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Kenneth Lander

Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, spanish

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View

49 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Costa Rica House Rental Photos and Description

House, 3 Bedrooms + Loft, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 5-8)


The Zabala house is nestled in a lush organic coffee farm called Finca Flor Mar. This 100 acre farm produces organic Arabica coffee, plantains, bananas, mangos, limes, starfruit, & avocados.

The home is shaded by an abundant Mango & Lime orchard that is buzzing with butterflies & native birds.

With 4 bedrooms (3 bedrooms + loft) & 2 full baths, the Zabala house hosts a max of 8 people (6 adults with extra room for kids). It is the perfect couple’s getaway or family vacation home. The home has a fully functional kitchen and a maid that comes 2 times per week. Your floors will be cleaned, and dishes sparkling =) Laundry service is included.

The open floor plan boasts a rustic yet luxurious feel. It is comfortably furnished & tastefully decorated. The Zabala house features a large eat-in kitchen, wireless high-speed internet, two story high living room with a flat screen TV & DVD & Chromecast, a living room-like front porch, an expansive master suit with a spa-like hot shower, two upstairs bedrooms (one room with a twin bed, the other with a queen), and an open loft bedroom with queen bed & quadruple doors that open to a private patio. (The loft has an additional mattress nestled into the balcony nook that will sleep 2...great for kids.)

This is the only home of its kind in the area. It was hand-built by the community with local hard woods. All the doors, windows, & much of the furniture is artisan-made by the next-door neighbor. This house is the home of the Zabala family, who has temporarily returned to Atlanta. It has been called (with jaws dropping) a wonderland...the home is full of art, full of soul, and it is Costa-Rican gem like nothing else you can experience on the mountain.

I just posted a video link on our VRBO site from one of our guests who did a video blog of our house and their time in Monteverde. Enjoy! You will see in the picture that since that video was done we have completely renovated the exterior of the house, installed a new sidewalk that has no stairs, and installed some new bed and artwork! Enjoy the video though. It gives you a great sense of how comfortable and big the house is!


Monteverde is a largely bilingual town. It’s home of the Cloud Forest Reserve, stunning natural landscapes, world-class restaurants, local shops, a strong art community, & a bustling local economy.

The world-famous Cloud Forest Reserve is a private nature reserve listed as #14 on Newsweek's 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear. The massive 10,500 hectare reserve draws 70,000 tourists a year. It is known as

the site with the largest number of orchids in the world, and houses 60 species of amphibians (including the near extinct

Monteverde-endemic golden toad) and the elusive bright Blue Morphos butterfly. This area is also a stop for 91 species of migratory birds. The famed quetzal resides here seasonally.

What is now considered Monteverde was founded by Quakers from the United States whose pacifist values led them to defy the American draft during the Korean War. These conscientious objectors blended well with the Costa Rican philosophy of peaceful living. The Cloud Forest Reserve was set aside by Quakers to preserve the Cloud Forest & protect the water shed. Monteverde & surrounding areas are inhabited by a blend of Costa Ricans, Americans, & families from around the world.

The Zabala house is located about 20 minutes outside of Monteverde, in a small town called San Rafael. San Rafael is usually a good bit warmer & less rainy than Monteverde. It is a 100% Tico town, outside of the residents of Finca Flor Mar. This active town is formed by a strong community of families, a tasty restaurant, a pottery pavilion, local bar, two pulperias (small general stores), and two public schools.


The Zabala house is THE most personal, unique, and authentic way to experience Monteverde, Santa Elena, &

San Rafael, Costa Rica. High-end hotels of comparable quality to The Zabala house are $150-$250 a night for a single room. The Zabala house offers 4 bedrooms for $125 a night. Our home is about 2,000sqft of Costa Rican hardwoods & rustic comfort. It is one of the largest, most unique houses in the area.

Finca Flor Mar is the birthplace of the Sustainable Coffee Initiative. Chelsea’s father, Ken Lander, is the founder of this community based organization that created a system which exponentially increases the farmer’s profits compared to Fair Trade. San Rafael is the center of an agricultural revolution for the coffee industry. The Sustainable Coffee Initiative’s practices & philosophy are being explored around the world. Come visit Ken Lander at The Common Cup (or at his home next-door to The Zabala House), who will take you through the ever-growing world of the Costa Rican coffee farmer.

We strongly recommend having a rental car when you stay at Casa Zabala. It is a 25 minute drive to Monteverde & 3 minutes to San Rafael's center. Sooo much to do...but you will need to drive there. The value of staying in our house verses a hotel or rental closer to Monteverde in incomparable.

Please email us for more pictures. We have lots! (Had fun taking them...our home is lovely!)

Keywords: coffee farm, secluded, family, couples, mountain home, relaxing home, tropical, cloud forest, costa rica, monteverde, rustic, open floor plan, full kitchen, orchard, authentic, farm, gardens, casa, finca, finca de cafe, espanol, honeymoon, family vacation, romantic getaway

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
Kenneth Lander (Property Manager)
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, spanish

About Kenneth Lander

We are a young couple with two kids (Cecilia, 10 & Eli, 4). Our home in Monteverde is our pride & joy. We lived there for 3 years and recently returned to Atlanta, Ga to spend time with our family.

Rafael owns an Interactive Online Marketing Firm where Chelsea is the head designer.

We are happy to share our home with you, and we ask that you treat it with love & respect. We consider this our other home, not just our vacation rental. We are in love with San Rafael & Monteverde, and will to return to our peaceful lifestyle & exquisite home when the time is right.

Kenneth Lander purchased this house in 2008

Why Kenneth Lander chose Costa Rica

We moved to Costa Rica in 2003 to live on a coffee farm. We designed the home & hired local talent to build it by hand with local hardwoods. The home & plantation are one-of-a-kind. The community is tight-knit, diverse, and positive.

What makes this house unique

This property is not just a house....the tile floors extend out to two large front porches (upstairs and downstairs). Doors and windows span the front of the home. Open up to the fresh air, gardens, birds, & butterflies and you are truly in wonderland.


based on 49 traveler reviews

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View
average rating of 4.755102 based on 49 reviews

Lovey house, lovely people, amazing experience

  • 5 of 5

Sorry for the long overdue review. We stayed at Ken's place last December my husband, and our 2 boys ages 3 and 8 at the time along with my mother and father in law. The boys loved all the toys and books that were there. Ken and Pipo made us feel right at home. The house itself had everything we needed. We saw more wildlife on Ken's property then on our nature walks! The coffee tour was the highlight of our stay there.

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mai, Thanks so much for your review. We so enjoyed having you and your family on the farm. The truly is a lot of wildlife here and I am so glad you were able to enjoy your walks on the farm and to see coffee long before it makes it to your cup! All the best to your family! Ken
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Amazing Beautiful Experience

  • 4 of 5

We had an amazing experience at Finca Flor Mar! Kenneth was out of town, but still called and gave great recommendations of what to do and who to see. Alexander took care of us though and even took us on a tour of the coffee plantation, let us plant some coffee beans and showed us all the different ways to make coffee!

The entire family loved the house, the people and the beautiful view from the house and balcony.

Thanks again Alexander and Kenneth! We hope to be back soon!

Lori, Jeff and Skipper clan


  • Submitted: Jul 3, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Lori and Jeff: So sorry didn't get to meet you but I was traveling on business as you know. Alexander truly enjoyed the time with you and the photos of you guys planting coffee trees on the farm are just priceless! That's what makes having a VRBO so much fun is seeing people enjoy the farm and have a unique experience than they would have had staying in a hotel. You're always welcome here, and I thank you for staying with us! Thanks, Ken
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a taste of the real Costa Rica

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I along with our 2 yr old and 4 month old sons stayed here in March, along with our friend. This was one of our favorite places we stayed in CR.

Ken made us feel right at home on the property and took the time to tell us his fascinating story as well as the history of the coffee industry in CR. Incase you hadn't read it in other reviews, they are the supplier for Thrive Famers Coffee, (if you're from the U.S., you may know them as the brand of coffee that Chick Fil A serves).

The house had everything we needed. The place was conveniently located a short drive away from Monteverde. Plenty to do in the area, though we chose to take it easy. The home has relaxing outdoor spaces with hammocks. The temperature was perfect while we were there- no AC needed- as the windows all opened and there was always fresh breezes blowing through. The whole home is hand crafted by the owner himself, which is quite impressive.

Ken recommended going to dinner at a family run restaurant right down the road. Going here is a must!!!!! The sweet family showed us around their sugar cane plantation and served us the most delicious and cheapest food we had on the whole trip. Our little boy played with some of the kids at the restaurant while we ate. It was truly one of those surreal experiences while you are traveling where you feel like you're a part of their culture. This evening was the highlight of our trip.

If you have young children, do be watchful of them on the stairs as well as the coffee table, which has a glass top. Other than this, we didn't have to worry about our toddler who enjoyed playing outside most of the time with the owner's dog, Stella. Not to mention, the home comes stocked with plenty of toys!

We would love to return some day! Beautiful memories were made. Thank you Ken for your hospitality!!!

  • Submitted: Jun 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Mar 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Kathryn, Sorry for the slow response to your wonderful review. We truly enjoyed having you and the family stay with us on the farm. I am glad that you felt like a part of the culture and community here. The Vindas family restaurant is a great place to eat and feel like you are at home. Your family is always welcome here, and we look forward to seeing you again in the future! Thanks, Ken
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Nice House, Lovely Farm, Personable and Fun

  • 5 of 5

We had such a great time in San Rafael! The house is special and definitely feels like a home. Ken is a very personable man and will make you feel right at home. We enjoyed hearing about his involvement in the coffee industry. He recommended the going to Pension Santa Elena for advise on area activities. From there we organized a trip to the cloud forest. We loved the zip lining and the hanging bridges. Relaxing at the Pension eating at Tacos Tacos afterward really hit the spot. We were so lucky that there happened to be rodeo in town and Ken was thoughtful enough include us! Oh my gosh! That will definitely be a highlight of our trip. Being so immersed in the local culture was special. Thanks to Ken for the shout out! We also ate at the family restaurant just down the road, it was delicious and the family was very kind and patient with our lousy Spanish. We made the "best ever" margaritas using the limes from the trees just outside our door and enjoyed walking the farm with Stella the dog as our guide. The home is amazing, the farm is beautiful and we can't wait to go to Chick-fil-a to try the iced coffee!

  • Submitted: May 26, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Sandee, Thanks so much for your kind words! We enjoyed having you here. The rodeo was a good one and even though the bull riding is a bit different than Texas, you still got a chance to see what we do for fun here on the mountain in our community. You are always welcome back, and I hope the time at the beach was relaxing after all of the activities here on the mountain. Thanks, Ken
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Seattle, Wa


  • 4 of 5

My sister, her husband, my 11-yr old son, and I spent a couple nights in this beautiful spot. The house is rustic but lovely and comfortable. Unfortunately we didn't take advantage of the opportunity to tour the farm, but we loved the area and had blast exploring. Thank you to Ken for the many recommendations on food and fun. The home is close to Santa Elena and Monteverde, and the best meal we had in Costa Rica was just minutes down the road. We even picked plantains right outside the front door and tried our hand at frying them up for breakfast. We'll definitely be back!

  • Submitted: Apr 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Jenny, Thanks so much for your review, and we are so glad you enjoyed the farm! That plantain tree was just waiting for you to get here to give up its fruit! Safe travels home and we hope to see you here again in the future! Thanks, Ken
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Fantastic Experience

  • 5 of 5

My husband and 3 children (ages 9, 7 & 4yrs) just spent a couple nights at this beautiful place. The home was spacious, extremely clean and well appointed. The kids loved all of the toys, 2 dogs and Coco the parrot. The highlight for all of us though was the personalized tour of the coffee plantation and banana picking on the farm. Awesome place and I would highly recommend it!

  • Submitted: Apr 22, 2016
  • Stayed: Apr 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Jennifer, Thanks so much for your kind review. Alexander enjoyed showing you around the farm! Thanks for staying with us and spreading the word about our special place here on the farm near Monteverde! Thanks, Ken
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Car: recommended

hot springs, hiking, coffee tours, orchid museum, frog pond, zip lines, cloud forest reserve, serpentarium, canopy tours, butterfly gardens, hummingbird gardens, cheese factory, art studios, waterfalls, cloud forest night tour


Rates & Availability

Monteverde House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $50
Refundable damage deposit $300

Rates are for four adults. $20.00 per night additional charge per adult guest above four adults.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Costa Rica House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Broadband Access
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Catering Available
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator
  • Dining Area
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , Upstairs.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 double
    Bedroom 1 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib , Master bedroom downstairs.
    Loft - 3 twin/ single , Upstairs.
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • botanical garden
  • health/beauty spa
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
Perfect heating or air conditioning needed,Two story living room & open loft with huge balcony as 4th bedroom, Spa-like master bath. huge double doors cover the house & open up the home to a starfruit & lime orchard, Gorgeous tile floors, Home hand contructed by local builders & artisans...even the windows, doors, & much of the furniture, Hot water heater (this is rare for Costa Rica), Gas stove

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