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-   -   ARUBA or BARBADOS???? (https://www.fodors.com/community/caribbean-islands/aruba-or-barbados-222753/)

kelly May 20th, 2002 11:02 AM

ARUBA or BARBADOS????
 
I can't decide on vacationing in October in Aruba or Barbados? I've never been to either but was hoping someone can give me info on the differences...beach...expense...activities...safet y.<BR><BR>Thanks to anyone who can help me find my next vacation place!

Bud May 24th, 2002 09:53 AM

Been to Aruba twice in the last year. Not that quiet island any more. Aruba is more "western". Tailored more for people from US. No 4-5 star resorts on Aruba. Marriott, Hyatt, Radisson are 3-4 star. Radisson being the best among the three. Not many activities except for snorkeling, diving, wind sailing and some other water sports. Aruba is a desert island and very dry and arid. Not lush like Barbados. Barbados is more "european" in nature. Big spot for vacationers from England. Not many good resorts on Barbados either. The ones that are very good are also very expensive. Would not walk around in most areas of Barbados after dark. Aruba's people are very friendly, but there has been a big influx of foreigners from Venezuela and the Aruba government has had to stop giving out visas because too many have come into the country taking jobs from the natives. Aruba is a safer place, but you can see the problems that come with being a big tourist center. Trash, overcrowding at resorts, etc. I am taking Aruba off my itenary for the next few years until they get their act together. Try the Caymans, St. Bart's, or one of the islands in the Grenadines for a quieter vacation.

a Professional Agent May 24th, 2002 01:17 PM

Remember October is still Hurricane Season. Aruba is not in the Hurricane Belt, Barbados is.<BR>As for differences, try night and day.<BR>Aruba is dry and arid, beaches are beautiful. It is very windy. It is very clean.<BR>Barbados is lush and tropical. Beaches are nice, it is very British. Lush and tropical means more rain.<BR>I like both, but for different reasons.

Caribbean Traveler May 27th, 2002 05:08 PM

Kelly - My husband and I have traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and the West Indies. We spent 10 days in Barbados recently and will never return. We rented a private home on the south western shore that was exquisite. However, the island was very disappointing. The island is the most "untropical island" we have ever been to. We spent a day touring the entire island in our rented car and never saw anything approaching "lush" or "tropical." The resort area is very crowded. The island is very british and very expensive. A cook was included with our rental so we had to go grocery shopping. We tried several of the major supermarkets and found them to be very expensive. As an example, we ended up paying $12 American dollars for a half gallon of orange juice. Although 95% of the islanders are educated through high school and probably nearly the same percentage have jobs, I don't know how they can afford to eat! I felt very safe while on the island. I attribute that to the fact that most islanders have gainful employment and are not dependent on the tourist trade for their livlihood. We encounterd no begging at all. The island is very clean and there is no real abject native poverty like on other islands.

Susan Jun 4th, 2002 10:12 AM

Kelly -<BR><BR>In defense of Aruba, I would like to say that Aruba does have beautiful resorts and they do have 5 star hotels. The Marriott, Hyatt and Radisson are all rated 5 star.<BR><BR>Wonderful resorts. My husband have been there 3 times in two years and will be returning in October. We've gone twice in October and the weather is beautiful.<BR><BR>The locals are extremely friendly and it is safe.<BR><BR>You'll have a wonderful time in Aruba. It is a charming little safe island where you are safe to walk around at night.<BR><BR>They have a drive in theater, sunset cruises, sunset dinner cruises, jeep tours, horseback riding, four wheeling, snorkeling, parasailing, jet skiing, horse & buggy carriage rides in town, etc.<BR><BR>Lots of fun and relaxation!!

brent Jun 4th, 2002 12:37 PM

What is "5 star"?<BR><BR>I'm being sarcastic.<BR><BR>The various star and diamond ratings mean next to nothing in many cases.<BR><BR>If the Marriott Aruba is a 5 star resort, then what is the Four Seasons Big Island, 8 stars? It's dramatically nicer and belongs in a very different category.<BR><BR>Look at what's included in the midrange star categories on Priceline or in the Mobil travel books. The categories are so broad they include everything from wayside mom and pop places to reasonably nice chains.<BR><BR>I wish people would refrain from making statements like "Oh, but it's a 5 star hotel so it must be nice". These types of comments can be very misleading to the travel-naive inquirer.

Bob Schuman Jul 26th, 2002 12:30 PM

Hi Kelly,<BR><BR>I just now saw your question about Aruba <BR>vs Barbados. To me it's a no-brainer! We travel the world and have been to Aruba 7 times with our 8th trip scheduled for September. We visited Barbados once and would never go back. For us to have an enjoyable stay the people must be generally friendly and we <BR>found the attitude in Barbados was "leave your money and go back home." Arubans are wonderful people. And I'd suggest that you consider the Wyndham in Aruba for your lodging. It's a fabulous place--first class all the way--and you can get some great rates. Happy traveling!<BR><BR>Bob Schuman<BR>Web Travel Guide

Bud Jul 27th, 2002 11:04 AM

I don't know where Susan got her ratings from, but the 2002 AAA Caribbean Travel Book only rate the resorts on Aruba 3-4 stars. I would agree, based on that type of comparison, the Four Seasons on Hawaii or Cap Juluca on Anguilla would have to be 7-8 stars. I stayed at the Radisson in Aruba twice and would only rate it 3 stars. Same goes for the Hyatt and Marriott.

CAROL Jul 29th, 2002 04:04 AM

KELLY = ARUBA IS WONDERFUL - WE ALWAYS STAY AT THE MARRIOTT - HAVE BEEN TO BARBADOS AND WOULD NOT GO BACK IF SOMEONE GAVE ME A TRIP - DID NOT FEEL SAFE THERE - CAROL

Quit shouting! Jul 30th, 2002 03:16 AM

Carol,<BR>Please quit shouting in all your posts. It's very annoying. Unlock your caps and type like a normal person.

Susan Jul 30th, 2002 03:27 AM

Bud-<BR><BR>Whether you like the 5 star rating or not, they do rate the hotels.<BR><BR>Four Seasons and others are definitely out of the rating system, however, in general, a 5 star is Marriott, Hyatt or similar.<BR><BR>In the case of Four Seasons or Cap Jaluca, yep, definitely out of the ratings!

anonymous Jul 30th, 2002 10:05 AM

anyone can rate a hotel. There are NO 5 star hotels, the highest honor bestowed, on Aruba whether you like it or not. Marriott or any of the chains can claim to be but compared to Rosewood, Ritz, Four Seasons or any of the true 5 star luxury resorts in the Caribbean, Aruba hotels doesn't have anything over a modest American chain hotel and lots of timeshares which are not resorts no matter how you look at them. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you like and that's what you are paying for. Aruba is not in the luxury cost catagory either. If you give the best rating to medicore hotels then there is no room at the top for the truly luxury ones.

Bud Jul 30th, 2002 10:17 AM

I can't see how you can compare ANY of the resorts on Aruba to Rosewood or Four Seasons properties. If you have ever been to Cap Juluca on Anguilla or visited their website, you will see what a true "5-star" property is supposed to look like. Take all of the ratings with a grain of salt, because most of the raters are only looking to boost their own vacation packages. Apple Vacations ratings system is a joke!

dawn Jul 30th, 2002 10:18 AM

Anonymous could not be more correct. Aruba is not a luxury destination by any serious standards. It's fine for what it is but please don't compare any place on Aruba to true luxury islands and hotels. Cap J, any Ritz, any Four Seasons property and countless small "boutique" type hotels on other islands. <BR>Aruba is geared to the inexperienced Caribbean traveler. There is nothing wrong with that. It's safe and reasonably priced and the food is pretty standard. It's just not luxury.

Linda Jul 30th, 2002 11:33 AM

Dawn, get off your high horse. We are very experienced caribbean and world travelers. And, we have stayed at many truly luxurious resorts.We travel very often,but we wouldn't be able to if we always stayed at the most expensive hotels. We chose Aruba for what it is. We were looking for a short,quick getaway, with some decent resorts, and a nice beach. That's what we got. If you don't like Aruba, don't go there. We probably won't return, but if a person wants a more "americanized " island, it's a good choice.

Dawn Jul 30th, 2002 11:56 AM

Linda,<BR>I agree with you completely. Aruba is fine as long as you are willing to accept it for what it is. <BR>My objection is to those who build it up as this incredible luxury destination. That sets people up to be disappointed.<BR>Aruba is perfect for people new to the Caribbean and quick getaways for those with more experience. <BR>

M. Jul 30th, 2002 02:47 PM

I have been to Barbados 3 times and would go back in an instant. Sandy Lane's beach in the St. James parish is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Yes, it is expensive. But definitely luxury.

thrix Jul 30th, 2002 06:46 PM

Dawn,<BR>I happen to be an experienced traveler who likes Aruba a lot. By the way what island or resort are you shilling for. Usually when you see these posts it's some agent trying to down another destination for their own gain.

Mike Jul 31st, 2002 05:09 AM

how come if someone has a negative then immediately they are shilling for somewhere else. NO place is perfect for everyone. It boils down to if you can't dispute the FACTS resort to name calling. MEANTIME kelly has no information.

Dawn Jul 31st, 2002 05:33 AM

Thrix,<BR>If I was schilling for another destination, wouldn't I be mentioning that particualry place?????? <BR>My only point is that Aruba is not a luxury destination. I didn't say it was horrible, I didn't say don't go there.<BR>I am just calling it as I see it, you are entitled to disagree with me. But I defy you to show me any luxury accomodations on Aruba. The Hyatt, the Marriott, the Raddison are decent middle of the road American chain hotels. The landscaping is fairly well done but that does not make them luxury, 5 star hotels.<BR>Build a bridge and get over it.


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