All inclusive resorts in Aruba

Old Jan 13th, 2007, 08:28 PM
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All inclusive resorts in Aruba

Hi,

I am making vacation plans for Aruba, and want to stay at an all inclusive resort. The four resorts that I have found are the Occidental, the Holiday Inn Sunspree, the Divi Aruba Beach Resort, and the Tamarjin Aruba Beach Resort. At first I was leaning toward staying at the Occidental, but after doing some research I found that this is the most expensive resort. The least expensive one is the Holiday Inn Sunspree. As far as price is concerned the Divi is the second most expensive and the Tamarjin is third.
I don't know anyone that has been to any of these resorts, but I have talked to people that have been to other all inclusives and what I am hearing is that some of them are really great, and others of them are not so great. The biggest complaint that I am hearing from others is that at some resorts the wait for food or a drink is quite lengthy. I would rather spend the extra money and stay at the Occidental if the others aren't adequate.
So my question is has anyone stayed at any of these all inclusives and what was your expreience like.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 09:18 PM
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Have you looked at www.tripadvisor.com?

I see that (currently) for Palm / Eagle Beach, the Divi Aruba is rated #7, the Occidental is #9, and the Holiday Inn #15.

For Oranjestad, the Tamarjin is rated #6.
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 02:18 AM
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AI is not really big in Aruba as there are lots of restaurants in every price range.

You will be stuck eating at your hotel, when there are a ton of great restaurants on Palm Beach in all price ranges.

Peace, Greenie
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 11:12 AM
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Thank you Cawhite and Greenie.

I checked trip advisor and read the reviews that others wrote. They are all over the board with their ratings, so I am still confused. For airfare from Chicago and 7 nights AI the best deals I am finding are $1646 at the Holiday Inn Sunspree versus $2490 at Occidental. I am wondering if the Occidental is really worth over $800 per person more.
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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The difference in price def. has something to do with the quality of the accomodations. The HI is one of the cheapest places to stay on Palm Beach.

Have you checked some of the aruba bb's? They are very active!

http://www.aruba-bb.com/

http://www.aruba-travelguide.com/bulletinboard/

http://bb.visitaruba.com/index.php

Good luck. You'll love Aruba. We liked it very much.

Peace
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 12:44 PM
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I just replied to your other post but I'll add something here, too. If you're prepared to pay an extra $800 PER PERSON for the better quality AND you still want an AI, I would suggest that you book the lowest-end AI available and then put the extra money toward going out and exploring everything that Aruba has to offer. There are some excellent restaurants on the island and it has a decent public transportation system. Use that "extra" $1600 to dine around, take an excursion or two, and really get a feel for this country instead of staying walled up behind the gates of your all inclusive property. You would have to be extremely extravagent to go through that much money if you're already doing some of your eating and drinking at your homebase.
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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I agree with ejcrowe. If you book the Holiday Inn, you will have plenty of money to go out and eat dinner every night at the best restaurants. The island is known for good dining and it really is great!
The Holiday Inn is nicer looking than most holiday inns. I walked the grounds and the lobby area on our trip a few years ago. I did not see the rooms. I imagine they are rather plain. We stayed next door at the marriott.
If you booked the HI, than you can eat breakfast and lunch there and drink for free and still come out ahead.
Definitely do what greenie recommended and go to aruba-bb.com They are an excellent forum on Aruba.
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Old Jan 14th, 2007, 11:30 PM
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We stayed at the HI couple years back on a room only basis. The room was typical of a HI with a side sea view. We did not spend much time in the room and did not eat a single meal at the HI as we wanted to try the local restaurants. The HI was not the best hotel, but it suited us as we wanted an inexpensive break (we'd already had 6 vacations that year).

There's a bar on the beach by the HI, can't remember what's it called now but they had happy hour every day. I would not have AI on Aruba, in fact I would only have AI if dining out was very expensive or if the hotel was isolated or if I didn't want to move from the hotel.
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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odin: the name of the bar is Mombas. It is located between the HI and the Marriott.
I agree that all inclusive is a waste in Aruba because of excellent restaurants, but it is a good price and includes your breakfast, lunch, and cocktails. I would still go out to dinner!
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Old Jan 15th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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sorry moombas (two oo's)
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Old Jan 16th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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girlonthegobr /> Thank you for the reminder
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Old Jan 17th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Sept '06 and liked it just fine. We choose the AI option for breakfast, lunch and drinks. We ate at the buffet for dinner twice and it was just OK. We did eat outside the hotel. Went to Texas de Brazil, Le Petite Cafe, Iguana Grill, the dinner show Havana Nights at the Wyndham and did a dinner cruise. The food on the dinner cruise was worse than the Holiday Inn buffet. We didn't find that just because we purchased AI we were "stuck" just eating at our hotel. The Holiday Inn is in a really good location. There is like a resturant row just steps out the front door.

The only thing that we didn't like about the HI was since it is such a low cost option for Aruba it was very crowded. We went the 1st week of Sept. and after the Labor day weekend crowd left it was fine. I would avoid holidays and summer break unless you don't mind lots of children.

We have pics of the property if interested at:

http://community.webshots.com/user/kvrlvn
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Old Jan 18th, 2007, 08:11 AM
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I personally wouldn't do an AI in Aruba. You can book a very reasonable hotel room (under $200/night for a four-star) and then splurge like crazy on the great restaurants, and you will probably break even. Here's about what my husband and I spent per day (total, NOT per person):

Hotel $165 (Radisson on sale)
Breakfast $10 (in hotel or on pier)
Lunch $25 (casual restaurants, usually sandwiches or fish)
Dinner $100 (splurges -- El Gaucho, Driftwood, Amazonia etc with drinks)
Activity $50 (tubing, snorkel cruises, etc)

TOTAL = $350/night

Still lower than the AIs, which are not the nicest hotels or the best restaurants, IMHO. This is a good estimate -- ie, one day we rented a Jeep, but that day we ate lunch at a small snack stand along the way, which only cost $5 total.
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