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All reviews dogs and cats minute walk to the beach stay there again outdoor kitchen palm beach excellent location the ritz high rise hotels washer and dryer mosaics dutch marriott handcrafted pets property pool home
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Reviewed 3 February 2012

This place is fantastic! Rienke was such a gracious host and very accommodating. Beautiful pool, and our room was it's own little place -- had a little kitchen and everything so we could cook most of our meals. And a BEAUTIFUL villa.

This place is NOT for everyone -- the shower water is lukewarm at best (not bad considering the hot weather) and there are three dogs and three cats running around. It is a 5 minute walk to the beach, which might be a lot to the people that just want to roll out of bed and onto the sand. Also note-- you can rent cars from her but they tend to be in pretty rough shape.

But if you're into doing something off the beaten path and staying at a really unique home, do it.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Fawna X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2012

I stayed at the villa in January 2012, looking for an inexpensive, cozy alternative to the touristy hotels found on Eagle and Palm beach and absolutely found what I was looking for at the Sunflower villa. If you are looking for a self-catered vacation, this is it.

The villa has several studios of various sizes for guest use, all brightly decorated with mosaic and sunflower or aquatic themes. The gardens are lovely, well tended, and provide shade when looking for a break from that terrific Aruba sun. The pool and cool water jacuzzi is appreciated and a great place to unwind, swim, play, or just float on the numerous pool toys available to the guests.

Your villa stay will be self-catered. A self-catered vacation is just that: expect to clean up after yourself during your stay. No one will make your bed, or pick your towels off your studio floor. Your bedsheets will not be cleaned everyday (Does anyone do this at home anyways? Honestly?) and you will handwash your own dishes, and take our your garbage when it's full. I prefer this type of vacation to having someone wait hand and foot. If you're comfortable with self-catered scenarios, then welcome to a little piece of Aruban paradise. :)

I stayed in the Temple studio, located right beside the pool. My morning view was of golden sun reflecting on that water, very inviting indeed! The studio is perfect for one person and while you won't be able to eat very comfortably in the studio (seated on your bed, no table), you have a lovely little table and chairs right outside your door and can enjoy the views while eating your meals. I tended to bring my breakfast and coffee to the covered veranda in order to mingle with other guests and our wonderful hostess, Rienke. The bed in my studio was extremely comfortable and and air conditioning was perfect. The tap water is cool- there is no hot water at the villa studios, none in the shower or bathroom or kitchen sinks- this is quite common and given the heat in Aruba, I didn't miss it one bit. Speaking of tap water, it's absolutely safe to drink from tap water at the villa. Hydrate in the heat (Water and Arashi beer does the trick, hahaha)!

They were short-staffed during my stay, so a few minor things were not done on a regular basis: pool or jacuzzi not being vacuumed regularly, and the foot paths to the studios were not swept clean daily. That said, the 'stuff' in the pool and paths was mostly flowers and leaves that would fall daily from those gorgeous garden plants, so I can live with that.

Rienke, the villa owner, owns three really sweet dogs and a couple of cats who freely roam the villa grounds during the day. Their poop is regularly picked up and I saw no evidence of it during my week there. They are great pets, but do bark when you enter the backyard, to announce your arrival and say 'hi'. I did not find the noise bothersome in any way. These wonderful animals add to the homey atmosphere you can expect at the villa and I enjoyed playing with them.

A few things could use improvement and the owner has assured me all of these things will be addressed. Again, note that they were short-staffed during my stay:

1. Dishes/glasses/etc. in the studio kitchen was not all very clean upon arrival. I pretty much washed what I wanted to use though out my stay.
2. Some of the pool cushions and swing cushions near the bbq pit are moldy from the Carribean weather. Wash them or throw them out and replace them, would be my suggestion.
3. Dusting/wiping down shelving in the kitchen studio would be a good idea.
4. Wiping down the breakfast/coffee nook area where guests are invited to enjoy senseo coffee. A thorough wash of the inside of coffee machine reservoir would be a good idea as well.
5. The safe is my studio did not work, so I carried my passport around with me all week.

I realize that they were short-staffed during my stay and these things were not big deals to me, but might matter to some guests.

The free coffee available to guests right by the pool side is a really sweet treat. In addition, beer, colas and bottled water is also available for a reasonable price in the mini-fridge in that same area.

What I liked most about this villa is the unexpected mix of guests you'll meet. In late afternoons, guest would often gather around the pool or covered shaded terrace and chat about their day or just life in general. Impromptu pot-luck chats in early evenings were magic.

Mosquitos were abundant after nightfall. Long sleeves and pants or the liberal use of mosquito repellent is a good idea. Rienke leaves a few cans on the terrace tables for guest use. We also used the COOLEST tennis-racquet shaped bug zappers during our evening chats on this terrace, providing us with plenty of laughs about who was the best zapper of the evening.

Groceries: there are two grocery stores that are worth your while, if you don't feel like eating at restaurants. Try the smaller Unicasa grocery store on Palm beach blvd. or go a little further down this road to the Kong Fui grocery store, much larger with a bigger selection. Walking time: about 25-30 minutes. They are located near the Wendy's and KFC restaurants in the hotel zone.

Restaurant: Try Debbie's dutch pancake restaurant for a nice treat. Yummy! Ask Rienke for details as to how to get there.

Bike rental: Aruba Active Vacations, located right on the beach just north of the Marriott provided me with a mountain bike, helmet and lock during my stay. They deliver the bike and pick it up from the villa.

Rienke absolutely added to my Aruban experience and made my trip a very memorable one. Sweet, with a generous spirit and heart of gold, she made all guests feel welcome, me included. I appreciated her sharing her wisdom and suggestions about what to do, where to go, etc. with me and other guests. An unexpected bonus that shows the kind of sweet soul she is: I celebrated a milestone birthday during my vacation and she spoiled me with a Dutch breakfast and gift. So sweet and absolutely appreciated. I miss her and her friend Eli, very much.

Will I go back to the villa? You bet!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled solo
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8  Thank Aconcagua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2011

The nicest thing about the Sunflower Villa is Reinke, the proprietor. I have a time share in the Marriott across the street. I have been extending my vacations through the weekends by staying extra days in the Sunflower. I have only stayed in the room called the Temple at the end of the swimming pool. I have done this twice and this coming May, I intend to make my third visit. Reinke picks me up at the airport and makes sure that I have everything I need to be comfortable. Be aware that this villa is not a resort. I see it as a place to relax, sit by the pool and read a book, take a walk to the beach, and to sleep at night. If you want to eat out, you can easily walk to the Marriott or the mall. From there you can get a bus to anywhere else on the island. There is a small kitchen and a fridge and I take care of my own meals.

Room Tip: I have only stayed in the room called the Temple. It is a very small room and you should consider that you will only shower and sleep in it. You might use the tiny kitchen, but eat at the patio table outside.
  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank Jimmy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

We were two very weary travelors, having slept little in 22 hours of travel. Our prepaid room at Aruba Harmonie Apts had been overbooked and we had no where to stay. We showed up on Rienke's doorstep looking frazzeled and un washed. She sized us up in barely a minute. She graciously showed us to a room and we were asleep in less than 15 minutes. When we awoke some 10 hours later we poked our noses out the door and found ourselves in a lovely little oasis in the town of Noord. Gardens, a little swimming pool and Rienke greeted us . Sun Flower Villas is a cute litlle spot, off the path but close to casinos and beaches. Its best feature was its quiet, honest and lovely proprietor Rienke.

Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank xz2xzzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2011

I am really surprised to hear any negative comments about this place! I know not every place can suit everyone, but this was a particularly nice getaway for me. The house itself is nestled into an oasis of greenery, with local birds chirping away all around you. There are a few dogs and cats running around, but that is listed on the web page. If you're not an animal person, this place isn't for you. But I found all of the furry friends to be incredibly sweet and affectionate. It was nice to be greeted in the morning by a purring kitty. Plus, the place is close to the beach, so I could easily walk there within 15 minutes. Having come to the Sunflower Villa from a previously negative hotel stay elsewhere, it was a much needed respite for me. If you are the kind of person who wants everything pristine and wants to be catered to, go to the resorts. If you want a home-like atmosphere in a quiet neighborhood that is close to everything, give this place a try. It's essentially an Aruban B&B. When I return to Aruba, I will absolutely stay there again.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank onlyflatonmaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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