We had a wonderful time in Aruba! We rented a car (which I highly recommend) and had an adventurous drive to the condo. First off, as is mentioned in several other reviews, there are really no street signs in Aruba. Maria provided us with directions that we unfortunately couldn't follow because we were informed by the car rental agency that we were required to take Highway 1 out of the airport. This turned out to be OK though - as we learned once we got used to driving around the island. If you have decided to book this condo, here are some better directions: Take Highway 1 North, well past the cruise port and up to Highway 3. There is a light at Highway 3 and you should see a McDonalds on the left and a Dominos and KFC on the right. Turn right on Highway 3 and travel about 3 KM. Just past a large green house on the left side is the street where you need to turn left. Once you turn down the street, almost immediately turn right and you will see the condo on the right side. The parking area is gated and someone was there to open the gate and provide us with the keys. If you refer to Google Maps for help, it will likely take you to what appears to be a school (green building) on the right side of the road. That's what happened to us... If the same thing happens to you, just know that you have gone just a little too far.
When we arrived, we were advised to go to the Super Food for groceries. If you follow the directions provided above, you will actually pass the Super Food on your way in... You will see it on the right side of Highway 1 as you are driving North - Maybe 3-4 KM before you reach Highway 3. It is an "American style" grocery store and EXTREMELY busy. We went there a few times during our stay and it was busy every time, so bring your patience. A few grocery shopping tips:
1 - They do not provide bags at Super Food - They have some nice ones for sale that hold a lot of stuff and they cost about $3 American each.
2 - Make a list before you go. There really isn't much at the condo. Maria provided toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo/conditioner, dish soap, dishwashing sponges, salt and pepper, but really nothing else. If you intend to use the grille, be aware that it uses charcoal, so you'll need to buy some. Also, there was no aluminum foil or anything to wrap up leftovers. There was no lighter either (although we left ours behind, in one of the drawers). If you are a coffee drinker, bring/buy coffee and filters. There is no bean grinder at the condo. We were told the water was perfectly safe to drink, but we bought bottled water anyway.
3 - Most items will have two prices. The lower of the prices is in American dollars. Everything is pretty expensive in Aruba, so be prepared. For instance, my box of cereal was about $7. The fresh squeezed orange juice machine (near the meat counter) is really cool, but you'll pay for this too... About $7/liter for the juice.
4 - They offer carry-out service and I believe the charge was $5. We did it every time because the kids who helped us were really nice. They also spoke very good English and provided good information about the island.
The condo itself was very clean and nicely furnished. There are 3 bedrooms and 3 baths. Two of the rooms have king beds and the other has a queen bed. The pool was wonderful and there are chairs, tables, and lounge chairs. Maria also provided plenty of beach towels. The pool area is actually shared with two single-family apartments (one of which is Maria's home). We only saw other people at the pool once, but otherwise we had it fully to ourselves. There is WIFI at the condo and it worked very well.
As others have mentioned, there is no hot water in residential homes in Aruba. If you plan to take a shower, I advise you to turn off the air conditioning in the bedroom first. If you let if warm up in there a bit, the water temperature really isn't an issue. It's a little refreshing at first, but we found that we got used to it quickly. Bring your own hair dryer if needed. There is not one in the condo.
Maria is an excellent massage therapist. She has massage tables right on site and I had her "Relaxation Massage"... It was wonderful.
We took the 4-hour UTV Tour while we were there and I highly recommend it. Maria made the arrangements for us and they picked us up very close (within walking distance) to the condo and dropped us off at the condo. From pick up to drop off, you'll likely be gone more like 6 hours as the tour actually begins at a facility down by the airport. During the tour, you'll see sites you really can't get to in a normal car (at least I don't advise it, unless you really know your way around and you purchased the extra insurance).
We did drive to the California Lighthouse on our own (signage was actually pretty good).... There is a nice Italian restaurant on site. We went there twice during our stay - The first visit was wonderful, but we had some issues with the service on our second visit. This was likely because they were also hosting a wedding that day, so they were a little short staffed. You can get some excellent photos of the sunset if you go at the right time. Reservations are recommended, but we were able to get a table after about a 20 minute wait on our first visit (weekday). The food quality was quite good and prices were moderate ($25-$45 American for entrees). They make really good Pina Coladas too.
Maria was a wonderful hostess and very helpful. She speaks some English and we generally had no issues communicating. We would definitely recommend this condo and would stay here again if we return to Aruba!