Aruba Hotels

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Aruba Hotel Reviews

"Cuida nos turista" ("Take care of our tourists") is the island's motto, and many Arubans are taught the finer points of hospitality as soon as they learn to read and write. With such cordial hosts, it's hard to go wrong no matter where you decide to stay. Accommodations in Aruba run the gamut from large high-rise hotels and resorts to sprawling time-share condo complexes to small, locally owned boutique establishments.

Most hotels are west of Oranjestad, along L.G. Smith and J.E. Irausquin boulevards. Many are self-contained complexes, with restaurants, shops, casinos, watersports centers, health clubs, and car-rental and travel desks. Room service, laundry and dry-cleaning services, in-room safes, minibars or refrigerators, and babysitting are standard at all but the smallest properties. Most places don't include meals in their rates, although the island now has a few all-inclusive resorts. Still, you can shop around for good dining options, as hotel restaurants and clubs are open to all island guests.

Many people prefer to stay in time-shares, returning year after year and making the island a kind of home away from home. Some time-share patrons say they like the spacious, homey accommodations and the opportunity to prepare their own meals. Note that hotel-type amenities such as shampoo, hair dryers, and housekeeping service may not be offered in time-shares; if they are, they often cost extra. Time-shares and hotels typically charge a combined total of 19% taxes and service charges on top of quoted rates, so be sure to ask about taxes before booking to avoid sticker-shock when you check out.

Types of Lodgings

Almost all the resorts are along the island's southwest coast, along L.G. Smith and J.E. Irausquin boulevards, the larger high-rise properties being farther away from Oranjestad. A few budget places are in Oranjestad itself. Since most of Aruba's beaches are equally fabulous, it's the resort, rather than its location, that's going to be a bigger factor in how you enjoy your vacation.

Large Resorts: These all-encompassing vacation destinations offer myriad dining options, casinos, shops, watersports centers, health clubs, and car-rental desks. The island has only a handful of all-inclusives, though these are gaining in popularity.

Time-shares: Large time-share properties are cropping up in greater numbers, luring visitors who prefer to prepare some of their own meals and have a bit more living space than you might find in the typical resort hotel room.

Boutique Resorts: You'll find a few small resorts that offer more personal service, though not always with the same level of luxury as the larger places. But smaller resorts better reflect the natural sense of Aruban hospitality you'll find all over the island.

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* Some taxes, fees additional