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Caribbean Vacation Rental Guide: How to Find the Perfect Rental

Aruba is widely-known for being one of the best Caribbean islands to visit because we offer so many fun things to do, top-rated hotels and resorts, amazing all-inclusive vacation packages and the best weather in the region, but many people aren’t aware that we’ve also got some of the most amazing vacation rentals in the entire Caribbean!

In fact, one of the best perks of traveling to Aruba is that no two trips have to be the same, since there are several ways to customize and enjoy your stay on the One happy island, including by opting to stay in a vacation rental instead of a traditional hotel or resort!

In recent years, many visitors have made the switch from resorts and hotels to vacation rentals, and we are happy to share that Aruba doesn’t just offer a wide variety of vacation rental types to choose from, but also calls itself home to some of the very best Caribbean vacation rentals on the market.

This post breaks down the types of vacation rentals available in Aruba, as well as the best ways to find the perfect Aruba vacation rental for you!

Vacation Rentals vs. Traditional Hotels & Resorts

Boardwalk Boutique Hotel living room

What makes staying at Caribbean vacation rentals different from settling down in a traditional hotel or resort? There are certainly benefits to both accommodation types, so we can imagine that you’re unsure of which one best matches your vacation needs.

Since many of you are already familiar with the great benefits that come with staying at traditional resorts (especially the great ones here in Aruba) we’ll skip over those and instead list some of the biggest perks to staying at a vacation rental instead:

  • Freedom

You won’t be constrained by resort-scheduled meal times and activities. You can feel free to wake up as early or late as you want and to schedule your day your way. After all, the pool in your backyard is always open!

  • Like the Locals

The best way to completely experience Aruba is by living like the locals do. With a vacation rental, you can stay where they stay, eat what they eat, and do what they do! We recommend chatting up some of your local neighbors to ask them what they do in their free time. You’re sure to be surprised at the big culture typically missed by traditional tourists.

  • Privacy

Oftentimes, vacation rentals are located away from the hustle and bustle of the hotel area. This is especially the case with private homes and villas. Whether you’re on a relaxation retreat and just want to get away from it all, or you simply enjoy your peace and quiet, vacation rentals are a great option for a quieter, more relaxing experience.

  • Price

If you’re a traveler on a budget, vacation rentals may be one of the most effective ways to pinch a penny on your next Aruba vacation. Hotels and resorts are relatively standardized, but Aruba’s vacation rental options range from affordable cozy single room sublets to some of the most expensive, ornate and over-the-top luxury vacation rentals in the Caribbean. With so many options at different price levels, you are certain to find a temporary home that suits your budget.

Types of Vacation Rentals

Aruba Reef Apartments in Savaneta

Now that we have two things established; your next Caribbean vacation is taking place in Aruba, and your accommodation type of choice is a vacation rental, let’s explore the different types of vacation rentals available on the island. And yes, there are plenty!

Room Rentals

Renting a single room is especially convenient for backpackers and those who travel alone. A cozy little spot to spend your downtime while having the opportunity to connect with other travelers in the common areas. If you’re a traveler on a budget, single room rentals are also very cost effective. Picking a single room rental will allow you to both save some cash and make some new friends on the One happy island! Airbnb is a great platform to find such rentals.

Apartments

Bubali Bliss Studios

For those who vacation by their own rules, renting an apartment is the way to go. They are often quite a bit more affordable than a room at a resort, and they typically offer just a bit more space than a suite. Many apartments also feature a kitchenette, which is perfect for travelers who enjoy preparing quick home-cooked meals on some nights, and dining out on others. We suggest passing by some local supermarkets and trying an Aruban recipe, it’s great fun! Below are some companies that offer apartment rentals in Aruba:

Condos

If you’re looking to get the best of both worlds of between staying at a vacation rental and staying at a hotel, then renting a condo may be the best option for you. You won’t have to miss out on the nice views you get from staying at a high-rise building, but you can still enjoy the freedom of making your own schedule and having plenty of space to yourself. More often than not, you will also be granted access to the condo or community private pool and barbecue facilities. It doesn’t get much better than that! Some companies that offer condos for rent in Aruba are listed below:

 Private Homes

Residential view at Tierra del Sol

Just imagine arriving in Aruba with your family after a long flight and settling down in your very own comfortable house. You get to enjoy all the conveniences you’re used to  back home, with some added bonuses like perfect weather and pristine white sand beaches! Some homes even have swimming pools in the backyard, just in case you fancy an early morning dip. Below, are some companies offering private vacation homes in Aruba:

Beach Residences

What’s better than having your own temporary home in Aruba? Having one right on the beach, of course! Fortunately, there are plenty of beach-front vacation rentals in the Savaneta and Malmok areas. Whether you’re a sporty traveler who would love a beachside run in the early morning, or you just like opening your windows to let that cool ocean breeze in, a beach residence would be perfect for you. A great way to find beachside rentals is by making use of platforms such as Airbnb. Remember, Aruba is the first Caribbean island to form an official partnership with Airbnb, meaning that tax collection is regulated, but also that high quality standards are required, and maintained for our accommodations. This ensures that all Caribbean house rentals in Aruba will end up being a great experience.

Luxury Villas

Gold Coast Aruba

If you enjoy the finer things in life when you’re on vacation, but you would like something a tad more spacious than an upscale resort, then top-rated Caribbean villa rentals may be your best bet for an incredible vacation. Aruba has no shortage of fully equipped authentic Caribbean villas for rent, and ours are consistently rated as being some of the best on the entire planet! Imagine lounging in roomy luxurious quarters with comfortable king-size beds you would expect from one of Aruba’s nicest resorts, but in the comfort, convenience and privacy of your own villa. Depending on where you’re traveling from, spending the entire day in your own backyard may not be common, but it certainly is here in Aruba! Renting a luxury villa in Aruba ensures that you can take the entire extended family on a trip, because there’s sure to be more than enough room! Below are some companies that offer lovely villa rentals in Aruba:

Vacation Rental Booking Tips

Opting for vacation rentals rather than hotels is a relatively new trend so to alleviate some of the anxiety involved for people who’ve never tried it, we’d like to provide you with suggestions on how to ensure you’ll have a great time. The good news is that the booking process is quite simple, and in the following section of this post, we will give you some tips to help you on your way.

How Far in Advance Should You Book?

In order to book the vacation rental of your dreams it is highly recommended to book as far in advance as possible. When booking your stay at a hotel, every room within its type is pretty much the same. Since vacation rentals are so diverse, you want to book as early as possible to secure the vacation home you envisioned.

Finding the Right Location

cunucu residence aruba Aruba Cunucu Residence in Noord

The first step in finding the right location is realizing that this may be a different spot for each traveler. If you’re looking to spend a lot of time on the beach, then staying in the Palm Beach area could be right for you. If you prefer mingling with the locals, then perhaps downtown Oranjestad is your spot. Adventurous visitors may find their perfect home in Santa Cruz, close to the Arikok National Park. If you’re traveling with kids, and you intend on visiting beaches with shallow waters, then the San Nicolas and Savaneta areas are great options, as that’s where the famous beaches Baby Beach and Mangel Halto are located. Do keep in mind that Aruba is a small island, so picking a location won’t limit you to a fixed number of activities. You can explore the entire island at your leisure, no matter where you’re staying.

Considering Important Details

Make sure you are clear on all the details of the home you will be renting. If you are renting from a vacation rental platform like Airbnb, many details are listed there. Additionally, the platform offers an easy way to communicate with the homeowner. This may not be the case otherwise, so be sure to do your research. Here is a short checklist of questions you should ask before signing your rental agreement. Feel free to add your own additional items as well.

  1. Is the kitchen fully equipped?
  2. Will toiletries and linens be provided?
  3. Is there a swimming pool, and who has access to it?
  4. Is the place wheelchair accessible?
  5. Are pets allowed?
  6. What forms of (public) transportation are available in this area?
  7. What is the cancelation policy?
  8. What is the check-in process?
  9. What activities are available nearby?
  10. Where can we best do groceries?
  11. Are there any additional charges?
  12. Is there free Wi-Fi available?
  13. Are a washer and dryer available?
  14. Are there parking spaces available?

Talking to the Homeowner

Get to know the homeowner. They can answer any of your questions (like the ones listed above) and they may be able to give you some great tips on how to get the most out of your Aruba vacation! If there are any specific instructions you may need to know about, they can be communicated in advance so you won’t have to waste any precious Aruba time trying to figure out how to work the washer-dryer!

Reading the Reviews

Your peers are the best critics, so reading reviews about Caribbean homes for rent on platforms such as TripAdvisor, Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO is always a good idea. Who better to consult for advice than those review-savvy repeat Aruba visitors! These people know the island inside and out, and would be able to compare their stay at one property to another. Reviews can also provide you with impartial information about the pros and cons of certain properties. Some important elements to look for in reviews are whether the property is clean, safe, comfortable and whether it’s a good value for your money. Of course, not all reviews are genuine. Thankfully, you can often spot a faux review from a mile away. Fake reviews will often be extremely positive without providing supporting details as to why the property was so great, or they will be very critical of elements that most reviewers were generally content with. Take such reviews with a grain of salt.

Book Your Perfect Caribbean Vacation Rental Now!

Now that you are familiar with the ins and outs of Aruba’s top-rated Caribbean vacation homes, it’s time to find one of your own! Aruba has a wide variety of choices when it comes to accommodations and the island known for its safe, relaxing and fun-filled vacations, so don’t delay. If you’re ready to spend your next getaway on the incredible beaches of the One happy island, book your Aruba vacation rental today!

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About the blogger: Jennifer Richardson
She moved to Aruba when she was just 11 years old, and she hasn’t felt more at home since. She is very passionate about visual art and draws her inspiration from being out and about, observing the local people and trends. Being as excited about the One happy island as she is, Jennifer will gladly pass all her observations along to you!