My husband and I recently returned from a week at the Aruba Beach Villas and I had to review it.
The most obvious thing about this hotel is the view and location. It is a half mile north of the Marriot and is walking distance to both the high rise hotel district as well as some great snorkeling spots in the opposite direction. (If walking to the snorkeling beach, you also get to walk past some of the most impressive and expensive homes on the island!)
The view can't be beat. We could literally see the ocean from our bed and had an amazing view of the beautiful sunsets. Although the beach directly across the street is not good for swimming, it makes for refreshing wading, or just sitting by the water.
I highly recommend getting a room with a kitchenette - we saved a lot of money by cooking local food for about half the trip. (The grocery stores are well-stocked and reasonably priced for the area) The kitchenette is great for almost any type of meal.
The room itself was very clean and updated. There was a deadbolt on the door, as well as a knob lock, which was great. Safety on vacation is extremely important and I did not ever feel unsafe there.
The staff are very nice and helpful. They were nice about recommending restaurants and beaches, etc. The office does close 5, so you're on your own after that. The office also sells water, soda, and snacks, which came in handy a few times when we were in between activities.
There is free wireless internet, though you have to sit outside the office for it to work, and frankly, it was out about half the days we were there. However; when it was working, it was very fast. If internet is crucial and you must get online, there are plenty of spots downtown with free wireless also.
Other good things: alarm clock in the room; always hot water available; power never went out, even when it stormed; free beach towels and snorkeling equipment; free continental breakfast each morning
There were few downsides to this hotel: one was that there was no phone of any kind in the rooms in case of an emergency. There are phones available for use in the office, but like I said, they close early. The other thing was that the palapa area across the street, while a beautiful sight, also seems to attract some locals with perhaps not the best intentions. (As I understand, there has been some petty theft) That being said, I must repeat that I never felt unsafe, and we never had an issue with anything being stolen. Just use common sense, as you would anywhere.
Some notes on Aruba in general: the locals are very nice and most speak English. Dollars are accepted everywhere. An absolute MUST: rent a car!! We rented a Jeep and spent two days driving all over the island. The driving laws are not difficult and we did not find driving there particularly stressful. We saw amazing things we never would have seen had we just stuck to the bus or taxis. (Speaking of, if you don't have a car, definitely use the bus - much cheaper than taxi, safe, and goes all over downtown) The Natural Bridge and Ostrich Farm are awesome, go there; the Natural Pool is highly overrated and not worth the painful trek to get over there. Our FAVORITE was Baby Beach! Absolutely gorgeous and you get to swim with the pelicans!
One of my favorite things about Aruba: NO BEACH VENDORS!!!
This was the first nice trip I've had where someone wasn't bothering me every five minutes to buy something. One smal downside: there are beautiful palapas all over Eagle and Palm Beach; unfortunately, these are pretty much all reserved for specific resorts. We had some luck on slow days, where the beach attendants let us use one until it got too busy and people from those resorts started coming in.
Some restaurants worth noting: The Flying Fishbone, hands down, one of the best experiences there! It's a bit out of the way and about a half hour cab ride outside of town, but definitely worth it. Make reservations and ask for a table in the water! We also greatly enjoyed Aqua Grill, in the high rise area. The food was wonderful and the service was great.
Obviously, we had a wonderful time and will definitely be going back!! Aruba is perfect to relax, unwind, and enjoy the amazing beaches and food!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aruba's best kept secret, 31 private villas just half a mile past the Marriott with ocean sunset views. Choose ocean, courtyard or poolside units, studios, one or two bedroom, all with white tiled floors, tropical fabrics, kitchenettes, hot showers, maid service, air conditioning, cable TV, cell phone, Wi-Fi internet, kayaks, snorkel, all included. Flowering gardens surrounded by palm trees. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aruba Beach Villas Hotel Malmok Beach
- Aruba Beach Hotel
- Aruba Beach Resort
- Aruba Beach Villas Malmok Beach