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Aruba Beach Villas 2.5

Malmok, Aruba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Quiet and residential location in Malmok north of Palm Beach and Hadicurari Beach
  • Across the main road from the beach with views of the Antilla shipwreck site
  • Apartment-style units with kitchens, sofa beds, and free Wi-Fi
  • Small pool, large outdoor dining deck, and garden courtyard areas on-site
  • Free unlimited windsurfing from January to April from on-site sister company
  • Guests have access to beach chairs, lending library, kayaks, and snorkel gear
  • Free parking in gravel lot just in front of the hotel

Cons

  • Rooms could use an extra wipe down
  • Some doors lock but do not close flush; problematic in mosquito season
  • Beach is mostly rocky with shell sand and lots of spiny sea urchins
  • No restaurant or breakfast offered
  • Residential neighborhood with no restaurants, bars, or nightlife close by

Bottom Line

The 31-room Aruba Beach Villas is an ideal self-catering option for those who want to be on the beach, windsurf until the sun goes down, or just enjoy nightly panoramic sunsets away from the hustle and bustle of Aruba’s tourist drags. Actually, it’s the only option off windsurfer-friendly Malmok Beach, which makes the hotel’s deal of free windsurfing from January to April (when prices are highest) even sweeter. Rooms have no-frills Caribbean decor, pesky venetian blinds, and spotless fully equipped kitchens. Though there is no restaurant, this budget hotel does have a small pool with hot tub, spacious units, and a friendly home-away-from-home vibe along with some visible wear and aging. 

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Scene

Quiet spot with an on-site windsurfing company

Starting out in 1990 as a small guesthouse with room numbers in the single digits, Aruba Beach Villas has grown into 31 units across three buildings and includes an on-site windsurfing company, Sailboard Vacations. The property feels part mid-century beach motel and part personal beach house, giving a sense of privacy mixed with familiarity. The property may appear a little dated, but that hasn’t stopped some guests from returning for years and years -- the small patch of beach and windsurfing waves are the main draw. 

As the only hotel in the residential area of Malmok, Aruba Beach Villas is quiet and immediately surrounded by home properties and a stretch of wide open bush at its back. However, more often than not, a local vendor parks his large “I 'Heart' Aruba” sign across the street, which makes for great pictures, but also brings in a lot of stop, snap, and go traffic in the eye line of the horizon, but no one seems to mind. While this isn’t a party hotel, the vibe is friendly, and striking up short conversations with other guests or Phil at the front desk is common -- although most people come to relax, grab some wind on the water, and experience the quiet side of Aruba.

Location

In Malmok, across from a small beach and away from the main tourist drags

Flanking L.G. Smith Boulevard with a 400-foot patch of rustic beach in Malmok, Aruba Beach Villas has a quiet setting located under a five-minute drive north of the Aruba’s High Rise hotel area. It’s the last stop before everything turns completely residential, but it's still within a few minutes drive from restaurants, shopping, and attractions. Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad is just 15 minutes away, and it's 10 minutes to downtown Aruba. Just a heads up, there’s no street-side signage, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled after you pass the last roundabout on the edge of the High Rise hotels.

Rooms

Dated apartment-style units with courtyard or ocean views

Aruba Beach Villas has 31 self-catering rooms -- nearly half face the ocean just across the road. They are individually decorated with tile floors, typical Caribbean wicker furniture, and decor accents with a slightly nautical nod. While high season rates may seem pricey, studios can sleep up to four, one-bedrooms can fit up to six, and two-bedrooms are priced at quad occupancy but can sleep almost twice as many. Two-bedrooms can also be combined with adjoining studios for large groups.

All rooms come with private patio or terrace, cool air-conditioning units in every room, flat-screen TVs with cable, tropical motel-style comforters, and well-worn sofa beds. Be sure to bring your own toiletries as the fairly dated bathrooms just come with a bar of soap; hairdryers are available only on request. All rooms have individual layouts and some amenities (such as deep soaking tubs or refrigerator size) vary, so be sure to ask if you’d like something specific. At minimum, the fully equipped kitchens come with a mini-fridge, two-burner electrical stovetop, microwave, drip coffeemaker (but no coffee), and all utensils, plates, silverware, and dish soap. Larger stoves, refrigerators, dining room tables, and even ice or salt and pepper are available in some units.

Thanks to fencing and landscaping, most ocean-view terraces have more privacy than the open-plan patios and terraces of regular rooms. In general, rooms could benefit from a second sweep from the cleaners, although kitchens tend to be spotless.

Features

Small pool and hot tub, beach access, and free Wi-Fi

The hotel has a small pool area with tiki-style table and chairs, loungers, plastic furniture, and a small, bubbling hot tub that flows into the main pool. Across the street, the small beach is heavily covered in crunchy bits of shells and coral, and spiny sea urchins are not uncommon under the water. Loungers are available to take across the road, but cannot be left on the beach overnight.

While there is no restaurant on-site, a moderately sized wooden deck area with plastic tables and chairs is located in front of the office and is a scenic spot for a self-catered bite or drink. Another quiet, covered spot ideal for reading (perhaps a book from the lending library) or hanging out is the now-defunct breakfast area with a small bar area complete with a handful of stools and a set of tables and chairs. Free Wi-Fi and parking are available, and there is a small selection of soft drinks and postcards for purchase in the office, where guests can also grab a free pre-filled (and very basic) cell phone.  

Physical Activities

On-site windsurfing company with free windsurfing for guests

A big draw for guests at Aruba Beach Villas, particularly windsurfing enthusiasts, is the boutique’s in-house sister company, Sailboard Vacations, which gives guests direct access to boards and sails of all sizes, lessons, and all the necessary equipment. Between January and April, guests staying at the hotel can windsurf as much as they like -- for free. The hotel also gives guests free, year-round access to kayaks and snorkel gear.

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Address

462 L.G. Smith Blvd, Malmok Beach, Caribbean

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