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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.