Thin walls; rooms get noise from outside and from adjacent rooms
MVC Eagle Beach is a mid-range 19-room boutique across the road from Aruba’s famous Eagle Beach. It is mostly made up of contemporary (if snug) Double Rooms, though there are a few larger adjoining rooms, making this a nice option for couples, small families, or groups looking for a beachside bargain -- the free breakfast doesn’t hurt either. While the small and shallow pool isn’t good for much more than dipping, there’s plenty of space to grab some sun, a bite to eat, or a drink. Some people find noise to be a problem, but if you can wear earplugs, this quaint beachside pick is hard to beat for the price.
A small and social property that's one of the best bargains on the beach
In a previous life, the MVC Eagle Beach was a place where marines would stay when they were docked in town. But once the management from Amsterdam Manor (an upscale property down the street) took over, they turned the place into a mid-range boutique hotel. However, between the ongoing sectional renovations and thoughtful (but still not quite fully thought-out) ideas for use of past, present, and future space, the place feels a bit scattered. A 2013 renovation updated guest rooms with new bedding and bold, contemporary colors, while the restaurant and bar area -- outfitted in pale reclaimed wood, succulents, and classic A-frame ceilings -- has a softer, upcycled style and barn-chic vibe. Outdoor areas are a hodge-podge of plastic chairs, dark wood furniture, bright sun loungers, and nice sprinkling of succulents large and small.
MVC Eagle Beach is social and friendly (maybe due to the sparse amount of private space), and noise (read: conversations) can be heard through the walls. Guests range from middle-aged to early twenties, although the property has seen a rise in younger, budget-minded guests since updating.
In the center of the Low Rise hotel zone, across from Eagle Beach
MVC Eagle Beach is located along the southern end of Aruba’s beach-facing Low Rise hotel area along J.E. Irausquin Boulevard. One of Aruba’s most popular beaches, Eagle Beach, is just across the main road from the hotel. The busy nightlife and activities at the High Rise hotel area are about five minutes by car, while the capital city of Oranjestad is only 10 minutes away by car. For those without a car, there’s a nearby bus stop catering to both areas. Guests can walk to points of interest like the supermarket, pharmacies, casinos, markets, and the island’s main hospital. Queen Beatrix International Airport is only 15 minutes south by car.
Colorful rooms with dated bathrooms but modern decor
Rooms at the MVC Eagle Beach are snug and can be dim depending on the position of the sun. However, the 2013 renovation brought bright colors -- namely turquoise, purple, and pink -- into the rooms, along with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, iHome mp3 player clocks, and contemporary bedding. Solid wood furniture, fluffy decorative pillows, half-sized wardrobes, and full-sized mirrors can also be found in the bedrooms. Bathrooms still have a dated vibe, although some have faux-marble dual vanity sinks, and all have in-wall hairdryers and makeup mirrors. Toiletries tap out at cheap bar soap and wall-mounted shampoo and lotion dispensers (there is no conditioner).
All 19 rooms face the hotel’s courtyard, pool, and restaurant area, but if you want a view of the sea and sunset, you’ll have to snag a spot on the second floor. There’s also a small set of plastic patio furniture (topped with ashtrays as there is no smoking allow inside any rooms) just outside the bedroom windows. Quad Rooms (also called Family Rooms) consist of two adjoining rooms -- a king bed, and two singles -- and a shared dual vanity, shower-only bathroom.
Good selection of features for a small hotel, including a restaurant, bar, and dipping pool
MVC’s biggest draws are its competitive rates and proximity to the beach. It’s also got a an on-site brasserie and bar, Tulip, serving up Caribbean-themed dishes, specialty mojitos, local brews, and other whistle-wetters. Inside the contemporary Dutch-style bar area, guests will find a single computer business center with free Internet access, the hotel’s lending library, and island newspapers. Just off the restaurant, there is a large outdoor sundeck, a small gazebo, and almost just as small dipping pool. A handful of padded sun chairs are just off the pool, while a sun-bleached tennis court and elevated space (once used as the stage for live entertainment) in the back of the property are awaiting repurposing and renovation. Hidden back here are the hotel's meeting rooms. For sandy guests coming back from the beach, there’s a set of changing rooms and an outdoor shower just inside the hotel’s entrance.
The hotel has free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is included in some rates; the continental option features toast, cereals, fruit, meats and cheeses, scones, and hard-boiled eggs, while an upgraded option also includes scrambled eggs and bacon.
Across the road from the wind and sand at Eagle Beach
One of Aruba’s most popular beaches, Eagle Beach, is just across the main road from MVC. Beach access is public, so you’ll have to fight for a space on the sand. Plastic slatted sun chairs are stacked and up for grabs, or if you’re lucky, you can snag a spot underneath a palm frond palapa. Sand is smooth and the water is mostly calm, but it can get surprisingly windy. Jetskiing and parasailing purveyors dot the outskirts of the beach. The beach’s entrance is tree-lined, offering some shade farther back from the action.