Free fast Wi-Fi and (limited) parking in hotel lot
Living space in the large rooms can be dim
Quiet vibe can be disrupted when cruise ships are in port
Central air-conditioning units can be temperamental and/or noisy
A family-run hotel opened in 1990, Amsterdam Manor is an
upscale, casual 72-room Eagle Beach boutique ideal for those who want the conveniences of larger resorts but fewer people. The hotel is across the
road from one of Aruba’s more popular beaches, and there is a waterfall pool on-site. Renovations in late 2014 brought brighter colors,
cosmetic upgrades, and some expanded space. Generously sized rooms have a
contemporary Dutch colonial decor and come with impressively stocked kitchens and
outdoor space; some bathrooms have whirlpool tubs. Two restaurants (one directly
on the sands of Eagle Beach) and two bars keep bellies full, and you'll find free
snorkel gear, bikes, and a concierge in the lobby.
Quiet and relaxed unless there's a cruise ship in port
With an average occupancy rate of around 90 percent, you'd think Amsterdam Manor would feel a bit busier than it actually does. Instead, it's a relaxed and quiet spot (when the cruise ships aren't in port), filled with mostly couples and families that are friendly but keep to themselves -- despite the best efforts of the various restaurant and bar staff to liven the place up. And even though there are signs of Aruba's arid landscape and a stunning beach across the street, thanks to the sunflower yellow contemporary Dutch colonial-style architecture, grounds feel a bit European. The Dutch flag flaps at the main entrance, while small lion statues sports coats of arms watch over the beachside entry points. The property's garden areas are a mixture of succulents, usually set in wheelbarrows, wooden replicas of old-fashioned wells, and other colonial-themed items.
Across the road at the beach, there's a bit more buzz. During the day, Passions on the Beach's outdoor deck lounge and bar hut get a fair amount of traffic. If you're trying to avoid large crowds beware of days cruise ship passengers dock as Passions swarms with transient sea guests. Being on the north side of the Low Rise strip, Amsterdam Manor is also the last touristic -- and beachside food and beverage -- stop on Eagle Beach before the stretch of sand gets interrupted; pockets of the island's iconic divi divi trees start encroaching as you go farther down the road toward the bird sanctuary.
The last hotel on the Eagle Beach Low Rise zone strip
Amsterdam Manor is the last hotel located off the main beachside drag of
J.E. Irausquin Boulevard's Low Rise hotel zone. Parking is available on-site, but you don’t need
wheels to get where you want to go. There’s a bus stop right across the road
that will take you up to the High Rise hotel area or to downtown Oranjestad,
and a large supermarket and shopping plaza are within walking distance. You can
also reach nearby hotel casinos, bars, and restaurants on foot -- and the island's powder soft sands of Eagle
Beach are right across the street. Queen Beatrix International Airport is about
a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
Big, contemporary rooms with real plants and stocked kitchenettes; some with whirlpool tubs
Like other areas of the hotel, all 72 rooms reflect a
contemporary iteration of Dutch colonial architecture. Bright sunflower-colored
walls have a wood-like texture and the A-frame ceilings are made of white-painted
wood beams. Dark brown doors, large tile floors, and furniture in earth tones
give it a classy feel. Large, real-life plants are a nice touch and add to the
warm, homestyle vibe.
Standard Studios have a two-burner kitchenette, queen bed,
and either a partial ocean or garden view. If you opt for the slight bump up to
a Superior Studio, you’ll get the same kitchenette, a definite ocean view, king
bed, and deep whirlpool bathtub. Going father up the chain gets you lots of
space, large dining tables (even in the one bedrooms), full-size kitchens (though no
ovens) that might even be better equipped than what you’ve got at home, and
larger terraces or balconies.
An upgrade in December 2014 freshened up the spaces with new
tile; sound sealed, condensation fighting exterior doors; a new paint job; and
brand-spanking-new patio furniture.
Romantic beach dining, a waterfall pool, happy hours, and the island's fastest Wi-Fi
Besides a great beach accessible location, Amsterdam Manor’s
biggest feature is its surf-side dinner service at Passions on the Beach
(reservations are strongly recommended). Tables are set up directly on the sand,
under the protection of the same palm frond palapas used by daytime
beach-goers. Passions Beach Bar & Lounge serves lunch on an oceanfront deck and has beach bar that slings drinks all
Mango’s Restaurant is located on-site and serves up buffet-style
breakfast and dinners with themes inspired by different international cuisines (Mexican, Italian, French). Just above Mango’s and the
hotel’s pool, Horizons serves drinks starting at happy hour and into the later
hours of the night. The bar’s terrace is small, but stretches along the
beach-facing side of the hotel, and is a great place to grab a cocktail and get
a second-floor view of the sunset -- but brace yourself for wind.
Other hotel features include a lending library; free snorkel
gear and bike rental; mini-market stocked with imported, local, and last-minute
items; a three-computer business center (if you want to print you’ll have to
email the front desk); and a friendly concierge. The hotel is non-smoking, with a
small designated smoking area on the grounds. You can find a coin-operated
laundry room in the back, and there’s free parking as well as fast Wi-Fi.
Last loungers and daiquiris on the soft sands of Eagle Beach
Most guests come (and return) to Amsterdam Manor because of
its proximity to Eagle Beach. As one of the island’s most popular public
beaches, the space can get packed. If you think you might want a spot in the shade
arrive early to snag a pair of sun chairs under the palm-frond palapas or throw
your towel down under the trees at the beach’s entrance. The water is calm, the sand is
fine grain, the air is windy, and panoramic sunsets show nightly. There's also a lunch service, an all-day beach bar (with a chic lounge area on the sands), and romantic dinner set-up with a gourmet menu served just steps from the surf. Beach bathrooms may be hard to find, but there are two tiny clothes changing sheds and a rinse-off shower.
Clean pool with loungers, a waterfall, and a shallow kids' pool
Although impressively clean, modern, and colorful (especially at night), the hotel’s pool is slightly smaller than you would expect, but guests don’t seem too bothered. Even with one of the island's best beaches across the street, the pool has a good amount of visitors, although finding a poolside spot on one of the in the brightly colored sun chairs or under one of the big yellow umbrellas shouldn’t be a problem. There’s also a small, circular kids' pool with a depth of one foot just off the main pool.
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