The inventory and diversity of resort hotel properties in Aruba are fairly extensive. Most prominent hotels are located in either the top rated Eagle Beach area or ritzy Palm Beach. Either way, the mash-up of places to stay in Aruba is remarkable.
As remarkable as the places to stay in Aruba can be some resorts can get, some hotels don’t get the attention they deserve, in my humble opinion. Such a resort is Manchebo Beach Resort.
Manchebo is the OG of small hotels in Aruba. In fact, Manchebo is so iconic that even the beach is named after the hotel, namely Manchebo Beach.
The founder of Manchebo, who passed away in 2007, became a pioneer of Aruba tourism when he became a founding member of the local hotel association. Early on the association had only a few partner members, when they took the seemingly insurmountable task to start building the local tourism industry.
Together with the island government, they had to tackle the drought and water distribution issues, establish a stable and affordable power grid, improve and build all basic tourism infrastructure, increase room availability and airlift.
For a small and sleepy island, the results of that effort after half a century can be categorized as unreal. Visitors grew from about a few hundred a year then to about two million a year now.
Manchebo Beach, probably in the 1960s. Image from instagram.com/oldaruba
In the present day, Manchebo has become a jewel by the beach and it presents itself to the public as a boutique resort.
The definition of “boutique resort” is a little fuzzy, but for the most part, a boutique hotel is considered to be a relatively small hotel property that offers luxury with personalized service. Currently, Manchebo has 71 rooms in total. Manchebo features a spa and high-quality restaurants, including their own fresh herbs garden.
The longevity and endurance displayed by Manchebo Beach Resort are quite remarkable. They have competed against billion dollar hotel chains, other small hotels, weathered recessions, the devastating 80s refinery closure and the uncertainty after Aruba’s departure from The Netherlands Antilles island group in 1986. Time after time Manchebo reinvented to meet the demands of the contemporary traveler and that is for all intents and purposes a tremendous feat.
Manchebo is rated as one of the best resorts in Aruba. On TripAdvisor travelers are about it. At the time of press, Manchebo is ranked number 3 among all hotels and resorts in Aruba. Read travelers opinions here.
My memories of Manchebo go back to the 80s when I was allowed sometimes to accompany my mother to the carnival nights at Manchebo where she was a performer. As a little kid, I thought it was the best thing in the world.
After reading the above, I give some perspective into Manchebo Beach Resort, but at the end, the only thing you might care about is the basics, so here goes.
How is the food? Food is good, sometimes fancy. How is the internet? The Internet is serviceable. How is the sea there? The sea is truly amazing. Manchebo is located at a bend where two beaches come together, namely Manchebo Beach and Divi Beach, therefore creating some waves to play with. Most of the time the water is clear and the bottom is sandy. Manchebo has the widest beach of all hotels in Aruba.
Note 1: this post is not sponsored by Manchebo. Image courtesy of Manchebo.
Note 2: updated by adding map, picture of Old Aruba Instagram, minor corrections.
Former Aruba tour guide, trying to provide value to Aruba travelers.