About This Listing
Norma's retreat in Costa Rica has over 10 acres of property to lounge and relax. The happiest folks are those looking to get away, meditate and stay for a while! Close to major bus lines and highway. two bdrm, one bdrm, and studios available.
**Note: Starting in March, we will have the fastest Internet Costa Rica has to offer!**
Welcome to Norma's! We have five studios, 3 1-bedroom houses, and 2 2-bedroom deluxe spaces.
Who stays at Norma's? Norma's is a community—some folks work in Costa Rica, some come to write a book or learn to paint, or teach themselves to hula hoop. If you're looking to stay in a quiet town and have plenty of space to roam around, Norma's is the place for you! We provide a relaxing space where you can swim, meditate, learn, or just pick mangos!
Norma's is right on the way to Jaco, and near the Poas Volcano and Braulio Carrillo National Park. We are a fifteen-minute drive away from SJO international airport, and the Coca-Cola bus depot is one bus ride away.
Folks staying for a couple of weeks, a month or more enjoy Norma's. If you're having a house built in Alajuela, or you're looking for a "home" while you explore Costa Rica, we are centrally located in a quiet Costa Rican town. We're also a good place to get away from it all! Artists and creative types always enjoy Norma's. There are muses here, as well as a large rock that is supposedly haunted! But you tell me if that's true...
My grandma is the best. But don't take my word for it :) She's been renting out space in her house since the 90s, and expanded and built little houses on her property several years ago. There are three pools, a tennis court, and a space for events (dancing, yoga, etc) on the property. There's enough space that you can avoid everyone if you'd like, or drop by the communal kitchen/pool area to socialize with the rest of the guests.
The communal area is also where you can plug into the Internet while you're there!
The Space: 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living area, private washing machines, parking space, kitchen and living area. Comfortably fit four (two people in each bedroom). Additional small beds upon request.
There are some restaurants (known as "sodas" in Costa Rica), the soccer field, karaoke and a winery within walking distance. Small shops and a pharmacy also nearby. Very quaint, very small Costa Rican town. Calm, tranquil.
A major bus line right in front going to and from San Jose every day. Other buses going to the beach, to Alajuela, also very convenient!
Norma's Villas is situated in the small town of La Garita. Here are some TripAdvisor reviews from people who have stayed with us:
"If you want to experience true Costa Rica - stay with Norma in La Garita. There are those vacationers who stay at the resorts on the beach and see a "tourist" Costa Rica, and then there are those that truly want a Costa Rican vacation - THOSE people - should stay with Norma. Located in La Garita, we spent a week eating at the local sodas and experiencing the reality of Costa Rica. Our villa was safe, secure, and TRANQUIL. Mangos off the tree just feet from our front door, and all of the amenities we needed to relax (pool, hammock) right on-site."
"The Villas is located on a main road. Making access to public transportation quick and easy. The Villas as maintained in excellent condition. They are well appointed. The large grounds offer boundless access to the beauty of nature. From Norma's I was able to see much of the Central region, San Jose and also travel, using transportation, to Limon and as far south as P. Viejo."
More here: (website hidden)
Three pools, a communal kitchen/internet/phone area (this is where people usually gather to socialize, even though they may have their own kitchen!), a tennis court, open grounds to collect fruit, a public kitchen and washing machine as well as private ones, a kitchen and bar available for rent for special occasions.
Interaction with Guests
Norma is always willing to help you out with directions, things to do, or share a cup of coffee and some cookies. There's a lot of space at Norma's, and the common kitchen/pool area is a common meeting spot. Mingle or go off on your own, whenever you please!
We expect everyone at Norma's to respect other guests and the space.
Please no pets --- if you have a service animal, please send us a message. If you happen to see a stray animal, please do not feed it. This just encourages them to stay long after you have gone! If you have a question about an animal, please inform Norma before touching or feeding it. We also want to make sure our guests are comfortable.
Every guest gets a key to the main gate. We ask everyone who comes in at night to lock the gate and not leave it open overnight. During the day, the gate usually stays open unless Norma is not around. Basically, if the gate is locked when you come inside, please ensure it is still locked after you've come in!
While most rooms have their own kitchen, we also have a communal cooking/kitchen area and a communal washroom. Please clean up the community spaces if you use them. Costa Rica has lots and lots of wildlife and insects, and food that sits out will attract other guests!
Please smoke outside and please, no recreational drug use.
***Guests are expected to comply with Costa Rican laws.***
Norma’s Villas was just what I needed after a long New York winter. I was looking for a safe and quiet place to write. I arrived in mid-April and loved the villa and property so much that I asked to stay another month. It's hard to appreciate the size of the property until you arrive. The rear pool is relaxing, with iguanas running up mango trees and cows grazing by the fence on a neighboring farm. There are guavas, mangoes, cashews and coconuts growing on the property. Pickers can usually be found, if you want to grab a mango for breakfast. Norma is typically around if you need help. But she also gives you your space, which I appreciate as a writer. Lisa was very helpful in giving me tips on catching the bus and finding the best currency exchange. There are two nearby country markets. Atenas and downtown Alajuela are cheap and easy to reach by bus. The buses don’t always come on schedule, but it’s fun adventure. Overall Norma’s Villas provide a lovely Costa Rican retreat, with an nice mixture of English and Spanish speaking residents.
Our stay at Norma's was a good opportunity for decompression after the stress of work and school, and before exploring other areas of Costa Rica. Lisa and Norma helped arrange transportation from the airport and Norma met us each (arriving on separate days from separate countries) at the gate to show us to the cottage. The studio accommodation was very cute, with a large kitchen. It was reasonably well equipped for our short stay, though we lacked a few essentials such as salt and pepper, which I imagine one could borrow from the communal kitchen if needed. The best part about the cottage is the little front patio, where you can watch the birds and lizards going around the grounds. The property itself is also nice to walk around on, and the pools are beautiful even if on the cold side. Nothing much is happening in neighborhood around the villas--the grocery store a few minutes' walk away is good for some things, but a ride to town would probably be better for those looking to do real cooking. We only went to one of the nearby restaurants, Festival de Maiz, but it was fine for when we didn't want to cook. Overall, the stay was very relaxing and is recommended for those looking to do that, and pretty much only that, unless you are willing to take buses or taxis to get to more happening areas. Thanks to Norma and Lisa for a pleasant stay.
We stayed for sex weeks at Villas Norma and enjoyed it thoroughly. Norma is a very kind woman, helpful and nice. Her granddaughter, Lisa, who is managing the bookings on Air Bnb is also superfriendly and helped us a lot during the reservation process.
There are about ten houses at Normas and I think we were lucky enough to get the house with the best location: at the far end, next to two of the swimming pools. We therefore almost had a feeling of having the place on our own. The other people staying at Norma's are mainly staying long term - it is a colourful gallery of people and the social part of staying at Norma's was one thing that we liked.
The gardens at Norma's are very big and there are plenty of places for kids to play in and to explore. Parts of the gardens are not maintained and for example the playground is now rusty and cannot be properly used. Our house was fairly well equipped in the kitchen and was very well suited for our family of two adults and two small children. Norma had installed a baby bed and a baby chair in the house and she also lent her baby car seat when we went on trips in the surroundings.
La Garita as a village has quite little to offer however - a couple of restaurants within walking distance and a fairly well supplied supermercado. However, it is a great base for excursions and you can easily get too the nice towns Atenas (which is small) and Alajuela (which is bigger) by a 20 minute bus ride. Zoo Ave and a botanical garden are also nearby.
All in all we are very happy with our staying at Norma's and would recommend it to anybody looking for a relaxing stay that also serves as a great base for exploring the surroundings.
This host has 5 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Lisa
My name is Lisa Marie and I help my grandma run her AirBnb.
Grandma lives in the quaint, Costa Rican town of La Garita. She has over 10 small houses to rent on over 10 acres of property. If you're looking for a comfortable, real Costa Rican experience, I would have to recommend Norma's!
Grandma Norma has been renting out space in her house since the 90s, and expanded and built little houses on her property several years ago. There are three pools, a tennis court, and a space for events (dancing, yoga, etc) on the property. There's enough space that you can avoid everyone if you'd like, or drop by the communal kitchen/pool area to socialize with the rest of the guests.
My grandma's nickname is "the umbrella" because she is always lucky. In Spanish, that's 'paraguas.'
I'm currently studying to receive my MFA in creative writing. I graduated from NYU with a degree in Philosophy.
I can't live without:
* chocolate-covered coffee beans
* King of the Hill and Jurassic Park
* iced lattes
* 24-hour delis
* snarky blogs
My life motto is the typical Costa Rican life motto: PURA VIDA! It means "pure life," but translates better into "life's good."