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Le Cameleon Costa Rica Hotel

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Le Cameleon Luxury Hotel in a Nutshell
Le Cameleon Costa Rica Hotel

The main entrance and outdoor lobby area constructed in bamboo with steel accents.

© Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel.
Costa Rica's Puerto Viejo area is often described as a backpacker haven and surfer destination. Le Caméléon (“the Chameleon”)is a radical departure from the bare-bones accommodations typical of the area and is the finest hotel on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. It’s the only one in Limon Province, at the time of this writing, that caters to upscale travelers.

Le Cameleon offers a modest kind of luxury. It is not ultra-opulent, nor does the property shower guests with an abundance of services. (If an all-inclusive, sequestered-from-reality experience is what you’re after, Le Cameleon is not the place for you, nor is the region in general. Head to the Pacific Coast for that.)

What Le Cameleon does offer is superlative comfort, good style, and a dozen ways to kick back in an authentic and undeveloped corner of Costa Rica.

Le Cameleon is located in a quiet, modern enclave off the main road. It’s across the street from the Caribbean Sea, and the hotel has a private beach club. The hotel’s fairly central location provides independent travelers with an opportunity to connect with the island's Rasta spirit and Afro-Caribbean roots in the very casual Puerto Viejo area, then return to the modern comforts at the end of the day.

Three two-story buildings house the property's 23 guest rooms. There is a central green-tiled swimming pool and adjacent hot tub. The buildings containing the guest rooms flank the pool on three sides. The fourth side is dominated by the reception area, which is outdoors and covered with an intricately built bamboo shelter.

Throughout the property, Le Cameleon marries the steamy jungle spirit with an architectural and modular design concept. The buildings are threaded together with a meandering teak walkway, like narrow boardwalks, that are edged on all sides by dense and tall jungle flora, groomed daily by an onsite landscaper. The overall effect of the public spaces is precise and spa-like. Nature is everywhere, but in a controlled way. You won’t forget you’re in the jungle, but Le Cameleon also doesn’t force you to become too intimate with it, as more-rustic jungle hut properties in the region do.

Travelers’ concerns about basic conveniences that might come with Caribbean-coast travel — such as air conditioning, tightly locking glass doors and windows, satellite TV, digital safes and wi-fi — can be assuaged. Le Cameleon delivers on the basics and far more.

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