by Stephen Jermanok
Blessed with a long stretch of white sand, soothing ocean water, year-round temperatures in the 80s, a steady trade wind and very little breeze, it’s easy to understand the allure of Aruba. Located in the southern Caribbean, not far from the mainland of Venezuela, this Dutch isle is the perfect antidote to cure those winter blues. Spend one late afternoon on the beach watching the sun set, and you’re hooked. One week could easily turn into one month, especially if you were wise enough to book a room at the Playa Linda, a timeshare resort that rents out rooms for the week, month or season.
Smack-dab in the middle of Palm Beach, the low-lying coral-colored buildings of the Playa Linda cater to families who like the idea of having a room with a full kitchen; an easy stroll to the beach; a choice of onsite dining; a market to buy food, milk, wine and beer; a personalized concierge service to help with all restaurant reservations and activities, a pool, a kids’ club to keep the young ones active during the day and even a Teen Center that will keep the moodiest teenager entertained.
There are six types of rooms on property, guaranteed to appeal to all sizes of families, from a studio with a king-sized bed to a three-bedroom penthouse. And all of them have balconies overlooking those glorious ocean vistas. With the beach located a minute’s stroll from your room, you’ll no doubt be spending the bulk of your day making footprints in the sand. But it’s nice to know when your day is done, you can retreat to your spacious abode to freshen up, and simply walk downstairs to dine. Life should only be this simple.
The island is only 16 miles long and 7 miles wide, and traffic is never too bad so renting a car to see Aruba is a great idea. Head north of Palm Beach to snorkel at Boca Catalina and visit the century-old California Lighthouse. Then head east along the northern shores and pay a visit to the small, yet charming, Alta Vista Chapel, along with the caves and angry surf of Arikok National Park. On the southeastern tip of Aruba, the best kitesurfers in the world test their mettle on the tumultuous waves and steady wind at Boca Grandi Beach. A good way to end the day is at nearby Baby Beach, where the shallow and soft sands of the ocean are ideally suited for a dip.
Our Editor Loves
- Inviting stretch of beach and ocean
- Spacious rooms with full kitchens and balconies
- Kids' club and teen lounge
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The 214 rooms extend from the main lobby and spread out in a number of low-lying buildings around the pool.
The smallest rooms, the Studio Units, offer a mini kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stove, queen-sized bed and sleeper sofa, and accommodate up to four people.
One-bedroom suites offer a full-size kitchen, oven, cooking and dining utensils, a master bedroom with a queen-sized bed, flat-screen TV, ample dresser space, living room with a sleeper sofa and day-bed (to sleep three children), a five seat dining table, safe and a private balcony.
The two-bedroom suite features a larger master bedroom with a king-sized bed, a second bedroom with two twin beds, two bathrooms, a dining room table for six people and a much larger outdoor terrace.
The 16 Lanai Suites are located on the ground floor, perfect for families who have young children or are physically challenged. They feature one and two-bedroom suites, as well as the luxurious Royal Lanai -- an incredibly spacious two-bedroom suite with its own washer and dryer, and a mini beach with a shaded palapa, fountain and your own barbeque grill. The newest and most modern two-bedroom suite is the Spa Lanai, with its oversized patio, barbecue area and spacious outdoor sitting area.
The three-bedroom townhomes can accommodate up to eight people, ideally suited for multi-generational travel. The first floor of each duplex features a full kitchen and breakfast nook, large living room and sofa, a full bathroom, and washer and dryer. The three bedrooms are located on the second floor and include a master bedroom with a king-sized bed, private bathroom and private patio with an ocean view. The second bedroom has a queen-sized bed, and the third bedroom houses have two twin beds and a second bathroom. Outside, the backyard is home to a barbeque and picnic table. The three-bedroom Penthouse Suite, perched atop the 7th floor with a breathtaking ocean view, is the most luxurious lodging, capable of sleeping up to six. Both parents and kids will enjoy the private Jacuzzi on the deck.
We just returned home from a week in Aruba. This was our first visit and will not be our last. We absolutely loved everything about your resort. It is in a perfect location on Palm Beach walking distance to everything. All of the people that we encountered were very kind and helpful during our stay.
The rooms are decorated very nice and moderate and are kept immaculate. Bed is very firm.
The happy hour drink prices can not be beat. 2 for 1.
We will be coming back for another visit for sure.
Thanks for making our first visit to Aruba so fabulous.
I want to give credit where credit is due. Diego & "Junior Lawrence" (Bellman) made our transfer and/or transition to our new room so fast and easy. Prior times it took hours to move from one room to another, But these two gentlemen Junior Lawrence and Diego are Outstanding! Within 1/2 hour we were moved and on the beach!!!! Thank you both so very much! Your are the best!!! Until next year my friends! Love you!
Kids' Club and Teen Lounge
Available on weekdays and from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays, Playa Linda's Kids Club is located near the pool. Children ages 4 to 12 are led by counselors through a variety of activities, including treasure hunts, T-shirt coloring, horseback riding, limbo dancing and jewelry making. Three nights a week, counselors stay late to be with the kids while mom and dad can go out to dinner. Events include an Aruban night and a Hawaiian beach party. The Teen Lounge is located behind the Kids Club and features Xbox, PlayStation and movies. Counselors lead the older kids in a Zumba class, nighttime pool parties and venture off property to sea kayak.
Pool and Beach
The pool is long and narrow, with sloping sides, easy for the kids to enter. Just beyond the pool is the boardwalk and beach. Grab your cabana and whisk away the day with a good novel. Palm Beach is dotted with outfitters who will happily take you snorkeling, jet skiing or parasailing. There are also opportunities to go sailing on large catamarans or schooners for a morning snorkel or sunset cruise.
The boardwalk that separates the property from the beach is popular in the morning and late afternoon with walkers and joggers. You can walk along the shoreline north past the expansive Marriott, or head south to Eagle Beach. There are no unsavory characters hassling you or sketchy areas to walk through. You feel very safe.
Dushi Bagels And Burgers
For breakfast, guests can head to the front of the hotel for bagels at Dushi Bagels, or find hot food like pancakes and omelets. Dushi also serves lunch and dinner.
Aromi d'Italia CafÃ©
Aroma, which serves breakfast all day long, is most popular at lunch, when you can get grilled Panini and finish with gelato.
Eduardo's Beach Shack
This smoothie shack on the boardwalk makes shakes throughout the day.
Amuse Bistro serves local cuisine with a French flare like pan-fried scallops, shrimp doused in a coconut sauce and a hangar steak with a chimichuri sauce. You have the option of ordering entrÃ©es or sharing smaller-sized plates.
Azzurro is the Italian restaurant, located on the second floor of the pool area, overlooking the beach and ocean. Expect a wide assortment of kid-friendly pasta and pizza options, grilled grouper and prime rib. Azzurro is open for lunch and dinner.
Le Petit CafÃ©
Le Petit CafÃ©, in front of Playa Linda, is known for serving their dishes of lobster, shrimp and Black Angus steak on a hot stone. The cafÃ© serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Carlito's Sports Beach Bar
Enjoy burgers, sandwiches and all-day happy hour while watching the game.
Garden Fresh CafÃ©
Find a fruit and salad bar along with smoothies at the Garden Fresh CafÃ©, open for breakfast and lunch.
Serving breakfast and lunch, Scott's features Wisconsin's famous bratwurst.
For authentic Caribbean BBQ, visit Smokey Joe's for the best.
Then, of course, there's the market inside the resort to snag a selection of cereals, eggs, bread and lunchmeats, and take advantage of that full-sized kitchen inside your room.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Utilize the concierge service near the lobby to book day trips and make restaurant reservations for the week. They're incredibly helpful. Even though the rooms are technically timeshares, there is daily maid service, which is nice with the amount of sand being tracked in every day. Wi-Fi is available at the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
January through March is Aruba's high season, when Americans, Canadians and Europeans escape the cold and crowd the beach for a much-needed dose of warmth. Expect to pay top dollar during the winter. But the beauty of Aruba is that its sublime temperature is a constant, with very little rainfall throughout the year. Also, unlike the rest of the Caribbean, which is hurricane prone, the last hurricane to hit Aruba was in 1877. Thus, Aruba remains a popular destination in the summer, especially with South Americans. If you want to visit the island with less beach traffic, try the shoulder season months of early December, April and May. Prices are also reduced from their winter highs during this time.
The Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad is about a 20 minutes drive from Playa Linda.
Renting a car and driving to Aruba's premier snorkeling spot, Boca Grandi, is much cheaper than the per person price of $60-$70 that you'll spend for taking a morning sail. That way, you'll have the car for the remainder of the day to visit all of Aruba's sites.
Mom and Dad
Located on the lower level, near the Lanai suites, the Spa del Sol is calling your name. Wait outside in the open-air gazebo before entering a room filled with bamboo teak, and one heavenly bed where you can enjoy a much-needed deep tissue massage. Facials and manicures are also available.