If you love tropical islands, unique accommodations, affordable luxury hotels & private pool villas as much as I do, and are looking for the ultimate workation spot in the Caribbean, then this is the blog for you!
Last month I visited Aruba for the 3rd year in a row, and that says a lot! I just can't get enough of this One Happy Island. And because it's so diverse I keep discovering new hidden gems every time.
While I stayed at 4 different and very nice affordable luxury hotels & pool villas already the previous years, this year I was able to test 3 new ones. As well as revisit the stunning Boardwalk Boutique Hotel, which feels like home away from home every time.
During my 2 week trip this year I stayed for 2-4 nights at 4 very different accommodations, but all with the similarity that they are; classy, comfortable, overall quite affordable and very workation-friendly too
What this means exactly, I will break down in this blog about these 4 must visits in random order, visualised through many of my own pics (as always:))
Aruba has plenty of excellent accommodations to choose from, ranging from high- to low-rise hotels, various apartments, AirBnBs and quite some private (pool) villas offered around the island.
But what makes an accommodation perfect to me, especially for a workation, are the following features:
It has to have enough space to be comfortable, offer some privacy and enable you to relax and enjoy the settings, while working
Has to have a big table to work on and enough seating options in-and outside
Needs good wifi all around, also with reception by the pool
Has to have a kitchen or bbq, so you don’t always have to go out to eat
And certainly needs a (private) pool with sun loungers and a nice view
All below accommodations have this and more and were personally tried & tested by me, so hold on to your hat:
Merlot Private Pool Villas
Location: Salina Cerca 47, Palm Beach
These private villas are located centrally on the island in one of the most popular areas, near Palm and Eagle Beach. There’s a mini-market around the corner and plenty of restaurants, bars, a golf court, shopping mall and cinema nearby.
With several 4-7 bedroom pool villas situated in a quiet neighborhood of a gated community with ample parking space, at Merlot villas comfortable luxury meets privacy.
All of the villas have their own garden with private pool, plenty of seating in-and outside, an outdoor BBQ, fully equipped kitchen, free Wifi & laundry facilities.
We stayed in the Modern Four Bedroom Villa, accommodation up to 8 guests with 4 bed-and bathrooms on 2,000 square feet ground floor level.
This villa is fully air-conditioned and has all the modern amenities you might need, with good beds, nice living room, among a lush tropical setting on a great location.
We just loved the long swimming pool and spacious outdoor area, with 4 sun loungers. As well as a big terrace, with large dining table and nice lounge area with huge couch.
Perfect for relaxing and working outdoors.
I can highly recommend booking this villa with a small group, making it more affordable, as it has enough space and privacy for all.
Get an impression of all facilities in this gallery:
I however also strongly advise you to bring enough mosquito repellent if you visit during the rainy months, or even August or September, like we did.
Find out more and book directly for the best rates on: Merlot Villas Aruba
Boardwalk Boutique Hotel
Location: Bakval 20, Palm Beach
One of the most Instagram-mable places you will ever stay at, set in a lush tropical setting!
At this local family-owned boutique hotel the love truly is in the details. Here they thought of everything to create the perfect setting for the ultimate relaxing holiday!
Smiling faces all around, with super friendly staff, daily complimentary health booster shots at the reception and a cocktail happy hour by the pool every day from 3 - 5.30 pm.
I love how they integrated Aruban nature and heritage in this small tropical village with a range of colorful casitas. All just a 3 minute walk from one of most popular beaches on the island!
Aruba’s most active nightlife strip, filled with restaurants and bars, is also close by.
And at the white sand beach, just around the corner, in a tranquil part of Palm Beach, in between the Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel, there’s a special beach service for hotel guests with dedicated complimentary sun loungers, hammocks and beach huts.
You can also take wind- and kitesurf lessons here, go SUP-ing or enjoy a sunrise beach yoga and meditation session, finalized by a small massage, bookable through the hotel, which I can highly recommend.
See even more in this gallery:
Boardwalk is eco-friendly and sustainability is very important in everything they do. They offer a healthy local breakfast and lunch from Eduardo’s on the premises. And breakfast can also be delivered to your casita between 8 - 11 am.
Several Spa, wellness and yoga options are bookable as well and you have your own BBQ, and plenty of seating options outside your villa, like swing chairs, hammocks or big dining tables, depending on the casita type.
All of the 46 casitas are different, with several types in different colors. All with a big living room, fully-equipped kitchen, indoor-and sometimes outdoor shower as well, making it feel like a real Aruban home.
I stayed at the deluxe casita with a stunning mural and in- and outdoor shower, very comfortable and photogenic!
There are also 2 pools on the premises to cater to every one's taste. A tranquility pool, a bit more secluded and the main tropical pool, with plenty of shade, seating and lounge options.
To ensure the complete relaxation of their guests Boardwalk Boutique Hotel implemented a 12+ child policy for all upcoming bookings.
Find all info about this and the best rates on their own website: Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
And for more inspo about this unique boutique hotel and the best foodie hotspots nearby, check out this blog: Aruba barefoot-restaurants & local foodie-hotspots
Also for this accommodation I recommend to bring extra mosquito repellent, due to the tropical setting. Although they do offer complementary cans from the hotel for each casita.
Cas di Monchi Private Pool Villa - Paradera
Location: Nune, Paradera
This 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom villa with private pool in Paradera, just east of Oranjestad, is brand-new and super nice! Last year I stayed at their smaller private pool villa in Washington, just next to Palm Beach. Also very new and comfortable, but this one takes the cake!
Perfect if you’re looking for a place suitable for bigger groups or several families, as it accommodates op to 10 people! The living room and kitchen are very spacious and it’s set in a relaxed and tranquil neighborhood among the locals, surrounded by huge cacti.
Also just a few minutes' drive away from Super Foods supermarket, other smaller shops and the main beaches. So a car does makes getting here and around more convenient.
The villa was just fully renovated with a lot of privacy, due to its walled garden, big outdoor terrace, large private pool and plenty of parking space. All rooms are modern, have air-conditioning and all the amenities you might need.
Whilst the location is a bit less central on the island than their other villa, it's situated on the more authentic side of Aruba and near Arikok National Park. In an atmospheric setting with all the luxury you can wish for.
Get an impression of the indoor areas in this gallery:
Perfect for workations too, as the high-speed Wifi works well, also on the outside terrace and by the pool. And it has ample seating options and space to work, with plenty of facilities.
Cas di Monchi II is perfectly styled by a Dutch-Aruban couple and hosted on location by Vacation Aruba, bookable via AirBnB: Private 10 p. pool villa Cas di Monchi II-Paradera
For more info about their smaller private pool villa, catering up to 5 people, as well as inspiration for the top 11 beaches on Aruba, you can check this blog too: Exploring Aruba like a local-road trip
Location: Secret spot in Paradera, near Arikok NP
And last, but certainly not least, this hidden gem is a definite do before you die in my book and the epitome of authentic chic! Never have I stayed in such a unique accommodation in complete privacy, on one of the most impressive nature locations ever, with truly excellent service!
With the goal to make something sustainable and unique, the owners Katrin & Jacobo, set up this special spot. By importing an authentic 30’ feet Airstream camper van placed on a large private plot in one of the most rugged and pure areas of Aruba, looking out over the cacti, all the way to the east coast!
They created this special private space with personalized service, making you feel really welcome and safe. A one-of-a kind and pure experience, that supports other small local businesses and contributes to nature conservation as well.
Here you can get your breakfast delivered from the best local bakery every morning. Or book a private chef via Aruba Airstream for breakfast, lunch or dinner, like we did.
It was pure delight to have our breakfast prepared in our own outdoor kitchen by Chef Ruben every day. The ultimate form of authentic luxury to me, and so Instagram-mable!
What makes this accommodation even more unique is that the hosts really thought of all of it to accommodate to your needs. While compact, the van truly has everything! Stored in different compartments, making it comfortable and still quite spacious inside.
And outside you also have a spacious private area with your own 26 m2 saltwater pool and jacuzzi, overlooking the rugged cactus landscape and ocean in the distance, which is breathtaking!
Although it might seem small, the Airstream has 2 bedrooms, with no less than 3! flatscreen TV’s, 1 for each room, air-conditioning in all rooms, 2 big beds with great mattresses and a smaller top bed. And even a small bathroom, kitchen, living room table with 2 seating areas and great Wifi reception, both in-and outside.
Get an impression of the facilities via this gallery (slide to see all pics):
Around the accommodation you have another kitchen, toilet and beautiful tropical outdoor shower with free toiletries and bathrobes. All set in private and lush natural surroundings.
The large outdoor deck with shaded area offers plenty of space for exercise, yoga or meditation sessions, outdoor dining, with a hammock and 4 sun loungers as well.
I could not recommend this authentic chic accommodation with their lovely hosts more! Katrin will make you feel welcomed and cared for in every detail and is always available via What's App for tips, advice and any other bookings, to make your stay even more luxurious and memorable.
I also found the rates surprisingly affordable for the luxurious facilities, level of service and privacy offered.
And in the vicinity there are several easy hikes to do, which will make you feel like you’re alone on the world. One even leading all the way up to the iconic Natural Bridge on the rugged east coast!
Do note that you will need a (rental) car to get to this accommodation, as it's very secluded, but easy to reach. Find out more and book for the best rates via: Aruba Airstream-private paradise
And for more foodie & local hotspots check out my previous restaurant blogs:
I hope this blog was inspiring and useful for when you’ll visit Aruba in the future! But feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.
For all those Instagram-mable hotspots on One Happy Island that should not be missed either, check this blog: Aruba 9 instagrammable-spots, and go to the site of Aruba.com to plan your own visit to this Caribbean paradise.
And for more inspiration in the meantime, do check my social media accounts, linked below, with even more (drone) pictures & videos of One Happy Island Aruba coming up daily!