Pros

  • Beach is technically only a 15-minute walk from the hotel
  • Style is several notches above nearby competition
  • Sharp, modern apartments with full kitchens and spacious patios
  • Chic outdoor pool with adjacent terrace
  • Walk to Super Food Plaza, right across the street
  • Convenient self-check-in and keyless room entry
  • Garden and shaded lounge area with hammocks, tables,and benches
  • Free and functional Wi-Fi
  • Free parking
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Cons

  • Walk to Eagle Beach requires navigating very busy roads
  • Some rooms look onto unsightly Super Food Plaza parking lot
  • No breakfast or meal service
  • Daily housekeeping not provided
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Bottom Line

The chic design and modern amenities at three-pearl Bubali Bliss Studios put it a sharp step above the many dated mid-range properties in this corner of Aruba. This cheerful hotel offers just 10 impeccably clean and funky apartment-style rooms with full kitchens and flat-screen TVs, plus some with spacious patios. Their proximity to the Super Food Plaza is both a pro and a con: the convenience to the grocery is great for independent travelers, but some might balk at the unsightly parking lot views and the precarious (if brief) walk to Eagle Beach. For those who want to avoid the full-service high-rise hotel scene but not skimp on style, Bubali Bliss Studios is better than neighboring Sasaki Apartments, though rates there may be a bit cheaper. 

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Oyster Hotel Review

Bubali Bliss Studios

Scene

Boutique apartment-style hotel with funky, contemporary style

Bubali Bliss is almost entirely hidden from street view, which is a bit of a blessing given the location near the Bubali intersection, which happens to be one of Aruba’s busiest. This level of privacy is key, and is created in part by the lush, tropical plants that provide shade along the slim walkways, and low walls that ring the property. It’s a clever disguise for this boutique hotel -- which is really more of an apartment building for tourists -- and grants the mostly independent travelers who stay here a sense of seclusion while still remaining close to the beach and popular sights.

The family team that designed these studios has a keen eye for creating a clean, contemporary feel without opting for the typical bland beige and cream decor that's standard in so many of this hotel's neighbors. Instead, they take calculated risks with colors and patterns to create a tropical-preppy scheme. Bright yellow hallways are naturally illuminated with long skylights, keeping things bright, but take a step outside and that bright Caribbean sun takes over -- the terrace and lounge areas are pleasantly devoid of color, except in strategic details, like the cozy hammocks hung about the shady terrace or the pops of green palm trees around the adjacent pool. This is the kind of property meant for people who aren't looking for much of a scene at their hotel. Guests here are predominantly couples, though some families and small groups of friends pass through as well.

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Location

Walk to grocery store and Eagle Beach, near major roads to tourist sights

Bubali Bliss Studios are across the street from the Super Food Plaza in Noord, housing Aruba’s largest grocery store and a handful of specialty stores and a pharmacy. There's also a bus stop close by, and four-way intersection that leads to the most popular tourist sights on the island. It's not the most charming part of the island in terms of looks, but it is relatively convenient. Eagle Beach is only 15 minutes away on foot, though getting there requires extra caution as the route crosses some of the busiest roads on the island. There are a handful of fast food joints within walking distance, but otherwise guests will want a car to get around. Popular Palm beach is just a five-minute drive from Bubali Bliss, with Hadicurari Beach just a couple minutes farther. Most of the proper sit-down restaurants are a 10 to 15-minute drive in any direction. The restaurants, casino, and luxury mall in downtown Oranjestad take 10 minutes to reach by taxi or car, and the California Lighthouse is a 15-minute drive. For something more natural, Arikok National Park takes about 35 minutes to reach. Travelers should expect a 15-minute drive to Queen Beatrix International Airport. 

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Rooms

Colorful and chic apartment-style suites with full kitchens, some with patios

The collection of ten suites here fit into a range of categories, including Studios -- which come in a Deluxe version with private patios -- and One-Bedroom Apartments. All are impeccably clean, with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, keyless entry, and electronic safes. The star of the show, though, is the design. Rooms employ the same fresh Caribbean decor that's used to charming effect throughout the rest of the hotel. Colors are bright and cheery: a single accent wall is painted sun yellow and turquoise accents appear on frames around glass-paneled doors and windows. Otherwise the rooms stick to white and cream hues and natural materials, with an emphasis on functional design -- for example, colorful ladders outside the rooms' doors act as places to dry bathing suits or wet towels overnight. Additionally, all units are spacious, with entry-level Studios starting at 269 square feet (25 square meters), and One-Bedroom Apartments topping out at 484 square feet (45 square meters).

Kitchens are properly equipped for cooking meals at home, with coffeemakers, microwaves, full-size refrigerators, and stove-tops, as well as plenty of utensils and cookware. Furniture throughout is a blend of contemporary pieces inspired by Scandiavian design plus more homey, Caribbean details, so that while TV stands are hip and retro, loveseats are plush and done in striped fabrics. All rooms, even studios, have a generous seating area and a small dining table. The bedrooms have super-comfy large beds and tile flooring in terra cotta or tan tones keep things cool. Bathrooms aren’t huge, but they’re bright, with big mirrors, walk-in showers, and a generous amount of storage space around sinks.

Some rooms offer more privacy and a lovelier view of the pool (rather than views of the entrance and Super Food Plaza), so it might be worth requesting a suite in the back of the hotel. Keep in mind that daily housekeeping is not provided.

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Features

Outdoor pool, helpful owner, and free Wi-Fi

The intimate vibe here is helped by the presence of the owner Marcel and his wife, who are often on-site to offer beach chairs, towels, and coolers to guests -- in such a small property they are a real asset. That being said, the front desk is only officially manned during limited hours. Otherwise, there's not much to this property as it's more akin to renting a temporary apartment than staying in a hotel. While the rectangular pool is small, it is nevertheless sparkling, impeccably clean, and chicly designed. It's also surrounded by comfy lounge chairs for relaxing in the sun. The pool is in a far corner of the outdoor common terrace and lounge area, where there are also a handful of hammocks, tables, and chairs as well as a long cement bench. Some soft pillows might make it feel a little cozier here, though the constant breeze and shade are fine enough. Other perks include self-check in, making it easy for late-night arrivals to get settled in. Wi-Fi is free and functional throughout the property. Parking is also free.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Balcony / Terrace / Patio

  • Cable

  • Concierge

  • Cribs

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Kids Allowed

  • Pool

  • Poolside Drink Service

  • Room Service

  • Swim-Up Bar

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.