I have very mixed feelings about this place. We stayed here in July 2012. We go on an international vacation maybe once every 3 years, so I do a lot of research trying to make sure we will have the type of stay we want. We aren't really into the nightlife scene, and didn't want to stay in one of the big hotels, but we did want to be right on the water. After much research and some correspondence with the managers, I booked the Aruba Beach Chalets.
We got to Aruba late in the evening, the manager met us at the property which is only about 10 minutes from the airport. She let us in. The house was STIFLING! I understand that air conditioning is very expensive here, but if they had someone come an hour before you get there and start the air conditioning, it would have helped so much with the first impression.
The house is nice in my opinion, we aren't used to luxury. There are two bedrooms upstairs, one with a queen bed, one with two twins. We had been told both bedrooms had bathrooms, which is true. What we hadn't been told is that you can not use the hot water in one of the bathrooms, if you take a shower and turn the hot water on, it blows a fuse. Then, you are without lighting until the manager can be contacted. We blew the fuse on a Sat. morning, not knowing there was a problem (they didn't bother to inform us although later it became obvious they knew the problem had happened before), and could not get anyone to answer a phone til Monday morning. So for two days we had to use flashlights to negotiate half the upstairs and the STEEP staircase in the evening.
I think it is not right that you pay $150+ a night and are promised two working bathrooms but can only use one. I brought this to the managers' attention, and she told me we should just take cold showers! She pointed out that the water on Aruba does not come out of the faucet super cold. So, I pay $150 a night to take cold showers? I am not a rich person demanding first class service, but to me that does not seem right.
On top of all this, the shower in the master bedroom has a shower head on a long hose, and the device that is supposed to hold the shower head on the wall, so it would operate like a regular shower, is broken, so in the middle of your shower the shower head falls off the wall and hits you. But, since this was the only shower with hot water, that is what we had to use.
This however, was not even our biggest problem. When the building was built the builder decided on high quality "security" doors. I am sure they were originally very nice. They have two panes of glass and metal frames. Around the frames are about 10 areas where the door is designed to lock together when it is closed. This would provide a very secure door if it worked. People have not been careful about closing the doors and these expensive doors have been damaged. Now, the one in the back of our unit (#3) almost will not close. A really nice man came one day to work on the door after we complained and gave me a nearly half hour lesson on the proper technique to close the door (no kidding!). First you hold the door just so, then move sideways, then press in at the bottom with your foot, then gently slide the handle up. How hard can it be? I have a PhD, in a technical field, I paid close attention. I still could NOT get the door to close properly. If you close it improperly, it has an inch wide opening between the door and the frame, letting the air conditioning out and the mosquitos in and providing an easy place where a determined person could force entry at night. This bothered me a lot since we had our two elementary school age daughters with us. I would literally spend up to an hour trying to get the door properly closed! I didn't come to Aruba to spend my time repeatedly slamming doors!
Finally, we quit opening the door at all. We chose this location because it is right on the water, and we ended up not being able to go out on the back deck to be near the water at all because I couldn't get the door to properly closed after we opened it. Not a nice feeling.
There was originally a gate that opened to the courtyard where the guests cars are parked. That is no longer functional. The light in the hallway is hanging from a bare wire, and the only lamp in the living room has a switch that no longer functions, to turn it off you have to unplug it. The lighting in the bedrooms is awful, you pretty much can not read in the evenings, the lighting is so dim, we had to use flashlights or watch a movie on the ipad instead.
This place has a beautiful location. The kids played in the sandy part of the bay in front of the house, and my husband snorkeled all the way out to the breakwater where he reported very nice snorkeling conditions, lots of fish. Just down the street is a great little fish resturant that is excellent. I am sure when they originally built the building it was super nice, but they need to quit putting off the maintenance if they want to keep their customers happy.
There were a lot of things we liked about our stay. The sandy area of the beach is only about 5 feet wide, we didn't do much with that. Below the sandy area the beach is very rocky, bring water shoes. Out in the bay, much of the bottom is rocky or covered with a grassy sort of seaweed, but some largish areas are white sand and nice to play on. My kids practiced underwater hand stands and that sort of thing. There is almost always a strong breeze in Aruba, even so, sitting on the beach we got tons of mosquito bites, so be sure and bring bug spray if you want to sit outside. We saw a lobster out in the bay, and we had really nice snorkeling at other sites in Aruba. We spent a lot of time at Baby Beach, which is just down the road about 10 minutes, where there is A LOT of beautiful white sand beach with almost no waves and a huge area of the bay is about waist to chest deep, and out at the far end against the breakwater there is some very nice snorkeling, but be sure and not go past the breakwater, a lot of locals warned us how dangerous that could be.
All in all, we had a good time and could have had a great time if the management addressed the maintenance issues.
- Also Known As:
- Aruba Beach Chalets Savaneta