- A five-minute walk to Varadero Caribe, home to a cafe and diving center
- Apartments are large, clean, and private
- All units have big outdoor patios and full kitchens
- Downstairs rooms are accessible for those with disabilities
- Barbecue facilities are available
- Bikes, inflatable kayaks, and beach chairs available
- Free airport pick-ups and free self-parking
- Free Wi-Fi throughout
- Location might feel remote to some
- Occasional noise from airplance
- Room decor is outdated
The two-and-a-half-pearl Vistalmar Apartments is a mixed bag -- on one hand, rates are reasonable and dive companies are just down the street in Varadero Caribe marina. On the other, rooms are dated, there are no common features, and the airport-adjacent location feels abandoned. That being said, rooms are spacious and impeccably clean, and they also include full kitchens and breezy balconies. As such, this is a fine choice for unfussy budget travelers or scuba divers looking for a simple, no-frills place to crash -- provided that they have there own cars (it's a 10-minute drive into Oranjestad). Those looking to socialize, or to be closer to popular spots like Eagle Beach, should consider Sasaki Apartments, which has a lovely pool and similar rates.
Oyster Hotel Review
Subdued apartment-style budget property for independent travelers
Right off the bat, the most noticeable thing about Vistalmar is the silence. Save for the occasional airplane flying overhead, the rustling of the trees from the constant sea breeze is all to be heard on this dead-end street, where the hotel and a few boats on the private dock are the only residents. The quiet atmosphere is a refreshing change from the island’s typically crowded beaches and tourist-packed streets. This eight-unit apartment complex is a simple place, but it does well with what it has. Palm trees and bursts of colorful flowers decorate the tidy walkways that surround the cream-colored two-story buildings. There's nothing in the way of common areas at this hotel, so travelers looking for a lively party vibe will want to head elsewhere. Instead, the hotel has the feeling of actually living on the island of Aruba, and you'll see lived-in details like slim bikes propped up against the back wall. The hotel’s proximity to Varadero Marina draws everyone from dive enthusiasts to amateur boaters. The hotel's straightforward vibe and affordable rates are best for independent travelers looking for a no-frills place to rest their heads.
Five-minute walk to Varadero Caribe, but a long drive from popular beaches
Situated right next to Queen Beatrix International Airport, the hotel is in a fairly remote spot by Aruban terms. There's little in the immediate area besides the sea across the street and the Varadero Caribe marina, a five-minute walk down the road. The marina is home to a cafe and one of the island's most well-known dive companies -- it also makes for fine sunset watching in the evening. Lively Arubaville is also a five-minute walk from the hotel for pricey Caribbean-inspired dinners. Downtown Oranjestad -- which is home to a luxury mall, marina, casinos, nightlife, and restaurants -- is a 10-minute drive from here. There is one strip of sand that’s close by -- Mangel Halto -- that's good for snorkeling and is just over five minutes away by car. Surfside Beach, is just about 10 minutes away by car, or can be reached by bike along the Linear Path. However, the island's most popular beaches will require a longer drive to reach. Eagle Beach is 25 minutes away by car, and Palm Beach is five minutes beyond that. Though the hotel is next to the airport, it will still take between five and ten minutes to reach the terminal by car.
Utilitarian apartments with large bathrooms and full kitchens
The eight units here are impeccably clean and spacious, offering 65 square meters (700 square feet) of space for guests to spread out. That being said, the look is simple and dated, with mid-tone wood furniture that has dorm-like style, plus boxy couches and chairs, and homey throw-back elements like torch lamps and mint-green sheer curtains. The bedrooms are similarly styled, with flowery bedspreads, heavy wooden furniture with old-school silhouettes, and light blue walls. We did spot a bit of wear, particularly on the countertops in the kitchens.
All apartments have living areas with pull-out sofas and separate bedrooms. The also include full kitchens with microwaves, blenders, coffeemakers, stovetops, and toasters. Expect flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and plenty of storage space. Bathrooms are also large and bright, and include a bar of soap and towels, plus generous marble counter space and shower/tub combos -- the look, of course, is dated, bordering on unintentionally retro. The big outdoor patios are a highlight -- they’re private, shady, and face the ocean across the street in many units. Keep in mind that the hotel’s proximity to the airport means the sound of airplanes flying overhead might be bothersome.
Free airport pickup, outdoor grill, beach chairs and bike rentals
The hotel is small and simple, so extra features are understandably limited. The hotel does offer a gas grill for communal use, and beach chairs, towels, coolers, bikes, and an inflatable kayak are all available as well. The hotel provides a free airport pick-up service and rides to the local grocery store as needed. Car rentals can also be arranged through the hotel, a convenient perk for independent travelers. Wi-Fi is free and functional throughout the property, and parking is free as well.
Balcony / Terrace / Patio
Poolside Drink Service
Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space
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.