There were some things unique to this Aruba trip compared to our usual The Common Traveler jaunts. Our stay at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa was an important part of that uniqueness.
First, let me clarify. The purpose of The Common Traveler is to find a middle ground between backpacking and staying at hostels with the ultra-luxurious, all-inclusive experience of high-end resorts. So while our stay at Manchebo Beach Resort was more expensive that our usual picks, it was worth the extra cost. The Manchebo Beach Resort’s relatively small size (only 72 guest rooms) and the widest beach on the island sold us on this location.
The Rooms at Manchebo Beach Resort
There are four categories of rooms: Deluxe Ocean View; Deluxe Garden View; Deluxe Ocean Front; and a Deluxe One Bedroom Suite. No matter the type of room, they feature two double beds or a king sized bed, except for the suite which has a king size bed and a queen sofa sleeper. Each room has a mini fridge, a microwave and a coffee maker. The bathroom felt luxurious, with a zero entry shower (which makes a mess!) and a rainfall shower head (so wonderful!). We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean Front room and this was our gorgeous view!
As an environmentally-friendly resort, various efforts at conservation were featured, including a room key made out of a wooden pulp material rather than plastic. We were encouraged to refill our water bottles rather than getting a new one. Each room also had a cooler for guests to use on the beach – because hydration is important with this blazing sun!
The Manchebo Beach Resort offers two dining options: all-inclusive or a la carte. Guests choosing the all-inclusive option receive a bracelet they wear during their stay. The all-inclusive option features breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as many premium drinks you could want (there were up charges for some types of alcohol). Considering there are three fabulous restaurants at the resort, this is a great option for those on short stays who don’t want to go off-property. If you stay for four nights, the hotel will include an off-property dinner and an optional sushi dinner. This option costs approximately $121.50 per person per night. Since we like to explore the surroundings, this was not the right option for us.
We tried all of the restaurants on the property as well as exploring nearby places. The prices at our hotel were not out of line with the others nearby, but were pricier than what we prefer to pay. You can read more about where we ate on this blog. We tried these hotel restaurants (I’ve linked their menus here): Ike’s Bistro, The Chophouse, and Pega Pega. Take a look at their menus to decide whether the all-inclusive is worth it to you.
Located on Eagle Beach, one of the two most famous beaches in Aruba, Manchebo Beach is at the widest spot on a peninsula. The beautiful blue water with white sand, was worth the price of the stay! The hotel provides shade palapas for the guests. Every morning we went to the attendant by the Pega Pega Bar & Grill and requested two beach towels. An attendant then set up two lounge chairs under whichever palapa we wanted. Once the bar staff came on, sticks with flags were passed out to each palapa. Any time we wanted food or drinks from the bar, we just had to plant our stick into the sand to get service. This was so great! You can read more about the beautiful area beaches here.
The freshwater pool was probably the most under-utilized amenity at this hotel! A nearby shower was used by guests wanting to rinse off from a dip in the ocean, but there were never many people around the pool. I found it refreshing to take a dip when I started getting too hot in the sun. The lounge chairs here also provided more shade than those on the beach.
This resort is fifty years old but has been wonderfully maintained. A beautiful pavilion on the beach hosts fitness classes and wedding receptions. The landscaping was done in such a way as to need little upkeep. I appreciated the little touches like the water fountains and the artistic details placed throughout the grounds.
One of the fun things was this chair called the Queen of the World Throne. A plaque said that if you sat on it and made a wish, your wish would come true! Here’s hoping!
Although there is a spa on the resort grounds, we did not try any of the services. What we did try were the yoga and pilates classes. Guests from nearby resorts and even locals also attended classes here. Two class passes were provided to us. Holding approximately two yoga classes each day, you could enjoy mornings at the pavilion or evenings on the yoga deck. Three weekly pilates classes were also available. A full service gym was open to guests, not that we used it!
The wonderfully helpful front desk staff answered all of our questions; although the concierge desk steered us wrong when booking our tour. The WiFi at this resort was awful and unreliable, but you don’t go to Aruba to watch your screens, so that may have been a good thing in the end!
Although I cringed a little bit over the cost of the room, this was a special vacation for us and it could have been so much more expensive at one of the other nearby resorts. The beautiful setting, the comfortable accommodations, and the wonderful trip will remain with us always. I’m afraid that this experience has ruined us for our next trips and I hope that we will be able to remain true to our goals of affordable travel. I highly recommend the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa if you’re planning an Aruba vacation!
Annick, The Common Traveler