and shown to our villas. The grounds were beautiful and we were excited to smell the delicious lunch our chef was preparing for us in the outdoor kitchen! We were pleasantly surprised how well appointed and spacious each of the villas were. The two smaller villas had very good new remote A/C units, small fridges,coffee maker w/coffee(great Costa Rican coffee) a blender and a tea kettle. They had very large rain showers on slate rock with windows open to the ocean. There was also a mirror on the opposite side that reflected the ocean. My parents villa had a full size kitchen, separate living area and an artistic bathtub and rain shower. There were terrific organic snacks in a Welcome Basket(nice touch). All three had beautiful views!

My husband and I stayed in Villa Vista. Although my ocean view was more vast, my sister always had the monkeys and birds in front of hers(Villa Palma). Hers also had a beautiful view of the ocean, but was closer to the monkey trail of trees.

My parents had the luxury one and we spent many evenings dining on their balcony by their beautiful infinity pool. Not a plunge pool but an actual large pool. The Villa Vista and Villa Palma had queen sized beds(not double as I just read) and the Luxury had a king. I have a king in my master at home but, the queen was very comfortable and perfect for our stay. The view from the bed was so beautiful I would have slept on the floor!

We had the ENTIRE RESORT to ourselves and it was only $1000 a day. I usually spend that on a room at the four seasons! My impossible to please father was so impressed with the rooms and service and the overall trip he actually suggested we do this every year! We'll see if he actually follows through;) You have no idea how huge that is coming from him! He didn't even complain about there not being a television! We all couldn't believe how well we scored in every way with this place! We usually spend much more on vacations and I believe we all agree this ranked as one of the best vacations we've ever taken as a family. The SERVICE, ROOMS, VIEWS, LOCATION, and PRICE make this a standout amongst any Central American hotel. The fact that they have only 3 villas make this MORE THAN A HOTEL but a very special place to call our own! At least for the time we rented it out! Outstanding!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank lovetoflyella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2008

we found casa chemeleon, and mal pais to be a wonderful adventure for our 5 day stay in january.
the villa we stayed was spacious, clean, and comfortable. the view is from high on a hill overlooking the pacific ocean.
we did not have the patio with the private pool, but the main pool was just lovely.
david our host could not have been more gracious and accomodating, very knowledgeable about everthing the mal pais areahads to offer.
we rented a small suv which is a must. we hardly ever got out of 2nd gear. villa's up up a steep hill, and hard to recognize the 1st time before checking in.. otherwise it's not difficult and actually fun to drive virtually "off road" wherever you go within 35 km of malpais. i cannot describe how bad most of the roads are.
kevin is a terrific chef and fun guy. try to have david direct you to the fishing village and set up a 2 hour, very early morning fishing quest. the fish which you certainly will catch can be prepared for you by kevin, and it's delicious.

also go for the horseback ride, surfing (body surfing in my case)
hike in csas blanco, see montezuma, and explore all the beaches, the very best of which was" playa hermosa"

eat at kevin's, mary's of course, breakfasts and sunsets at soda pad mederia.

thanks to david, and the owner anthony, who really care, we loved our trip to casa chameleon.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank frankiePhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2008

My wife and I just returned from spending 5 nights at Casa Chameleon in celebration of our 10 year anniversary. All of the reviews are ABSOLUTELY justified. This place was incredible. I am almost reluctant to write a review since we want to keep this entire area of Mal Pais, including Casa Chameleon, a SECRET, but after further thought- what the heck, let me tell you a bit about our experience.

We stayed at the Villa Vista ($235/night). The view from the balcony- even the shower- was incredible! The bed was fabulous (double bed, not a queen in case this makes a diff. to you). We ate breakfast on our balcony every day enjoying Kevin's "Americana" breakfast including banana pancakes, bacon, eggs, tropical fruits, OJ, etc. We booked two private dinners and they were among the best meals of our stay. Kevin is a superb chef. His creations were delicious. We never ate lunch at Casa Chameleon since we went on excursions almost every day. One of the most incredible dinners was at a little place called "Langosta Paraiso" (Lobster Paradise) located about 30 minutes north in Manzanillo. Lobster is pulled right from the ocean DAILY. Mary's is great. So is Pizzeria Carmen and Piedra Mar. We ate one dinner at Flor Blanca which is expensive but very good.

Our daily excursions included zipline canopy tours (10 min. from Casa Chameleon), Horseback riding at sunset and on the beach (10 min. from Casa Chameleon), surfing at Playa Carmen (surf boards rent for 10 bucks a day at Alex's surf shop, 5 min from Casa Chameleon), walks on the beach, day trip to Montezuma (incredible beach and shops), snorkeling at Sunset Reef (10 min. from Casa Chameleon). Casa Chameleon is located about 400 yards on a hill from the beach. The road is very steep and I would not recommend walking to the beach or activities. Rental car is a must and we loved zipping around the area. I actually wish we had spent more time enjoying the incredible pool and grounds at Casa Chameleon but every night we returned from excursions we felt like we were at a spa, pampered by such an incredible little resort. We did order a massage one day and the therapists were excellent.

Dave was the most amazing host! He was on call whenever we needed him- always available. He knows all the secrets of Mal Pais, the best restaurants and is always available to provide directions, maps, etc. Thanks Dave for taking so many pictures of us and for your amazing service. Dave works tirelessly for guests and is available as often (or as little) as you need him. Believe me, as REMOTE AS MAL PAIS IS, Dave is an incredible help.

We will DEFINITELY be returning. My only fear is that this place grows too popular. They are already talking about paving the main road. I don't want this place to turn into Tamarindo, with issues of sewer and larger crowds. Be prepared to drive on dirt roads the entire time. You need 4WD. I brought bug spray but NEVER USED IT. We had a few bugs and ants in our room but they never bothered us. The room has A/C so we slept cool every night. Be prepared for lots of noises from nature at night (birds, monkeys, etc.). Remember, this is the jungle but not rain forest so the bugs are very tolerable. I would recommend staying during dry season. We never saw a drop of rain and weather was in the 80's all week - at times the roads were hot and dusty. The ocean is incredibly warm. Pack LIGHT- we brought one pair of pants for horseback riding. Never wore long sleeves. Hopefully this helps you!

Thanks Casa Chameleon for making our trip unforgettable. We will be coming back soon!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank bdrake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2008

After reading many glowing reviews of Casa Chameleon on Trip Advisor, we decided to trust the community and stay here. We stretched our budget a bit beyond what we would otherwise spend, and we were not left disappointed. I won't go into the describing the property since the many other reviews and websites do a great job. I'll just say that the grounds were amazing, the room was perfect, the view incredible, and the staff was friendly and catered to our every need. We did not stay in the ultra deluxe suite, but thought our normal suite was perfect. We did peek at the other, and while impressed with the private pool, we really would have missed our awesome jumbo shower set on granite tile. Our only complaint was that the property has an awesome poolside and cabana set up, but since there are only three casaitas (and some guests prefer their privacy), everything was empty most of the time. We enjoy socializing and found that the staff was very fun to hang out with. Congratulations CChameleon for living up to your fabulous reputation. Well done!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TexChic
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

Address: Punta Barrigona | Province of Puntarenas, Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Region: 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: £213 - £510 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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