Hotel Casa Chameleon Mal Pais
What We Love
- All villas have private balconies with infinity pools overlooking the ocean
- Stunning dark wood and brightly colored decor includes four-poster beds, exotic South Asian art and animal print pillows and throw rugs
- Wine and from-scratch gourmet cuisine (think grilled shrimp with tender mahi mahi, a tropical salad tossed in rosemary goat cheese vinaigrette) in the open-air restaurant
- Villas have two powerful rain showers (one indoor, one outdoor)
What To Know
- The resort is big on romance: Children 17 and under are not permitted and there are no TVs, phones, WiFi in the villas
- If you're renting a car for the transfer, it's recommended to have one with four-wheel-drive to climb the steep driveway
- READ MORE: Find your perfect Costa Rica vacation
- A 13 percent room tax per night will be collected by Jetsetter at checkout
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
Like a passport full of stamps, the curiosities collected during the owner’s far-flung travels tell a tale and lend an exotic air to design-forward digs blending dark tropical hardwoods with bright fabrics. While statues of Hindu deities and outlandish lampshades abound, Costa Rican craftsmanship is also on display in the hardwood pool bar built by local artisans.
Bed and Bath
Spacious bedrooms drip with bric-a-brac and style; all feature four-poster beds, exotic South Asian art and animal print pillows and throw rugs. Balancing out the wilder elements is a tasteful array of contemporary hardwood furnishings atop travertine and natural stone flooring. Vaulted ceilings are finished in teak, and fold-away glass doors open to enormous patios offering private infinity pools. In the bathrooms two powerful rain showers (one indoor, one outdoor) warm guests to the core, and the Aromas para el Alma bath products are local and organic.
Guests enjoy mouthwatering, from-scratch meals on private balconies or at the romantic, open-concept restaurant, where executive chef, Pabrö, whips up dishes that fuse modern culinary concepts and indigenous recipes. Items of note include enormous grilled shrimp with tender mahi mahi, a tropical salad tossed in rosemary goat cheese vinaigrette, and a luscious tres leches with strawberries and cream for dessert. Downstairs, a bamboo and hardwood cocktail lounge overlooks an inviting sapphire pool surrounded by tropical foliage — the perfect spot for enjoying a guaro sour as the orange sun dips beneath the Pacific.
In the Area
In freewheeling Mal País, a seemingly infinite stretch of rock and white sand beach on the remote Nicoya Peninsula, the inhabitants are serious about community and sustainability. Saturday afternoons are reserved for the beachfront farmers market, to which locals bring fresh fruits, veggies, instruments, pets and toothy smiles. The tastiest restaurants include the sky-high surf ’n’ turf spot Brisas del Mar (order the tenderloin) and a beachfront Mexican delight, Habaneros. Breakfast burritos at Playa Carmen’s The Bakery fuel perfect days of surfing, sea kayaking and snorkeling at a hidden cove locals refer to as the Secret Beach.
How to Get There
We were fortunate to stay at the Casa Chameleon for three nights. Tucked away on a side road you arrive into this small little piece of paradise. We rented the Villa which was large, clean and comfortable. The plunge pool was outstanding and we enjoyed it so much after a long day of exploring.
The thing that struck me most about this place was the service. I believe there were only 4 or 5 other guests at the hotel (it is a small place) but we were all treated as thought we were the only ones there. Beautiful Katherine was warm and so helpful. Andrea and Stephen who worked the restaurant could not have been sweeter. Noella another front desk girl was also helpful especially when our air conditioner stopped, they were on it immediately and resolved it in no time. The food was another delightful surprise, different fresh fish on the menu every evening and prepared to perfection. So many other wonderful things to choose from. The only negative thing I would say is the amount of stairs one needs to climb to get to and from your room, although I feel that I mastered that in no time. Another visit in the future will certainly be on our list.
Love! Love! Love!
My villa was private, beautiful, comfortable, and clean. Being surrounded by lush trees and plants, while still able to see the ocean was like heaven!
The staff... LOVED THEM ALL! To be honest, it felt more like a family vacation despite the fact that I went solo. I really enjoyed chatting with all of them everyday. I ended up extending my stay by a couple of days, and was sad when it was time to leave.
Their restaurant Brasas Del Mar is fab. Even if you're not a guest there, this restaurant is a must go to when visiting Mal Pais or Santa Teresa. Delicious and fresh food!! When I first checked in, they approached me to go over my dietary restrictions. It was never an issue throughout the rest of my stay. They always made modifications when necessary without me even having to ask.
The tour operators they use are fantastic! I learned how to surf and went on a private guided day trip on an ATV.
Had such an incredible time there. Would definitely go back for another stay!!
We have been visiting Costa Rica for 8 years now, this is our first experience in the Malpais/Santa Teresa area and Casa Chameleon was the perfect choice for us to stay. Our visit was for 10 nights and easily could have stayed longer. This just might be our new favorite place in the country. The resort grounds are all lush with vegetation and designed for total privacy to the villas. The villas are comfortable and peaceful. We even had a family of Capuchin monkeys visit and play as we lounged in our pool. The restaurant may be a little expensive but the quality of the food is superb and has the best view in the area (not to mention noise and dust free). The "breakfast included" with your stay is delicious and made to order. Our new Tico friends Esteban, Steven and Kayler all go out of their way to make each guest feel welcome in their home. We will be back!
Arriving here was like arriving through what I imagine the Gates of Heaven to look like. After flying into San Jose, my partner & I drove 5+ hours to get here and boy--was it worth it. I had emailed a # of times with the hotel and told them we were celebrating a 2 year Anniversary so they were nice enough to give us the nicest hotel room they have (sol). It was honestly magnificent.
-gorgeous room. you get to use the bathroom like you are in a jungle and wake up in the morning with your loved one like you are amid the jungle!
-staff! staff! staff! outstanding. christina + jose = amazing! loved Estabon, too!
-the food was outstanding. the fish taco special was so good they even made it for us on a night it was not on the specials menu.
-all the activities can be booked right then/there. we were able to do the ATVs, the surfing lessons, couples massage in our room, etc. all booked via the hotel which is totally worth a little upcharge
This place exceeded any and all expectations I had. My only wish is that we were recommended more strongly to take a plane into Santa Teresa but hey the best things in life are worth the wait and boy was it a trek to get here. For future readers I highly suggest that you fly into Santa Teresa + take the complimentary hotel pick up from Casa Chameleon. AND USE THE BUG SRPAY THEY GIVE YOU-- i didnt and was bit like hell when i got home (again my fault not the hotels they even give you bug spray in your bedroom). so just be fair warned.
I can't wait to come back. I tell every single person planing a destination wedding, honey moon, or anniversary to consider this place.
enjoy! and go go go go go you will have the time of your life!
If you are looking for a place to escape, yet still feel connected to a small group of people this is your place. There are only ten rooms, so you'll get as much attention and service as you like. The food is exceptional and the staff is attentive, professional, and fun. The rooms are perfect, romantic, well appointed....but the Private Plunge Pool, well it's heaven on earth.
The staff can suggest great excursions, I took the Tortuga Island Snorkel and Boat trip. A great value and fun day.