10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
intimate and inviting
"My husband and I just returned from our first trip to Aruba and our stay at the Boardwalk was wonderful! The owners have obviously put a lot of thought and time into their beautiful "retreat" to make it a fantastic place to stay. The intimate atmosphere and charm could not possibly be duplicated by the large resorts and timeshares that are the norm on the island.
I was so impressed with all the extras they have for their guests such as snorkeling equipment, beach chairs, and a cooler to name a few. Families will appreciate all the items they have available for children from beach toys to board games. There is also an impressive DVD lending library for adults and kids. In each unit they keep a fantastic booklet written by the owners with info on everything you could want to know about Aruba: snorkeling, beaches, restaurants, activities, tours - you name it- as well as detailed information on their own amenities and history. I came to think of it as our "Aruba bible" and never bothered to open the guidebook we'd lugged over... the one they'd written was ten times better!
The pool is small but nice, and a great place to soak for a bit after a day in the sun. And, unlike the big resorts, you can go in it anytime you please! The casitas aren't fancy but clean and nicely appointed. The beds have the most wonderful down comforters with duvets; nice and snuggly! The air conditioning works great, and there is lots of hot water in the shower, which in our casita was big enough to easily accomodate two people. (We were in one of the upstairs casitas). The palm trees and gardens make you feel as if you are on a small, private island oasis.
If you have to have a big pool or simply must step right out your door onto the beach (Palm Beach is a short walk across the street), the Boardwalk isn't for you. Otherwise, the Boardwalk is a great place to experience Aruba!"
- Travel date: Sat 28th of October 2006
You call that a seaview ?
"One manâs ceiling is another manâs floor
We weâre told that we were reserving a little studio with a sea view and technically itâs true. When you look out from the rusted stairway you do see the water shimmering on the horizon. Had we brought some powerful binoculars we might even have been able to see the beach. If sea view means that youâre looking out over scrubby fields, the main road, more scrubby fields, scrubby bushes, for hundreds and hundreds of feet, maybe even a thousand feet, then yes this is a sea view.
We weâre off to a bad start.
As we made our way up the battered staircase, past the rusty air conditioner to our âvacation retreatâ we weâre hit by more bad news: the place had that glorious chemical smell that one might encounter in the menâs room of a bus station. Were we really going to spend the next ten days in a place that smells like a men's locker room. When we factored in the stained and uninspiring refrigerator door and sink area, the balcony that looks out over the omnipresent parking lot and the teeny and totally uninviting swimming pool, we decided to take our business elsewhere.
We didnât even spend a night. We hoped that we would get our deposit back but it was clear that that wasnât going to happen. They kept our four hundred and something (dollars) deposit and we didnât even argue. Sea viewâ¦yeah right!"
- Travel date: Fri 27th of October 2006
Be part of the island!
"This is a gem of a resort! It truly makes you feel as if you are part of the island and not just a guest in another hotel. This was our fourth trip to the island and previously we had stayed at the renaissance marina hotel (very nice) and the marriott surf club (great condo living) but this time, we were tired of the same old, same old so I searched the internet for a small, intimate islandy resort and the Aruba Boardwalk was all that! We stayed in the 2-bedroom unit which was part of the original coconut plantation. It was roomy, comfortable and had nice little extras such as a cooler to take to the beach, folding chairs and nice beach towels. The 2-bedroom unit has a great L-shaped patio with seating for 6, a hammock and charcoal grill. For a small property, they offered a mini-market, concierge services if you would need tours, dinner reservations, etc. I thought it was fun that each unit contained a guest book that guests wrote their experiences, favorite restaurants, etc. There is also a very detailed book that tells you about the resort, its employees, the island, some drive-it -yourself tours, stuff like that! There is a small pool and peak season could get very crowded but since we were there in the off-season, we had the pool to ourselves. You have to walk across the street to the beach but it is a short walk and not a big deal. You are right beside the Marriott resort complex. The Vela windsurfing school is kind enough to let guests at the Aruba Boardwalk use their lounge chairs and Huts on the beach free of charge and you get and up close look at these talented windsurfers and kite boarders--amazing!
Since they weren't full, I asked to see a couple of other units and the units on the second level are the newest and they are very nice as well. The oceanview unit was my favorite but only has one king bed in it--great for two people and if only my husband and I return, we will reserve that unit."
- Travel date: Fri 6th of October 2006
Fun Family Oasis
"Our family of five (including a 4 year old, 5 year old and 6 year old) stayed for 8 days in late January/early February, along with some friends who were traveling with their two children (ages 2 & 5) and their parents. We occupied half of the resort that week! It was a fantastic place to stay. Our friends have been staying there since their pre-kid years.
We stayed in Casita #5, which was large enough for us all. The staff provided us with an incerdibly sturdy and comfortable cot for the living room. The children faught over who got to sleep in it every night! The rest of us fit comfortably in the large bedroom. We had a charming little patio off the back of our casita (in addition to our front boardwalk deck with the dining table & chairs) that had 2 chairs and a hammock. The shower was terrific...always enough hot water. One thing we noticed is that there is no hot water in the kitchen. Not bad, but for a germ freak like me, I would have liked to have been able to wash my dishes with HOT water. The only other complaint is that there is only one a/c unit it that casita and it's in the bedroom. In order for our child to sleep comfortably on the cot in the living room, we had to crank the a/c up, so those of us in the bedroom froze!
Other than that, everyhting was fabulous. We usually went to the beach, which is the equivalent of about 2 city blocks away, every morning. The kids played in the water, we windsurfed. We enjoyed dinner at many different locations on the island that the staff got us reservations at. They also have leads on some amazing babystitters. (Hello to Anouk and Muriel!!!!)
Our children played in the pool every day and the staff actually provided us with large bags of sand/beach toys that we were allowed to bring back and forth with us to the beach. The kids were allowed to feed the cats every day, which they loved. The place honestly felt like a home away from home. I can't say enough wonderful things about this gem. It was worth every penny...and more!
The Mann Family"
- Travel date: Mon 17th of April 2006
Just what we needed!
"The Aruba Boardwalk was just perfect for our trip there this past January. We wanted a low-cost option that would allow us to cook and eat in whenever we wanted, and didn't care that much about being by the beach. True to our desire, the Boardwalk filled every need. Our suite had a large living area where we hung out at night (visited by very friendly cats, which kept us from missing our own cats at home too much!), and was about five feet away from the small but perfectly adequate pool. It was great to be able to come back from a day at the beach and take an evening dip. We went shopping for food and cooked in most nights and then watched one of the free DVDs the management provides in the office - a nice perk! The staff was superb and tried very hard to meet every need we expressed. Truly this was some of the best service I've experienced in the Caribbean and the willingness of management to help us really put the Boardwalk over the top. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to experience a different Aruba from the honky-tonk atmosphere of the high-rise hotels (and even the low-rises), but still wants to be within easy reach of everything the island has to offer.
We had a car and you could certainly get along without one (there is a nice stretch of beach across the street), but I am very glad we didn't try. We got to check out every beach on the island, see goats grazing at the California Lighthouse, snorkel at Baby Beach, and drive to a couple of restaurants in town on nights when we didn't want to cook.
P.S.: I am so glad I checked this site before making hotel reservations on Aruba, an island I'd never visited before. The guidebooks recommended the Amsterdam Manor, which is on the beach but in the price range of the Boardwalk. However, reviews here pointed out that the smell from the nearby sewage treatment plant were strong at the Amsterdam Manor depending on the wind that day, and indeed every time we drove by that hotel, the smell was very apparent. Just made me that much gladder to have chosen the Boardwalk."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of April 2006
The Real Aruba
"Tucked away within a couple of blocks from Palm beach is one of Aruba's best kept secrets. The Boardwalk is family owned and operated and a lovely tranquil getaway from the crowded, casino-dominated beach hotels. There is nearby bus access to town and the hotel is within walking distance to the restaurants in, and near, Palm beach's high-rise hotels. Each unit is different with spacious living room, fully equipped kitchen, ceiling fans, and a large furnished balcony. Request an upper floor casita for views of the beach and better exposure to the cooling trade winds. Beds could be upgraded, but the rooms are clean and well appointed. The air conditioning system is unfathomable with controls that require a degree in Egyptology to decypher. The Boardwalk is popular with the windsurfing crowd but is also great for families and tourists. There is a small swiming pool which is suitable for children, but a bit too small for adults. The office is not attended at night and this isn't the place for high maintenance guests requiring a personal concierge. However the staff is gracious, helpful and incredibly friendly. The Boardwalk is charming, a great value, and a taste of the real Aruba."
- Travel date: Thu 1st of September 2005
"We were in Aruba for 10 days and booked the playa linda resort for 8 days. We found the Boardwalk at the last minute and stayed there for the remaining two days. Although it's not situated directly on the beach (you have to cross a busy street to get to the beach, which is no big deal), it was much nicer and more convenient than I expected. The rooms were large and clean, and the hotel is within short walking distance from the highrise hotels and beaches. The supermarkets are about a $10 cab drive, but renting a car is advisable if you plan on making more than a couple of trips into town and to the other side of the island.
1. On arrival, we were greeted by the friendliest hotel staff who immediately showed us to our room and recommended a nice dinner restaurant within walking distance.
2. For half the price of a hotel room, our casita was huge. We had an outdoor patio with barbeque grill, table and chairs and hammock; full kitchen and separate living room. There is reading material in the living room, and the kitchens are fully equipped with pots and pans, china, and silverware. There's a coffee maker, microwave, toaster oven, blender, stove top. There is a cooler and portable folding chairs for the beach. They even provide ice packs to put in the coolers.
3. All the casitas have dvd players and there are free dvds at the front desk to borrow (we saw Ray and Kill Bill, which were both great). There is also a binder full of useful information about Aruba.
4. There's free internet in the front office, as well as a shop with snacks and drinks (not way overpriced).
5. There is a pool, and all kinds of snorkeling equipment. We didn't use either, but we would have if we were there longer.
6. The beds were really comfortable and they have goose down comforters.
7. The info book in the hotel room lists the rates for international calls, so you're not caught off guard when you get your bill at the end of the stay. There's also a button on the phone marked "international calls" which makes it extremely simple to call outside of aruba.
I would highly recommend this hotel and will definitely stay there again when I return to Aruba.
- Travel date: Thu 11th of August 2005
"What a super little gem hidden behind the Marriott. We planned a short notice jaunt to windsurf and attend Soul Beach. The staff at Boardwalk Apartments accommodated us in a cozy and clean casita with patio set (lovey wooden with comfy pads), hammock, gardens and a little pool area. It is a 3 min. walk to the beach. I cannot say enough about this oasis. The rooms have full kitchen facilities and great beds..SOFT down comforters and lovely fabrics.
- Travel date: Wed 9th of June 2004
Perfect Intimate Resort
"Friendliest hotel staff we have ever encountered!
The Boardwalk is a picture-perfect, intimate little resort, with private casitas. Clean beyond compare. Spacious, comfortable rooms, big fridges. A 3-5 minute walk to the Marriot (and Palm beach). All the advantages of developed Aruba in a lush, garden setting.
Romantic but family-friendly too. A gem!"
- Travel date: Mon 26th of April 2004
Worth a trip
"Want to relax? Enjoy this place. My wife & I just spent a week here and we were sorry to leave. Comfortable, clean Casitas in tropical setting, with a full kitchens and the most helpful staff we've encountered in a long time.
The Boardwalk has a small pool with plenty of seating for all guests and is only a few hundred yard walk to the beach.
- Travel date: Wed 25th of December 2002