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Aruba Blue Village 1.5

Noord, Aruba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Near supermarket and Eagle Beach, and next door to a popular restaurant
  • Rooms are spacious, air-conditioned, and have kitchenettes
  • Two medium-size pools with sun loungers
  • On-site Aruba Blue Village Restaurant with tasty lunch and dinner
  • Breakfast included in room rates
  • Free shuttles to beach and downtown area
  • Children’s playground and common barbecue for guest use
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby
  • Free and ample self-parking
  • Laundry services available for a fee

Cons

  • Rooms are spartan, basic, and a bit worn
  • Beds are uncomfortable and in bad condition
  • Complaints include housekeeping and unwelcome critters in rooms
  • Reception is not manned around the clock
  • Even the free lobby doesn't work well

Bottom Line

There's no delicate way to say this: The 175-room Aruba Blue Village is a value property in need of major TLC. While everything looks fine enough on the surface, rooms aren't attractive and complaints range from a general lack of housekeeping to problems with insects and lizards. But hey, at least there's air-conditioning and well-equipped kitchenettes. Guests can count on free breakfast, decent food, and two pools, but the beds in the hotel's rooms aren't in good shape and the Wi-Fi only works in the lobby. All in all, a stay here proves the adage, "You get what you pay for." Those who want a comfier stay might try two-and-a-half-pearl Sasaki Apartments, with an outdoor pool and brighter rooms. 

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Scene

Low-key budget property popular with European backpackers

A quick glance into this hotel's lobby reveals a lot, where a smattering of twentysomething, European backpacker types are sprawled amongst the couches and chairs, silent and entirely absorbed with surfing the internet on their phones. Despite the incessant presence of an angry mob of mosquitos, it's the only place with functioning internet, which is a hint at some of the issues here. This is a budget hotel, through and through, though guests still make their way here because of some lovely amenities, like two pools that are constantly kept sparkling clean and relatively good food at its restaurant. These facts, coupled with the bargain price tag and at least cheerful exterior, mean that plenty of travelers are willing to overlook flaws like maintenance and cleanliness issues.

Location

In Noord, a five-minute drive from Eagle Beach

Aruba Blue Village is in the central part of Noord, a popular touristy neighborhood in Aruba. Eagle Beach is about a five-minute drive away and getting to Palm Beach takes nine minutes. A car will come in handy staying here, as there's not much to see or do within an easy walk. A huge supermarket -- Super Foods -- is just a three-minute drive away. For dining and nightlife, Madame Janette’s is just next door and serves international cuisine with Caribbean influences. The vegetarian-friendly Yemanja Woodfire Grill is about an 11-minute drive. Getting into downtown Oranjestad also takes around 11 minutes, while Queen Beatrix International Airport is a 15-minute taxi ride away. 

Rooms

Rooms are dark and sparsely decorated, with frail beds and housekeeping issues

There are plenty of variations in room size, price, and category here -- from studios to one or two-bedroom suites -- though all are underwhelming. Decor is simple in the extreme, with wood veneer furniture in an array of mismatched colors, light tile floors, drop-tile ceilings, and clashing fabrics and accent colors. Sofa beds are offered in some rooms. Fluorescent lighting does little to help things, and with only glass panels in the doors and a single window looking out onto the pool area, they are quite dark. Looks aside, the beds are frail and uncomfortable. A “queen” bed is really just two single beds that have been pushed together, making for some less-than-optimal sleeping conditions. We noticed upkeep issues like scuffed paint, especially in the bathrooms, and while rooms are mostly clean, complaints about everything from housekeeping to visiting lizards and water bugs are fairly numerous. Rooms also come with well-working air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and kitchenettes with refrigerators, microwaves, sinks, and a minimal amount of cutlery. Bathrooms have plenty of counter space, bright lights, and large showers, though expect to see dirty grout.

Features

Two sparkling pools, an informal on-site restaurant, and spotty lobby Wi-Fi

Features are limited at the Aruba Blue Village, but the hotel does have two clean, mid-size pools, both surrounded by lounge chairs. The Aruba Blue Village Restaurant offers a tasty morning breakfast (included in the room rates), with toast, sausage, cheese, jam, and made-to-order eggs. Lunch and dinner are also available, as is room service, and food generally gets solid marks from previous guests. Laundry is available for a fee and there's a playground for kids along with barbecues for guest use. The hotel has plenty of free parking on-site, and the property offers free shuttle service to the beach and the city center. Wi-Fi is free in the lobby, but the connection is spotty. It's worth noting that reception is not staffed around the clock.

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Address

Cunucu Abao 37, Noord, Caribbean

Also Known As

  • Aruba Blue Village Suites

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