Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba: Honest Review on What to Really Expect
There are so many hotel choices in Aruba. Scrolling through all of the options in TripAdvisor can be overwhelming. What’s the best area to stay in? Which hotel? Most will narrow their hotel choices down to Palm Beach or Eagle Beach. Read on to find out why we chose the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba in Palm Beach and see if it’s right for you.
The Location + Arrival
The Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba is located in Palm Beach but a little off the main strip, making it a private oasis. Its location is within walking distance along the beach (~20-25 minutes) to all the restaurants and shops along the main strip. We love to walk so that didn’t bother us, or you could drive 5 minutes to all the restaurants.
The hotel is 20 minutes from the airport. We wanted to explore the island during our stay, so we rented a car with Wheels 2 Go. Wheels 2 Go is a local family-owned business. They were waiting for us right when exited the airport and whisked us away to our car. Incredible service.
As we pulled up to the gate of the Boardwalk, we pressed the button to enter and pulled in. Plenty of parking. The grounds are gorgeous. Luscious palm trees and green vegetation enveloped us as we walked to the reception area to check in. Let the vacation begin!
Reception at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
The First Three Impressions
- Boutique, relaxed vibe
- Private nooks everywhere
- Clean, fresh, pastel tropical colors
The rooms, known as casitas, are all unique. Several types of casitas are offered, which include the following:
- Coco Casita (one-space suite + private patio + kitchenette). Located on the ground or second floor.
- Deluxe Coco Casita (one-space suite + private patio/BBQ + kitchenette + indoor and outdoor shower). It’s a stand alone casita, so no one is above or below you.
- One or two-bedroom Casita (separate sleeping and living space + private patio/BBQ + full kitchen). Located on the ground or second floor.
- Palapa Lodge 360 (one space suite + 360 wraparound terrace). No kitchen. No BBQ. Located on second floor.
- Plunge Pool Casita (one-space suite + private patio + kitchenette + sundeck + plunge pool). It’s a stand alone casita.
Deluxe Coco Casita at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
We stayed in the Deluxe Coco Casita and absolutely loved it. You download an app and access your room via your phone. No bulky keys with big wooden palm trees to carry around. I wish all hotels would do virtual keys.
Everything was clean, crisp, fresh, and washed in beautiful tropical pastel colors.
And when I say clean, I mean SPOTLESS.
No scuffs on the walls, no dust in the corners, no little hairs in the shower, and no watermarks or stains on the furniture. I have never seen a hotel, especially in the Caribbean, that clean. The house cleaning staff clearly takes pride in ensuring your casita is immaculate!
When we walked up to our Deluxe Coca Casita, we first encountered the ample-sized patio that included a table and two chairs and a little swinging chair. We enjoyed many breakfasts outdoors on that patio served directly from Eduardo’s Beach Shack. More on that later!
The patio of our Deluxe Coco Casita at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
As we entered, we came across the living space and kitchenette. The living area is perfect for two people and included a neutral linen cushy sofa and a widescreen TV.
Further back was a fun kinda retro-looking, mint-colored kitchenette with a microwave, coffee maker, 2-burner electric stovetop with kettle, mini-fridge, and ice bucket. Of course, the basics like glasses and cooking utensils were also provided.
We didn’t cook while we were there, but we did get takeout so the fridge and microwave came in handy.
Deluxe Coco Casita living and kitchen area at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
The sleeping space consisted of a 4 poster king-sized bed with a gorgeous hand-painted mural on the back wall. The air conditioner was located above the bed, and it actually kept the room nice and cool. Plus, there was a ceiling fan you could run to always ensure a nice cold sleeping environment. These are the things I appreciate!
4 Poster King Sized Bed at the Deluxe Coco Casita
The bathroom was spacious and included one sink, an indoor shower, a toilet, and an OUTDOOR shower. In addition to cold sleeping environments, I love outdoor showers!
There’s just something about being outside looking up at the sky while you are washing your hair. My first outdoor shower experience was at Reethi Faru in the Maldives, and I have been hooked since then!
Deluxe Coco Casita Shower
Deluxe Coco Casita Bathroom
The outdoor shower came in super handy to clean off all of our snorkeling equipment. Then we also had a place to hang everything to dry. My husband and I are avid snorkelers. Check out our Aruba snorkeling guide if you are interested.
Deluxe Coco Casita Outdoor Shower at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
The Food & Drink
Alright here is a huge INSIDER TIP. If you want to experience one of the top-rated family-run restaurants in Aruba without ever leaving your room, then stay at the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba!
The Boardwalk partnered with Eduardo’s Beach Shack in order to offer their guests absolutely incredible savory and healthy breakfast packages, their FAMOUS acai bowls, and delicious grab & go items. Eduardo’s actually has a physical location on the hotel property, where you can place your order.
Feeling too lazy and don’t feel like putting pants on?
Order your breakfast and coffee through the hotel’s app from 8 -11 am and have them delivered directly to your private patio.
Yes, we were spoiled.
Nourish Benny from Eduardo’s Beach Shack in Palm Beach, Aruba
Acai bowl at Eduardo’s Beach Shack
DAILY BAR SERVICE
Happy hour at the hotel is a must! Curated cocktails are served from 3-5:30 pm. We enjoyed many of the famous Aruba Aribas from the tropical rolling bar cart at the main pool.
Happy hour at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
Have you tried an Aruba Ariba cocktail?
It is delicious and goes down way too fast.
What’s in it? Vodka, rum, creme de banana, orange juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and a special local liquor called coecoei. Don’t be fooled by its innocent nature. It packs a punch. Maybe this is how Aruba got its motto … One Happy Island.
Sipping on a Aruba Ariba at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
Boardwalk Boutique Aruba has 2 pools. The Trankilo Pool is the smaller, more private pool.
Trankilo Pool at the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
The Tropical Pool is the fun pool with a swinging hammock and the poolside happy hour service. We enjoyed our time and cocktails in this pool.
Tropical Pool at Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
The hotel is located a short 3-minute walk from Palm Beach, one of the best beaches in Aruba!
As you leave the hotel, you enter the roundabout at the pedestrian crossing, walk across the road, and up the sidewalk. The designated beach section is straight ahead and is located right next to the Ritz Carlton’s beach.
Map of walk to the beach from the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba Beach Section
They have plenty of palapas and sunbeds with comfortable cushions.
PRO TIP: Reserve your palapa the day before and as early as you can. They go quick! The palapas are held until 10:30 am. If no one shows, they are released to any other guests that want them. Completely fair.
I love the reservation process! I have been to hotels where people wake up at 5 am, throw flip flops and a towel on a chair to “reserve” it and then not show up until the afternoon to enjoy it. The Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba has eliminated that annoying behavior by creating this lovely reservation process. Thank you Boardwalk!
Beach section for the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
You can order food and drinks at a 15% discount from the neighboring Ritz Carlton. The servers will buzz around on Segways making sure you are taken care of. The wait staff is BUSY. Be aware if you order a drink, it could take over 45 minutes to receive it.
I would have passed had I known that. Alternatively, you can take the cooler in your room and throw your own drinks in to enjoy at the beach. Much better (and more affordable) option!
They do have what they refer to as a cozy gym. I didn’t know this until I was writing this article. With so many outdoor activities in Aruba, I would be surprised if many people use it. But it’s there if you need it!
Of course, the rate will all depend on your room type and if you stay during low or high season.
It will range from $350 to $600+.
The Reasons for Choosing This Hotel
#1 Boutique vibe with beautiful “tropical cottage” decor
I’m not into chain hotels. Sure, I’ve stayed in the Hiltons and Marriotts of the world, but I love unique boutique hotels with personalized service. The Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba will surpass your expectations. They have thought of EVERYTHING. I dare you to find something they have not considered.
#2 Palm Beach location without the crowds
There’s no way getting around it. Palm Beach is the place to be, and as a result there are crowds everywhere. I like people in doses. It was great to be able to walk to all the restaurants and feel the “pulse” of the island, but I also loved retreating back to my personal quiet oasis. Best of both worlds.
#3 Eduardo’s Beach Shack
I felt like I was keeping a secret no one else knew. To have one of the top-rated restaurants right on the property was incredible. Who wouldn’t want delicious, healthy food delivered daily to your private patio?
Other Hotels We Considered
There was one other strong contender we considered, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba. It’s the #1 traveler-rated hotel in Aruba on TripAdvisor. For reference, the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel is #2.
This adults-only hotel is located right on Eagle Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Its decor is modern and fresh with darker furniture. Very nice but not as cute as the Boardwalk.
The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort has a great central location making it easy to explore Aruba. It also has a fantastic upscale restaurant on site.
Aruba is an easy Caribbean island to fall in love with. We loved its world-class beaches, delicious food, and friendly locals. Where to stay is always an important choice. If you pick right, it can really enhance your vacation experience. I love when places exceed your expectations, and the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba did just that.
Have you been to Aruba? Where did you stay?
Let me know in the comments below!