As a rule of thumb, you can use $2200-2400 USD per square meter to get a general sense of cost (this includes builder finishes - nothing fancy). This seems to be the rate used for most of the quotes we received when we were considering building a house.
We did not have good experiences with architects on the island (after trying with four) and opted out of building.
For renovation purposes, you don't need an architect (unless it's an addition) - we haven't done significant renovations yet so can't make a solid referral of a builder.
We built our home after we purchased land. We had a pretty good experience. We used a builder and modified their plans to suit our needs and in the end, we have everything that we wanted in our home here. Regarding using a contractor, I have
no experience with a major renevation just small projects from time to time around the house. I try to do most of the things myself. This current visit we powered washed our home, painted the wood trim around the roof and completely stripped a very large wrought iron gate and fence and repainted it. There is more maitance for the homes here as the weather is hot and sunny which causes outside things to just wear out faster.
Arashi Beach, Baby Beach, San Nicholas, Oranjestad, Noord.. Basically the whole dang island!
I have an amazing guy who completed renovated 2 of our properties here on Aruba. Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions. His name is Giovanni Tromp and he owns Professional Quality Builders. He is a small company, but let me tell you..his work is VERY reasonable, high quality,and most important... he met each deadline on both my homes!