Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Continual upgrades are bringing this time-share hotel property up to speed
An early '90s child, Costa Linda resort was emancipated from its parent company (and separated from its sister properties) after its original owners filed for bankruptcy. Since then, this time-share property has been operated and run by its owners, and is slowly making efforts toward a more contemporary appearance. Renovations to the large Premier category two- and three-bedroom units resulted in modern appliances, contemporary beach resort furnishings, and flat-screen TVs. Unfortunately, the smaller Cayena suites still have dated furniture, boxy TVs, and feel a bit snug.
This time-share resort has a well-established clientele, and many of the guests who return year after year know each other quiet well. Its large units are well-suited for families as are the kid-friendly features such as a playground and dedicated kids' pool. Design-wise, the resort is a U-shape, built around a large pool and spilling out onto Eagle Beach. The property is quite big and, because its occupancy is limited due to the relatively small number of large units, it doesn't feel cramped. This, and the older age of the guests, contribute to an almost complete lack of nightlife -- even at the bars.
On the southern edge of Low Rise zone against a wide stretch of Eagle Beach
Costa Linda is located just south of the main Low Rise drag next door to Manchebo Beach Resort. There’s a small selection of restaurants within the plaza property and at the few surrounding resorts, although options expand greatly with a quick five-minute drive to the Low Rise strip or a 10-minute ride to the hubbub of the High Rise zone. Downtown Orajnestad is just under 10 minutes due south and the airport is another five. The widest stretch of Eagle Beach’s powder soft sands stretches along the back of the hotel, but if you’re interested in checking out other popular beaches, Baby Beach is about 20 minutes south and the shell-sand shores of Malmok Beach (which has views of the Antilla shipwreck) is 15 minutes north.
Enormous Premier suites are contemporary and have modern kitchens.
Premiere suites have contemporary beach decor with wicker furniture and bright colors; kitchens have been updated with modern appliances and have in-sink disposals as well as extensive cookware (including things like veggie peelers and coffee filters, but no coffee). Living rooms are outfitted with sofa beds, flat-screen TVs, and big windows, usually opening up to a terrace. Each bedroom has its own contemporary bathroom, although some are shared with the suites' public spaces. The three-bedroom suites have huge terraces overlooking the pool and beach, each furnished with a handful of loungers, a dining table, chairs, above-ground hot tub, and barbecue area. Even the master bedroom has a mini-kitchenette with two-burner stove and mini-fridge.
In comparison, the Cayena Suites are a slight disappointment: rooms are dim, dated, have a more motel-style vibe, and sport boxy TVs. The kitchen is still well-equipped with toasters, microwaves, full stoves, dishes, and utensils; but overall, space is relatively cramped, especially at the eat-in bar area. These are recommended for shorter, budget-minded stays.
All bathrooms have porcelain tiles, pump toiletries, and walk-in showers or shower/tub combos with standard showerheads.
Large, central pool area with sports nets, hot tubs, and kids' pool
Costa Linda Beach Resort horseshoes around a large, bright lagoon pool area with a healthy amount of strappy sun loungers and palapas. The irregularly shaped pool has shallow and deep sections as well as two islands sporting sprinkling fountains, a water volleyball net, and water basketball hoop. The surrounding area is landscaped with palm trees, gravel, and small flowering plants; lounge areas extend beyond the pool's immediate perimeter. There are also a a few adult-only hot tubs placed around the edge of the pool and a larger-than-usual (and covered) children's pool with depths of one-and-a-half and two feet.
Loungers, palapas, and games on the widest stretch of soft Eagle Beach sand
Eagle Beach is known for some of the finest grain sand on the island, and Costa Linda is positioned along one of its widest stretches. Palapas and turquoise plastic-strap loungers are plentiful, but you still may have to wake up early to claim your space as this popular beach gets very crowded. If sitting in the sun all day doing nothing isn't your beach bag, there are a few beachside games such as tic-tac-toe and shuffleboard, or for the kids, a cool-looking plastic pirate ship playground close to the entrance off the pool.
Poolside dining with a view and parking lot adjacent eateries
With a prime location between the pool and the beach, Water's Edge 12 Degrees North (Aruba's geolocation) serves up a casual menu for breakfast and lunch, with a focus on steaks and seafood for dinner. It has plenty of outdoor seating on the patio or even right on the sand, as well as more formal indoor seating in a glass-walled space -- every table has a view. Salsa lessons and other activities take place by the bar during the day, live music accompanies the early evening hours, and once the sun drops, the blue mood lighting kicks in. Aside from the small Island Breeze Coffee Shop, this is the only spot to grab a bite on-site, though if you venture just beyond the parking lot, you'll find colorful Pizza Bob's and Ellioti's Ristorante Italiano -- both with full menus, table service, and bars. As of our visit, you could also grab a drink at the loungey Lobby Bar, but there are plans to repurpose this space.
A full range of features usually found at larger resorts
Costa Linda has an fair amount of features for a resort with comparatively few guest rooms. Luckily, since the property is so large and is a part of a plaza, everything fits without feeling cramped. The resort opens up to a large lobby area where guests will find the front desk, couches and chairs, a concierge desk, lounge bar, and Tradewind's, the resort's mini-market and gift shop. Also on the ground floor, to the right outside the lobby, are a few storefronts, small Taste of Heaven Spa and Salon, and the fitness room. Filled with modern equipment, free weights, and a few mats, the fitness room is in an "L" shape with lots of light from two full walls of windows. If you like games, check out the ping-pong, pool table, and large chess set between the Lobby Bar and cafe. While parking is free in the big lot out front, the hotel's expensive and low-bandwidth Internet service feels dated and disappointing.
Costa Linda Beach Resort is a quiet, 155-room upscale beachfront resort just south of the Low Rise hotel zone. The large, two- and three-bedroom Premier suites have full kitchens with shiny appliances, private terraces, and contemporary beach decor, while the slightly snug Cayena suites are a bit dated and dim. There is no room service, but there’s a handful of leased out restaurants and shops on-site and within the small surrounding plaza, as well as a spa, gym, and games. The wide stretch of sand and lagoon pool are draws, but those looking for a party or nightlife may want to consider something father north.