Avg. Meal costs in Aruba

Old Aug 16th, 2004, 08:34 PM
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Avg. Meal costs in Aruba

My pregnant wife and two kids (2 and 7) are planning our first stay at Aruba Hyatt. Neither of us drink. Is the all inclusive worth it? Are meals relatively inexpensive? I remember in Jamiaca we paid $35 for breakfast alone. Any help appreciated. Leaving 9/24. Thanks.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 07:56 AM
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Can't help you with all inclusive info but i would not choose that option as there are too many great restuarants. I live in Maryland (Annapolis area) and the food prices in Aruba were comparable to home. But be aware that they include gratuity most of the time (I double-tipped a couple of times).
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Morgan...where do you stay in Aruba?
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:41 PM
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If you don't drink, than don't bother with the all inclusive. If you can pay for breakfast, that might be a good idea. There is a dunkin donuts right near your hotel and a bagel place too. It depends on how much all of you are eaters. We stayed at the Marriott and went to a variety of restaurants. I only felt like I needed to dress up one time. Your khaki shorts will be enough to dine almost anywhere. You can eat everything from fast food to filet mignon. Since you are going with kids, I might suggest you drop the all inclusive. There may be a night where you just have a burger by the pool or want to walk to another hotel for a show,etc.... You will want to explore the many great restaurants all fairly close to your hotel. Try aruba-bb.com for advice on restaurants and anything Aruba. We loved it there and the Hyatt looked lovely.
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 03:44 PM
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Sorry, dinner in a steakhouse called El Gaucho with two steaks and two kid steak dinners and a few drinks was around 125.00.
Just to give you an idea. There were more expensive meals and cheaper ones. This is a great restaurant and noisy so it is kid friendly!
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Aruba is great in that it offers so many different restaurants in every price category. It's one of those places where if you wanted a gourmet meal one night and pizza delivery the next, it's all good. Enjoy your vacation!
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Old Aug 17th, 2004, 06:32 PM
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If you go to arubadining.com, website of the Aruba Gastronomic Association, you can see menus for many of Aruba's best or most popular restaurants. Also, I'm not sure if it would pay for a family with small kids, but they have a Dine-Around program where you pay a fixed price for a fixed number of meals at a variety of good restaurants; I believe kids are half price. Anyway, you can get info about it at arubadining.com. I think I said you can find menus there, too. We planned all our dinners in advance using their site. (We did not get the Dine-Around program because we don't usually eat the standard appetizer/entree/dessert/coffee their program offers.)

I agree about not doing all inclusive. The restaurants are so good and they're not all as expensive as El Gaucho.

Also you should definitely get the Visit Aruba Plus card for $12.95. If you rent a car from a participating merchant, the discount will more than pay for the card, plus the card gives discounts at MANY restaurants, stores, and activities, plus 10% off the Dine-Around program. The website for the card is visitaruba.com. We get the card every year and we don't do ANY activities, just go out to eat & rent a car, and the card pays for itself many times over.
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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Kristen1206..we usually stay on Palm Beach and have stayed at Wyndham, Radisson, Occidental (Allegro), Hyatt and Marriott.
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 09:40 AM
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Thanks all for the helpful tips. Probably not do the AI but will look into the AGA or the Aruba Plus Card. Is car rental recommended?
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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We did not rent a car and probably wouldn't the next time either except for maybe one day to go to baby beach and Flying Fishbone. We walked to may things from the Radisoon and to get into town, we took the bus which only costs a couple bus and picks you up in front of the hotels.

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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Morgan...which did you prefer..the Hyatt or the Radisson? We stayed at the Radisson and loved it and probably would stay there again over the Hyatt (just because we had such a great experience) even though that is a really nice hotel too.

Also, do you have any impressions of the Aruba Grand? MY brother and his fiancee are staying there (in a Lanai unit) for the their honeymoon next month. They wanted Bucuti or the Radisson but both were booked. They could have stayed at the Wyndham but I steered them toward the Grand (even though it is older) because I saw sooo many kids at the Wyndham.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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farid, We did not rent a car and didn't miss it. Your kids are young and your wife is expecting. I am guessing a low key vacation lounging at the hotel. You may want to rent a car for a day trip to Baby beach. Other than that, you can walk to alot of things or just cab it!
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Old Aug 18th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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Kristen1206..Though the Hyatt is VERY nice I prefer the Radisson. Usually less kids (not that there's anything wrong with kids..).

The Aruba Grand has updated many of their rooms and does have a large pool. The Lanai Rooms are very nice at the Aruba Grand and because it is a smaller hotel and less crowded they won't have a problem getting chairs. If they want more action they can go from hotel to hotel and of course happy hour at the pier!
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 12:09 AM
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Aruba Grand is nice and has a big pool. However, they do have 2 outfitters there for scuba certification so there are times that the pool is occupied by a group of would-be divers.
The beach is nice but it is much nicer at the Eagle Beach. We stayed at the Bucuti and it was a blast. Very quiet and nice and of course, you have the panoramic view of the ocean without people blocking your view.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Meals are comparable to San Francisco, but quality can vary. El Gaucho would be a kid friendly place but make sure you make a reservation and still plan to wait for 15 minutes+. It is just a great place and everybody goes there. Try to get a table downstairs instead of up. Portions are HUGE!!
The other two that are great are Madame Jeanette and Flying Fishbone. Both are comparable in prices.
Swiss Chalet has been highly recommended by many people in this forum but I did not have a great experience there. The veal was the toughest I've ever had in my whole life but maybe it was just that night.
On another note, someone has mentioned Baby Beach here. That was one of the best places in Aruba. If you have kids and need to rent snorkel supplies, you can rent them at the beach (which they charge $8/hr) or you can go to the back of the beach (actually you will pass this scuba shop before turning to the beach), where they charge $5/hour and provide floatation device for free. Make sure you bring some bread there as well. The fish will love you, so will your kids (and the surrounding swimmers who are trying to take pictures of the fish).
Another GREAT place for snorkeling is Del Palm Island. It is about 10-20ft deep and with LOTS OF FRIENDLY FISH. We brought a loaf of bread there and there were tons of fish that would follow you around. A school of 9 blue parrot fish was following me wherever I went. Great place for kids. It costs $50/person for a half day including all you can eat breakfast and lunch, plus all drinks. If you have a car, then take $15 off each person for transportation.
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Old Aug 20th, 2004, 04:48 AM
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To the OP. Where in Jamaica did you spend $35.00 (I assume pp) for breakfast? That is a Tahiti price. I certainly don't recall anything near that.
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