Source: Robb Report
The journey to Costa Rica‘s Casa Chameleon involves a car ride, best taken with a seasoned expert named Rose who knows the quickest short cuts and weaves effortlessly around errant potholes on the winding road. Once you arrive at the hilltop resort—greeted with icy hand towels, spears of fresh pineapple, and coconut water still inside the palm-sized fruit that’s been etched with the hotel’s logo—the adventure instantly feels well worth it.
Overlooking the Pacific Coast town of Las Catalinas, a car-free enclave on the country’s Guanacaste Province, Casa Chameleon opened its doors in 2017. (The adults-only resort is a sister property to the original Casa Chameleon Mal País on the southern Nicoya Peninsula.) Today, Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas encompasses 21 one-bedroom villas, each with its own private saltwater infinity pool and spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding tropical forest.
Casa Chameleon | CASA CHAMELEON
Next year, though, things will look a little different: an assortment of Casa Chameleon Residences are on the horizon, with four new four- and five-bedroom villas, 15 luxury condominiums, family-friendly amenities, and an expansive teaching kitchen in a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Culinary Institute of America.
“Our partnership with the prestigious Culinary Institute of America is poised to be a transformative endeavor,” Brent Reynolds, CEO and managing partner of NRI, the company that owns the hotels, told Robb Report. Besides the culinary tourism appeal—a travel sector that topped $800 billion in 2022—the CIA teaching kitchens, which will host visiting chefs and offer a slate of classes and programs, will be one of the many amenities available exclusively to owners.
A residence at Casa Chameleon | CASA CHAMELEON
The residences start at $4.29 million and each include custom designer furnishings and great rooms that spill out onto outdoor terraces with infinity pools and sweeping views of the lush hills and coastline. Each home also comes with a private garden, outdoor shower, and gourmet kitchen, with plenty of space to soak up the sun via full-height windows. There are also two-, three- and four-bedroom condominiums on offer, starting at $1.27 million.
Owners and their guests will get privileged access to the resort’s restaurants, led by chef Jose Lopez: the romantic, open air Sentido Norte, with a fresh catch-inspired menu and views of the Pacific on three sides; the casual steakhouse La Pampa Grill; and Grotto 12º, a new 12-seat cellar serving curated tasting menus with pairings by the resident sommelier.
Sentido Norte restaurant, helmed by chef Jose Lopez | CASA CHAMELEON
The access is extended to amenities, too, including golf cart rides to the beachfront town of Las Catalinas and its surrounding hiking trails, on-property pools, wellness offerings (the aerial yoga class overlooking the Las Catalinas islands is a particularly memorable one), and something the resort calls “Casa Chameleon Discoveries”: bespoke experiences ranging from surf outings with a champion surfer and visits to local farms to coffee classes that delve into the ins and outs of Costa Rica’s famous beans. There are also immersive cooking lessons designed to divulge the chef’s insider tips on how to make a particular dish, like handmade gnocchi with sweet garlic shrimp. For the ultimate ocean-to-table experience, chef Lopez will join visitors on deep-sea fishing adventures, zipping out past tiny islands and schools of dolphins to search for mahi-mahi. The result: some of the world’s freshest ceviche, with the help of a few limes, avocados, and cilantro, to snack on while the boat’s captain finds a cove for an impromptu swim.
But the highlight is the immersive connection with the idyllic surroundings—and taking in Costa Rica’s legendary sunsets. Each night, as the sun slinks down into the horizon, guests converge in the resort’s breezy, open-air bar to toast with coconuts filled with Chameleon Lemonade—a mix of lime, coconut cream and guaro—while someone bangs the gong, signaling the sun has officially set.