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Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas 4.0

Province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Stunning hilltop location with unforgettable sunset views over the ocean
  • Swish, contemporary villas with private saltwater plunge pools
  • In-room AC, coffeemakers, Bluetooth speakers, and minibars
  • Well-reviewed restaurant with locally sourced fare for Costa Rican dishes
  • Wellness options like (free) yoga, massages, and facials
  • In-room dining and private dinners available (extra fee)
  • Free breakfast of cooked-to-order dishes
  • Eco-friendly initiatives throughout property
  • Free property-wide Wi-Fi
  • 24-hour concierge service and Airport transfers on request

Cons

  • Some villas require lots of steps
  • Some villas only have partial ocean views
  • Neighborhood construction noise is common
  • Daily resort fee

Bottom Line

The 21-villa Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas is an upscale boutique with a jaw-dropping location between the beach and rainforest. Minimalist decor includes hand-picked items from Morocco and Bali, and eco-conscious efforts stretch from the ubiquitous teak wood to biodegradable toiletries to locally sourced restaurant dishes. All villas face the ocean and have private saltwater plunge pools, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, minibars, and mosquito netting around the beds. There's no gym here, but rooms have yoga mats and guests can choose from a variety of fitness and wellness options. A 24-hour concierge handles requests and tours, while the stunning sunsets at the infinity-edge pool are a favorite. This is an adults-only property, so if you're traveling with kids in tow, it's worth checking out the three-pearl Hotel Sugar Beach just down the road, where kids under 12 stay free. 

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Scene

Stylish boutique with gorgeous views and wellness vibe that's popular with couples

This upscale boutique has humble beginnings that start 180 miles south of its current location, down in a small surf town called Mal Pais. A six-room hotel with stunning ocean views opened and eventually grew to double the rooms. In 2014, a second property was imagined, this time in Las Catalinas. Thoughtful design details ensured that all villas at Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas have ocean views, and much of the decor was purposefully selected. The result is an eclectically stylish hotel full of rugs and lamps hand-selected from artisan markets in Morocco and custom-built furniture from Bali. Sustainability efforts include sourcing cultivated teak wood for use throughout the property, using electric golf carts -- for transport to the beach -- and salt instead of chlorine in pools, and providing an ocean- and farm-to-table dining program. 

As this is a partially secluded, adults-only property, it mostly appeals to couples looking for a romantic break and honeymooners, plus those interested in yoga. This gorgeous area has managed to remain fairly quaint and quiet (though it definitely has a touristy vibe), but it's constantly growing and guests are likely to run into construction noise.  

Location

Stunning hilltop location with gorgeous rainforest and ocean views

Casa Chameleon Hotel at Las Catalinas is located in the small but growing tourist town of Las Catalinas. The hotel's hilltop location is one of its best traits, offering up praise form guests for the partially secluded vibe and jaw-dropping views over the wild Guanacaste coast and surrounding tropical forest. The property is just a four-minute walk from a gourmet market stocked with international foods, and there are a few restaurants within a few miles' radius. Danta Beach is the closest white-sand beach and can be reached within a two-minute walk from the hotel, while Sugar Beach is about a three-minute drive (or 15-minute walk). The rich surroundings make for easy excursions. Liberia Airport (LIR) is just over an hour's drive, and the popular Juan Santamaria International Airport is around a four-hour drive away.  

Rooms

Ocean-facing villas with eco-friendly toiletries, spectacular views, and saltwater plunge pools

The 21 villas offer stunning (sometimes only partial) views of the ocean and surrounding rainforest, all of which can be taken from their private saltwater plunge pools. Beautiful rooms have light teak-wood furniture, beds draped in mosquito netting, patterned rugs and woven bed runners, as well as charming touches such as intricately carved wood, pottery, and painted ladders for towel racks. The outdoor terraces have loungers and loveseats, as well as some hand weights, yoga mats, and floats. Standard amenities consist of minibars, AC, coffee-and-tea-making facilities, free Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth speakers, but no TVs. Contemporary, open-plan bathrooms have walk-in showers and dual-sink vanities. Upgrades to the Sunset Villa with Plunge Pool face west for the best sunset views (though afternoon sun on the terrace can be extreme), while the Villa Suite with Plunge Pool adds an additional interior sitting room area and more privacy. Bathrooms have organic, handmade biodegradable shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and lotion. Note that rooms positioned lower on the hilltop will require hefty stair climbs to reach the shared hotel facilities. 

Features

Infinity pool with great views, delicious locally-sourced restaurant serving free breakfast, and wellness options

Without a doubt the crowning feature at Casa Chameleon is the zero-edge infinity pool. The pool may be on the small side, but the views are huge and the sunsets are breathtaking. Loungers line the pool deck, while a few stylish umbrellas provide minimal shade. A handful of chic shaded daybeds are also found here. Though all villas have their own plunge pools, most guests can be found gathering at the pool toward the end of the day, when three fire pits on the pool's edge are lit to complement the colors in the sky. 

The hotel's restaurant and bar is also a highlight among guests who often choose to eat several, if not all, meals on-site. Sentido Norte's menu focuses on traditional Costa Rican cuisine and sources ingredients from local fisherman and farmers. Guests get a choice of free a la carte breakfasts, with options such as huevos rancheros, overnight oats, and avocado toast. 

A resort fee covers yoga and other fitness classes, in-room coffee, and free golf cart shuttle service to the beach. Other features include a welcome treat and options for in-room dining or private dinners. Fast and free Wi-Fi is accessible throughout and a 24-hour concierge service can help book excursions and tours. 

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Address

Playa Danta, Las Catalinas, Province of Guanacaste 50304, Costa Rica

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