When you drive along Aruba's western coastline, you'll mostly see high rise resorts and other fancy but more anonymous hotels. The Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba is exactly the opposite.
Staying at the Boardwalk Hotel – casita style
The Boardwalk Hotel isn't one building with many rooms. Instead, it consists of separate fully equipped and air-conditioned apartments and studios or “casitas” that all have their own private patio with barbecue and hammock. Prices go from around 180 USD/night for the studio to 300 USD/night for the two-bedroom casita. There's a minimum of two nights requirement for reservations.
Oh, and the casitas have a Treasure Box! That's right, every casita at the Boardwalk gets a box with tips on things to do around the island. There are boxes with general tips, adventure boxes, romantic boxes and more. Every casita has a different one, but you can also go to the reception where you can find different boxes with all the tips inside. It's a super fun way to get some inspiration for your island exploration and something I haven't seen yet in other hotels. The fact that the tips are presented in a colorful box only makes them more fun.
I stayed in one of the one-bedroom casitas which had a large living area, a complete kitchen, a separate bedroom with two double beds and a separate bathroom with shower. The casita was painted in vibrant colors and was decorated with colorful furniture and design elements. It was a great place to re-energize in the afternoon and get some work done in the evening.
Swimming in the garden
The domain used to be a coconut plantation and you can still feel that tropical vibe when you stand in the lush communal garden. The center of attention is the refreshing pool surrounded by deck chairs, but I also loved the cozy outdoor lounge area in the back of the garden.
A private barbecue
On our last full day in Aruba, my fellow travelers Jens and Elise and I barbecued on one of our patios. We chatted the night away while enjoying chicken, fresh fish and veggies. It was the perfect addition to all the wonderful food we'd already had that week.
Right by the beach
While the Boardwalk Hotel isn't located on the beach, you only have to walk a couple of minutes to get there. Jens and Elise did that one morning and another time we took a rental car (the hotel has a parking lot) and drove to some nearby beaches to go snorkeling with the snorkel gear we borrowed at the hotel.
As the casitas have either a kitchenette or a complete kitchen, you can easily do some groceries and prepare your own food, but it's also fun to get breakfast served one morning. If you order at least a day beforehand, the people from Boardwalk will bring your breakfast of choice (there are four or five options) straight to your casita. There's an extra charge for this.
I had the healthy breakfast one morning, which consisted of a fruit skewer, a big glass filled with muesli and yogurt and a smoothie.
I'm happy we spent a couple of nights at the Boardwalk Hotel and got the opportunity to do our own little barbecue with food we bought on the island. I loved my casita, the cleanliness of the entire hotel and the friendliness of the staff.
If I'd have to give a suggestion for improvement, it would be a very personal one. You see, there was coffee in the casitas, but no tea and you all know how much I love my tea. Likewise, some of the breakfasts had tea included, but mine didn't, which was a bit of a bummer. Other than that, I really can't think of anything. This hotel isn't ranked the number 2 hotel in Palm Beach on TripAdvisor for nothing!
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How to get to Aruba
I flew from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Oranjestad in Aruba with KLM. Click here to find the best flights for your trip.
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I was invited by Aruba Tourism to come check out the island and share my experiences with you. As always, I only write what I want to write.