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While I was in Aruba, I had the pleasure of staying at Manchebo Beach Resort on Eagle Beach.
Every traveller will know that choosing your hotel is one of the most important decisions you can make for a holiday- after all, it can be the difference between wanting to go home straight away or never, ever wanting to leave. Luckily for me, Manchebo falls into the latter category. It was such a lovely, friendly place to stay and really helped make my visit amazing.
Let's start off with the obvious. It's not called Manchebo Beach resort for nothing! This hotel is right on Eagle Beach in Aruba. As in, I opened my room door, walked 100 yards to the left and I was on the sand. Not just any sand but that soft, powdery, white sand that Caribbean dreams are made of. After all, this is Aruba's Eagle Beach, currently the fourth best beach in the world. Every time I visited the beach, I was amazed by how serene it was. It's kept natural, with no garish flags or loud activities, just palm trees, straw parasols, comfy sun loungers and that endless sparkling sea. Whether you want to relax in the sun before breakfast, go for a dip before dinner or spend the night teaching 90s dance routines to your travel companions, the beach is always there, just a few steps away.
Beach aside, the location of Manchebo is absolutely perfect. On Aruba's west coast, it's positioned about halfway between the capital Oranjestad and the tourist hotspot of Palm Beach. This means that no matter what you want to do, whether that's luxury shopping or trying out some watersports, you're just a short taxi ride away. Even if you don't want to leave the vicinity of the hotel, there's a small shopping arcade right across the road, with a mini-mart, restaurants and casino, or pop into one of the hotels next door to try out their restaurants. The beauty of Aruba is its small size, so you can visit the whole island without any stress, but the perfect central positioning of Manchebo makes things even easier.
Some people see a hotel room as just a place to sleep. Not me. The way I see it, a hotel room can make or break your entire experience. You want to be comfy, with lots of space and feel relaxed while you're in the room. Thankfully Manchebo achieves all of this. My room was on the ground floor, with a glass door that opened onto a patio and small garden complete with water feature. This was shared with four or five other rooms, but I used it every day and didn't once see another person out there, so it was almost like I had my own private garden. My bed was absolutely huge and so comfortable that I couldn't wait to climb in at the end of a busy day. With a huge wetroom-style shower, plenty of storage to organise my belongings and, crucially, a perfectly functioning. easy-to-understand air con system, I was more than happy!
Every single person I encountered, from those on reception and the porters, to the servers and bar staff, to housekeeping and grounds workers, had a big smile on their face and wished me a good day. If you need anything at all, they're happy to help and it feels like nothing is too much trouble. Staff like this really make a resort, and Manchebo has them in spades!
Within the resort, right on the beach, is Spa del Sol, an idyllic, serene spa in the most beautiful surroundings. Unlike any other spa I've been to, it's not in a self-contained building. Instead, it's made up of huts and connecting walkways, meaning you're surrounded by nature at all times. This unique design really adds to the experience. Rather than being stuck in an anonymous room under artificial lights, your treatment takes place in a hut on the beach with open shutters allowing in the Caribbean breeze and sounds of the crashing waves. On top of that, every member of staff was so warm and welcoming that I truly felt relaxed from the moment I walked in.
These aren't the only reasons why I loved staying here (it was also very safe, clean and has great restaurants on-site) but we'd be here all day if I started typing everything. If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Aruba, you should definitely look into Manchebo Beach Resort!