Sunset Beach Studios is a great place to stay in Aruba. It's small, one story, has a pool and spa, and is across the street from the ocean. This is the kind of place we look for. The grounds and pool are kept spotlessly clean. The staff works very hard on this. JP and Eve are gracious, helpful, and friendly. They also do a great job of cleaning your room. We were in Garden 7, which is next to the pool and directly across from the office. The semi-private patio with table and chairs is also nice. The actual rooms are a bit smaller in person than in the photos, but more than adequate. But there are a few negatives. Sunset Beach is 2 miles from the nearest restaurant, bar, or store. The beach across the street is really not a beach. You definitely need aqua socks if you dare enter the ocean (but there are beaches a couple miles to the north and south that are wonderful). So, there is no bar, restaurant, or food within walking distance, which I consider a negative.
Aruba in general: The weather is spectacular. 84, sunny, and breezy everyday. There is a 20 - 30 east wind day and night, but everything is on the west shore, so the wind is not that bad. The island is only 20 miles long by 6 miles wide, but feels much bigger. The sun is brutal, got sun burned in 2 hours of exposure with 45 sun block on (still hurts). Really, an hour or two per day is all I could take, and I'm dark skinned and tan easily. Very good snorkeling right from the beach (I did it one day). Beaches are very nice.
The negatives: The brutal sun (close to the equator). Tons of cars and traffic, not everywhere
but in the two major cities it can be bad. Expensive. Going out to eat was always at least $50
for two with a couple cocktails. The Pelican's Nest on the pier cost us $120 with two drinks (although my wife had the $55 lobster, which was excellent). Food in general was okay but not terrific. The best meals we had were the ones I made on the grill with fresh fish we caught deep sea fishing. We avoided the high rises and more expensive places. Alcohol is very expensive (~$30+ for a liter of booze or a case of beer). Food at the grocery stores was not bad, and good quality. There is a huge Chinese influence. Tons of small disorganized Chinese food marts, and chinese restaurants. The flies were kind of bad while we were there, but not terrible. Driving around is a challenge as most roads and maps have no signs. I should have brought a compass. We got lost a few times but managed to find the sites we wanted to see. I highly recommend renting a car while there, because of Sunset Beach's location. Our Amigo rent-a-wreck was a total POS, but it got us to where we needed to go. You get what you pay for.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sunset Beach Studios combines Caribbean beauty and tranquility with Dutch hospitality and cleanliness. 10 studio style units and 1 Oceanview house (w/2, 3 or 4 bedrooms) are set around a flowering tropical garden with swimming pool and jacuzzi, each with its own patio area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sunset Beach Studios Hotel Malmok Beach
- Sunset Beach Studios Aruba/Malmok Beach