A variety of spa services are offered in their treehouse-like rancho
Each building and region of the hotel has it's own strong (and free) Wi-Fi connection
Boardwalk-style pathways snake through a scenic manicured garden of high trees and flowers
Free beverage provided on arrival
Too far to walk to Puerto Viejo's center
Waters at Cocles Beach are a bit rough for swimming (there is a lifeguard)
No fitness center
Restaurant is pricey for the area
Expect to get a bang for your buck at the upscale Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel. The Puerto Viejo getaway locale is an ideal option for those who want to mix luxe living with the beauty of nature. It's more Ibiza than San Jose, there's nothing rustic about this property. Think: chic, modern rooms with snow white walls, beddings, and furniture. Bright accessories in the rooms and staff uniforms change color daily like the skin of a chameleon, hence the name of the hotel. There's a sophisticated outdoor pool, but the fancy beach club and sand are more popular spots to sun. A spa, hot tub, and gourmet restaurant round out the romantic offerings. It's a bit far from the center of Puerto Viejo but close to the Parada Jaguar Rescue Center and Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve. To be closer to the action of Puerto Viejo at lower rates, try the Lizard King Hotel, but lose the chic ambience found at Le Cameleon.
A luxe and modern chameleon-inspired boutique hotel in manicured jungle surroundings
For couples who want to combine a stay in a trendy, upscale boutique hotel with beach access and modern architecture, it doesn't get much better than La Cameleon. Inspired by the reptile who changes skin color, the hotel changes staff uniforms, curtains, cushions, and artwork to a different vibrant hue every day. The architecture of the building is white and modern with a thatch awning and surfboard-shaped front door. A wooden patio is set with chic white wicker furniture and overlooks the expansive garden. Framed press leaves hang on the wall and vases of fresh flowers are small nods to nature. High trees and tropical plants -- some of which are labeled with more information for garden enthusiasts -- line the boardwalk-like pathways weaving throughout the hotel grounds. Most guests spend their time at the beach club and on the sand. Kids are a rare sight, the vast majority of guests are well-heeled couples.
Along the main paved road in Costa Rica's coastal Caribbean leisure town, Puerto Viejo
With prime real estate directly across from Playa Cocles, Le Cameleon Boutique lies three kilometers outside of the town of Puerto Viejo, where there are shops, restaurants, bars, and nightlife options. However, it's about a 40-minute walk to the center, or an eight-minute drive. Due to Le Cameleon's jungle locale, it's easy to spot wildlife like sloths, monkeys, exotic birds, and agouti in the surrounding grounds. Other nearby beaches to explore are Playa Chiquita, Playa Negra, Punta Uva, and Puerto Viejo beach. The Parada Jaguar Rescue Center is a short seven-minute walk away. Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve is about an eight-minute drive. San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport -- the region's primary entry point -- is a four-hour drive away.
Le Cameleon is a complex of three buildings, housing 23 rooms -- Superiors, Junior Suites, Deluxe Rooms, the Presidential suite, and Le Cameleon Suite -- between the three of them. Rooms here are all-white-everything -- a stark contrast to the lush green jungle that surrounds the buildings -- with one major accent color that rotate daily, just like the rest of the hotel's running chameleon theme. One day, the pillows, contemporary/minimalist artwork, curtains, and plant decor will be lime green. The next they may be fuchsia, canary yellow, or aquamarine. The otherwise snow white aesthetic is visually refreshing, looking clean but not sterile. Wall-mounted flat-screen TVs hover over the iHomes and stocked minibar. Bathrooms are quite impressive. Not only are they totally spotless and modern, but there are rainfall shower heads, rod-like spray attachments, and white-tiled showers that have built in sitting areas. They don't have curtains, just half frosted glass dividers. For the most part, all bathrooms follow the same set-up with the exception of the one in the Presidential Suite, which has one-and-a-half bathrooms, and both a bathtub and shower with it's own wood and stone walkway.
Free breakfast, beach club, swimming pool, and a spa
From the lobby to the restaurant to the sand, there are a multitude of well-maintained options at Le Cameleon for lazy lounging. To the left of the front desk, there are several cushioned couches situated beside an entertainment nook. Aside from displaying decorative artwork, the nook is stocked with magazines, books, English-Spanish dictionaries and board games. Restaurant Lounge is right above the hotel's Numu Restaurant, with tables, padded chairs, and a sound system. A third relax station is the Breakfast Lounge, which is constructed around a fish pond in the middle of a deck. There are park-style benches and a stage or entertainment area.
Both Le Cameleon's Numu Restaurant and the beach club restaurant offer tasty meals with appealing scenery. Gourmet, free breakfast options are served in the restaurant in the mornings, such as chicken empanadas, potatoes, eggs, pancakes, bacon, and plantain. Le Cameleon's Playa Cocles beach club, La Sula Sea Lounge -- which is directly across the street from the restaurant -- is one of the most popular spots at the hotel. The modern, all-white and red stretch of resort sticks out between two modest patches of green, making it impossible to miss while traveling on Puerto Viejo's main paved road. It starts out as an open air complex with varied couch and cushion assortments and the bar/restaurant. Then, as it stretches out closer to the water, there is a grassy courtyard of lounge chairs, benches, and day beds before the hammocks on the sand begin. Playa Cocles has Costa Rican Blue Flag certification and is the only beach with a lifeguard tower in the area.
Le Cameleon has one of the more visually stimulating pools in the Puerto Viejo area. Located in the hotel's center, the gorgeous aqua-tiled lap pool and whirlpool are surrounded by high greenery and have a boardwalk-style deck with several lounge chairs and umbrellas. The pool area is calm, uncrowded, and seldom loud. Another strong point for Le Cameleon is their free Wi-Fi, which has its own reliable network for every building and region of the hotel. Free parking is also available. Additionally, Le Cameleon's spa services can be taken advantage of either in their treehouse-style spa or in the rooms.
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