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In Aruba hotels usually add an 11% service charge to the bill and collect 8% in government taxes for a whopping total of 19% on top of quoted rates.
Most hotels and other lodgings require you to give your credit-card details before they'll confirm your reservation. If you don't feel comfortable emailing this information, ask if you can fax it (some places even prefer faxes). However you book, get confirmation in writing and have a copy of it handy when you check in.
Be sure you understand the hotel's cancellation policy. Some places allow you to cancel without any kind of penalty—even if you prepaid to secure a discounted rate—if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance. Others require you to cancel a week in advance or penalize you the cost of one night. Small inns and B&Bs are most likely to require you to cancel far in advance. Most hotels allow children under a certain age to stay in their parents' room at no extra charge, but others charge for them as extra adults; find out the cutoff age for discounts.
Apartment and House Rentals
Apartments and time-share condos are common in Aruba. So if you're looking for more space for your family or group to spread out in (and especially if you want to have access to a kitchen to make some meals), this can be a very budget-friendly option in Aruba. The money you save can be used for more dining and activities. Many time-share resorts are full-service, offering the same range of watersports and other activities as any other resort. And some regular resorts also have a time-share component.
Home Away (512/493–0382 in U.S. www.homeaway.com.)
Villas International (415/499–9490; 800/221–2260 in U.S. www.villasintl.com.)
Aruba is a major tourist destination and offers a variety of hotel types. Most hotels are located in one of two stretches: the low-rise hotels in a stretch along Druif Beach and Eagle Beach, and the high-rise hotels on a stretch of Palm Beach. With a few exceptions, the hotels in the high-rise area tend to be larger and more expensive than their low-rise counterparts, but they usually offer a wider range of services.
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