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“Did not want to leave!”

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Casa Chameleon Hotel Mal Pais
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mal Pais
Certificate of Excellence
Arlington, MA
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Did not want to leave!”
Reviewed 20 August 2009

This place is amazing...we stayed here on our honeymoon (along with 2 other places) and I have absolutely no complaints. The view from our villa was amazing and I loved waking up with the sunrise and the sounds of nature. The concierge Dave could not have been more helpful and the hotel dog Randall was great company at breakfast. I would love to return sometime in the future...HIGHLY recommended.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank jeeves06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Franklin, TN
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2009

We spent a wonderful 5 nights at Casa Chameleon in June. It is unlike any place we have ever been before. Unbelievable views, great weather, very nice people everywhere you go. The concierge, David, is just the best. Any time we needed anything, he was always right there on the walkie talkie to help us. We enjoyed many dinners from Mario and each one was fantastic. We did not rent a car, but had no problems getting taxis to wherever we wanted to go. It is no problem to walk down the hill from the hotel, but you would not want to walk back up - very steep! Several times, we walked somewhere and then David would schedule a taxi to pick us up at a certain time. It worked out great for us. One tip: keep the doors closed to keep the bugs out of your room, especially at night. This place is not so easy to get to (big plane, small plane, long car ride) but it is SO worth it. As I write this review, I am wishing I was back there right now. Its just a wonderful, unique experience!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank tennesseeteacher88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2009

We're frequent travelers with a love for warm weather climates and we can truly say that Casa Chameleon is a spectacular and magical place.

I am a professional travel photographer and have visited many wonderful tropical locations. Casa Chameleon is something extremely special.

Casa Chameleon is pure magic. It’s a gorgeous, romantic property that holds only three guests at a time, in three amazing villas. The property is a tropical paradise in every sense of the word. It's everything you could ever want in a vacation destination. There are three “cabinas” or standalone villas that are privately nestled into the property. We stayed in Villa Palma. Casa Chameleon has done everything to allow guests to experience the wonderful tropical views wherever you are. Villa Palma was extremely spacious, inviting, and comfortable. The terrace is so relaxing -- very large with reading chairs, a table setup, and hammock.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by David and Adam and brought to Villa Palma with breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding dry forest. The ‘dry forest’ is dense with wonderful trees, dozens of birds, and if you’re lucky enough, monkeys. Looking out from your private terrace, you’re greeted with the beautiful ocean and coastline.

The refreshing swimming pool is located centrally near the outdoor kitchen. There are lounge chairs, towels, umbrellas, and hammocks. The pool is romantic, with a waterfall and views straight to the ocean.

The dining area is beautiful. This isn’t a “restaurant” and there is not a set menu -- lunches and dinners are arranged in advance at your convenience and created and cooked to order by a private chef. Prices are perfectly in-line for the incredible meals. The “rancho” also houses the water/wine/beer/soda selection and is done on an honor system. You write down what you’ve taken and pay for it (in cash) at the end. This is also true for the meals (you pay for them in cash upon checkout). While there were two other couples at Casa Chameleon, the design of the property makes you feel like you have the place to yourselves. The other couples were never with us at the pool or any meals, and we only saw them passing through once or twice.

The chef for Casa Chameleon was Mario. He cooks (or shall I say, masterfully creates?) breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Definitely eat on property as much as you can—his meals are beyond spectacular. We live in Manhattan and his meals were as good as or better than any of the restaurants we’ve eaten at in the city. Breakfasts range from eggs, pancakes, bacon, fruit, homemade breads and jams, all done on request. Dinners are a superb experience with everything cooked to order, from fresh fish to steaks. You may eat meals in your room on the balcony or in the dining area. We chose to eat in the dining area because we enjoyed the company of David and Mario. The meal is custom tailored to you. If you prefer pork, beef, fish, pasta, healthy, fried, anything at all -- Mario excels at all of it. And not only is he a master at the meal, but also at the desserts.

There is also a beautiful outdoor yoga studio which overlooks the Ocean. With white flowing drapes, it’s like what you’d see in a movie.

The beach is a two minute car ride down a hill to the shoreline. There are many beaches and all are equally beautiful. Watching the sunsets here is amazing. While it’s possible to walk to the beach in a few minutes or so, the hill is fairly steep and probably a difficult walk up – we’d recommend you drive. There are really interesting rock formations if you just walk left on the beach. You’ll have to walk around some trees and other rock formations, but worth it to watch a sunset from here.

For walking around the property, there is a beautiful teak deck or stone path. Bobbie and Anthony planted all of the trees and flowers just a few years ago when they constructed the property and truly it has grown and become a beautiful tropical escape. Every room is completely private and you never have to leave the property.

During our stay, David was our your host. He can set up any kind of activity, tours, surf lessons, give directions, restaurant recommendations, confirm flights, etc. Truly he is so much more-- a relaxed friend who wants to ensure you love your experience in Mal Pais as much as possible. Adam also works with David in the afternoons and can guide you on the right path. He was fantastic as well and great to chat with.

Bobbie and Anthony are the owners who may also be on property in the main house. We had the good fortune to have them on property for a few days during our stay. Their warmth, hospitality, and friendliness were unparalleled. It was such a pleasure getting to chat with them. It was like catching up with long-lost friends. We're so glad we had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with them.

What you will come to find is that all the people in Costa Rica are tremendously friendly and kind. Bobbie and Anthony too can act as guides, give recommendations, or enthrall you with their stories of the area.

Casa Chameleon is a spectacular, very special property, unlike anywhere we’ve stayed before, and as a professional travel photographer, we’ve been all over the world. Casa Chameleon in Costa Rica compares to places like Bora Bora in its combination of romance, beauty, diversity, and adventure. The idyllic setting, the meals, the people as well as the numerous places to explore in the area will ensure you have a wonderful vacation. We cannot say enough good things about it, and will surely be back.

[For more information on activities and the town, we will post under the Mal Pais forum.]

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank pttraveler3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2009

My boyfriend and I went for a vacation in Mal Pais not knowing at all what to expect. Based on tripadvisor reviews we called ahead to Casa Chameleon to see if their were any available openings...from there, everything happened perfectly. This little hideaway up the hill is everything you could ever need, rich with color, and life, and taken care of by great staff, the accommodations are absolutely perfect (and very luxurious) We want to build our home just like their luxury suite. Worth going all the way to Costa Rica for this hotel alone. Then you get the country as well....Magnificent!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank chichinyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2009

I'm happy to be the 100th reviewer of Casa Chameleon. It's really as good as everyone says. We traveled to Mal Pais on our Honeymoon in December, and spent 5 days in luxury at CC. After our original honeymoon plans were canceled, we had to scramble to find a place to stay. Fortunately for us, CC had a villa available, and since it was over Christmas & New Years, it was an all inclusive week, which meant Chef Mario would be preparing 3 meals a day for us. Let me tell you, if you can swing it, there is no better way to visit CC.

All the arrangements were flawlessly taken care of, from our pickup at the "airport" to surf lessons at the beach to a day trip to Curu wildlife reserve to driving directions to Montezuma. David & the rest of the staff made sure that everything we wanted to do was made available to us. David is like the best host/concierge you could ever imagine. His laid back attitude, opposition to wearing shoes, and impeccable service really just fits Costa Rica, Mal Pais, and Casa Chameleon perfectly. When we were without a car, David even gave us a ride to town. Bobbie & Anthony, the owners, were also very accommodating and have put together a great place. Even though we didn't meet them, they were nice enough to send us a follow-up email after our trip to make sure everything went well.

Chef Mario's services were truly the icing on the cake. Since it was an all inclusive week, Chef Mario prepared three meals a day for us. We usually ate breakfast and dinner up by the kitchen, and had Chef Mario pack us a lunch to go. I think we ended up eating all but 1 meal up by the "kitchen". We had one breakfast on our balcony, which was great. The food was really some of the best, most gourmet, most beautifully presented food we've ever had. This was the first time we've ever had a professional chef at our disposal, and it was one of the best experiences of our whole trip.

Casa Chameleon itself is a beautiful property. It's lush, the grounds are perfectly manicured, the pool area is great, and the atmosphere is exactly what you'd expect from a small, hidden treasure on the coast of Costa Rica. The villa we stayed in (Villa Palma) had a great view of the ocean, a large balcony with a great napping/reading hammock, and the best rain shower I've ever seen. We really didn't spend much time in the villa, as the rest of the property is setup for relaxing and lounging. The pool area has a couple straw huts to find some shade under. The "rancho" is a great area for dining and reading. The workout area is great for some early morning yoga. You can walk to the beach, but beware, the hill is a killer on the way back.

The only additional helpful tip I'd offer would be to rent a car. Unfortunately, when we arrived, all the cars in town had been rented. We really lucked out and had two other great couples staying at CC who were kind enough to let us tag along on their day trips in the car. Without them being so welcoming, it would have been a bit tough to get around.

All in all, a great trip. We'd highly recommend visiting Casa Chameleon to anyone. Looking forward to visiting again. We'll post some pictures soon.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ShniGW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Costa Rica
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2009

Having been to this area before, when I started to search online for hotels for this trip, I was amazed that so many of them look GREAT on their website, but are far from that quality in reality. On top of it, their prices are ridiculous for what you actually end up with. This is completely the opposite case with Casa Chameleon! The photos on the website simply cannot do this lovely, small hotel justice due to the expansive layout amidst the lush, well kept landscaping on the hillside. A beautiful wooden and stone raised deck takes you on a private walk through the property to find one of 3 luxurious suites - all with ocean views (ours had it's own pool as well) decorated in simple elegance with organic materials. The staff was amazing - took care of every need effortlessly, the food prepared by the private chef was out of this world, and the peace we enjoyed for our few days there was incomparable to any other hotel we've ever visited. If you're looking for where to stay in Mal Pais - stop - you've found it, and you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank costaricamacha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

After arriving at the Airport in Tambor, we got our rental car and drove to Mal Pais. We didn't know what to expect but the drive was great. You go through rolling hills of cattle farms till you get closer to the ocean where the jungle actually gets denser. Which is really cool. After going through the town of Mal Pais (very small), we headed to the resort. We were greeted by David, the manager, and were shown our room (Villa Vista). This room was awesome. It had such an amazing view. It had huge double french doors that you could just keep open or closed depending on how you wanted it. It had one of the best beds we slept in costa rica as well. David & Adam do an awesome job setting up activies and recommending restaurants and things to do in the area. You defintely need transportation (atv or car) if you plan to leave the resort. There is a private chef there which we only used for breakfest. Breakfest was awesome and he seems like an amazing chef, but that said it is fairly expensive so we didn't hire him for lunch or dinner. There are some awesome restaurants in the area though so don't worry. Also it is incredibly hot down on the coast. I would recommend a higher SPF than you normally use. The resort also has a pool, where we spent a ton of time. It is a very nice pool with great views.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ckerber
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:
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 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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