10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Kick Back and Relax
"Searching for the perfect hotel in a warm, Carribbean location when you are far away in Alaska is no easy thing to do. However, we knew that Paradara Park was the place for us from the moment we saw the website. It lived up to and in many respects exceeded our expectations.
My husband and I visited Aruba in january of 2008 and stayed solely at Paradara Park. After a 24 hour flight we arrived in Aruba, exhausted! Fortunately customs was a breeze: "to the beach!" was all the Aruban agent said to us, with a smile. We'd arranged for a rental car with the car rental service recommended (and booked) by the hotel. Our flight arrived early so the rental representative was at the airport to greet us. But no problem! A friendly local saw our confused faces and used his cell to ring up the company and they were there in a flash. The rep. showed us where the hotel was en route to get the car and also pointed out various landmarks to make driving easier --which it was, actually, and this was our first international driving experience.
We were greeted at the hotel by Debbie and two cold Balashi beers. The rooms were the cleanest, most spacious rooms we've ever had from a private hotel (we always chose the smaller, private hotels from the larger resorts whenever we travel). The water pressure in the shower was amazing! There are huge closets to keep your clothes and shelves in the bathroom to store your toiletries so you don't have to have everytihng spread all over the counter. The grounds around the hotel are extremely lush and well kept, quiet and relaxing. I enjoyed using the book/magazine exchange --always had plenty of reading material for the beach. I have to say that if you are concerned about staying in a hotel that isn't directly on the beach,dont be! We walked thru some of the larger hotels that are on Palm Beach and I didn't feel like we were missing anything at all --quite the opposite really. It is only a 10 drive to the beach, and there are so many great beaches to chose from that it would be a shame to be "stuck" at one.
Despite the business of the season, Henke and Debbie were able to get us on both Anthony's Day Sail (snorkel and sail around south side of the island) and a horseback ride to the natural pool with just a day's notice. Both were very lovely. A word of advice re: the horseback ride: i was very glad to have worn both sneakers and longer capri style pants. My husband did not and had quite a bit of chafing from various parts of the saddle. We even met someone the next day who had by chance ridden the same horse that he did and they had chafing on the same places!!
The beach set was perfect for heading to the beach --light to carry, it will save you big bucks on the beach where chairs go for over 10 bucks easily. We preferred Eagle Beach -- we always parked on the north end of Eagle Beach and enjoyed yummy gouda burgers at the beachside bar. We also loved Baby Beach, a short drive down the coast and the most beautifully still water I have ever seen. It would be ideal for young children.
Debbie and Henke advised us well when it came to food. Although the hotel is well stocked with cooking supplies,we just love to eat out! Our favorite place is BINGO -- wonderful food and atmosphere and friendly service. The Bingo Salad is so flavorful you barely need dressing. For our "fancy meal" we ate at Gasparitos, a lovely restaurant filled with local art and antiques. There is a nice outdoor dining area.
Our favorite coffee house --with high accolades from Henke -- is Smit and Dorla's Coffee House. The coffee is the best on the island (believe me, we are serious coffee people, and we looked) and the baristas are helpful and friendly. One even led us in her car during her lunch break to a local restaurant --Nos Cunucu (yummy). We took a lot of their coffee home.
This hotel is a lovely little bit of paradise,everytihng you could want. While we did not travel with our young children this time, I think Paradara Park would be an ideal hotel for children. We didn't want for anything --the owners even provided their own alarm clock as a back up for our very early morning trip to the airport when we left.
Thank you, Henke and Debbe, for being such wonderful hosts at such a quality establishment. We would stay here over and over."
- Travel date: Sat 9th of February 2008
PP made us kick the "big hotel" habit....
"Traditionally, I am a big hotel girl..I like alot of pillows, a fancy lobby, a spa and a big pool...Having never been to Aruba, we decided to go with PP solely based on TA reviews (and I was admittedly quite nervous, but figured if it was awful, we would just go check in to the Radisson or the Hyatt)...I have completely changed my mind!! PP was absolutely perfect! It was clean, centrally located, quiet, and beautiful.. I can't stand a big $30 breakfast (when all I want is yogurt and coffee) and having the efficiency, with my Dunkin Donuts coffee as soon as I wanted it was perfect...We joined a health club in town for the week ($37 for the whole week...whereas the big hotels want at least $20 per person per day, and most will not even let you in)
We did enjoy spa treatments at th Larimar at the Radisson, with that, they will give you a "day pass" and a locker, so you can use their gym, pools, palapas and lounge chairs...and shower, steam, and sauna in the locker room.
Gilligans has a great spa grilled chicken salad.
Best Meal: Screaming Eagle
Sexiest Restaurant: Flying Fishbone
Good Steak: El Gaucho
Entertainment: Soprano's Piano Bar
Good Sunset Drink: Tamarjin resort (it isall inclusive, but they will sell you drink passes for the sunset)
Second Best meal: Madame Jeanettes
Great Breakfast: Linda's in Noord (get a pancake)...
We will absolutely be back!! Thanks to Debby and Henk!!"
- Travel date: Sun 3rd of February 2008
Oasis on a desert Island
"We are just ending a wonderful vacation at the Paradera Park Apartments in Aruba. Everything we read was absolutely correct and we have enjoyed every minute of our stay here. It is located a few miles from the beaches but we found that to be a plus in that we were away from all the noise and casinos around the hotel district. We found ourselves a few miles north of the hotels every morning where the snorkeling was the best we had ever seen. It was much better than Maui last year.
The apartment was a large room with a built in closet about half way down the middle of the room, separating the bedroom area from the kitchen area. The kitchen was furnished with all the basics you need for up to 4 people. It included a range, small refrigerator/ freezer, microwave, toaster oven, coffee pot and a sink. It was more than adequate for some basic cooking.
The rest of the apartment consisted of a bed room area with a queen size bed and two end tables, a kitchen table with 2 chairs, a sitting area with 2 stuffed cushion rattan chairs, a coffee table, and 2 chests of drawers with a TV on it. An easy care tile floor and a bathroom and you have a nice base of operations for your time on the island. During our time here, our youngest son, who had just graduated from college, got two job offers from top engineering firms and bought a new car. The wireless internet access was, needless to say, priceless.
The pool area was an oasis to behold. There were chaises, hammocks and tables scattered under the palm trees with numerous flowering plants everywhere. It was hard to believe you were on a desert island. There was always a place to get some sun or to read a book or to catch up on your email from home. The kitchen saved us a small fortune. I hate big breakfasts so a bowl of cereal or maybe some sausage and eggs was more than adequate. I donât need more than a sandwich for lunch. We did eat out a few of nights but had simple meals here the rest of the time. So for the cost of one fancy meal with drinks and wine, we took care of all the rest of our meals on the island.
Debbie and Henk were ideal hosts. Debbie greeted us with cold drinks and maps (though you soon find out that even if you have ten maps none are right and half of the signs are wrong too :) . She answered all our original questions and furnished us with the beach pack that everyone has been extolling. It made our trips to the beach much more enjoyable. After the first day though we just brought the chairs and the towels and brought frozen water bottles which thawed in the sun at the beach or in the car? Henk seemed to have a knack of showing up when we had a question he could answer and disappearing the rest of the time. Both always had a friendly smile on their faces and a nice word to share. Even their little beagle dog just showered my wife with kisses as she laid in the hammock.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and if we come back again, we will absolutely stay here!
Beth & George"
- Travel date: Sun 27th of January 2008
Lived up to star billing
"We loved our stay at Paradera Park Apartments. We visited with our boys, 11 and 14 for 7 nights and stayed in a one bedroom apartment. We were shown the way to the apartments by the rental car company - very helpful since Aruba is not big on street signs. Upon checking in, we found a beautifully landscaped enclave surrounding a pool and spacious seating/relaxation area. The room was spacious and quiet. It had two queen beds a dresser and ample closet space. The kitchen was well equipped. TV had lots of channels. There was a nice sitting area/patio just out front with table and four chairs. Drying rack was helpful for swimsuits and damp towels each day. Debbie and Hank were both very welcoming and helpful. Happy to answer questions, make calls, and give directions on a map. Their two well-behaved beagles, Mambo and Jamie, also added to the charm. We rented their snorkel gear - very nice quality at a reasonable price ($10 per set per day.) No need to charter snorkeling, just go off a beach near the California Lighthouse. Also enjoyed a sunset cruise on Mi Dushi - especially good for the boys, who loved using the rope swing off the side of the ship. Thanks Debbie and Hank! We hope to visit again!"
- Travel date: Tue 8th of January 2008
An oasis in the desert
Our stay in the Paradera Park Apartments was a perfect way to conclude our honeymoon in Aruba. This family run establishment is located in a quiet peaceful oasis in the heart of the barrio. The family goes out of their way to provide hospitality and service with thoughtful touches like providing beach chairs and coolers for beach trips, to a clean refreshing pool surrounded with breathtaking flora and birds and stocked with relaxing lounge chairs and hammocks. The advice provided was helpful and round the clock.
The apartments are beautiful, clean and set up to accommodate our every need from the comfortable bed, to the fully stocked kitchen. My husband loved sitting on the balcony looking out over the desert as the sun went down while surfing the complementary wifi.
We loved the location, taking advantage of a neighborhood pateshi stand every morning for breakfast. We had easy access to all the sites including Ayo, the now crumbled but still breathtaking natural bridge, and the lighthouse.
We love taking advantage of the natural beauty of Aruba and rented our own snorkeling equipment from the Sheraton and used it at all the beaches from Baby Beach to Arakok. We also hiked across the desert to see Conchi, the natural pool, a wonder that was well worth the heat. And of course we spent lots of time exploring the caves, some that had pre-historic drawings.
We hope to return one day with our 15 year old daughters."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of January 2008
Lovely Home Away From Home
"I chose Paradera Park Apartments based on the reviews found on Trip Advisor. Although most of the reviews were very positive, I was still tentative. Paradera Park lived up to and exceeded my expectations.
The owners Debbie and Hank were so laid back and gracious that we felt welcome from the first moment on the property. The landscaping is beautiful with various flowers, plants, and palm trees. The deluxe studio was decorated in a tropical theme, completely neat and clean, and included a kitchen with all the necessary utensils and dishes. The bathroom was spacious with beautiful colors. The housekeeper (Luz) was so pleasant and kept our room clean and well-stocked. Any request was taken care of with a smile. There is also a pool on the property we used when we were not on the beach.
We rented a car and found the island very easy to navigate. Keep in mind most streets do not have names displayed. Debbie and Hank gave us directions to any place we wanted to go. It was usually something like: Turn right from the apartments, then right at the first street, then right at the roundabout (circle), then go straight and it's on the right. After a day we were zipping around the island like pros.
We also took Debbie's suggestions on restaurants and they were all great. Our favorite was Bingo. Their salads are wonderful and they have a very unique burger that is great. The steaks were also fantastic.
I highly recommend this property because of the lovely apartments, the great staff, and the very affordable rate. I was so happy to leave the crowds at the beaches and hotels to return to our little oasis at Paradera. It was truly a home away from home. We will definitely return as soon as possible."
- Travel date: Thu 27th of December 2007
"My Husband & I stayed @ Paradera Park from 12/13-12/18. We had a lovely time. All of the reviews are correct. The grounds are beautiful and the pool is NEVER crowded. You have absolute privacy and the Maid (forgot her name) is just great, anything you need they will provide. The chair & cooler Hank & Debby provide is just invaluable. We used it every time we went to the beach. We visited Arashi beach as I read about it in a previous email and was nice & quite. The next day we visited Eagle Beach & it was great, the water was calm. However, we were in front of Amsterdamn manner & they said the palapas were only for their guests...oh well we just moved our set up right under the tree. However, our favorite beach was Baby Beach (everything is really easy to find...can't get lost). The water was sooo calm & the snorkeling was just wonderful! The restaurants are amazing in Aruba...that was probably our favorite part.
If you want luxury this is not the hotel. It's clean and practical with a great low price. If you're just looking to enjoy the interaction with your companion/s then this is the place for you. However, if you thrive being around others, hanging out at the swim up bar and socializing with strangers this is probably not the place for you.
We found the cheapest Balashi (local) beer at Century supermarket it's on the main strip it's part of a little mall.
Restaurants we loved: Wacky Wahoo's (Debby recommended) this place has a simple menu...but don't be fooled..it's awesome..you must try the cream fish soup....it's more local. We went to Promenade great local restaurant for good prices. We went to Que Pasa...it's in Oranjestad...it was Great & decent prices also. We also went to Papiamento...boy was this beautiful we sat pool side (this was our elegant expensive restaurant. Overall it was great!"
- Travel date: Wed 26th of December 2007
Relaxing and Tranquil
"My wife and I stay here for our anniversary. I must agree the reviews on Paradera Park are quite accurate, it's a lovely place to stay. Although not located directly on the beach, it's only a 15 minute drive from the hotel. We had a regular size apartment that was very clean and well maintained. We purchased a few breakfast items from the local grocery and ate on the patio each morning. The grounds were well kept, and the pool was never crowded. It's not the place for you if you want a lot of people around and a party atmosphere. However, if you want a nice, inexpensive, place to chill out and to get away from the crowds, Paradera Park Apartments is well worth a stay. Almost forgot, Debby and her staff are great and will accomodate your wishes any way they can."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of December 2007
We would not stay.......
"We would not stay...anywhere else in Aruba!!! We thought the Paradera Park Aparments were marvelous! Our stay exceeded our expectations.
The apartments were meticulously clean when we arrived and cleaned thoroughly every day of our stay. The pool area and decks were always clean and well kept on our entire stay. The grounds were beautiful. The palms and flowers and foliage were a wonderful oasis to relax with on those beautiful sunny Aruba afternoons.
We made use of the kitchen which included a drip coffee maker--bring filters. The fridge was plenty big enough for all our beverages and snacks. The apartment had all the pots, pans, utensils and dinnerware that you would need to make meals with.Our hostesses, Debbie and Henk, were the best! They were always there to help us with advice on places to visit and map questions but also very respectful of our privacy as well. We found this with all the staff at Paradera Park Apartments."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of December 2007
cosy, lovely appartments and super staff!!
"We stayed for one week at Paradera Park. It was SUPER! Very well kept. Large appartments with all luxury needed. Perfect with a baby. Very clean. Friendly and professional management. Beautiful swimmingpool in a tropical garden, a real oasis. For people who prefer small scale accomodation with a personal touch."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of November 2007