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Kenneth Lander

Member since: 2011
Call Manager
Speaks: english, spanish

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View

56 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights

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Guanacaste 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
Call Manager
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 56 traveler reviews

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View
average rating of 4.678571 based on 56 reviews

Very rustic and not a good place to visit as adults after children are in bed

  • 2 of 5

Kenneth's brother in law was there to make suggestions for tours and to give us a tour of the plantation. He was great. If it wasn't for him we would give this place lower marks.

We were disappointed with the accommodations. There is no subflooring for upstairs so the sounds carry completely from room to room. At night when the children were in the loft there was no place the adults could go in the house to play cards or even talk without waking the children. If we went into the master bedroom downstairs the children in the bedroom upstairs could hear us. There is no seating in the bedroom except for the bed. The dining table has very heavy chairs around it which are difficult to move to the bedroom so there was no place to go to talk or play cards after the kids go to bed.

Also there was no bathroom upstairs so if the children or anyone upstairs need the restroom at night they need to walk downstairs. Upstairs sleeps 7.

The place is very rustic. The frying pan was very dented and bent. One burner on the stove did not work. The kitchen sink had a continual drip.

There was a coffee table with a glass top that had a nude woman in wood under it. We covered the table with an cloth because we didn't want our grandchildren to see it. Inappropriate for a family friendly place, I think.

  • Submitted: Sep 8, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Oh Lynn, So very sorry to see this review and to not have known that you were upset about something. The stove has been repaired as well as the sink. I wish we have known about your inconveniences. The Balinese coffee table usually has the ability to have a cover if you like. Such a loss for me personally to know that your family, especially with grandkids, was not comfortable. As you can see by the reviews of our home, this house was built for my grandkids, daughter and son-in-law where they lived on the farm with us for many years. Most of the reviews here count it a benefit that the home was handcrafted with local woods and is situated on a coffee farm and is rustic. This is the first less than positive review we have had in many many years, and had I known there was a problem with your group, I certainly would have taken steps to make you and your family more comfortable. My apologies . I know that Alexander enjoyed meeting you. Thanks, Ken
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Denver, Colorado

Beautiful Place to Stay!

  • 5 of 5

Ken is a great host and being able to stay in this beautiful home on his coffee farm was a pleasure. The home is beautifully appointed with great views from the upstairs deck. We only used three of the beds, but there was room for us to have brought the whole family! The kitchen had everything that we needed and the well water was excellent. There are two nice bathrooms, both on the lower level, so a bit of a walk from the upstairs bedrooms. There are loads of windows throughout the entire house, so wonderful views and it's easy to open up and get a nice breeze, so no A/C is needed. Widow coverings would have made it easier to sleep in a bit, but with so much to see and do in this area, it was just as well that we were up with the sun and the birds. It is a short, but bumpy ride to Santa Elena and Monteverde, but the views are spectacular. Ken, thank you for sharing your beautiful home and the great directions, etc. Loved all the bananas, mangos, limes from the property too. Your recommendation for the pension in Santa Elena were spot on for booking our adventures like zip lining and night hikes. Dinner down the road at the family restaurant is highly recommended too. Tanks to Alex for the great & very informative tour of the farm. I highly recommend taking the time to tour, since it's such a historical and interesting farm. They are doing great work with all the coffee farmers in this area. And we loved having Stella, the resident dog and Coco the parrot to greet us each day. Thanks for a great stay!

  • Submitted: Sep 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Lee, Glad you liked Finca Bosque Verde Restaurant owned by the Vindas family. We are really trying to support their farm to table local restaurant. Great suggestion on curtains. Yamileth is already eyeing new ones for our bed room, and we will find a home for curtains in the bedrooms soon. So glad you enjoyed the farm! Thanks, Ken
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We had a very lovely stay, great place to explore the area. Loved Coco the parrot.

  • 3 of 5

Lovely house to stay in, but we like cooking and cooker was not working well for our visit (hopefully fixed now). Great place to stay, lovely tour of the working farm with Alex which was great. Local restaurant up the road is absolutely fab and best value we found in the whole of our trip. You need to be a hardy driver because there are very few tarmac roads in Monteverde, you need 4 wheel drive, quite an uphill drive to get there. Lots of things to do and explore locally. We had a few spiders and a scorpion in the house but it is the rain forest so you have to be able to deal with it. Fantastic array of fresh fruit growing on the farm. Sadly Ken away for our visit so we did not get to meet him. Overall enjoyed our time here some fantastic views on the drive down.

  • Submitted: Aug 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Amanda, thanks so much for the review. So sorry to the oven was out. It is all fixed now. We have to find the right part, and anything is hard getting stuff up these bumpy roads! It is the rainy season so we see a bit more critters moving from outside to inside during this time. As much as we regularly fumigate the houses, you rightly point out we are in the rain forest, and you can only tame Costa Rica so much! Glad you enjoyed Coco. I wish I could have met you, but I was traveling for business. Thanks for staying with us! Ken
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Costa Rica Gem

  • 5 of 5

Finca Flor Mar is a beautiful property; our party consisted of 5 adults (first time visitors to CR) and we were all quite comfortable in this home. Plenty of space and gorgeous views from the upper deck, the birds and butterflies that make their way through the trees each day are magnificent. The area surrounding the farm has by far some of the most beautiful landscapes and being up so high in altitude the clouds come and go throughout the day. Alex, Ken and the other members of this family are friendly and always willing to help with anything you need. The area is pretty easy to find your way around, there is plenty to see and do in the nearby Santa Elena and Monteverde area (only a short 20 min. drive). I would definitely recommend this home with the highest ratings for all ages.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Jackie, Thanks so much for your review. There is a lot to do and see here, and I never get tired of the beauty of this place and am thankful we live here all the time. Nice affirmations from people like you even make us more thankful for the farm and to have nice people like you staying with us! You are always welcome! Thanks, Ken
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Slam Dunk Stay!

  • 5 of 5

Ken Lander hit the highest mark in every aspect of our stay. His communication in arranging our stay was prompt and informative. The home exceeded our expectations with cleanliness, comfy beds and remarkable architecture. Ken welcomed us to his farm as though we were family. We explored the beautiful property and were wowed by the operation of coffee farming. Most importantly, Ken's advice on places to go and things to see was invaluable. If Ken recommended it, we went! Simply because we knew it would be fantastic. Thank You Ken!! We completely enjoyed our time at the farm, in fact our family would pick your home as our 'favorite' during our vacation to Costa Rica!!

  • Submitted: Aug 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Ellen! What an honor to be picked as the best place you stayed in Costa Rica. We so enjoyed having you on the farm. I am glad my suggestions worked out well for you and the family. You are welcome here any time! You are appreciated! Thanks, Ken
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Great stay in Monteverde

  • 4 of 5

Great location and house for our visit to Monteverde and Arenal. Ken was a great host. We all loved (especially the kids) his dog Stella, Macaw Coco and taking walks on the farm.

  • Submitted: Aug 8, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Steve, We enjoyed having you on the farm with us! Stella loved the kids! Thanks for taking the time to give us a shout out here on VRBO. We appreciate you, and we hope you will find you way back one day! 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

Guanacaste 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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Guanacaste 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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