10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
On balance, a good option, with some reservations
"Our family of 4 just returned from a week at the Amsterdam Manor. We chose it primarily because of high Trip Advisor ratings, and as ususal the reviews were mostly right on point. Overall we liked the hotel and enjoyed the vacation.
Pluses: the hotel is generally quiet and service (except as noted below) good. We never had a problem getting a pool or beach chair, and the layout of the hotel (and the fact that our room was far from the pool) made the sleeping very quiet (except the mornings as noted below). "Mangos" has excellent lunches; the one dinner we had their was OK and we didn't eat any breakfasts. Towels were easy to get. The staff was very friendly and check in/out was a breeze. Our 2 bedroom suite was large, clean, with a full kitchen that came in handly for dinner leftovers and breakfasts. Aruba is a very friendly island, people seemed OK with thousands of tourists sharing their land and clogging their streets. Try the Japanese restaurant in the Hyatt and El Gaucho's in town for great meals. The hotel internet service is easy to use near the lobby. Rent a car to see the island.......we got one for 3 days at around $150 and saw everything there was to see in 1 day at a fraction of the costs of the bus tours. In fact when I asked one bus driver for directions to a place, he just told me to follow him........very friendly. Shop away from where the cruise ships dock for the better quality stuff.
Cons: the sewage treatment plant near the hotel did bring some nasty smells, depending on which way the (always blowing) wind came. I had to ask twice for toilet paper, as the housekeeping didn't check the supply. Three mornings workers fixing the room next door woke us up early with drills and saws, a major annoyance (it stopped after three days) to three of us. The kitchen coffee machine had no filters (I used the paper towels). Bring you own gourmet coffee, I was surprised to not find any on the island. For half the visit the air conditioning was subpar, I think they set the thermostat automatically to save on energy bills. This made sleeping hard. But I asked one of the workers next door (see 'noise' above) to look at it one morning and he reset it lower, so the second half of the week was fine. Showers were warm, not hot. Airport security.US customs when leaving took 2 hours.........be prepared. However this avoids customs at the back end for us in Phila."
- Travel date: Fri 25th of March 2005
I'm surprised it's number 2!
"I was surprised that this hotel was rated number 2 by Trip Advisor!! I spent a lot of time reading the reviews of various hotels before I took my first trip to Aruba. I had also read a lot about the island. I was very disappointed in several things about the Amsterdam. The location was presented as the beach being across a "tiny and quiet street ". The street was two lanes with a middle barrier and constantly had traffic. It was the main road that people use to get to the popular Palm Beach. The location of the pool is on the street so that you always heard traffic. Not condusive to relaxation. Another problem was the restaurant,Mangos. It is located outside which could be nice. However, they serve a buffet in the morning which invites a lot of birds. My family witnessed birds eating off of the buffet table. Not very sanitary. We also noticed a lot of flies in the eating area. Probably the worst feature of the Amsterdam was the horrendous smell of sewerage. At first we thought it was the ocean tides. But the last day we were there we did not have a car so we stayed on Eagle Beach in front of the hotel. We finally asked a local person what the smell was and we were told that there was a sewerage treatment plant out behind the hotel. You couldn't see it but you could definately smell it! The smell was so bad that we got up and left every day and headed over to the high rise area. Additionally I never had a hot shower while I was there. I can not recommend this hotel. The Palm Beach area is definately a better option!!"
- Travel date: Wed 16th of March 2005
What we paid for...except for the smell
"The Amsterdam Manor.
Arriving 4 hours before check in, we were taken care of and offered an available room, we opted to wait for a room with a better view and the front desk was happy to give us beach towels and watch our luggage.
The two bed/bath suite was just what we were looking for. Clean and very roomy. Also, a great view of the beach, which was just across from the resort. Great Beach, not crowded at all, food and drinks available.
The hotel staff was fair. But overall we felt we got what we paid for and were happy. UNTIL.....
The smell came blowing in. and stayed around for about 40% of the time we were there. (6 nights)
Apparently, there is a waste water treatment plant about 300 yards from the resort. We drove by it a few times when traveling in a taxi.
The smell was gross, it would blow in and out throughout the day, so you never knew if it would be there until you stepped out of the room or returned from a day at the beach. We had to keep all windows closed for this reason.
The smell did reach the beach one day, so I would imagine this smell affects all the resorts in the area. (La Cabana, Divi, Etc) depending on how the wind is blowing.
We spent a lot of time hanging around the Hyatt and Marriott and never smelled it.
Although we made about 100 jokes about it, it was very disappointing.
I'm surprised I did not see this complaint posted from anyone else."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of March 2005
Intimate, friendly and great location!
"My fiance and I just returned from a wonderfully relaxing five-day vacation in Aruba! We were looking for a relatively quiet, uncrowded resort that had excellent service and amenities and was situated right on the beach -- and Amsterdam Manor was perfect for our needs.
1) The staff was excellent! Always friendly and helpful.
2) the room, though small and dark at times (due to the need for curtains as the only windows faced the pool), had a large king size bed, well-furnished kitchenette (with pans, plates, utensils, etc.), and a very roomy bathroom equipped with a large jacuzzi and double sink.
3) Amsterdam is located right on beautiful Eagle Beach which is just as nice and less crowded then the nearby Palm Beach (where the high-rise hotels/casinos are located). The Amsterdam is conveniently located between Oranjstead and Palm Beach, both of which are easily accessible via the Arubus--the local bus service that costs $2 US/roundtrip.
4) If you're a pool dweller, be aware that the Amsterdam only has a relatively small rectangular pool; whereas La Cabana (next door) has an intricate array of various sized pools that might be more to your liking. However, note that the pools at La Cabana are constantly crowded and loud because of the sheer size of that resort.
1) If you go snorkelling, we suggest not wasting $49 US on the organized 3 hour tour. Instead, rent snorkelling equipment for $10 at the front desk and take the Arubus to Malmak Beach (20 min away on the north shore). This location is the exact spot where the tour would've taken you anyway. It's easy to snorkel right off the shore and see coral reefs, fishies and collect seashells on the shore.
2) For groceries, head to the Certified Mall which has two supermarkets. The mall is 10 min. away by bus on your way to Oranjstead. The prices are decent.
3) Try to get a room that's not on the ground floor near the pool. These rooms tend to be darker and less private whereas the ones upstairs would likely have a beautiful view and more privacy.
We highly recommend this place and hope you have as fantastic a time as we did in Aruba!!"
- Travel date: Sat 5th of March 2005
"I am retired and now spend 3 months in Aruba staying at the Amsterdam Manor. Prior to retiring I spent every Christmas & New Years there since it opened in 1990. It is a quiet charming hotel which never feels crowded even when it is fully occupied. It has a beautiful beach with enough shelters and chairs that guests do not feel they have to get down at 7:00 to get a spot. There is a very good mix of guests from Europe and North America (I am Canadian) and a lot of them come back year after year. Over the years I have talked to many people staying at the hotel. With very few exceptions, everyone is extremely happy that they chose Amsterdam Manor. The hotel suits young families, middle aged+ people and even honeymooners. I am seeing more of the latter there all the time. This is my first trip report and I really should have done it sooner because Amsterdam Manor is truly a special place. The managment and staff are outstanding and you won't find better or warmer service anywhere on the island."
- Travel date: Wed 16th of February 2005
I Wouldn't Stay Anywhere Else
"Great location, great uncrowded beach. My wife and I just left today, for six nights had a Superior Studio that was twenty yards from the beach and forty yards from the water. If you want elevators, need a large lobby and zillions of people - stay elsewhere. I won't repeat all of the other raves, but as an insight, when my wife asked the front desk to make a reservation for dinner at another property for our wedding annivesary, the AMBR management sent a bottle of champagne to our room!!! Class act all the way."
- Travel date: Sun 6th of February 2005
"We stayed here from Jan 23 to Jan 30th. Because I was so thrilled (and vocal) about my stay here, I have already "sold" this resort to two of my friends who are planning to travel to Aruba later this year! If you are looking for a meticulously clean resort where the staff will bend over backwards to accomodate your needs and make your stay most memorable, then this is the place for you! Eagle Beach is what travel dreams are made of! Silky, white sands and endless turqouise water! The Amsterdam Manor is a lovely resort which is only steps away (literally) from the beach! I would suggest a one or two bedroom suite if you like a lot of room (the standard and superior suites are smaller). The food at Mangos is great and the public bus stops right out front ($2 dollars with transfer for return trip) and runs both directions (Palm Beach - casinos and resturants) or downtown (MAJOR shopping!) Thank you to all of the staff at the Amsterdam Manor for affording us one of the best vacations we have ever had!"
- Travel date: Tue 1st of February 2005
"Spent Jan 15-22 2005 at Amsterdam Manor and were very happy with the resort. We are a party of 2 middle age couples who usually visit Grand Cayman in January, which we avoided this year due to hurricane destruction. This was our first trip to Aruba and chose AM based largely on tripadvisor reviews, and we were not disappointed. We shared a 2 bedroom unit which was very nice. The furnishings were not fancy, but adequate. It is the cleanest hotel I have ever seen, and I'm used to staying at nice places. Our unit had a nice private enclosed porch. It was "oceanfront", but did not have a great view of the ocean due more to placement of palm trees than distance. The beach is across the street, but only a very short walk. We did the all inclusive which more than payed off since we eat and drink a lot! The food at Mangos was very good, and we often ordered lunch at the beach bar. Computer access is a nice plus to stay in touch with family. Phone rates are very high from the rooms. You can buy a Ventaha card at the mini mart and get 28 long distance minutes for $5 US. US phone cards don't work.
The trips to and from Aruba could have been better.Going to Aruba: first US Air flight departed late and we barely made the connection in Charlotte. Return: US Air running late again, no gate available after we landed, and we missed connection in Charlotte, and were stranded in the airport overnight. How miserable! All flights had been delayed or cancelled due to weather in the north and there were no hotel rooms available in the city. If we return to Aruba next year, we will choose Amsterdam Manor but not US Air."
- Travel date: Sun 30th of January 2005
Gorgeous family resort
"We found the perfect spot to disconnect from the world and have a good taste of the real paradise! If you are looking for a great resort on a white sand beach in the caribbean with all the convenience of your home and more, do like us, we spent two memorable weeks at 100 meters from the blue/green ocean in the familial hospitality of this Dutch style apartment and studio complex. It is so relaxing with its nice swimming pool bordered by this typical strows umbrellas, magnificient and breezy beach, and a great outside restaurant. At the same time, if you are Internet live dependable like us, no sweat, they have a free [real] broadband access for everyone whether it is for your own laptop or the in house PCs. On top of these wonders, they have something so difficult nowadays to find: a truly dedicated and very friendly staff providing excellent service! Although we have been traveling a lot, we have never seen something similar or better. It is hard to imagine how to do it better. All this for a very reasonable price, we could not resist to share our experiences! This resort is even green-friendly energy!!
That's it! We have found our spot. This together with the incredible nice weather and superior security of Aruba is the ideal paradise for our little family in vacation. Everyone in the family found it ideal, except for the time: we wish we could have stayed much longer!"
- Travel date: Sun 16th of January 2005
Excellent experience !
"This "boutique style" hotel is located only a few steps from the beach which, eventhough is beautiful and worth to include in your daily schedule, is only compared with the nice pool the hotel offers. Ah! and the atmosphere and friendly service is something we still can't describe after our trip.
If you're looking for a nice hotel in Aruba, this is IT!"
- Travel date: Wed 29th of December 2004