The Costa Rica boutique hotel on the southern Caribbean Coast, that changes the color of its decor daily like a chameleon, is marking its fifth anniversary year with the opening of its new La Sula Sea Lounge on the beach at Playa Cocles.
A vivacious opening party will be held on Sunday, March 30, from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the La Sula Sea Lounge, across the main road from Hotel Le Caméléon, just south of Puerto Viejo. The event is open to the public to enjoy a beach BBQ, special drinks and soft lounge music by a DJ.
Le Caméléon is the top luxury hotel in the Caribbean region. The hotel fronts Playa Cocles and the dazzling Caribbean Sea – one of the area’s most beautiful beaches, where golden sand lazes between wild rainforest vegetation and crystal clear waters. The main road connecting the vibrant, bohemian beach town of Puerto Viejo Costa Rica south to the Manzanillo wildlife refuge runs between the hotel and the beach.
The posh hotel opened five years ago with great fanfare, heralding a change in tourism on the sleepy backwater coast toward trendy and upscale. “In April 2009, the hotel was inaugurated by former president and Nobel Prize winner, Oscar Arias, while he was in office. Arias came to mark a new era in the region in the infrastructure and image of the province of Limon and the Caribbean,” said Frederic Spahr, general manager of Le Caméléon. “Le Caméléon was the first luxurious hotel to open in the region. Before, Puerto Viejo was mostly for backpackers.”
Over these five years, Spahr and Ben Abdelkader, president of Le Caméléon, have watched the Puerto Viejo region grow into a popular destination for international jetsetters and wealthy weekend travelers from the capital city of San Jose. “There are new high-level restaurants, lounge bars and shops open. There are also more security and a new main police station,” said Spahr.
Le Caméléon strikes an idyllic balance between relaxing seclusion and the area’s vibrant Caribbean culture. Keeping with their name’s theme, the hotel is decked out in stylish white with splashes of tropical colors that change hue every day. Ultra-chic rooms in four categories are tucked in the jungle and gardens or overlooking the pool. Le Numu Restaurant & Bar serves a fantastic fusion of French and Caribbean cuisine. Numu means chameleon in the language of the Bribri, the area’s indigenous people.
The Costa Rica hotel’s remake of its beach club also sticks to the local indigenous culture for its name, La Sula Sea Lounge. Sula is the Bribri good spirit guardian of souls who nurtures new life in the world and represents the feminine.
The new La Sula Sea Lounge facilities feature five shaded, thatched-roof ranchos/palapas, more day beds and lounge chairs, and a full bar and kitchen onsite serving light beach fare and drinks. Each palapa has a different seating experience ranging from lounge-like couches to more traditional dining – of course, all in white with touches of red.
Hotel Le Caméléon is located 3km south of Puerto Viejo on the road toward Manzanillo, across from Playa Cocles. For information and reservations, call 2750-0501 or visit www.lecameleonhotel.com.
Article by Shannon Farley