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“A Dream on a Hillside!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Casa Chameleon Hotel

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Casa Chameleon Hotel
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Dream on a Hillside!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2008

A wonderful retreat! Everything we had heard and more. If you truly want to get away from it all, this is the place! I recommend the flight to Tambor and taxi in. We rented the atv and loved it for our stay. The cuisine and service were perfect. A unique hotel experience.

  • Liked — Small and unique, understated luxury
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EWILondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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365 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oklahoma City, OK
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2008

I have been reading these reviews on here for Casa Chameleon religiously since I first found it on trip advisor, and was convinced there was no way it would live up to the hype. Instead, it surpassed it. Everyone has said it all before. Bobbie and Anthony were great, the couple of days that they were there with us. After that they headed to their city home and left the place in the hands of the completely amazing David, who was there to help us with our every need or want. I cannot say enough for the personal service here. We stayed in the Vista Palma, and had an amazing view to wake up to every morning. The shower is hands down the best shower I have ever seen in my life. Everything was so naturally beautiful and laid back at CC, we could not have had a more private, secluded honeymoon spot. We were there 3 days before we ever even saw other people, and even when we did after that, it was only in passing. Mal Pais is this great little, undiscovered town with shack restaurants right on the beach. Though one of the best perks at CC is the private chef. Mario was simply amazing, he made us some of the best meals we ever had in our life, all of which we enjoyed from our room's balcony pretty much in our pajamas. 5 star meal in comfy clothes, now that is a vacation to me.

Some tips:
--Brush up on your Spanish before you go. Everywhere did take dollars, which was nice, but we often ran into people who didn't speak English. If this would freak you out, this might not be the place for you, but we went with it and always got by. The people there are great and helpful.
--Rent a car, or at least an ATV. We weren't going to do it and decided to at the last minute and I am sooooo glad we did. Granted, if you are only there for a couple of days and just want to hang around CC (which I think we really could have done!!) you should be fine. But David had some great recommendations for really secluded beaches and restaurants that were only reachable by car. Not far, just better to drive. The roads are certainly an adventure, but we found it very fun.
--Take a commuter flight to Tambor. The plane is small and a little scary at first, but the views are amazing and you land practically on the beach. Very cool.

It is honestly hard to put into words how amazing of a time we had here. If you are looking for something more natural, private while still being luxurious, this is your place hands down.

  • Liked — Amazingly relaxing
  • Disliked — We loved everything!
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank okctraveler25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2008

My wife and I recently returned from Casa Chameleon. My wife likes to relax by the pool, get massages, read, etc. I prefer surfing, mountain biking, and blasting through the jungle on a quad. This place ended up being perfect for both of us! As the warm water surfing was awesome! But, the best was coming back to my happy wife and Mario's amazing cooking! One of the first times on vacation I didn't get yelled at because my wife was waiting for me! I definitely recommend this place for adventurous or even people that want a great place to just chill out in nature.

  • Liked — The privacy and Mario's superb cooking skills.
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KLundon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2008

My in-lawas paid for our honeymoon here and it was the best gift ever! Everything was more amazing than the photos. I read about it before going but it was even more beautiful than I expected. The views are amazing! The service, food and hospitality are incredible. This has to be the best honeymoon hotel ever invented! It's private and serene just like everyone says. But it's really more special than words can say. At first it seems like a beautiful simple place. As the days went by it just kept getting better and better. We really got into the ATV and going to the places David sent us. It was a magical place! The extras they provide and the attention to detail was priceless! We loved every moment! Just follow the advice they send you and let David direct your excursions and you can just enjoy the adventure! What more can I say? Just amazing!!!

  • Liked — Everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SSHouston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2008

We had an AMAZING stay at this hidden oasis! I learnt of this travel site from a nice couple honeymooning at the resort during our stay. I thought it a great way to say THANK YOU to the owners, Bobbie & Anthony, who have created a special paradise for us over-stressed folks in the film industry!

A HUGE thank you to David, who tirelessly ran around taking care of all of our requests. I also must add that the food was INCREDIBLE and they ceratainly have a knack for finding top quality chefs for this small resort in the midst of the jungle.

I have enough common sense to know there are certain natural elements that come with such a remote and natural locale. However, the bugs were not as bad as I had expected in the rainy season. The array of birds, geckos, and frogs, probably the reason:) The actual road in Mal Pais was not bad and I personally enjoyed the walk up the steep hill coming back from dining on the beach . As well, Anita had sent me wonderful information which was extremely helpful in our preparation.

I would have to say this was the perfect vacation for us. Certainly, not perfect for everyone. But, to have such a small adult only resort, great service, beautiful views, and the privacy and serenity that come with the surroundings. ..It would have to be as close to my idea of heaven as anywhere I've been.

A few tips or bits of info to anyone reading this:
1. This is the jungle and there are animals around. Iguanas run on the roof and 'peek' out from the rain gutters as if toying with you. If this is a problem-don't go to Costa Rica. I thought it quite adorable.

2. The area is remote and has quaint small restaurants, but no shopping other than surf stores.

3. Rent a 4x4 or a quad-vehicle. We had so much fun exploring although we had planned on simply relaxing the entire time. We surely would have missed out if we had not ventured out to some of the wonderful hidden beaches.

This is an extremely unique resort and I do believe they have created something new in the hotel industry. It's an understated luxury for those of us who have tired of overpriced, unpersonalized service with fake smiles and 'touristy' experiences. On the contrary, Casa Chameleon is real in every sense of the word . Genuine people who have created a magical reteat for those of us who love nature and serenity. Who truly need a break from the world and all of it's stresses. This would have to be one of the most romantic places in the world!
Thank you all again and we will be returning soon!
Sincerely,
The jungle divas!

  • Liked — Adult only, privacy, nature, design and landscaping, views, and exceptional service
  • Disliked — That I don't own it!
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ESaunters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleson, SC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 June 2008

We decided to book our stay at CC after reading all the great reviews on trip advisor. Neither of us had been to central america, so we weren't exactly sure what to expect. it was a little nerve racking traveling from san jose to tambor (via sansa) and then picking up the rental car because we were not used to the laid back way of costa rica. we are too americaized! we had to wait for 3 hours in the sansa airport because of flight "delays" and then the dirt roads from tambor to CC were a new experience. when we got to CC it was a great surprise to pull up to the beautiful grounds. even the parking lot is cool, and we are trying to mimic the checkerboard pattern in our own backyard. david, bobbie, and anthony are great. they had towels, beach bags, chairs, surf/boogie boards, maps, etc. ready for us whenever we were heading out for the day. the are definitely living their dream down in costa rica....really fun to meet them and hear their stories. keith cooked us some great food. i really liked the breakfast esp. the baked beans and omlet creations. our other favorites: playa hermosa (beach), mary's (restaurant).

before booking please understand that this is not a typical resort. if your are looking for a huge hotel, on the beach, with hovering staff then this is not the place for you. CC is a remote part of costa rica so you have to "be brave and explore." there were a couple of times i wished i had a cabana boy to bring me a frozen drink on the beach, but looking back on our trip, i am glad we tried something different. you can go to a resort anywhere in the world. CC is only is mal pais, costa rica.

p.s. we don't speak spanish, and i wish we would have brushed up on some basics before we left.

  • Liked — landscape, pool
  • Disliked — no credit cards
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank charlestoncharm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2008

We found just what we were looking for in Costa Rica at Casa Chameleon! We drove down from Tamarindo and enjoyed the incredible scenery along the route. We had been disappointed at the development in Tamarindo. Mal Pais was surprisingly undeveloped and looked more like the Costa Rica we had dreamt of. We were incredibly impressed with everything we experienced in our 8 lovely evenings at Casa Chameleon. We began in Villa Vista which was enchanting-and well appointed in a very tasteful manner. It is a little "house on stilts" as I had read in TATLER. The view was extraordinary and we never tired of watching the waves and animals in the trees. The stone shower with sea view-exotic! David was perhaps the kindest and most helpful concierge we have every encountered. It was quite helpful having him at the front to give us advice, maps, towels, anything we may wish on our way out. His suggestions based on the weather, tide, or particular day were invaluable.

We moved to the LUXURY POOL VILLA and decided to order the chef services for two full days. This was PURE HEAVEN. The cuisine was decadent and the chef even made home-made coconut ice-cream after I told him of my love for coconut. The swimming pool was suspended in the air and the furnishings and design were spot on! There was every seating option one could think of-including waterproof bean bag chairs. Very hip-modern -chic -tropical . Lovely! There are many stairs and Anthony, the owner joked of putting in a lift with a palm roof. Although each time we walked up or down we were greeted with a variety of birds, lizards, and on one occasion the monkeys were crossing overhead. We sat and watched them as they watched us-PRICELESS!. I've enclosed photos. However, one must experience the beauty that photos are simply unable to capture. We truly hope that Mal Pais and Casa Chameleon stay as special and unique as we were fortunate to experience!

  • Liked — The Edenic scenery, great service and amazing food.
  • Disliked — everything was great!
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rosiesgardenuk
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

Property: Casa Chameleon Hotel
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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Casa Chameleon Hotel 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 Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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