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Club Arias B&B 3.0

Savaneta, Aruba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Fishing village location gives a taste of local Aruban life
  • Spacious (if slightly dated) suites with intricate hand-painted details and kitchenettes
  • Three pools, including a faux-rock landscaped wading pool and BYOB pool bar
  • Relaxing Mediterranean garden grounds with two heated water outdoor showers
  • Small restaurant serves pizza, pasta, and wings; gourmet menus on request
  • On-site hub for Aruba Bob snorkeling tours and ATV sunrise tours 
  • Free water and lemonade, beach chairs, and table games area
  • Free cooked-to-order breakfast if staying in suites
  • Free calling to the U.S. and Canada, Wi-Fi, and limited on-site parking out front
  • Property-wide keyless entry

Cons

  • Room decor is slightly dated (but in great condition)
  • Location doesn't offer much for nightlife or walkable attractions
  • Rooms have lukewarm solar-heated water
  • Outdoor showers only have hot water between limited evening hours
  • Not on the beach

Bottom Line

Club Arias Bed & Breakfast is a family-run spot in Aruba’s quiet southwestern village of Savaneta. Ten suites (and a tiny budget option, The Nook) are set within spacious and well-landscaped garden grounds with plenty of places to lounge. The entire property has a Mediterranean style, from the clay garden accents, to the large faux boulders and grottos, and down to the impressive hand-painted details covering walls, furniture, and signage. All suites include free cooked-to-order breakfast by Chef Gabriel, who also serves up pizza, pasta, wings, and private dinners. This is an ideal place for families or couples looking for local flavor or even just an escape from heavy tourist areas, but it's not on the beach and you definitely need a car. 

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Scene

Part-of-the-family feel in a Mediterranean setting

Once frequent visitors to Aruba, owners Flory and Arias Schwarz eventually traded in their fast-paced NYC lives after Arias somewhat spontaneously threw down a deposit on a place in Savaneta. At the time, the space was a small house with a large, undeveloped lot in the back used to store cars. But Arias saw the property’s potential and after few years of construction adding villa-style guestrooms, pools, large rock facades, and garden grounds, the family opened Club Arias Bed & Breakfast to the world.

The vibe is relaxed and friendly, and since the Schwarzs live on-site, it’s easy to feel like an extension of the family; next door neighbor Aruba Bob and his wife frequent the pool, family cats pad around the garden (and doze on the pool table). The grounds consist of several outdoor lounge areas (both covered and uncovered) and meticulously landscaped garden reminiscent of southern Italy or Greece. Stone paths, pebbles, painted rocks, flowering plants, and succulents cover the ground, while ivy grows on gates, and large homemade boulders create a grotto feel in the back pools area. Because of limited guest rooms, the level of sociability depends on who else is around during your stay, but be prepared mostly for couples and families -- and to stick out like a sore thumb in an area primarily trod by locals. 

Location

Off the main road in the small, southern island village of Savaneta 

Just under 15 minutes south of downtown Oranjestad, Club Arias sits quietly off the main road in the small fishing village of Savaneta. This area has not yet been developed for tourism, giving guests a nice taste of local Aruban life. Unlike the High- and Low-Rise areas, there is not a plethora of entertainment, restaurants, and shopping within walking distance. However, there is a bank, gas station, and a few local food joints, like celebrated waterfront fresh fish fry joint Zeerovers, and a few small supermarkets. Snorkeling gear can be put to use five minutes away at Mangel Halto beach, while beautiful Baby Beach (popular with families) is about 10 minutes in the opposite direction. Queen Beatrix International Airport is a straight 10-minute shot north.

Rooms

Spotless bungalow-style rooms with hand-painted artistry details, keyless entry, and kitchenettes

Club Arias Bed and Breakfast is an intimate property with only 10 suites and one small room dubbed "The Nook." All rooms are immaculate and feature a beautiful Mediterranean-style bungalow design with palm frond awnings. Interiors have handmade arched doorways, tile floors, sloped roofs, and feature remarkable hand-painted flowers, murals, dainty mosquito nets, and furniture by Arias’s artist mother. All rooms are poolside and have cable TVs, DVD players, solar heated (read: lukewarm) showers, high-quality furnishings, large windows, and keyless, passcode entry. Suites have kitchenettes sporting toaster ovens and a meager supply of dishes (particularly in the Family Suite). Although it manages to squeeze quite a bit into a small space, The Nook lacks a kitchenette (though it still has a microwave), shower, and has an additional charge for breakfast. 

Suite showers are solar heated, so don't expect to find hot water here. For those wanting more than a lukewarm wash down, there’s a pair of hot water showers outside, although they are only heated during limited evening hours. Instead of keys, electronic locks require an individually set four-digit code. 

Food

Small restaurant with Italian fare, wings, and private dinners

Club Arias' New Yorker-turned-Aruban chef's small eponymous restaurant, Gabriel's, has handmade pizzas, award-winning wings, and a selection of pastas on the menu. He's also available for private dinners and is responsible for starting off the mornings with a cooked-to-order hot breakfast of pancakes, eggs, turkey bacon, or whatever your stomach desires. There's also a station of self-serve coffee, tea bags and hot water, and coolers of water and Tang. In the mornings chef Gabriel makes a dessert that reappears as a free treat during tea time. Wine and beer are available at the small counter, but you might be better off jumping to the store down the road so you can BYOB. 

Features

Adventure tours, games, and outdoor showers

Outside the office, there's a small lounge area with a pool table, ping-pong, foosball, and darts area. While there's no real lobby area, plenty of lounge space is scattered throughout the property where guests can smoke, fill up on free water and lemonade, read books from the lending library located in the dining room, or just hang out. Located out by the back pool and next to The Nook are the two large outdoor showers. Even if you don't mind lukewarm water in your room, showering under the stars in these spotless, roofless, tiled showers is a memorable experience -- just be sure to get in early as the hot water is temperamental in the later hours. 

Operating out of (or next to) Club Arias, guests can book tours with Aruba Bob Snorkeling and the hotel's own sunrise ATV tour. Aruba Bob's goes out to Mangel Halto and utilizes underwater motorized scooters, while the sunrise ATV tours starts your day early and takes you to places on the island that regular cars cannot reach. 

Pools

Three pools, one with a BYOB water bar and jets

In addition to a small main pool in the garden area, Club Arias has two pools in the back by the rooms that are built into large handmade boulders. Separated in the center by a trickling rock waterfall, there's a shallow wading pool with built-in tile loungers and a deeper-waist length pool with non-heated jacuzzi jets. The jetted pool also has in-water stools and a rocky, unattended bar area where you can sit with a drink (if you bring it yourself), while the wading pool is great for kids. 

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Address

Savaneta 123 K, Savaneta, Caribbean

Also Known As

  • Club Arias Bed & Breakfast

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