Laguna Beach Apartments suited our needs perfectly. We wanted a two-
bedroom accommodation, with at least a minimal kitchen (fridge, microwave, coffee maker), that was no more than a short walk from a beach. The fact that the beach was only about 100 meters away, and was renowned as probably the best beach on Aruba for snorkeling, was a huge bonus. While on the subject of the beach, the first sight of the rocky shoreline and shallow (no swimming possible) lagoon was dismaying. Fortunately, another short walk to the right along the beach brought us to a beautiful sandy access to the real lagoon -- and the snorkeling was great.
We had the largest of the four apartments available at the Laguna Beach, which was a good thing because at the last minute we had another couple joining us, so that there were five of us -- no problem as the bedrooms were large, and another bed was brought in. I believe that the other apartments are another, but smaller, two-bedroom unit, and two studio apartments. Each of our bedrooms had a modern air conditioning unit, plus there were two fans on stands in the sitting area. We had a full kitchen with new appliances. I believe the studio apartments did not have stoves. The bathroom was clean, although without hot water (no hot water system has yet been installed in the apartments). No one was complaining as the "cold" water was pleasant for showering. There is a high solid wall around the complex, which included a lovely (smallish) pool, and courtyard with lounges etc. All units have private patios, and we had all our breakfasts and other meals outside at our patio table.
There were two friendly cleaning ladies who took alternate days, and kept the patios and courtyard immaculate. They did a thorough housekeeping cleaning inside the apartments every other day. The owner, Edwin, kept the pool clean and free of debris, and did any other maintenance required. His very helpful wife, Marga, was on site most mornings, and usually they put in another appearance in the late afternoon. It was almost like being in a friendly bed and breakfast, except that we were getting our own breakfasts!
Just across the road outside the apartment gates, there is a small supermarket, which was joined to a bar/pool hall. Nothing remotely fancy, it was a local gathering place, but never particularly noisy. It is possible to order take-out meals at the bar, which some of the apartment guests did. We had more fun seeking out the restaurants in our part of the island. This is a good place to advise that you really need to rent a car if you are staying here. It is completely out of the main tourist areas of Aruba. and is in a primarily residential neighborhood. There are virtually no tourist facilities within walking distance.
Of the restaurants we tried, our favorites were two waterfront places: Marandi (on the secondary road that runs between the airport and the oceanfront) and Pinchos (just on the south side of Oranjestad) We never managed to get to Brisas del Mar (we heard good things about it), or the Flying Fishbone (probably more expensive than we wanted to pay). The cheapest place, and the place to go to mix with the locals, was the Pollo Tropical (part of the same chain that you can find in Florida) just further down the highway towards San Nicolas. There are also a multitude of smaller take-out places, operating out of private homes along the highway, but we were not quite that adventurous! Pollo Tropical also does take out, and when you are staying in such a nice place with an outdoor patio table, it is a great way to have a relaxing meal in.
So, bottom line, if you like to get away from all the other tourists, and experience the Aruba that people actually live and work in, the Laguna Beach Apartments is a great choice. If you are nervous about being the only tourist in the local grocery store, you should probably stick to your four star resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Spanish style build Laguna Beach Apartments have been redesigned into 2 large apartments and 2 studios, ADSL internet, tropical garden with swimming pool, outside shower and barbeque. All apartments and studios have been tastefully decorated in several styles. You will feel yourself immediately at home at the Laguna Beach Apartments. We are located directly at a real laguna with mangrove trees. The laguna is an excellent spot to snorkel and dive. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Laguna Beach Apartments Aruba/Savaneta