About this listing
Designed by DatumZero and completed in 2011, Albazando House is an airy, modern, serene, eco-retreat offering panoramic views of Guiones, Pelada and Nosara Beaches, a 6 minute drive to the beach, and the experience of staying within a true Costa Rican rain forest.
The house has been a journey. I bought the land on a shoe string vacation from NYC in 1999 in the midst of my first post college job. I had no intention of buying land at the outset- I was nearly destitute and living on pasta and tuna in Bed Sty. But something about the land and the people made me reach out, and take a chance. I paid all the money I had in the world for a 30 day option on this acre of land, negotiated the contract in bad high school Spanish while wearing flip flops and board shorts, and with 3 days to go, manged to beg and borrow enough money to buy the land. So I had this jewel and nothing to do about it until I had gone to law school and labored in a miserable Boston sweat shop- 16 hour days, for 5 years. Then, with a pile of money I had no love for, I decided, what the heck? Why not? How many people get to build their dream house?
So I did it. And this is it.
The secret was finding an architect who shared my vision and priorities. We created a two volume house, that is air cooled, locally sourced, sustainable built and stunning. It is modern infusing elements of contemporary architectural and Costa Rican approaches to tropical living. . A cor-ten clad vertical volume with 4 rooms, including the master bedroom and kitchen, and the horizontal volume cantilevered into the jungle, with sustainable harvested teak floors, beautiful views and the living room, and guest bedrooms. A gallery with the dining room connect the two, and bridges the outdoors and indoors.
The vertical volume starts with the master bedroom on the bottom. Queen bed, organic cotton sheets, private bath, outdoor shower, private patio, one wall of opening glass doors to bring the outdoors in. It is the only room with A/C. Above that is the kitchen. I am a zealous cook, and spared no expense. Range, oven, microwave, teak work station, industrial grade sink, dishwasher, full retinue of heavy pans from the US, knives, forks, glasses, plates, spices, coffee maker, etc etc. The view from the kitchen is beautiful, and gets better as you ascend the tower. Two floors housing the yoga room and a tea room on your way to the terrace where the view is jaw dropping. Seriously. Three beaches (Giones, Pelada, and Nosara), can be seen in a 180 view of the coast line and in the other directions, Santa Teresa and the valley behind.
The horizontal has teak floors and ceiling throughout. It first opens into a covered gallery and balcony that houses the large raw wood dining room table. The living room has a sofa, easy chairs, lounge chairs, tables and fans. It also has a beautiful view of the beach, and three panel sliding glass windows that can be completely opened during the day to welcome in the cooling breeze. A hallway connects the two guest bedrooms, each with views of the jungle and access to a balcony. The first guest bedroom has a full sized bed, and a desk on which to work, while the second has a queen sized bed, and windows into the forest in three directions. Hovering more than 25 feet in the air, the rooms offer the experience of sleeping in the jungle and you often awaken to monkeys just feet away.
On the grounds is a dipping pool that seats 6 comfortably, a lawn, tropical landscaping, a covered garage, an outdoor shower and day and night you can see monkeys, coatis, tropical birds, iguanas, deer, etc. There are neighbors, but total privacy. Security is handled by a private company with a gate at the bottom of the winding dirt road, and a night watchman who patrols the area. A safe and bodega are on the premises if you wish to lock up your goods. In general, Costa Rica is safer than the US, but petty theft occurs so take normal precautions.
The house is equipped with internet (wireless DSL with speeds fast enough for (website hidden) and lower quality streaming) and a washer/dryer combination. House cleaning and even meal preparation can be arranged on request.
You need a car to enjoy the house fully. While only 3/4 a mile from the beach as the crow flies- you are not a crow, and the 20 minute walk gets old fast. Once in a car, you can access Guiones beach (restaurants, banks, shops etc) within 6 minutes, Pelada in ten, and downtown Nosara (large grocery store, pharmacy, airport, etc), within 15.
The elevations that give the stunning views make the property less than ideal for children under 10. I take my 2 year old, but I watch her like a hawk and I would just feel more comfortable is parties with small children found something on the flats.
The Nosara Yoga institute is nearby. There is more yoga and massage than you can shake a stick at. Nossra is noted for its surf. The break is mellow, good for beggingers to advanced surfers. Ostional is just north if you want something faster and more hollow. There is a vortex here on the peninsula and some amazing restaurants. There s hiking, Kayaking, canopy tours, horseback riding, birding, swimming etc. But even if you never leave the property, you are going to see a perfect slice of Costa Rica.
Per my property manager's request, please give me 72 hours notice before renting. I certainly love last minute requests, but it gives her a heart attack and she is a perfectionist. That timing allows us to give you the experience you deserve.
No smoking please, and no pets without prior consent. Sound travels- please be considerate at night. Please treat my house like yours and I am sure everything is going to be fine.
Micheal's house is absolutely awesome and in a really great location. Far enough off the path for privacy, beautiful sunsets, animal/bird watching, but close enough to all the beach access points, restaurants, and other attractions.
It's an unbelievable scenic ride from the Liberia Airport, getting to see all types of landscape. The roads aren't marked at all down here so a GPS is a huge plus if you've never been here before, I wouldn't say it's a necessity but we would have spent a lot of time wandering without it.
A 4x4 is definitely a must not only for the driveway, but for ground clearance for the local "roads" once you get into the town.
As the previous review mentioned, there are a lot of insects. Personally didn't bother us one bit, and was actually rather amusing at night to watch all the geckos in the house eat them.
We came down in late July early August which is the Costa Rican Winter so it gets dark very early around 6. Bring a flashlight for navigating around at night so as not to have all the lights on in the house to attract bugs. It's also nice to have to walk on the beaches at night.
The only negative I feel needs to be known to future renters is the pool. It's not so much a pool but an outdoor bathtub. It needs to be filled and drained every time you use it. Even then you only have a few hours to do so before you find it with Iguana poop in it. I only mention this because for us pictures of the pool were a definite selling point. Someone did come by to clean it out once during the week while we were there, but unless they come everyday there's not much you can do. Just go to the Beach!
Remember that you are in the middle of the jungle basically, and all the creatures that inhabit it. This is really their home, they are just letting you hang out in it.
Michael was huge help with all of my questions before the trip. His property manager Virginie was very prompt with helping us once we got there.
Kicking back on the deck at night and watching the sunset with the Howler Monkeys only a couple yards away is awesome. Waking up in the morning and opening up the doors to the bedroom to the breeze and sounds on the Jungle is incredible.
Whatever negatives the house or location may have, are far outweighed by the beauty of the house and location itself. We would not hesitate to come back and rent from Michael in the future.
It must have been an incredible amount of work that went into building this house in this remote location. We very much appreciate him allowing us to stay in his home.
Michael's house is absolutely beautiful and a true gem.
I stayed here for 7 days with my girlfriend.
It is worth mentioning that the house can get quite hot as there is only AC in one room. I think this comes with the territory in Costa Rica, and so shouldn't be a ding against Michael's house necessarily - just something to take into consideration. In addition, the bugs/insects, although mostly harmless, are no joke. Especially at night when the lights are on in the house, the insects are unescapable. This again is something that is just generally an issue in Costa Rica however, so keep it in mind if you and insects do not get along well :-).
Beautiful house, and the area of Nosara is a great place to spend sometime while you are in Costa Rica.
Michael's house was great! It was beautiful with great views and fun monkey and bird sightings. Michael was very accommodating and his property manager was very helpful. A great way to visit the Nosara area.
Michael's home is as beautiful as it looks in pictures. He is easy to communicate with and an excellent host. I hope to return soon!
Micheal was an extremely accommodating, welcoming host. His home is an absolute gem and it's location was perfect for us. His property manager Agnes was very helpful with all our questions and needs
This is a truly stunning house that measures up to the description in every way. Nosara and the surrounding beaches are very cool and this house is well positioned for visiting the region. We came in the early rainy season which meant that the area and house were quite buggy, and without air conditioning except in the master bedroom the house can feel hot- but taking in stride the conditions in Costa Rica it's understandable. We really appreciated the good washing machines, plentiful linens, and cleanliness.
The agency that manages the rental is fabulous- they were so helpful and responsive both pre trip and during our stay. Michael was also a great communicator and provided extensive area guides and advice!
My family stayed at Michael's house the week of April 12th, 2014 and it was everything we expected it to be. Beautiful, unique, open air design, great views and all the necessary amenities. It's only a five minute drive to the beach. We had a great time at the house and I'd definitely recommend it.
This host has 9 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Michael
I was a military kid growing up, and to date have never lived anywhere longer than four years. SF is my home now. I left patent litigation to join RPX Corp and do business development. Its been a fun ride. I have a two year old daughter, who I hope will spend a year in Costa Rica before she enters school. Her Spanish is already about as good as mine.
The house I listed is the end result of a 12 year Odyssey that began with negotiating land rights in high school Spanish in Nicoya, and ended with my dream house in Costa Rica with law school, law firms, New York, Pensacola, Boston and SF in between.