This Dutch Caribbean escape beckons amidst the winter chill—and all year round. Among boutique hotels for island escapists, Aruba is situated outside the hurricane belt, making the “one happy island” accessible throughout the year. Turquoise waters, nightlife, and five-star cuisine make this destination notable, too.
Visitors generally decide between staying at Eagle Beach or Palm Beach. Those seeking more isolation veer towards the former. Palm Beach is popular thanks to its accessibility to town. The Boardwalk Hotel strikes a victorious balance: its private casitas and winding gardens invoke intimacy while its central location satisfies those seeking activity. It’s only a three-minute walk from the beachfront (with a frequent shuttle to deposit you directly to your beach hut or kite-surfing lesson.)
The Boardwalk Hotel is relaxed and colorful, with towering palms and vibrant greenery. After check-in at the stunning lobby—complete with peacock chairs, complimentary champagne, and a corner of local artisanal goods—visitors discover a landscape of lush vegetation and pathways. Hidden nooks lie around every corner, giving the impression you’re the first to find a hammock, outdoor shower, or plush loveseat. The adult-only property is centered around two lagoon-style pools, so chirping birds, wind-rustled trees, and trickling water add to its ambiance.
Honoring its coconut plantation history, the revived The Boardwalk Hotel features 49 fully-equipped casitas: strikingly bright rooms complete with kitchens or kitchenettes, outdoor patios, hammocks, and barbecue grills. Each studio-style or 1-2 bedroom casita is air-conditioned. Living spaces feature comfortable couches, artworks, and televisions; bedrooms are clean and airy. The spacious closet storage and bathrooms are stocked with local aloe products, with choice casitas even featuring soaking tubs or plunge pools.
Compostable espresso pods, organically brewed tea in each fridge, digital room keys, and reusable water bottles—which the island encourages you to fill with delicious tap water—emphasize the family-run property’s sustainable priorities. Complimentary parking and an all-in-one concierge app (combined with impeccable in-person service) add to its convenience. The hotel also includes a fitness room, treatment room, and yoga deck.
Start at the saltwater lagoon pool’s daily Happy Hour for an indulgent piña colada (or the famous Aruba Ariba cocktail) and lounge in the above-pool hammock. Those relishing Aruba’s refreshing waters should opt for the Paradise on Tap bundle, which includes a floating meditation, a three-course ocean-inspired meal for two, and a soothing couples massage.
Adorned with cheery colors, rattan, and a striking shell chandelier, the in-house restaurant The Coco Café presents breathtaking Caribbean décor and even better food. Standouts on its nutritious menu include fresh red snapper and the dangerously drinkable Kiwi Paradise cocktail. All-day bites and sips are available from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. Ask your concierge about special culinary options, including dinner with a private chef, a paella night, or barbecue service.
The main strip is a mere 20-minute walk or a 5-minute drive. Don’t miss Infini, a creative 12-seat chef’s table experience using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. (Spring for the wine pairing.) Papillon, which serves French-Caribbean fare, is a delicious choice right in the heart of the strip, too.
The Boardwalk Hotel balanced devoted service and town proximity with quaint details to make one feel hidden away. Whether you’re on a solo trip, honeymoon, or year-over-year vacation, The Boardwalk Hotel’s mix of tropical decadence and quiet simplicity embodies the island’s charm.
Location: Palm Beach, Aruba
The Vibe: Lush, tropical oasis just steps from the beach.
Food + Drink: The on-site café features vegan and gluten-friendly options, pleasing any palette. Long hours ensure any visitor will never go hungry. Bespoke culinary experiences and in-room kitchens make food and drink options flexible.
Amenities: One restaurant; Two lagoon-style pools; Fitness room; Yoga deck; Massage treatments; Beach with a shuttle.
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: We’re partial to the gorgeous lagoon-style pool, but its outdoor patio spaces evoke dreamy visions of late-night talks with loved ones, too.
Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? The speedy walk or shuttle to the beach is all you need, but do make time to explore the main strip.
Rooms: 49 casitas across seven different types.
Pricing: Rooms start at $455/night
Closest Airport: Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)