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
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- 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
Our stay at Casa Chameleon (3 days, 3 nights) was just incredible. All of the staff (especially Esteban and Keylar) were just fantastic and bent over backwards to ensure that all guests were treated like queens and kings. My fiance and I are vegan and the chefs also bent over backwards to make us special breakfasts, lunches and dinners (several menu items are also vegan). Food was top notch, the facilities were absolutely gorgeous (there is a small pool on the balcony of each room!), everyone was so friendly. Casa Chameleon set the bar for our Costa Rica vacation - nowhere else we stayed even came close to measuring up.
My husband and I honeymooned at Casa Chameleon in Mal Pais and had an incredible time. The resort is very private and the villas are spread out. Plus, each villa has their own plunge pool! The staff (Esteban, Keylor, Steven, Klarissa, and Katherine) were all incredibly helpful, polite, enthusiastic, and made our trip even more memorable. We cannot wait to return!
We enjoyed 7 days at this property in November and it was the most memorable, wonderful experience my husband and I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The staff go out of their way to ensure your stay is perfect. Esteban and Keylor were literally there every day of our weeklong stay making sure you have everything you need. These two guys work their tails off and deserve high praise for doing it all with a smile and tons of fun. The hotel only has 10 villas and they host two “parties” each week to encourage the couples staying to get to know each other (if you want to). We were here at the same time as one of the recent reviewers that had some less than positive things to say, and I can say without a doubt that no one else had an experience like theirs. Please don’t base your decision to stay here on that review. We made new friends with diverse people and really just had the best time. It is the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure (if you choose) and the hotel villas were absolutely gorgeous. The housekeeping staff and chefs did an excellent job. Last but not least, Klarissa the front desk/concierge was fabulous and arranged outings for us both in advance and last minute. She was sweet and very helpful and we loved every adventure we went on (horseback riding, Curu Wildlife refuge and Tortuga Island). We did yoga at Florblanca which was beautiful and overlooked the ocean. We did not rent an Atv and were fine. We walked, took a cab a couple times and still experienced everything we wanted to. Overall it was honestly the best vacation of our lives and the staff and amenities of Casa Chameleon were what made it! We home to visit again someday. The pictures below feature some of my favorite drinks from Keylor, cheers!
We stayed in 6 different destinations during our honeymoon in Costa Rica. This was, by far, our favourite place. From the minute we walked in, to the minute we left, we were treated as if we were old friends. Staff (a small number so you feel like get to know them) know your names, learn about what you like (they put strawberry mojitos as a ‘special’ drink menu when they heard it was my favourite) and do what they can to make your stay great.
We stayed in Ultra and it was incredible. Took our breath away and we hardly left it during our three days there. The pool and view were spectacular. The bed was comfy (but incredibly creaky!) and there’s a huge stone bath and walk-in shower. Neither of these ever got to full warmth, so I’d say that’s something to improve on. Despite being in a remote location, WiFi here was really strong. Unfortunately for us the whole of Mal País internet went down theee times during our stay - but no biggie.
We had the “family style” dining one night and shared dinner with two delightful other couples. The food was spectacular. We couldn’t afford many meals here (we ate at Las Piedras twice - amazing BBQ!) but all the breakfasts and cocktails we had were phenomenal.
Glorious nature too - monkeys, coatis, iguanas, lizards, even a skunk (!) paid us a visit.
One tip - be a bit more transparent about prices of things - cocktails / family dining meal / special menu - we were sometimes embarrassed to ask the prices. Would have been good to know upfront.
Thanks so much guys. It was the most perfect three days and we wish you all the best! Pura Vida!
I HIGHLY recommend Casa Chameleon Mal Pais for couples or singles looking to have a relaxing, amazing vacation. My husband and I spent a blissful week here for our honeymoon and loved every second.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a complementary fresh juice and warm towel. After a six hour long car ride that was a warm welcome. We stayed in the Ultra Villa, which all the staff said was their favorite and I could see why! Amazing views of the ocean, big personal plunge pool, waterfall shower and giant tub in the bathroom. The room was cleaned and serviced daily. The only small complaint I had was that the water didn't get completely hot. But the jungle was hot so that was sometimes refreshing. For the price, this room was AMAZING. Yes there are a lot of stairs - my husband and I didn't mind. but if you have any issues with stairs I would recommend asking for a room closer to the pool.
I can't say enough good things about the service - Esteban, Kalor, Carissa and Katherine were amazing to make our stay memorable. We ordered our ATV through the hotel which ended up costing more than going to the ATV place directly - but honestly, I wanted convenience - they brought the ATV directly to the hotel so we didn't have to do anything. That made the extra money totally worth it.
The food is absolutely incredible. My husband and I actually only ended up eating one dinner out of 5 in town because we loved the food so much at Casa Chameleon. We'd start with made to order cocktails (which are so good) at Happy Hour and then have dinner on site! Twice out of the time that we were there they did "family style dinner" one fish and one BBQ. I highly recommend you stay for those dinners. They aren't family style. They are 5-7 course chef tasting menus. I read on another review that the food is pricey but we live in Los Angeles & it is comparable and absolutely worth it. The breakfast that is included in your stay is BEYOND so we ate breakfast there evert day. Best plantains I had in Costa Rica.
Finally, they went above and beyond for me. I'm gluten free and on the first day I ordered ceviche. They brought it without chips since the chips had gluten in them. The next day I got the ceviche and they had let me know they had special chips ordered for me specifically that were gluten free. They also made sure to accommodate every meal I had n site there and make sure there were GF options. That sort of small stuff really makes for a great stay.
I would 100 percent go back in a heart beat!