Loved The Mill Resort
I just returned from Aruba and I want to share my experience with you. I stayed at The Mill Resort for seven nights with my mother and two of my Aunts. We had a wonderful time at this family owned resort! It is very small and I can’t express enough how wonderful the service is at the Mill Resort. Being a travel agent, I normally stay in the higher rated more frequented hotels but in this case I am quite pleased that I chose the Mill Resort- I truly enjoyed the personal touches and hope that the rating would be raised for this resort.
The buildings have recently been painted terra cotta and yellow adding a much more Caribbean feel to the exterior. The landscaping is very beautiful with a stone waterfall around the pool and the Mango and Palm Trees in the backdrop all create a romantic and tropical setting. The interior of the rooms are spacious, we stayed in a Junior Suite room with two double beds and a Queen sofa sleeper. The room also included a kitchenette, which is very convenient for a quick bite to eat or a family trying to save money. The bathrooms were completely tiled and in good condition. My only recommendation to the hotel was to include a step stool to get in and out of the bathtub/shower. The tub sides are about two feet high and very difficult to get out of for shorter people. The rooms have white walls and are kept very clean, maybe bright colored walls will enhance the Caribbean feel to the interior of the room and compliment the bright colored comforters nicely.
There is one restaurant on the property and it is well worth dining there. We tried several restaurants during our stay in Aruba and none of them compared to the comfort and quality of the meals prepared at the Mill Resort. Not to mention, they have to be the best priced in Aruba. For instance, you can purchase a three-course dinner for $12.00 and you can purchase the all-you-can-eat BBQ on Wednesdays for $17.50. They post the daily dinner specials at the beginning of the week so you can plan ahead on which days you prefer to dine there.
The beach is across the street in front of the Wyndham hotel. You can either walk about one-two minutes or the hotel will drive you there. The hotel has palapas and beach chairs for your use on the beach. You can walk the boardwalk as far up as the Marriott Resorts and stop by the numerous casinos or shops on the way! The Aruba Grand next to the Wyndham has a beach bar and grill that is nice or you can stop at any number of restaurants in the hotels. The Mill’s beach area on Palm Beach is nice but I much prefer Baby Beach. If you rent a car during your stay the drive to Baby Beach is well worth it especially if you enjoy snorkeling. They have large blue parrotfish, puffer fish and many different types of tangs all in water waist deep! Even if you don’t snorkel you can walk out and see the hundreds of fish that swarm you if you feed them. We gave them bites of string cheese and crackers, we also saw people feeding them cheese in a spray can. This beach area is excellent for children as the water is the calmest that I found.
The pool area is very beautiful and the landscaping around it adds a great ambiance. There are two large lagoon style pools and one children’s pool, which allow for plenty of swimming and lounging space. An ample amount of lounge chairs and palapas are provided. There are games held throughout the day and the pool bar offers 2 for 1 cocktails from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
I would highly recommend The Mill Resort for anyone wanting the true Arubian feel in a low cost resort!
Mill Resort - Economic and Above Average
We returned yesterday, January 30, 2005,from this resort. We are a Canadian couple in our 50's, on a somewhat limited budget, and we have visited various "last-minute" locations before, including the Brisas Santa Lucia near Camaguey Cuba, which is just about as basic as I would like to go - on my present budget that is. (We reviewed this resort as well on here, and gave it 3 stars, with no major problems)
Anyway, you need to remember first of all that Aruba is a bit more expensive than some islands, though it offers great beaches, a real likelihood of superior weather being further soutn, real safety, and a very receptive population, well-attuned to catering to the tourist. (And the water is great, desalinated, if you believe those myths about the Caribbean and Mexico)
We got the Mill Resort for $1088 Canadian, NOT all-inclusive, at the end of January, about 300 less than the list price in the catalogues. We had read reviews, and we were not worried about the location, though we thought it might have some shortcomings. As it turned out, I would only say it had one!
First of all, I cannot begin to understand why one of the reviewers here broke down in tears because this place was so "casual" (though she grew to like it). We recently stayed at one of the "Fallsview" rooms in Niagara Falls and we found that the room at the Mill Resort that we had was very reminescent of that room, and very similar. It had a whirlpool tub in the middle of the room, lots of mirrors, a room with toilet and medium large shower, lovely colours, large bed, decent sized fridge (it stored our beer, lunch meats, milk, water, etc., quite adequate) etc. Plus a king size comfortable bed, and in particular a balcony.
TV was fine, lots of channels, many in English, in spite of many visitors being Dutch and spanish, and there were channels for them too. Who watches the stupid boob-tube anyway - well the Aussie Open was on, so maybe I looked a bit.
We wanted a unit with a kitchenette, but didnt get one at first. however, in our area, those units did not have a balcony, so we decided to try with just the fridge. It was quite successful, we had cereal or cheese and buns for breakfast, cold meat sandwiches for lunch, the occasional(?!) beer and we were quite happy with this. We had a couple of hot breakfasts in the more-than-adequate restaurant, and one lunch there as well.
The rooms with kitchenettes seemed a little larger and less claustrophobic, though our room was fine.
Yes there were noise problems. There are 3 types of rooms at The Mill and they are joined in a way, so that if you have a large group, you can move back and forth between rooms or have your privacy, whatever you prefer. This is fine, but the doors between contributed to a bit of noise, and there were also some problems with the overhead noise muffling (or lack thereof) in certain rooms. In short, if you had noisy, inconsiderate neighbours, you could have a problem, but otherwise it is OK, not great, but OK.
My only complaint was that most (not all) of the rooms face out onto the centre area of the Resort, because the layout is more or less circular. And, the real problem with that was the noisy, nightly, entertainment. DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU THE MILL IS A QUIET LOCATION!
On a couple of nights per week, you can listen to drunken karaoke from 7 - 10. It did sound as if on at least 2 nights the entertainment was at least adequate, and perhaps enjoyable. One night the limbo dancer was very impressive. So it is probably better to join the festivities, which we rarely did.
They generally stopped after 10:15 or so, but if you wanted a quiet evening, and you had one of the rooms looking onto the central area, (and most were) this could be a problem. There were a few rooms looking out onto the road, or the wetland area, which would have been quieter, but I think those would be difficult to get, or reserve, or whatever. (The wetland area had a lot of large birds, it wasn't "beautiful", but a birder would love it, and I wasn't unhappy with it either; there is also a bird sanctuary very close by, with a viewing platform, plus a butterfly garden, which seemed a bit overpriced at $12 US)
Actually, the central area of the resort is quite lovely, other than the evening racket, the pools are beautiful and well-maintained, lots of chairs, a few interesting iguana, palm trees, not a lot of kids when we were there, really very lovely. I can see why some people didn't bother with the beach.
The restaurant was fine, the bar was busy, there was a little mini-mart, with some nice choices, a bit expensive, but not outrageous, so we went to the large grocery store down the road.
Yes, the beach is a short walk. my partner said that if you were elderly (mistakenly thinking I was not!) the walk could be a bit much, but I survived the 5 minutes. It was not a picturesque walk, near the maintenance area of the Wyndham, but if you went just a few paces further, you could walk thru an area with cactus and lizards, which was, honestly, quite interesting.
Then you arrived at a lovely beach, with a helpful host who had lounges and drinks, and I think a few beer left (after i left) and there were some lovely young topless bathers there, who got me in big trouble with my wife, and who could ask for more?
We had a couple of cheap evening meals out a Sabarro, or a deli of that type, and 2 expensive meals, one was at the California Lighthouse, not cheap at all but worth every $$$ for the view and the sunset and the dunes and the lighthouse, don't miss that one! (The veal shank and dessert, were great too, it was busy though, reserve!)
In short, Aruba as an island can be a bit expensive, especially in the high rise resorts. This is a nice, economical though not cheap alternative, and really, you would have to be very fussy to complain about it, or very neurotic to be tearful about it.
Affordable Accomodation in Aruba
The only "low-rise" in the high-rise section of Aruba, The Mill has very friendly and accomodating staff though other than the front desk workers, many do not speak English! Only about 2 blocks from Palm Beach, the hotel has a very active bar scene that attracts guests from many of the bigger, beach-front hotels. My boyfriend and I so enjoyed the lower-key atmosphere! I would deffinately recomend this place to anyone else! The pool is surrounded by the hotel so the constant island breeze is somewhat muted, which is a blessing when the breeze turns gusty. Intermezzo spa, located in the hotel, has wonderful staff and offers an array of services from facials, hair braiding, hot stone massage and body wraps. If you are looking to use the on-site exercise facilities you should check when them before you book, the fitness area was under renovation during our stay. Although The Mill itself doesn't have a casino, the two hotels closest (like 1/2 a block away) have full-size casinos...complete with complementary drinks while you're playing!
Single Traveler Review
I booked my first online package trip from Boston to Aruba, March 3 - 8, 2005 at the Mill Resort & Suites. The convenience of booking online was terrific. Having been to Aruba many times in the past, I was familiar with the island and hotel & beach areas.
My one complaint was that upon arrival at the Mill Resort to check in, the front desk found my reservations and room assignment, however, there was a problem - there was no room available - even though they clearly assigned it. Evidently they gave it to someone else! I patiently waited while noticing that another woman who was trying to register before me, was having the same problem - the room was not available and they were trying to talk her into staying at a motel that night. After losing 3 precious vacation hours waiting for managment to let me know what was happening, I finally was brought to a room. The room was large with a king size bed and small patio to the rear of the pool. It was bright and well ventilated with no moldy smell. The air conditioner could not be adjusted - it ran just warm and cold. The bed was comfortable with many extra pillows. The closet doors were missing - but storage adequate. The room also had a fully equipped kitchennette - great for snacks, coffee, sandwich making or cooking if you preferred. This was also spottless. The floor, however, had not been cleaned and a few lights were missing. A call to the front desk fixed that quickly. The bathroom however needs help - if you are old, short or have any sort of handicap, beware of the tub - you will need to be careful and maybe request a stool to get in and out - I think the tub may be raised up from the floor for drainage.....it needs a step!
The pool with waterfall was beautiful - although, guests seemed to save their pool chairs earlier & earlier each morning! If you didn't get up and out to the pool by 8 AM - the chairs were gone!!! No people in the chairs, but the towels and bags were there for the full day, saving them just in case they came back! This is a family oriented resort with time shares, so those guests are pros at chair saving!! The beach is a 5 minute walk across the street, located at a rather dangerous intersection - no crosswalk - so you need to run for your life!!! It is then down a public drive with overloaded dumpsters along the way - not very appealing.
I rented a car for 2 days and traffic in Aruba has changed - far too many cars, backed up traffic in the city and crazy drivers - honking horns because you are in their way (forgetting that use tourists are their bread & butter) - this was a big change from the relaxed island that I new from the past! Another surprise is the use of ATV's on the public roads - they are all over and very dangerous! Needless to say, I turned in the car rather quickly and opted for the bus!
Not changed is the wonderful, perfect, sunny warm weather, 85-90 with the refreshing breeze from the ocean & beautiful sunsets The beach area was clean and the water wonderful. No drinks or food available, you've got to go to the hotel next door for that!
Meals at the Mill were a deal - $12 specials for dinner were good most evenings and the breakfast buffet great - no lunch needed. The seafood buffet was disappointing, however. Too many saucey mixtures and not enough fresh fish dishes. The best fish was at the bar as free-appetizers one evening. The bar was happy, deals were 2 for 1 specials and good. The manager's cocktail party with live entertainment was great! Bar closed at 10 pm. The activities director did a good job at getting a quite group going!
Except for the comments above - my stay was wonderful and ended much too soon. The Mill Resort would be great with just a few improvements - poco poco is hard to deal with after you have been on a plane for 5 hours and just want to relax!
Great deal, friendly, family orientated
We just returned from this resort and have to say the staff made the vacation worthwhile. There are three types of rooms here and depending on your party size and needs you will be allocated a specific one. As a couple we got the jacuzzi suite, but the others have cookers, microwaves etc. and sleep more people. The jacuzzi suite has a fridge also and we made good use of it. I will list the pros and cons.
1. Jean, the pool guy. We got down every morning around 8 a.m. to poolside and unlike previous Carribean resorts, there was never a rush for seats. Jean noticed this very quickly and managed to set out towels for us each morning prior to our arrival. His friendliness was great and his interaction with both adults and children made him a quick favorite.
2. The breakfast. Have the continental breakfast for $6 and you should have plenty to get you through the day.
3. Staff. Overall the staff were excellent and he fact that we didn;t have to call the front desk once is a sign of the professionalism.
4. Music. Music levels are very sustainable and aren't all Brittany and Christine. We heard Bob Marley, The Stones, even Air Supply but all at a level low enough to know it was there and nothing else.
5. Happy Hour. Lots of fun.
1. Mosquitos. It is a damp climate, what do you expect?
2. Spoiled children. Well it is a family resort so we can't really complain but these are the same kids you see screaming incessantly in the store for candy .
3. Sheets, low thread count.
If you want a beach resort, don't go here. While the beach is only a five minute walk, you will gravitate towards the pool as it is literally outside your window. The minimarket is not cheap but is convenient. Walk up the street towards the Playa Linda, where a larger, more reasonably priced minimarket is available. This area has a Subway, Dunkin Donuts and other "American fare". On this walk there are a number of excellent restaurants which you should try.
Liked the Mill Half the Time!
We just spent 7 days at the Mill,Feb. 22 to March 2 with our 2 daughters, age 18 and 19. Had a Supersaver Room with 2 double beds,balcony and tiny kitchenette.Balcony was unusable due to kitchen smells and views of rooftops and other undesirables.Sheets were rough,mattresses fine.Bathroom was totally '70's ghetto with sliding tub doors that nearly fell off, mold and mildew.Had to beg for a bar of soap from the maids even though we tipped at least $1.00 a day. Loved the kitchenette, made drinkies, microwave popcorn, etc.Had oatmeal for breakfast with fresh fruit from the supermarket. Sliding closet doors were broken, also the ceiling fan. The safe worked perfectly and the AC was great.Never ate at the restaurant there but enjoyed a few bar activities that ended at 10 pm. sharp.Great activity director, Randall! He even brought our daughters home from the downtown bar, Carlos and Charlies, at 1 am. to save on cab fare even though it was the opposite direction from his home!
We rented a Suzuki jeep on the premises for a day to see the whole island, snorkeled and did the underwater boat ride, a sunset cruise and lots of shopping.Ate at Tomatoe Charlies, Eleanora's, Iguana Joes, Smoky Joes and Carlos and Charlies. All great for teens and moderate budgets!!!
Met fabulous New Englanders like ourselves everywhere enjoying perfect weather everyday, 85 and light breezes. Rained 3 times briefly. Used the bus services alot! Taxi from airport screwed us over for $25, not $20 like it is supposed to be. Cabbies drive like maniacs. Pool hotels were great, not enough loungers to go around. Typical early day hogging of chairs in prime locations, too. Get your chairs claimed at 6 am if you must!
Walked across the highway to the ocean alot.A 5 minute walk. which was ok.Lots of wonderful restaurant choices! Went to Bon Bini festival and Aruba Panoramic film, too. All in all, a great week with our daughters.We wouldn't ever stay at the Mill again but the price was right!
Aruba in November
Flying US Air, which had several delays. We were dropped off near our hotel because of flooding the de palm tour bus could not drop us totally off at the hotel. We went just prior to Thanksgiving and it was definately raining alot in Aruba. The sun does come out but dont expect it not to rain half the day, or as they call it liquid sunshine. We walked. I was considering renting a car earlier but it seemed like a waste because of all the flooding and road blockage.
Check in at the Mill Resort was cumbersome. Check in after 5pm will have long waits even with a small line. The hotel overall was pretty nice considering it was only a 2-3 star type hotel. Our room was not ready and we were upgraded.