It sure took a while, but the Caribbean side of Costa Rica now has a real functioning luxury resort hotel. We’ve got a first-person review of it from one of our Panama experts, Beverly Gallagher. See our detailed review of Le Caméléon Boutique Hotel.

Don’t come here looking for lots of florals and wicker. “Playful minimalism” is more the style, with white-on-white rooms playing against the greenery outside and common areas splashed with bright solid colors.

It’s not perfect yet: the beds are a bit small in the lowest category rooms and the staffers are still figuring out how to get past the sleepy Caribbean vibe that usually passes for hotel service with the competition. This is a bold project executed well though and a major step forward for the region. Now heading to “the other coast” doesn’t have to mean taking a big step down in quality.

See our full list of reviews of luxury hotels in Costa Rica.