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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,500 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

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

Property Manager
Kenneth Lander
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english, spanish
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 18, 2017

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.


Guanacaste House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2500 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome ...
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
  • 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


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(76 traveler reviews)

Stunning Artisan Home on Coffee Plantation with Exquisite View
average rating of 4.644737 based on 76 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful stay at Ken's house. It was clean and very spacious. Ken and family were willing to help with anything we needed!

  • Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Colleen, It was great having you and your family on the farm! We love making your time on the mountain the best it can be! Thanks for staying with us! Ken
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  • 5 of 5

Our family of 5 really enjoyed our stay. The house is absolutely beautiful with loads of room for everyone and all the amenities you could want. The grounds are gorgeous and it's not a long drive to Santa Elena and Monteverde. The hosts (including Stella the dog) were very welcoming. We highly recommend staying here!

  • Submitted: Mar 25, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Sara, Thanks so much for your wonderful review. We enjoyed you staying on the farm with us, and Stella send her best! Thanks, Ken
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Toronto, Ontario

Rustic charm

  • 4 of 5

There are so many fantastic things about this home - it's huge, off the beaten path (about 20 minutes to Santa Elena), on a real coffee farm, close to nature with tons of flora and fauna and near an amazing little restaurant serving typical fare at dirt cheap prices. While having our morning coffee on one of the two the amazing porches we saw no less than 10 different types of birds hanging out (toucanets, hummingbirds, motmots, white-throated magpie-jays and many others!)

It IS however more rustic than we had hoped. For our group of 8, privacy was an issue as one can hear everything going on in all the bedrooms and bathrooms because the floor is simply one layer of wood boards and the doors (even some outdoor ones) don't go all the way down to the floor letting in some creepy crawlies. Some of the furnishings, bedding, lighting and paint could use a little sprucing up but for the price it is a great value.

We did had a very hard time finding the place. Luckily, Ken, the owner, is very friendly and helped us by phone when we got lost (twice!). Check with him for directions to the house before you head out and don't rely on Google Maps. Enjoy!

  • Submitted: Mar 22, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mireille, Thanks so much for your review. I am glad you enjoyed your stay with us. We enjoyed having you. We are always in constant updating of the house due to its popularity. Almost all of the folks who visit us feel like they are staying in their own home, and don't feel like they are a tourist for a bit on their vacation. I built the home to feel like an older farm house. It was what my daughter and her family wanted, so we have elected to keep it in rustic but comfortable mode due to its charm. Living in the pure mountains of Costa Rica is always a bit different than some of the more modern places you will find down on the beaches. I am so happy you enjoyed your experience on the farm. Thanks, Ken
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Beautiful home, beautiful location

  • 5 of 5

Our family of 6 stayed at Casa Zabala this week, while visiting Monteverde. We were so happy we had the opportunity to stay at this home -- both the home itself and the setting were just perfect. In addition, Ken and Alexander were very helpful both before and during our visit. At our request, Ken arranged for all the groceries to be bought in advance and for our meals to be prepared by Gladys -- the food was delicious!

On the first floor, there is a large master bedroom with a bathroom (including a large shower). There is another full bath on the first floor off the kitchen. There is also a very large and comfortable living room and a large dining table. The kitchen is also very spacious. Across the front of the house are doors that we opened first thing in the morning -- to let in the fresh air. In addition, there are windows everywhere which we also kept open throughout the days. There is a patio off the kitchen with another good sized table and we had breakfast there every morning.

On the second floor are two more bedrooms with double or queensize beds (I'm not sure which) and a "loft" area with three single beds. Plus, another balcony where we or the kids just spent relaxation time.

The house is located in/near San Rafael, which is about 20-25 minutes driving from Santa Elena. During the dry season (now) the road is very dusty and bumpy so you definitely need a sturdy 4WD. For driving purposes, ask Ken to send you the location of the house on Waze -- it makes finding it much easier! While the bumpy ride back and forth wasn't our favorite part of each day, staying at Casa Zabala was definitely worth it.

Each morning we took a walk up and down the path through the coffee plantation. Stella, Ken's dog, accompanied us on all walks and was such a pleasure. On our last day, Alex took us on a tour of the coffee fields, teaching us about the plants and process. We appreciated the time he took out of his day to do this.

Last, but not least, Ken arranged for Gladys to make meals for us while we were there. Gladys's food was delicious! And plentiful! We all loved the food, and appreciated Gladys's help throughout the days we were staying at Casa Zabala.

I would highly recommend staying at Casa Zabala, especially if you are the type of person who likes to stay away from the hustle and bustle and enjoys having more space to spread out and relax than you can get in a hotel.

  • Submitted: Mar 18, 2017
  • Stayed: Mar 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We so enjoyed having you, and Glady's enjoyed cooking for you and your family! I am glad we could be your home away from home! Thanks so much for the wonderful review, and you are welcome back any time! Thanks, Ken
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Very interesting home

  • 4 of 5

Four of us spent a week at this wonderfully rustic house built spaciously and with loving care by the owner, Ken Lander, who was a highly engaging and informative neighbor. Isolated from the hustle and bustle of Monteverde, it is still a great base from which to explore the area. A little restaurant close by down the road is a must as are walks through the property with their very gentle German shepherd, Stella. As mentioned in other reviews, there are no washrooms upstairs where most of the beds are and while this did not cause us a problem, it could be an issue for some travellers. Otherwise, a very nice place to stay

  • Submitted: Mar 6, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Jean, Thanks so much for your review. Just to let you know we are planning to construct a bathroom on the second floor in the next window without many reservations. If you remember the door at the end of the hall upstairs, that will be the new bathroom. Thanks for the suggestion. I am so glad you enjoyed your time here! Thanks, Ken
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Midwest USA

Rustic and convenient

  • 4 of 5

Great hosts, great local food nearby, easy access to the Santa Elena and Monteverde Reserves! This was a great 3-night stay for four avid hikers. We enjoyed hiking the farm with Stella too. And the ice cream at the Monteverde dairy was another favorite stop.

The house allowed in a couple of small worm-like critters as other reviewers mentioned. We put a cup over them and tossed them outside - not a big issue.

The house layout worked for us, but you should know a few things before booking. Both bathrooms are downstairs. Since only one bedroom is downstairs, that may affect who sleeps where. Also, the steps of the staircase are a little steeper than typical but were fine for us.

We enjoyed our stay including the high speed Internet for planning our day trips and evening entertainment. The house was clean, with comfortable furnishings and a well-equipped kitchen. And as I mentioned above, our hosts were great. They were very respectful of our privacy even though they were in the house just down the hill. Plus they offered advice and answered our questions about the area and let us use their washer and drier.

  • Submitted: Feb 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Feb 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We so enjoyed having you! We are beginning the construction soon of a bathroom on the second floor at the door at the end of the upstairs hallway. Thanks for the suggestion and nudge! We always enjoy giving advice to our guests and sharing the experiences we have in living here on the mountain for the last 11 years. Thanks for staying with us! 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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