Aruba or San Juan Puerto Rico

Old Apr 24th, 2002, 07:58 AM
  #1  
SDW
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Aruba or San Juan Puerto Rico

My wife and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary in August and will climax our celebration with a trip to either Aruba or San Juan Puerto Rico. I have only read articles about each one. We are looking for a destination that has a great pool/lounge area, pool bar, shopping, sightseeing, beach bars, and a little nightlife. A casino would be nice but not necessary. Please give recommendations. Thanks. Would like a couples massage and indicate if an all inclusive would be preferable.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:25 AM
  #2  
Ruby
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I cannot speak for P.R.

But I loved our vacation to Aruba Hyatt. Absolutly beautiful grounds/hotel.

There are complimnetary extras they give for people who are on romantic
vacations!

I say the Hyatt is the very best on the island, others will argue that the Radisson is the best. Either way they are both very pretty...

so although I have a huge bias towards the Hyatt, if you choose the Radisson you shouldnt be disappointed.
However I cannot agree with others who put the Marriot in the same category as the Hyatt/Radisson.

Have fun, congratulations!
Feel free to email
Ruby
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:28 AM
  #3  
Lori
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My husband and I went to Aruba on vacation last July. We stayed at the Wyndham Aruba. The pool area was great (plenty of lounge chairs). I can't recall if there was a pool bar or not. We hopped on the bus to go shopping in the city (15-20 minute ride)right outside the hotel. There was plenty of shopping. We did not do any sightseeing when we were there. We wanted to lay by the pool/beach and relax for a week. I would not go all-inclusive if staying in Aruba. If you stay on the high rise hotel strip, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. All within walking distance too. There is also a great boardwalk in the high-rise strip area to take walks in the morning and at night. My sister has been to Puerto Rico and Aruba. She stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Puerto Rico. She said there is a lot more nightlife in Puerto Rico than Aruba, but she liked Aruba better. Good luck deciding!
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 08:36 AM
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Linda
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They both have a lot to offer but with August being your time frame and also hurricane season I would definitely choose Aruba as it is out of the hurricane zone. Here's an agency that specializes in Aruba. Their rates and service are hard to beat Travel Unlimited http://www.travelunlimited.com
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:10 AM
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SDW
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My travel agent recommended the Wyndham. How is the pool area? Are the Radisson and the Hyatt Aruba the best and are they economical. Want best deal for dollar.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:26 AM
  #6  
Bob
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If going to Aruba, which I enjoyed alot, definitely rent a car. The island is easy to navigate and you have the freedom to come and go without taking buses or cabs. Econo rent-a-car has good deals and is reputable.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:26 AM
  #7  
cdt
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The pool area at the Wyndham is very nice. Most people rate the Hyatt, Radisson, and Marriott as the best in Aruba (not necessarily in that order), with the Wyndham right behind. Usually the Wyndham is about $50/night less than those other places, and if so, I think it's a better value.

 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 09:28 AM
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Lori
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I forgot to mention in my earlier posting to check out www.aruba-travelguide.com and then click on trip reports. I enjoyed reading through the trip reports when I made the decision to go to Aruba last July. We stayed at a wonderful hotel and ate at so many terrific restaurants due to reading through the trip reports. SDW posting -The Wydham pool area is very large. There is also a waterfall into the pool. There is plenty of space too for lounging. I also liked the fact that there were areas in the shade under the palm trees. I really think the Wyndham provides the greatest value. Make sure you request a room overlooking the pool/ocean. We ended up asking for our room to be changed initially because all you could see was part of the roof and a wall obstructed our view of the ocean/pool. The front desk was very pleasant and changed our room for us at no extra cost. I believe there were also balconies outside everyone room. The Hyatt and Radisson are definitely more upscale, but pricier also.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 11:16 AM
  #9  
Linda
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The Wyndham is a great hotel. Large pool area with bar (not swim-up), pool concierge comes around and hands out frozen fruit kabobs, cool water spritzes, personal CD players. The packages come with a complete buffet breakfast daily.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #10  
Lori
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Once again, one more thing my sister pointed out is that San Juan is dirty and in Puerto Rico the ocean water is very dark, not the clear blue caribbean water found on most other islands (including Aruba). Hope this info helps with your decision.
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 02:43 PM
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Denise
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I would definitely recommend Aruba. We have stayed at El Conquistador in Puerto Rico and several times at the Radisson in Aruba. The rooms, restaurants, pools and beach are wonderful at the Radisson. Puerto Rico does no compare! Enjoy!
 
Old Apr 24th, 2002, 06:28 PM
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SDW
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Thanks for the replies. I will definitely chose Aruba. Now the only question is whether to chose the Wyndam or Radisson. Also seen great reviews on LaCabana. Any info would be helpful.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 04:58 AM
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cdt
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I would not recommend La Cabana unless you need to have a kitchen, and/or you're traveling with children.

It is a HUGE complex (800 units) and some of the rooms are quite a distance from the beach. There are usually lots of kids there and they tend to dominate the pool areas. Also, there is sometimes an odor problem relating to a nearby sewage facility.

 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 07:05 AM
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Sharon
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We just returned from Aruba and stayed at La Cabana. There were a lot of families at the resort and definitely not a place to stay for a couple celebrating their anniversary. We are returning later this year and staying at the Wyndham, we toured the hotel and we really liked it. We called the hotel directly (look at website-Google) and asked for specials--and for the time period we are going they have a managers special where you can get a suite and BB every morning. Do not bother calling the 1-800 number for Wyndham hotels, call directly. Also, online you can fill out a request for certain items you may want--feather pillows etc. The other hi-rise hotels are beautiful but for what we will be getting we thought this was the best deal. Happy Anniversary!
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 07:18 AM
  #15  
Sharon
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I just replied regarding Aruba but I wanted to mention that we have been staying at the Caribe Hilton in P.R. for many years and really love the resort. The Hyatt Dorado is another great hotel. There are a lot of specials right now for P.R. but for August you want to stay out of the hurricane belt. We always rent a car in P.R. and Aruba. There's definitely more to see in P.R. but Aruba is fun. Driving is so easy in Aruba and mobility is important. Try Baby Beach--get a map and drive the main road-- follow signs for "Seroe Colorado" until you get to a sign "Rehabilitation Center" (!). You can walk out really far at Baby Beach in the very clear water and it's only waist deep. Also, snorkeling. No facilities here--when we went there a few weeks ago it was quiet and we had a great time. Many great restaurants--including those at the Wyndham.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2002, 04:29 PM
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SDW
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Thanks,
Not one mentioned the Radisson in Aruba. Please compare the Radsisson to the Wyndham resort in Aruba.
 
Old Apr 27th, 2002, 07:21 PM
  #17  
Karin
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Radisson v. Wyndham -- The Radisson was completely gutted/remodeled about 2 years ago. The Wyndham could definitely use remodeling. The Radisson has much larger grounds that are nicely landscaped, with three mid-rise buildings, a nice pool/ocean bar, gorgeous pools, and the best beach of any of the hotels. After we decided to extend our stay, we thought about doing so at the Wyndham. The Wyndham is by far the tallest hotel on the island, with incredible views from many of the rooms. The Radisson's buildings sit back from the beach, so there's a lot of pool/landscaping between your balcony and the beach, assuming your room is high enough to see the ocean (which ours was). However, when we took the elevator to the top floor of the Wyndham to see the view, we got off the elevator to the overpowering smell of mold. I then remembered having read about this in other posts, but had put it down to one or two rooms possibly being affected by an odor that could be dealt with by opening the windows for a bit. Not so. That was the end of any desire we had to try the Wyndham. You can get more info at arubabound.com.
 
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