|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
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ABOUT THE HOME....
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.
CASA ZABALA DETAILS
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
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
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.
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.
The house is comfortable, well stocked kitchen etc., and open and airy for big groups. Internet was very good. Kenneth is a great host, he is very knowledgeable and is more than willing to help you out. He recommended a local restaurant right down the road that was very delicious. Lastly, the price is great value for the area.
This was our 1st visit to Costa Rica and the 1st stop of our trip. Our group of 5 adults and 2 children had lots of room in this unique home and although, sadly, Ken, was not at home at the time, his brother in law Alexander could not have done more to make us feel welcome and comfortable. He helped us settle in, even to the extent of food shopping for us before we arrived. He shared his fresh brewed coffee with us, took us on a tour of both the farm (where he grew up) and the coffee processing coop, and shared local suggestions for meals and tours. The pride that both he and Ken have for this place was so evident.
Guests to Casa Zabala might find it a challenge to prepare most of their meals there but there are plentiful excellent sodas and other restaurants nearby. We cooked all our breakfasts there and ate out for the other meals. In particular, there is a family restaurant within walking distance, Finca Bosque Verde, which served excellent food at what we thought was a very reasonable price and also displayed what we quickly learned was typical Costa Rican hospitality. We were even treated to a tour of the family farm and saw how they process sugar cane. Much of the food prepared in the restaurant is grown on site. We also found that eating out was possibly more economical for our family than buying food in the local grocery stores.
We were up early every morning, by 6 am, to enjoy the abundant bird life right outside our windows, attracted by all the beautiful flowering plants and other vegetation. We loved eating fresh bananas, oranges, limes and grapefruit grown on the farm.
Would we recommend this VRBO? Oh yes, for sure. Yes, it is 'rustic' but that is not a negative. It is comfortable, clean and, we think, gave us an a wonderful introduction to Costa Rica.
As for tours: we didn't book any before we arrived. Alexander sent us to Pension Santa Elena and we were given excellent recommendations for the acitivities we were interested in and they booked the reservations for us!
We stayed in the Zabala house and enjoyed the beautiful setting. The views from the top deck were fabulous and watching the different varieties of birds and butterflies from the porch and through the windows was fabulous. Ken was away when we arrived but we were greeted by Alex who was so welcoming. He is such a nice young man and always had a smile on his face. He is very proud of the farm and was happy to answer any of our questions! He gave us loads of information about the coffee plantation (and later an extensive tour of the property), local history and suggestions for activies and restaurants.
We visited during 'rainy' season but were lucky enough not to have any rain during the days. We were greeted each morning by the family dog, Stella and listened to Coco the parrot from the porch and also when leaving or returning to Finca Flor Mar.
The home is exactly as described and worked well for us. It would have been nice to have a bathroom upstairs too but we knew that when we booked. We enjoyed the experience of staying on a farm in the countryside with such beautiful surroundings.
Ken's communication in arranging our stay was always prompt. When we left to travel to La Fortuna, Ken had arrived back on the farm and recommended a lunch stop and also a restaurant to try for dinner. We went to both and were not disappointed! The dinner spot, Gingerbread, was a 45 drive from our next accommodation but well worth the drive to get there! I even texted Ken while we were there to let him know how fabulous it was and to thank him for the suggestion! Pura Vida!
The artisan home was an ideal place to stay. The setting in a lush tropical garden surrounded by exotic wildlife and fruit trees made it seem more like something from the Garden of Eden than Costa Rica.
The short 30-45 minute drive to Monteverde made it an ideal location. I only wish I had read the directions to the home better. Ken's recommended route to the home and Monteverde beats what you've been told on YouTube or other sources. If you go, you'll want to follow his directions rather than assume that you know the best way there.
Each morning we enjoyed watching the purple hummingbirds, parrots and other exotic birds starting their mornings in Costa Rica as we were. Since we visited during rainy season, we enjoyed watching the tropical light show and showers every evening as well, while sipping mojitos made with fresh limes from trees on the property.
Sitting on the porch, sipping fresh Costa Rican coffee in the fresh mountain mornings while surrounded by tropical flora on the high altitude coffee plantation was an experience we'll long remember and cherish.
Being greeted each morning by the friendly tail wag of Estella and raucous greetings from Coco the Parrot added to the homey feel of the home.
Alex and his sidekick 'Estella' provided an informative tour of the coffee plantation, including samples of the various tropical fruits that were in season. Having run a coffee shop before, we especially enjoyed learning many of the intricacies involved in growing coffee. He also assisted us with some of our other needs we encountered during our stay. The recommendations on restaurants never disappointed, including the one for the coffee shop.
The customer service we received was good.
The home was everything it was advertised to be, although the pictures do not do justice to the colorful and lush surroundings.
It's definitely a rental that we would stay at again. We have no reservations about recommending it to others for an enjoyable experience in the Costa Rican countryside.
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.
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!
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
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||$300|
Rates are for four adults. $20.00 per night additional charge per adult guest above four adults.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.