Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba Review

By Abi King | The Caribbean

Mar 12

Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba from @insidetravellab

Under the Boardwalk

Lame as it is, whenever I hear the word Boardwalk, I think of that song. The one with the robotic male “under the boardwalk” followed by the flirty female “having some fun.” Unfortunately for my husband (and possibly for your for the rest of your day,) this association and my own version of the original refused to budge for the whole duration of my stay at the Boardwalk Small Hotel, Aruba.

Under the Boardwalk…Boardwalk!

 Do not disturb sign at the Boardwalk Hotel Aruba from @insidetravellab

Related: Unique Things to do in Aruba

Coconut Plantations

While grey skyscrapers take up much of the western coast of Aruba, the Boardwalk sits a block back from the sea decked out in bright colours on the site of a former coconut plantation. It’s run by two sisters, Kimberly and Stephanie, whose enthusiasm for the project spills into every thoughtfully designed nook and cranny.

Cosy Casitas

Boardwalk divides itself up into small flats called casitas, carefully set up to give each stay some privacy and to lighten up life itself with fresh bright pinks, whites and blues. There’s a clear focus on artwork here, with many images and signs courtesy of local artists (like Elisa Lejuez, whose studio I visited here.)

Relaxing in a hammock in Aruba at the Boardwalk Small Hotel via @insidetravellab


Hammocks lilt in the barely there breeze and barbecues, fridges and fresh papaya marinades make Boardwalk more of a self-catered boutique apartment serviced with love than a fully fledged hotel.

Breakfast is available on request (but needs to be booked in advance which can trip you up if you’re flying in long haul.) “Regular” options are available, as is the (more) tasty Aruban speciality of arepa (a corn based bread.)

Company over breakfast - a lizard in Aruba from @insidetravellab

The Treasure Box Idea

The real stand out feature of Boardwalk (aside from the owners’ sense of passion and purpose) is their Treasure Box idea.

Each casita – and also the reception – contains a beautiful wooden treasure box of laminated cards.

Here, you can find inspiration for all the things you’d otherwise miss on a beach holiday in the Caribbean.

There are invitations to tour the wild desert park, tips on how to find pelicans stretching their wings on the beach, details for yoga, for golf and for kitesurfing, local spas, family beach tips and beyond. That’s how I found Elisa, the wishing stones on a windswept beach and a romantic poolside dinner within a restored historic house.

You’ll need a car to explore these possibilities but if it does all become too much, the small pool on site provides refreshment and the beach (plus bars and restaurants) is only a few minutes’ walk away.


Boardwalk Small Hotel Aruba Review

If you prefer cute and cosy to major corporate sheen, then I’d definitely recommend the Boardwalk Hotel Aruba as a colourful, characterful place to stay.


What I loved

  • The hand painted signs add a touch of cheer everywhere
  • The pool for a quick dip and cool down
  • BBQs and well thought out self catering facilities
  • The Treasure Box of ideas

What to know

  • You’ll need a car to (realistically) get around
  • It’s primarily self catered – there’s no minibar or room service if you turn up late at night
  • It’s small! It’s one of the things I loved but that may not be everyone’s cup of tea ;-)


Find details about the 14 rooms over here.

BBQ at Boardwalk Hotel Aruba @insidetravellab

Disclosure – I paid a reduced rate to stay at the Boardwalk Hotel. As ever, as always, I remain free, freeeeeeee to write whatever I like here on the blog.


About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.

  • De'Jav says:

    This place looks pretty amazing and a good way to spend a vacation.

    • Abi King says:

      It’s so friendly and bursting with colour. I had a great time there and love being able to share good things I find.

  • What I wouldn’t give for a laze in a hammock.

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