Casa Zen Guest House was born on a trip to Santa Teresa in the year 2000. However, the root of it all started in 1989, with my first trip to Costa Rica. My father Don (or â€œPapiâ€) has lived in Costa Rica for about 25 years, and during that first trip here I fell for it. However, I first had to finish school and do what I â€œshouldâ€ doâ€¦ In the meantime, there were numerous visits to Costa Rica, with different friends over the years, and then there was a trip with some friends who were surfers in January of 2000. Having been told by everyone at various other beaches, â€œyou must go to Mal PaÃs!â€ we finally made it, set up our tent in Playa Carmen (along with everyone else), and checked out the area. You could feel that it was on the verge of exploding, with only a handful of small hotels and one grocery storeâ€¦.and I started to draw plans in the sand.
Before going home to my own â€œrealityâ€ of cubicle world (I had just finished a Masterâ€™s degree and my student days were unfortunately over) I casually mentioned to Papi my idea for a guest house and restaurant. Of course, not having a dime to my name, and having just finished school, I fully expected a resounding NO. So, I returned home ready to face â€“ although not at all looking forward to â€“ my job prospects, which were none at that moment (smile). However, one month later, a phone call came from Papi: â€œWeâ€™ve been checking out property over thereâ€¦â€ I couldnâ€™t believe it! Lesson? IT NEVER HURTS TO ASK. (smile)So Papi built the house and bodega (now the laundry room) in 2003, and I arrived with my cat in tow in December of that same year, ready to help build, and thinking that I knew how to speak Spanishâ€¦ha!
We broke ground in January 2004, and with the help of Marvin Ulate and Adita, and all the guys who helped us build our dream (list of names?). I learned all the construction words in Spanish first (smile)â€¦ And after about five months, I was able to converse in Spanish, at least to the point of being understood. Our doors opened on December 11, 2004, with the entrance of Uli from Germany who helped us hang the first hooks for the â€œhangmats,â€ and who later brought us about 8 more Germans.JosÃ© (el Colombiano) stayed on after the construction to help with the garden and general maintenance, Idania was ready to start the housekeeping, and some time before Christmas an angel called Marilou showed up to help me set up the restaurant. Casa Zen was thus a reality. With fits and starts, we started serving fruit batidos, then fruit plates, then sandwiches, then Thai foodâ€¦and voila! The restaurant was born! The rancho was finished by May 2004, and we were well under way, already with our first successful high season behind us.
Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center Costa Rica offers a variety of options for every traveler. Whether you are looking for a private room, space for a small group, or a bed in a dorm, there is a comfortable place for you. All of the tidy and spacious rooms have been designed with the budget traveler in mind, offering guests comfort, cleanliness, and charm at a good price. On the first floor, there are six private rooms, ideal for single travelers, couples, or pairs of friends. The rooms have either a double bed or two single beds. There are also two larger private rooms on the first floor, each with beds for three people. An abundance of shared bathrooms are also located on the first floor. There are many to choose from and they are always clean. There are also two well-equipped communal kitchens, including the signature chefs kitchen complete with a professional quality stove, microwave, blenders, and a giant stainless steel refrigerator. The chefs kitchen is open to guests between 08:00 and 20:00, while a second shared kitchen is available 24 hours. Upstairs, you will find the apartment plus three additional rooms with varying capacities, featuring exterior doors as well as interior doors connecting to the apartment. The apartment itself has a capacity of two people, with a full-sized bed, hot water shower, full kitchen, and television with DVD player. With the configuration upstairs, the apartment can be rented by itself, or with one, two, or three-bedrooms attached for a maximum capacity of 14 people. When the adjoining rooms are rented independent of the apartment, there is no access between the rooms and apartment. The dorm room is also upstairs, which has beds for six people. The room has just three bunk beds, so its a small and comfortable dorm compared to many hostels. Theres a safe for each person thats big enough to fit a laptop
Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center Costa Rica has complimentary breakfast consisting of fresh brewed Costa Rican coffee, seasonal local fruit, toast, butter, and jam. Breakfast is served each day from 08:00 and 10:00. Exclusions Lunch and dinner are not included in the retreats price.
Arrival by airplane Please book your flight to arrive either at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) or Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR). Once at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), you can board a connecting flight out to the Tambor Airport terminal on the Nicoya Peninsula. The flight itself is about 30 minutes long and both airlines run about 95 USD one-way, with a limit on the weight of your luggage of 25 pounds or 12 kilos. Anything over this you will be charged an extra amount. Additionally, there are restrictions on bringing surfboards on these planes, so it is good to check before booking your tickets. Once you arrive in Tambor, a taxi will cost you around 50 USD to come to Santa Teresa and takes approximately one hour. Arrival by bus The cheapest option is the direct bus that leaves from the San Carlos bus station in San Jos. The price is approximately 15 USD but the departure times are limited. They currently only leave at 06:00 and 14:00. Depending on the arrival time of your flight, if you want to take the bus, you may have to spend the night in San Jos. Please note that the Juan Santa Maria International Airport (SJO) is actually located in Alajuela and is not San Jos. To get to the San Carlos bus station from the airport, it is a 30-minute and 20 USD taxi ride. Alternately, there are a number of buses that travel between the airport and downtown San Jos. Look for the red buses, which pass approximately every 15 minutes at the airport. Board any one of these to the center of San Jos for about 1 USD per person and then you can take a taxi over to the San Carlos bus station. The buses may take up to 45 minutes between the airport and the center, and the direct bus always leaves on time. Arrival by ferry Whether arriving by bus, taxi, shuttle, or rental car, all must cross the Gulf of Nicoya on the ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera. Do not take the ferry to Naranjo as this is a different destination and will prolong your journey by one or two hours depending on the conditions. The ferry costs around 25 USD for a car to board and a little less than 2 USD for passengers. It is a quite beautiful journey through the gulf and lasts about one hour. The schedule is subject to change with short notice, so it is always a good idea to double check the times especially if you are driving a rental car. Arriving five minutes late to the ferry could cause you to wait three hours for the next one. Arrival by shuttle The hotel has a shuttle service for about 45 USD per person, which will bring you directly to the door of Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center. Depending on the season, they may only leave at 08:00, so if your flight arrives later in the day, you may again be looking at a night in Alajuela or San Jos before arriving to Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center Costa Rica the next day. Please contact Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center Costa Rica for more information regarding the shuttle. Arrival by taxi If you jump into any taxi outside the airport and say take me to Casa Zen GuestHouse and Yoga Center. They may charge you anywhere between 200 USD and 250 USD. A taxi only to Puntarenas, where you will need to board the ferry to Paquera, will be a bit cheaper, but beware that they may try to charge you quite a bit. Then on the other side, from Paquera down to Santa Teresa, another taxi will run around 70 USD.