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Reviewed 22 March 2017

In summary:
Poor service
No running water on several occasions
Expensive
General lack of maintenance

Beautiful setting, especially the beach, shame about the rest ....

The hotel complex, which is very appealing, is sat one side of the coastal road, and the beach complex the other, although the road is not particularly busy.

It appears the hotel was built very much on a low budget. The room(s) seems to have been kitted out with stuff from Ikea: fixtures and fittings are flimsy and second-rate quality. The 'superior' room is actually a standard room, and is dressed up on the hotel website to be something special. It isn't!

Our bed is by far the smallest of the four hotels we have stayed in during our circuit of Costa Rica, and the least comfortable.

Occasionally the bathroom, and also sometimes the bedroom, smelt of drains, which was unpleasant. There was one of those scented spray things in the bathroom that hissed every so often, no doubt to assist in keeping the smells at bay, but unfortunately this was not 100% effective. Clearly management are aware, and are unable or unwilling to come up with an effective solution.

On the subject of the bathroom, there were three occasions we were without water. This appears not to be an isolated instance as I read in another TripAdvisor review someone else had encountered a similar experience. On one occasion we were that desperate, as we had booked a restaurant elsewhere, we had to resort to having a dunk in the swimming pool. Not ideal!

While the room, and much of the rest of the hotel, is painted white, and gives the impression of clinical minimalism, it actually highlights the dirt and lack of general upkeep and maintenance.

Staff at the hotel are the least friendly, and most lacking in English, of all our encounters with the locals of Costa Rica, which was a shame. Maybe this is just a Caribbean trait, but in any event, this was a disappointment. Service during meal times was therefore not the best of experiences, and at times we struggled to make ourselves understood. In addition, staff at the hotel seemed to have a low level of competency: when you made a request, it took reminders and time to get anything sorted. I would suggest this is probably down to poor (or maybe non-existant) management, as we saw little evidence of any managerial presence.

There is a lovely breeze by the beach, whereas the poolside can be hot and humid, with little in the way of moving air. The beach area is actually very pleasant, with the beach bar within easy reach. There is a shower and toilets within this area, so visits across the road to the hotel or rooms are not always necessary.

The pool itself is relatively small, and only has half a dozen or so sun beds and two parasols, although there is additional seating around the extremities consisting of chairs and deck chairs.

The food we ate at the hotel for breakfast/s and one dinner was pleasant and very palatable, the downside being the efficient service (or lack of it), but that has already been mentioned.

Overall, not a particularly inspiring stay or good experience, especially given the very high accommodation cost. Had we been able to, we would have switched hotels, but given this is supposedly the 'best' hotel in the locality, we didn't feel we had that option.

Would certainly not recommend, especially given the significant expense ...

As an aside, we did complain to the hotel manager, and while we saw a slight improvement in service levels, and no disruption with the water supply, two of the lights in the room/bathroom were not fixed 24 hours after having been reported.

Date of stay: March 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Foxy-Froggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luisval, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 2 April 2017

First of all I want to say thank you for having the time to write your comment. As matter fact you talked to the manager the night before you left about the water problem we experienced two nights for 10 minutes, as he explained you it was a problem of the drought in the village and our well takes 10 minutes to start again to pump water, we are really apologize for that.
Also you told the manager about the bulb broken in your room and he offered to send the maintenance guys to repair it but you said you will let him know when they can go. Even the front desk clerk call you later at night offering you to send the maintenance guy to go to change the bulb but you said no. We are very accommodating with our clients and try as much to please them in any request.
About this comments from the room and service that you never mentioned during your stay, if you'd tell us before we can solve it you immediately.
The decor and concept of the room is unique, I can imagine you saw the pictures of the rooms before you made your reservation or if not you should tell us at the moment you made your check in to talk to your agency and tried to accommodate you in other hotel; all our rooms have the same concept. Ikea doesn't exits here.
About the smell it's very estrange but as I said before if you communicate this to us we would be more than glad to change you into another room.
Anyway we respect every comment and learn from them, thank you so much for staying with us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2017 via mobile

Man is this place beautiful. A bit outside The main part of town but it was nice to be out of the busyness. We stayed in a superior room and I was a little bit nervous it wouldn't be worth the higher price tag but it was worth every penny. We had a second floor room with a private balcony over looking the foliage and partly the pool (room 38). There was an iguana that was hanging out on one of the trees during our stay which was awesome to see. We named him Juan Carlos. We ate in the restaurant the first night which was very tasty and decently priced. I had the whole red snapper which was cooked to perfection. The only thing I could say against it is that the coleslaw had far too much cilantro, but I also hate cilantro so anything more than a sprig is too much for me. My friend had the tuna which he scarfed down before I could try anything so apparently it was delicious. I also had the lime mousse which was more like a panna cota than a mousse but still delicious and refreshing. Breakfast is included and I had something different every day we were there. Everything was very good and huge portions. But our favorite part of the whole place was their beach club, Noa. It's directly across the street and it has a huge garden with tons of seating and lots of hammocks and sun chairs. There's enough palms that cast shade for people to stay out of the sun. The beach is beautiful and at the end of Cocles Beach so it's not super busy apart from hotel guests. The waves are quite strong there though so swimming isn't a good idea but it's good enough to play in the water a bit. Julie is the best bartender ever. So friendly and awesome. She gave is lots of recommendations for things to do around town and even offered to take us around on her day off. If you can afford to spend a bit more money this place is definitely worth it.

Date of stay: March 2017
Trip type: Travelled with friends
1  Thank Maribeth1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2017

I stayed 2 nights in the superior room from 2/26-27/2017… the hotel has a beautiful luxury rain setting with all comfort amenities and my room was spacious and clean; it definitely met my expectation. The staff was super helpful and nice. The beach was nice and clean, the ocean seem slightly rough, but no reflection on the hotel or staff.

Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank leffertsproperties
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2017

White as the sand and green for the vegetation, tropical plantes. You walk in between the flowers and the small forest on top wood steps on the floor. These wood steps guide you to the beach or the bar or the restaurant. Cocles beach is titled as one of the most romantic of the area. Trees on the beach give shadow. There is a bar on the beach.
The rooms are suites spacious white mainly with spots of colours like unexpected ones. The atmosphere is very relaxing. It is an unbelievable place to rest.

Room tip: On ground floor the window shows the nature. On first floor you can feel on top of the forest
Date of stay: February 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Nicolas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2017

I was originally booked into this boutique hotel because the hotel I actually wanted to stay at couldn't accommodate me for the first two days of my holiday. I arrived at about half midnight after a 5 1/2 hour drive from San Jose, so went straight to my room and crashed. When I awoke in the morning the first thing I saw was the gorgeous jungley view from my window and a pristine white room with bright cushions and paintings to match on the wall. I walked along the boardwalks, surrounded by huge tropical plants to the outdoor breakfast area, which had seating around a large pond filled with massive carp, and little fountains, and again surrounded by huge tropical plants - it really felt like a beautiful jungle setting. Breakfast is a set menu with several choices and I guess if you are there for a long time it could be a little tedious, but I thoroughly enjoyed trying each breakfast each day. The pool area is stunning, serene and calm with contemporary loungers around. The beach club across the road offered fantastic enormous cocktails, and drinks, and a decent selection of lunch options. My ONLY gripe was that the beach club closed at 5.30 and then meals were in the restaurant from 6pm. I just felt that the relaxed atmosphere of the beach club would have been great all evening with some music and great lighting. After my 2 night stay I moved to the hotel I had booked for the rest of my stay in Puerto Viejo. Big mistake. It was awful and I was in a taxi and straight back to Le Cameleon with fingers crossed that they could accommodate me for the rest of my stay. They were brilliant and although they couldnt give me the same room for the rest of my stay, moving around was no problem and each room was just as gorgeous as the last. Each day they change the colour of the cushions, paintings and accessories in the room which is lovely touch.
I found the staff to be really helpful and friendly and it was nice that they called me by my first name each time they saw me. They also arranged a couple of excursions for me, although the snorkling which I really wanted to do was cancelled twice because of the weather, which did turn a bit rainy towards the end of my stay. However, I did do the horseback riding along the beach which was a two hour ride, very gentle and safe, and back along the beach in the dark by starlight . Magical. All in all, this hotel made my stay a lot better than it would have been had I gone to my original choice and I would certainly go back.

Date of stay: February 2017
1  Thank jaybee2151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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