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The Mill Resort & Suites Aruba 3.0

Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located in a quiet section off the main road at the start of the High Rise hotel zone
  • Rooms renovated in 2014 have tubs, rainfall showers, and contemporary bedding
  • Central pool area with two pools, waterfall, and rock-lounging iguanas
  • Kid-friendly features include free kids' club with organized activities, playground, and small pool
  • Daily happy hour and free Wi-Fi at the Bellini's poolside bar
  • Room service available from on-site casual Italian Marco Polo Restaurant
  • Mini-market and gift shop, car rental desk, and concierge off the lobby
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel

Cons

  • Hotel beach area is father away than from most hotels
  • Beach shuttle stops running before sunset
  • Business center and gym require staff-assisted entry
  • Nightclub next door can be noisy

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a social, fun, and relaxed mid-range option close to the shore of Palm Beach, the 163-room The Mill Resort & Suites is an ideal option. The main downside is that the hotel's dedicated beach area is almost a 10-minute walk away, and the free hotel shuttle stops running before sunset starts. However, many of The Mill's rooms were renovated in 2014 and all but the entry-level Royal Room offer kitchenettes. On-site features include car rental services, a state-of-the-art fitness center, kids' facilities, a nice bar scene, restaurant, and two medium-size pools where you can lounge with iguanas. The similarly priced MVC Eagle Beach is right across the street from the sand, but its rooms lack kitchenettes and its pool is tiny. 

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Scene

Friendly, relaxed, and social vibe with a mixed crowd

In 2014, The Mill underwent a large renovation to upgrade the rooms and Marco Polo Restaurant. While the skeleton of the space dates back even further than when the hotel opened in the mid-2000s, the interior spaces are catching up to speed with porcelain marble tiles, upscale casual furniture, and a mixed crowd of young and old. And while Aruba is known for being a friendly place, the outgoing and social vibe at The Mill makes it feel like the hotel version of "Cheers": Everyone may not know your name, but you always feel welcome and almost everyone is striking up conversations -- especially during the daily happy hour and around the pool. In fact, at times, it's hard to tell if people are traveling together or just met. 

Though The Mill is slightly off the beach, it's also not surrounded by tons of tourists like the hotels directly along the main drag; some prefer this low-key environment. 

Location

In the High Rise area, next to a classic Aruban landmark and almost a 10-minute walk from the a dedicated area on Palm Beach

Although the west side of the hotel runs along J. E. Irausquin Boulevard's High Rise hotel strip, entrance to The Mill Resort & Suites is technically off of the confusing part of the road where it turns inland (at the Riu) toward L.G. Smith Boulevard. Luckily, the property is marked by Aruba's classic Old Dutch Windmill, an authentic windmill built in 1804. The hotel is just a few minutes' walk to Palm Beach, but if you're looking for The Mill's dedicated sand space, it's just under a 10-minute walk away. There's also a free shuttle every half hour but it stops running before sunset. The hubbub of the High Rise area, where many shops, restaurants, bars, and a few casinos can be found, starts about a 10-minute walk north, although there is a popular late-night club and a few local restaurants just next door. It's 15-minutes to Queen Beatrix International Airport and only 10 to downtown Oranjestad. 

Rooms

All rooms are clean and bright; some are renovated and most have kitchenettes

The Mill's 163 rooms are some of the brightest we've seen and renovated spots look surprisingly nice for this price range, with porcelain marble countertops, flat-screen TVs, and in Royal Rooms, deep soaking tubs open to the bedroom. Some shower areas smell a bit dank, but renovated bathrooms have wide rainfall showerheads. All rooms come with a handful of Bienvenue toiletries and convenience kits that skip the conditioner in favor of shower caps. Beds are comfortable and curtains block out a lot of sunlight, but the vented air-conditioning units are loud (as are the motion sensor fans inside the toilet/shower area), so if you have trouble with ambient noise it could be a problem. (Some units may also experience noise from the nightclub next door.) Yet-to-be-renovated rooms still get heaps of sunlight and feature a white and tan wicker Caribbean furniture decor; everything is still in good condition but they're definitely no-frills. The non-renovated units are referred to as Standard and the renovated units as Deluxe, and both types can be found in every room category. 

The entry-level Royal Rooms just have mini-fridges and coffeemakers, but they're also the ones with big soaking tubs by the beds, making them suited to couples (in fact, kids aren't allowed in these units). All the other categories have kitchenettes with microwaves, utensils, blenders, toasters, cooktops, medium-size fridges, utensils, and dishes, though some guests have noted a lack of dish soap; there are also dining areas. Studio Rooms have queen beds and sofa beds, while Junior Rooms have kind beds or two double beds; both can sleep up to four. The One- and Two-Bedroom Suites can sleep six and eight, respectively. 

The electricity in the room only works when your keycard is placed inside a holder, so keep this in mind when you want to return to a cool room or need to charge something. All rooms have ironing boards, irons, extra bedding, and safes. 

Pool

Two pools sporting volleyball nets, a kids' section, and rock-loving iguanas

Two pools lie side by side in the center of the property. The main pool is near the towel hut and has a small connected kids' pool with a sheer fabric guard to keep small children from entering the deeper waters. However, if you want to play a game of water volleyball or ogle the resort’s reptilian guests, there’s another moderate-size pool with a scattering of iguanas lounging on rocks. Every day at noon, the hotel hosts a live feeding of the little critters for all to watch. There's also a healthy number loungers (with or without shade), so you don't need to wake up before dawn to claim a spot. 

Features

Pleasantly packed with lots of resort features -- surprising for the price and size

For such a small space, The Mill has packed in lots of convenient features. There is a small beach area outfitted with divi divi trees and loungers within walking distance from the hotel, or you can take the free shuttle. It runs every half hour, on request, with its last journey just before 5 p.m. Off the lobby, guests can book tours and get recommendations from the concierge, cool down with a selection of fruit-infused waters, find out about the days activities, or rent a car. There's even a good-size mini-market and gift shop where you can buy anything from Doritos, to sunblock, to cigarettes, to Aruba souvenirs. Outside, Bellini’s Bar is a casual poolside spot to grab cocktails or bite to eat and has a daily two-for-one happy hour, a social vibe, and fair amount of stools and terrace seating. However, you may want to avoid sitting directly around the bar if you aren’t a fan of smoking. Along with the rooms, the resort's restaurant, Marco Polo, got a revamp in 2014 (and a name change). White table clothes, bottles of wine, and casual Italian food are served up in this glassed-in spot that looks out onto Bellini's bar and the raised pool area. 

While the spa disappeared in late 2014 (along with the Garden Cafe), you can still find nice-size saunas in the gym locker rooms and a slew of new fitness equipment, including a Blowflex in the gym itself. However, for security reasons, access to this area as well as to the business center -- with a printer and handful of PCs -- require staff assistance. Tennis courts are out back and open to use, as is the plastic kids' playground. There's also a free dedicated kids' club with organized activities and guest laundry room with lending library in this corner of the property. 

Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel.

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Address

J.E. Irausquin Boulevard 330, Palm - Eagle Beach, Caribbean

Also Known As

  • The Mill Resort & Suites

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