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Del Rey Apartments 2.0

Noord, Aruba

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Located a five-minute drive to Palm Beach restaurants and shopping
  • Large and beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub
  • Apartment-style rooms can accommodate up to six guests
  • Each room has a kitchenette 
  • Children’s play area with swing set and slides
  • Outdoor grill and garden area for common use
  • Free Wi-Fi and free self-parking
  • Free beach chairs at Moomba on Palm Beach

Cons

  • Maintenance issues in some rooms
  • We spotted evidence of termites on our visit
  • Room decor and some amenities are outdated
  • Wi-Fi is spotty anywhere but the lobby

Bottom Line

For families on a budget, two-pearl Del Rey Apartments sounds almost perfect. It has reasonable rates, a big outdoor pool, a playground, and is only a five-minute drive to Palm Beach. But one word is probably enough to put an end to that: termites. While we only encountered one room with serious issues on our visit, it's compounded by other maintenance issues like broken door knobs and funky smells. These factors may not apply to all rooms at the hotel, and unfussy budget travelers do appreciate the independence and privacy here in contrast to the massive hotels on Palm Beach. Still, for an alternative without these underlying issues try Beach House Aruba, which has homey rooms with kitchenettes right on the water, though rates will likely be higher.

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Scene

Family-friendly budget property with playful and bright decor

The 26 Del Rey Apartments stand in bold contrast to the neighboring properties on this quiet street. A bright rainbow of colors decorates the walls, railings and trim -- it looks playful, as if a child was in charge of the decorating scheme (and only had crayon colors in mind). Blocky letters announce the lobby area, which is a simple office that offers maps of Aruba and limited reception hours. It’s a fittingly cheerful welcome to the family-friendly place, which also counts a modest children’s playground among its list of amenities, as well as a kiddy pool. 

The hotel’s large pool is its shining centerpiece, featuring an impressive flowing waterfall and a smattering of daybeds, tables, and chairs under shaded tiki huts. The grounds also include a grilling area for barbecues. A handful of carefully planted palm trees grant a bit of shade in an area that’s mostly empty otherwise. The excessive dead space and lack of natural landscaping makes it feel sparse and cold here, despite the bright colors and cleanly organized walkways. One perk of the spaciousness is that it rarely feels crowded or loud, despite the American and European families who often stay here. 

Location

Five-minute drive to Palm Beach and 15 minutes to downtown

Del Rey Apartments is in Noord, a neighborhood that’s well-situated for those who want a break from the high-rise hotel scene, but prefer to stay relatively close to Palm Beach and its restaurants. It’s a bit too far to walk to there from the hotel (at least 30 minutes on foot), but it’s just a five-minute ride in a taxi. While cab fares are relatively reasonable here (they operate on fixed prices), it’s still worthwhile to rent a car to get to the various other sights and beaches around Aruba. Dining options are limited in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, as it’s in residential area, but there are plenty of casual and fancier places along the sea at Palm Beach. Downtown Oranjestad is a 15-minute drive away for nightlife, shops, and dining. Eagle Beach takes about 10 minutes to reach in a car, and the California Lighthouse is a 13-minute drive from the property. Expect a 20-minute drive to Queen Beatrix International Airport.

Rooms

Homey apartments with some fairly substantial maintenance issues

The 26 rooms here are either One or Two-Bedroom Apartments, each with simple outdoor seating areas. All rooms are spacious, with One-Bedroom Apartments starting at 32 square meters of space (344 square meters), and all units have at least one separate bedroom. Decor is simple and homey. Lime-green couches surround dark wood furniture, with white tiled floors, and a bland piece of art on the cream walls. However, the dated decor is less worrisome than the discoveries we made on our recent visit. Beyond basic maintenance issues like doors not locking properly and foul-smelling odors in some of the rooms, one apartment showed evidence of termites burrowing down from the ceiling (the Second Apartment).

They all come with kitchenettes that have modern stovetops as well as coffeemakers, flat-screen TVs, and microwaves. Most also include toasters, cutting boards, and thoughtful extras like scissors, salt and pepper shakers, and dishwashing soap. All feature sofa beds, meaning suites can accommodate between four and six people, respectively. Bathrooms here are straightforward -- they’re small and lack counter space, but they’re at least bright and clean. Walk-in showers have semi-enclosed glass walls and come with a few bars of cheap soap (the standard brand for budget properties in Aruba). Hairdryers are provided. 

Features

Lovely pool, hot tub, and common grill area

The hotel’s small size and apartment-style rooms means extra amenities are limited, though they carefully maintain the features they do offer, like the large and glittering on-site pool. It has a pretty mini-waterfall and is surrounded by plenty of daybeds, tables, and chairs, as well as a kiddy pool and hot tub. A handful of palm trees and tiki huts add some shade here and at the grill area, which is free for guests to use. There's also a playground for kids. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi, though it seems to get spottier the farther you walk from the lobby area. Other nice perks include free passes to get beach chairs at Moomba on Palm Beach, and discounts to Moomba Bar and Restaurant. 

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Address

Kamay 13-d, Noord, Caribbean

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