Location is great - bus stops for both directions right outside the hotel. 5 minute bus or taxi ride to the high rise district so it's easy to go eat or whatever and then leave all that crap behind. It was only about 15 minutes by bus into Oranjestad as well. I don't think any hotel is better situated unless you are the high-rise sort.
We stayed in the penthouse. It was nice, plenty of room and well-appointed with its own porch... that overlooked the bus stops. You can't see the beach from anywhere on this property, it's too small of a building and there is a road and a lot of trees in the way. I didn't really need the view since the beach is a 1 minute walk away, but the noise from two bus stops was less peaceful than I'd prefer. I think we'd have been better off in a smaller room positioned farther back on the property. Otherwise the road being there is no big deal - there is not enough traffic to slow down your walk to the beach most of the time, and really you aren't any farther from the beach than you'd be at a different hotel.
There were several bugs in our room. Not the biting kind and we aren't squeamish, and hey, it's an eco-friendly tropical resort so some of that is to be expected so we didn't complain about it. I forgot to complain about the hair in the shower -
We had a flight delay, and straggled in a day late, tired and a little smelly, looking forward to showers and naps. But our room wasn't ready when we arrived (it should have been ready yesterday!). When we asked why, the desk clerk didn't even look up, just said it wasn't check-in time yet. When I said we had reserved starting yesterday, he gave an "ohhh" of realization and then told us to go sit at the bar for a few hours. In terms of personal interaction that was the nicest the desk staff was to us at any point in the stay. They did knock off the charge for that first night that we missed, which was a very nice surprise and very much appreciated.
On the other hand, Mayra at the concierge desk was a real pleasure. Always smiling, remembered me by name, helpful with every last detail from excursions to directions to car rental to dinner reservations. She was a treasure. I didn't use the wedding planner but I did have occasion to meet her and talk for 15-20 min and she seemed to really enjoy her job. The couple who were renewing their vows were happy with her as well. I think she works other hotels too.
In the evenings we often came back from dinner to find chocolates left on our coffee table. Hey great, chocolate! Until we decided to stay in and forgot to hang up the do not disturb sign. 9:15pm is awfully late to get a pounding on your door, and awfully late to have someone enter your room when you don't answer the door quickly enough. There are a few things I would rather have than chocolate, and privacy with my wife in my hotel room is one of them.
The beach is very nice, the just about the best stretch of beach we came across. Cleaner than the others - the Dutch seem to smoke a lot, but there were not many butts and no other litter on AM's beach, which was definitely not the case elsewhere. If you want a palapa, get out there early - first come first served, and people go out before breakfast and lay belongings on the chairs to stake out spots they don't fill until much later. Seems a lousy way to be, but it happened every day.
The Passions Bar service was fine. Drinks are expensive but not more so than the rest of the island. A couple of times they were quite strong but most of them seemed very watered down.
Mangos restaurant was fine. Breakfast is a fixed price no matter how much you eat, with a lot of options. We ate well in the mornings. Dinner was fine, nothing really special. Note to remember: theme nights also mean "we close early" which we found out the hard way. My fault for not reading the in-room guide more closely, I suppose.
Passions the restaurant is all ambience. The food was good but not great and the service was almost maddeningly slow, although friendly and polite. I get it's island time and also a European style, but it was s-l-o-w. No matter - reserve about half an hour before sunset and tell them it's a special occasion so you're seated in the front. The view and the atmosphere are incredible and make it worth the price - it is as romantic as a restaurant can be.
In the end it's a good place to stay but I wish I had just rented a 1 BR instead of the penthouse. We wanted something special for our special occasion and instead just ended up spending more money.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- From the moment you arrive you'll feel the difference. Dutch colonial-style architecture and a Caribbean flair make the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort a special place.....A small hideaway with the luxuries of a large resort, located on a premier beach, Eagle Beach. Warm, friendly personalized service, fine facilities and amenities create an unforgettable vacation. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amsterdam Manor Beach Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Hotel Amsterdam Manor Beach
- Amsterdam Manor Aruba
- Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba/Palm - Eagle Beach