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View Full Version : To Villa or not to villa



caromelle
06-08-2011, 01:17 PM
I have been scouring the websites for possible stays during my trip to Aruba in August -specifically from 8/12-22. I purchased my flights already so all that's left is to book a room somewhere. (I purchased flights due to having a backup reserved at Playa Linda but that is no longer an option)

I can't seem to decide between a studio villa across the street from the beach or an apartment closer inland. I'm about 80% apartment and 20% villa. The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is that I can't seem to trust some of these mapped locations of properties on homeaway.com and other sites. They're all different?! and I'm going solo so I'm looking for safest (I know Aruba is safe) and most close to what it would feel to actually live on the island.

Has anyone heard of Wacamaya Apartments (http://www.arubacondo.org/About-us.html) or Wacamaya Village (http://www.wacamaya.com/) or are they one and the same and should I stay there?

Or has anyone heard of Palma Real (http://www.arubavillavacationhomes.com/index.php?property=77) (leaning towards this and wacamaya village) and should I stay there instead? OR should I choose the Sunset Beach Studios (http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p331325?cid=E_OWNERINQUIRY_DB_O_20110427_propertyu rl_text_LPROP) or Beach Villas (http://www.beach-house-aruba.com/homepage.php)?

open to suggestions as well. DECISIONS, decisions...i'm such a Libran.:doh:

gaby
06-08-2011, 01:51 PM
I stayed at the Wacamaya last year. It is a nice small complex, across from a grocery store that has just about everything except meats, etc. It is a 5 minute drive to Arashi Beach, less than 10 minutes to the high rise area. This year we are staying at the Gold Coast.

caromelle
06-08-2011, 02:09 PM
Would you be able to send me a google map link of exactly where it is located? I've stayed at the RIU before and would love to be close to the high rise area or Malmok area? Where is the Gold Coast? Thanks!


I stayed at the Wacamaya last year. It is a nice small complex, across from a grocery store that has just about everything except meats, etc. It is a 5 minute drive to Arashi Beach, less than 10 minutes to the high rise area. This year we are staying at the Gold Coast.

gaby
06-08-2011, 02:16 PM
the gold coast are townhouses directly across the street from the Tierra del Sol. I'm sure you can find that easily. I don't know how to do the google maps. but if you can find the Tierra del Sol, it is a beautiful golf course and villas & townhomes. But there are people on this forum who own in the Gold Coast.

As far as wacamaya, we had directions. if i had to chose between the gold coast & wacamaya, i would definitely pick the gold coast. i've never stayed at the gold coast before but we've passed it every day and nite and it is really nice. it is also gated with security.

purestone2004
06-08-2011, 02:41 PM
I think you would be safe honestly with any of those options. I can verify that both the apartments that say they are on the main road are just that. Walkable easily to the hotels. Palma Real is also a nice secure location. Good grocery store close by. Walkable to the hotels in 10 minutes (guesstimate)

luvsun
06-08-2011, 03:49 PM
I know friends have stayed at the Beach Villas and the Sunset Beach Studios and they both liked where they were. The beach villas are much closer to the high rise than the studios. You can walk the beach to the high rise, its a little hike but not bad.
Both are nice.

caromelle
06-08-2011, 03:58 PM
Everything Gold Coast seems $$$, I'm traveling solo so maybe next time :)

So now, it's between Palma Real and Wacamaya Village...

Thanks for the input! (besides deciding that I will opt out of the villas for one of the apartment units, I still have to pick between apartments)

gaby
06-08-2011, 04:52 PM
well if its wacamaya village and you are dealing with Great Aruba Rentals, which Michael owns, he is wonderful to deal with. He answers all your questions. we rented from him and he has it listed on homeaway. it is rental #179637 on homeaway.com but he also has the website Great Aruba Rentals which i see is what you had listed in your first post. he is great to deal with and you get your deposit back like within a week of your return. we were going to rent from him again this year but got a great deal at gold coast and really liked the place at gold coast. and it ended up costing us the same per week as there. but of course we go in december so its a bit cheaper. if you need any more info about wacamaya, just pm me

jerseygirl
06-08-2011, 05:09 PM
Palma Real appeals to me the most out of all your choices. It is a nice complex, and close to everything.

Ocean 105 has always intrigued me- It's on the beach in Arashi. www.ocean105.com (http://www.ocean105.com). There are 4 apartments. This is a very safe area. Maybe check them out as well. Good luck.

gaby
06-08-2011, 05:15 PM
i checked out ocean 105, we had passed it many times and when i got home we checked it out. the apt is small and not worth the price. it is right on the water though. but not on a part of the beach you go to, you'd walk to arashi beach, which is like 2 minutes from there. i know nothing about palma real so i can't answer for that place, don't even know where it is. this is only my 2nd time to aruba but we LOVE the malmok area and we LOVE arashi beach.

wacamaya from the outside looks like nothing but the courtyard where all the apartments open up into is really nice. but like i said, we really liked the gold coast and the way it looked and we like the idea of a townhouse and we did that virtual tour so we know what it looks like, lol.....

Andrea J.
06-08-2011, 05:31 PM
when looking to rent at private villas or private apartments, plese make t a sure that you get a room key that is a CARD........"not an actual key".

my friend sherry was burglarized at ocean 105 a few years ago.

could the burglar have had a room key from a previous tenant?

the thieves not only broke into her apartment /ocean 105 and stole ipod, camera and laptop but they crowbarred the safe off of its stand with a good amount of cash.

i never heard whether or not they caught the burglars.
Palma Real appeals to me the most out of all your choices. It is a nice complex, and close to everything.

Ocean 105 has always intrigued me- It's on the beach in Arashi. www.ocean105.com (http://www.ocean105.com). There are 4 apartments. This is a very safe area. Maybe check them out as well. Good luck.

gaby
06-08-2011, 05:40 PM
you know, andrea, i believe that. whenever we went by Ocean 105, day or nite, the center door was open. and you can see in i guess a courtyard but there was no security whatsoever. it always seemed so many people were going in and out and when i looked it up, there's only 4 apts and it was always busy unless people just walked in to see what it looked like.

now at the wacamaya, i can say there was a code to get in. you had a key if you wanted to use it but there was a code on your door, a code to get in the gate, and a code to lock your door. so we never took the key with us.

i'm glad the gold coast has a guard. we wanted to go in and see it but knew we wouldn't get pass the guard.

sherryf
06-08-2011, 05:53 PM
gaby, when we stayed at ocean 105 they had double security doors to enter and exit. you could not just walk out. you had to have your key with you or you could not exit.

what we all assume, including the police, is that the burglars came in thru a possibly open door at the big house. the house was rented out and we think the people staying there didn't close the patio door before they went out. in order to come in, they had to climb up a steep rocky hill, over a fence and go thru the house before they broke a window to come into our apartment.

murphy's law was that we put everything in the safe so they ripped the safe off of the wall.

however, i will say that we loved the one bedroom apartment. it was a lovely place to stay and the walk to the best snorkeling beach on the island was just about 100 yards and well worth the few minutes walk.

if they do have security, which i know they hired after our burglary and hopefully the guard is still making rounds, i would never hesitate to stay there. without a guard, i would not stay there.


you know, andrea, i believe that. whenever we went by Ocean 105, day or nite, the center door was open. and you can see in i guess a courtyard but there was no security whatsoever. it always seemed so many people were going in and out and when i looked it up, there's only 4 apts and it was always busy unless people just walked in to see what it looked like.

now at the wacamaya, i can say there was a code to get in. you had a key if you wanted to use it but there was a code on your door, a code to get in the gate, and a code to lock your door. so we never took the key with us.

i'm glad the gold coast has a guard. we wanted to go in and see it but knew we wouldn't get pass the guard.

gaby
06-08-2011, 05:57 PM
i loved the area but whenever we went by, the center door was open and it was busy. maybe it was the house??? I don't know.

Arubalisa
06-08-2011, 06:25 PM
The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is that I can't seem to trust some of these mapped locations of properties on homeaway.com and other sites. They're all different?!
The location of Wacamaya Village (http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.5854131&lon=-70.036844&z=16&l=0&m=b)
Palm beach is to the lower left, zoom in + and the resort names will come into view

The location of Palma Real (http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.5670881&lon=-70.0440109&z=17&l=0&m=b)
Palma Real in lower right and the Riu is directly opposite on far left just off center

http://www.aruba.com/forum/images/icons/icon2.gif If all other comparisons are equal, Palma Real is much closer and convenient to Palm beach.

sherryf
06-08-2011, 06:26 PM
the center door (a gate) should not be open unless there are no tenants. it is supposed to be double locked at all times. that is the doorway to the courtyard and all apartments and the house branch off from there. the owners are not on premises 24/7 which is why a guard should always be on duty when the owners are not there.

i will warn you that their insurance covered nothing of our losses. i don't understand how that is possible but that's what it was. i met the agent who basically said we cover nothing and your homeowners will be your only source of compensation. when we talked to others, who had burglaries not just in aruba but at other destinations, we found that is relatively standard. so when traveling, make sure that your homeowners covers losses abroad. also remember that no american insurance company will cover more than $200 in cash in any burglary. we had brought mostly cash because there was a safe in the apartment. we lost it all except for the $200 that was reimbursed.


i loved the area but whenever we went by, the center door was open and it was busy. maybe it was the house??? I don't know.

gaby
06-08-2011, 06:48 PM
that happened to me in paris. they took money from my hotel room. of course there was no safe and i had it hidden in my luggage. but good thing there was a lawyer in our group. he told me what to do. i went to the police station, got a report (it was in french, lol) and sent it to my homeowner's. i figured what did i have to lost, they could just say no. they actually reimbursed my cash up to $500.

sherryf
06-08-2011, 07:42 PM
you were very lucky. take it from me.

we lost everything... laptops, ipods, cameras, passports, and cash. our insurance company was wonderful about everything but cash. the worst thing was the us consul who was worthless and homeland security that was worse than worthless. the best thing was the aruban police who were amazingly kind, attentive, and did much more for us than the baltimore county police did 6 months later when (lucky us) our house was burglarized.


that happened to me in paris. they took money from my hotel room. of course there was no safe and i had it hidden in my luggage. but good thing there was a lawyer in our group. he told me what to do. i went to the police station, got a report (it was in french, lol) and sent it to my homeowner's. i figured what did i have to lost, they could just say no. they actually reimbursed my cash up to $500.

Andrea J.
06-08-2011, 08:24 PM
this thread (and i am sorry because it is my fault) has taken on a new life and anew topic.

in the Aruba General section, i will create a sticky about our ways and ideas of keeping our things safe and secure and what we do to ensure that........ based solely on aruba travel.

so now back to villa and apartments and where the original poster can stay!

gaby
06-08-2011, 08:25 PM
i don't take anything electronic with me but i'd be upset about my passport. listen, good thing you weren't there by mistake. like you forgot something and went in while they were there. at least you weren't hurt but it sure puts a damper on your vacation. the sad thing is it can happen anywhere like you said, at your home. As long as you weren't hurt...

sherryf
06-08-2011, 08:37 PM
gaby, you are so right. it can happen anywhere. i am an arubaholic and it certainly didn't change that at all. it truly can and does happen anywhere. fortunately we were not harmed either burglary although our cat ran out the broken door at our home in the bitter cold and died 6 weeks later of a lung problem most likely due to a few hours in 20 degree temps. i'd certainly have given the thieves anything to keep her safe and still have her in our lives.

btw, the police actually returned the passports. they had been discarded by the thieves and were found by a store owner.


i don't take anything electronic with me but i'd be upset about my passport. listen, good thing you weren't there by mistake. like you forgot something and went in while they were there. at least you weren't hurt but it sure puts a damper on your vacation. the sad thing is it can happen anywhere like you said, at your home. As long as you weren't hurt...

Andrea J.
06-08-2011, 08:47 PM
now, back on topic villa talk ;-)

caromelle
06-08-2011, 10:24 PM
After all this reading I'm still torn between Palma real and wacamaya...lol...but I think I'm leaning closer to Palma real or maybe the occidental? I know I just threw in a curveball..sorry, can you imagine what my real life friends must go through with me? Haha...but I have to make a decision by tomorrow as I'm traveling the next 2 months, starting with Brussels on Sunday.

Andrea J.
06-08-2011, 10:57 PM
about 5 yrs ago, paul and i looked at a condo at palma real.
it is a nice complex, a good mix of people........arubans, yr round folks,kids, snowbirds and many nationalities.
it is about a 15 minute walk to the palm beach.
there is a nice small pool at palma real.
and if you will be renting a car each unit has at least one parking space.
sadly, paul and i never bought at palma real......but we really considered.

caromelle
06-08-2011, 11:36 PM
I plan on renting a car for the week too, I guess Palma real it is! Thanks everyone! Side question: if I rent a car and want to not walk to palm beach but drive, where are the best and safest parking spots in that area?

Andrea J.
06-08-2011, 11:48 PM
i cannot answer that question about parking at palm beach .......
i can however answer if you want to park at eagle beach.

there is plenty of parking alongside the road all along eagle beach and especially on the side road between lacabana and amsterdam manor.

there is also an area alongside eagle beach right before costa linda that has a good amount of parking.

the parking at palm beach is not as spacious or plentiful for beach goers (plenty for hotel/resort guests though)

eagle beach is my stomping ground. i will let the palm beach goers make comments about parking there.

you will have to bring a chair with you and hope you find some shade . all of the shade huts and lounges in front of the resorts belong to the resorts for their guest's use.

caromelle
07-08-2011, 02:22 PM
So, I just received an email saying that the internet was disconnected at the apartment and will not be reconnected. The owners are willing to refund me and allow me to cancel or find another place with internet. Back on the hunt for a place now...

AHHHHHHHHHHHH!

gaby
07-08-2011, 02:32 PM
i don't have a laptop so i can't bring my computer with me. but since we stop at the high rise every nite to go to the casinos and walk around, there's an internet cafe that I buy like 3 hours for a nominal price which lasts 5 days, they give you a pin number and you can use it whenever you want until you use up your minutes. they obviously have other plans for longer periods of time and i'll be doing that this time. since i only check my email, i go each nite, stop in and check my email and then i'm done. i'm not about to surf the internet on vacation so that time limit lasts for my whole vacation.

so if you want to stay where you booked, don't let the internet stop you unless you need it for work in which case that's a different story. but if you bring your laptop, most places i've seen have wifi connections. i have enough problems just with a carry on so i have no desire to bring electronic equipment, lol. i don't even bring a camera, lol.....

caromelle
07-08-2011, 03:06 PM
I'm hoping that I won't have to work but would be nice to have use of google and reserve tours, activities, etc. when I get there. And for some reason, if I'm not "connected" then I feel alone and because I'm going solo this time, I would feel safer - I know, sounds idiotic. Maybe at nights I'll just leave the TV on? lol

Andrea J.
07-08-2011, 06:44 PM
if you re going alone
how bout renting a studio timeshare unit on the beach?

Aruba Beach Club or Lacabana

I "know" exactly how you feel re: internet.

(traveling with a bunch of friends for a long weekend at the end of the month to a Mississippi Beach and the place we are staying does not have internet.......the shakes and withdrawal have already begun)


I'm hoping that I won't have to work but would be nice to have use of google and reserve tours, activities, etc. when I get there. And for some reason, if I'm not "connected" then I feel alone and because I'm going solo this time, I would feel safer - I know, sounds idiotic. Maybe at nights I'll just leave the TV on? lol

rinkrat65
09-02-2011, 11:52 AM
How was you trip to Aruba?
Did you end up staying at Wacamaya?

What were the highlights of your trip. My girlfriend and I are going in Feb/12

caromelle
02-23-2012, 06:43 PM
Sorry for such a late response - i don't get any notifications of any responses or posts on threads.. :-T

I love Aruba and going back in May. I did not stay at Wacamaya but Palma Real. It was ideal for me and my solo travels. I haven't really confirmed where I'm staying this May but I imagine it will either be the same condo or maybe try out Wacamaya.

Looks like you're either in Aruba now or already been there and back?


How was you trip to Aruba?
Did you end up staying at Wacamaya?

What were the highlights of your trip. My girlfriend and I are going in Feb/12