The Boardwalk Hotel, although not directly on the beach, was a 5 minute walk to Palm Beach. It is located across the street from the front of the Marriott Hotel. (This was a big plus for us since we chose to have our wedding reception at the Marriott.) But, it was “a step away from it all” when we wanted to retreat from the entire wedding hullabaloo. Because it is located at the far end of Palm Beach and the High Rise Hotels, it has lots of privacy.
Scott and I stayed in Casita 21 - pictured above is the living room in our suite. In the background, you can see part of our deck, the eating area, and part of the kitchen. (It was # 21 although the hotel only has 13 rooms, maybe becasue it was the 1st room on the second floor??)
For almost a week our friends and family occupied 4 of their 13 casitas. The word "Casita" means "small cottage" in Papiamento, the official language of Aruba. (It is a unique combination of Dutch, Portuguese, and English.)
The Boardwalk hotel was much more personal and intimate than a large resort hotel. The grounds are very lush and well kept. The casitas are clean. The pool was small but usually empty (until WE got there!) Our friends and family spent every night in that pool. After the sun went down, we relived the days excitement and activities in the relaxing water under the palm trees.
The owners and staff of the Boardwalk Hotel are extremely friendly, accommodating, and helpful. When we wanted to go exploring, they told us about local haunts and hangouts, and suggested sights that not many tourists know about.
Even before we arrived, the staff at the Boardwalk were going above and beyond our expectations of a small hotel. We wanted our rehearsal dinner to be very casual and fun, since this would be the first time our families and friends met each other. We didn't want some formal dinner at one of Aruba’s many restaurants for this occasion. So, when, two of our guests volunteered to cook using the grills that the Boardwalk provides its guests, all we needed was a place to seat everyone.
I contacted the Boardwalk about a month before our arrival and asked about the possibility of setting out folding chairs and tables in a central location. The night of our cookout, not only did they set them up on the lovely grass and garden area, they arranged tiki torches and delivered two very large grills (bigger than the ones at each casita.)
This picture does not do the set up justice. Obviously I don't know how to take snapshots at night!
Scott (the groom) had taken the “cooks” to the local grocery store that morning in the rented van. Later, while the “guys” stoked the charcoal and manned the grills, the “girls” gathered in one of our Casita’s kitchens, preparing the salad, punch, and other necessities for a wonderful dinner. (All the rooms at the Boardwalk have full kitchens with pots, pans, dishes, and utensils.) Everyone got involved, and when dinner was ready, it was exactly what we had hoped for… a fun, casual, social gathering.
One night, later that week, after a midnight swim in the pool, we were enjoying the beautiful starry night sky on our deck, and we accidentally locked ourselves out. The security guard was a short walk down the driveway, who called one of the owners. The owner then personally came to let us in. We were a little embarrassed, but most grateful.
There are a few cats that patrol the grounds. The owners feed them, so they stick around and keep the lizard population in check…. This was the one that liked our deck.
This is a boutique apartment style hotel. There is no maître d' to cater to your every need twenty four hours a day, just friendly and helpful staff. Every room has a kitchen. This was one of my favorite things about the Boardwalk Hotel. We had so much food left over from the rehearsal dinner even after making sure everyone took leftovers back to their rooms.
Aruba has so many wonderful restaurants, and the many of the "doggy bags" were cooked the next day for a delicious morning breakfast.
If you are looking for a clean, comfortable place to relax on your Aruba vacation, this is the place!
The Boardwalk is apartment style accommodations in a central place, close to it all. This is our recommendation for the best value and price.
A few years after our stay at the Boardwalk, the property went up for sale. I would have loved to purchase it, but Alas It was not in the cards!
It was sold to Aruba-born twin sisters, Kimberly and Stephanie. The hotel underwent a major US$1.3 M
overhaul including a full refurbishment of all 14 casitas in island chic
style and bright Caribbean colors. I have not had the opportunity to visit the newly renovated hotel or meet the new owners yet. But, would definitely like to see what they have done with the place.