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 make art. Painters, musicians, and writers love staying in our small community!
**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...
This Space: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, parking space, kitchen area. Comfortably fit two (a couple).
Norma's has three pools (including a very shallow pool for children and wading!), a dance hall area, a tennis court, a small park for kids, and 5 acres of space to roam around! We also have a communal kitchen/Internet/dining area near the pool. This is where the guests at Norma's usually socialize.
Nearby, 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."
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!
La Garita is a small town outside of San Jose. It has a few small shops, a pharmacy, some farms, and a hatchery. It's a quaint Costa Rican town with a church/soccer field at its heart and a small school for grades k-8.
A major bus route runs right in front of Norma's! Best of the small town Costa Rica with access to the rest.
Be sure to lock the gate at night, and do not feed any stray animals! If an animal is bothering you, notify Norma immediately. Let Norma know if you're using the communal phone to make any international calls.
The reservation was canceled the day before arrival. This is an automated posting.
We really enjoyed our 4 nights at Norma's. Norma was very pleasant and responded to all our requests. The 2 pools are nice and clean. Quiet surrounding. Ideal base camp for exploring the central valley including the Poas and coffee plantations. Nice restaurant not too far. Driving instructions might be a bit tricky if you are not arriving from the airport. Ask for specific directions depending on where you are arriving from. we would go back again.
The reservation was canceled 21 days before arrival. This is an automated posting.
I really enjoyed my stay at Villa Norma! I'd stay here again. The property is clean and well kept, and Lisa and Norma are very helpful hosts. Lisa gave me a tour of the grounds when I first arrived (she was only in town for a few days) and Norma was always readily available to help me with travel plans. Cergio who works the grounds was very friendly and would often pick fruit and leave it for the residents to enjoy. He once cut a coconut with a machete for an afternoon drink for me.
I explored La Garita and think that this is one of the best properties for expats visiting. It's right next to the bus stop that takes you to Turrucares, Alajuela, Atenas, or San Jose.
Norma's Villas exceeded all my expectations!
If you're looking for a place that's clean, quiet and secure with a gracious and helpful host, look no more.
I happen to be a woman, early 50s, traveling alone, writing my first crime novel. My top twin concerns will always be safety and privacy. I found both at Norma's Villas. The property is perfect for creative minds. Inspired by calm surroundings, beautiful birds, funny iguanas and three glorious pools, my writing flourished!
Bus routes stop right near Norma's Villas, which makes exploring regions further away pretty easy, even without a car. The property is near several eateries, and one short-bus ride away from ATM bank access, major groceries and a great zoo!
Norma's Villas is about a 90 minute drive from popular beaches, including Jaco and a ferry ride away from the renowned surfing mecca of Montezuma. Just the right distance for me because I favor learning true, day-to-day Costa Rican culture versus crowded and sometimes overly commercialized beaches.
Everyone loses weight here! I think one reason is that each cabana has its own kitchen, so you can keep your meals healthy, fresh and you aren't dependent upon opening or closing times of the nearby eateries. I love to cook, so coming here meant meals could be whatever I wanted, whenever! Mangos fall from 10-acres of beautiful trees, sliced and in your salad in 2 minutes!
After safety and tranquility.. THE BEST feature for me... the warm and friendly atmosphere Norma provides. She's always helpful with spot-on advice on everything from how to get around the Central Pacific Valley, to indigenous recipes, airport taxes or best place to join locals to watch FIFA World Cup Soccer 2014! Costa Rica upset Uruguay 3-1!!! Having an inside track on where to be among real Ticos was awesome!
Norma's granddaughter Lisa Martens' immediate responses to my 45 emails proved invaluable. I happened to be here when Norma's son and Lisa's dad Rick visited! He and wife Bonnie shared the best conversations and Ceviche ever! Wonderful family, and great hosts!
Joining the ranks of many other guests here, I have already re-booked Norma's Villas for another three months!!
This host has 3 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."