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Looking for an all inclusive honeymoon package in Aruba. Ideas??

Looking for an all inclusive honeymoon package in Aruba. Ideas??

Old Jan 29th, 2011, 04:38 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1
Looking for an all inclusive honeymoon package in Aruba. Ideas??

My fiancee and are I getting married in mid May, '11 and are trying to decide on a great all inclusive package somewhere in the Caribbean. We've both gone to Jamaica and Barbados and loved them both. Our ideal islands seem to be Fiji or Tahita, but unfortunately are out of the budget. Budget is $3000 per person for 12 nights.

Although I've heard St. Barths, Turks and Caicos, Cayman Islands and Grenada are all beautiful, we've been primarily focusing on Aruba. However, suggestions are welcomed. We both enjoy the smaller and more romantic resorts (low rise resorts), but at this point we just want the best. This isn't to say that the right high rise wouldn't be bad if it knocks our socks off. We want the beatiful beachs and relaxation, but with available activities. Hey, it's our honeymoon!

We really want our honeymoon to be special and have gotten numerous suggestions, but still can't seem to decide. Here's what we've heard so far. The Bucuti was recommended, but I don't think that they offer an all-inclusive package. The Tamarijn and the Divi (sister resorts) were first recommended. We liked the ocean front rooms at the Tamarijn, but doesn't look as nice as the Divi in pictures. However, the Tamarijn came highly recommended. Looking online though, both got mixed reviews. Then it was the Marchebo Resort and Casino which appealed to us because upon checking in you're given this flag that you put into the sand on the beach when you want drinks brought to you (we both liked this idea and certainly want to be taken care of on our honeymoon). Then someone suggested the Renaissance which looks beautiful with it's swim up bar and private island. But then we've read that it's a bit older hotel and isn't as secluded as we would like. Bottom line is we're looking for a candle lit dinner on the beach as a married couple, great food (all inclusive style), choices in activities (snorkeling, sunset cruise, horseback riding, cave exploring in canoes...), tropical drinks, shopping and romance. Definately romance! We're looking for "The Experience"!

Where would you recommend? And which online service would you use to book the trip? I have found Cheap Caribbean is the best value so far, at least for all inclusive packages, but have looked on Honeymoon Inc. com, Vacations to Go and others.

Chris and Teresa
[email protected]
Chris_Carney is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2011, 06:18 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 86
I think a lot of people on this site would discourage you from going AI in Aruba -- it's not like Jamaica or Punta Cana with lots of decent AI choices and a large part of the enjoyment of Aruba is trying different restaurants. None of the resorts you mention are really great which is what you want for a honeymoon. Check out Bucuti, the Tara Suites are supposed to be nice -- the Hyatt and Radisson are also nice. If you are worried about costs in Aruba I can tell you that I have been to many islands and I think Aruba is less expensive than many of them, the prices being on par with where I live in the Philadelphia area.
allisonjames is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2011, 06:20 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
Skip The Renaissance. Friends of mine said it was a real hassle getting back and forth to the private island, and that the rest of the time, they felt like they were living in a shopping mall in terms of quality of rooms and food.

My favorite hotel in Aruba is The Radisson, which I think now offers AI, but I also think it's going to be more than you want to spend.

As for online services, I just had a very good experience and got a great price for a Caribbean trip through Skoosh.com.

Good luck, and congratulations!
Weadles is offline  
Old Jan 29th, 2011, 06:23 PM
  #4  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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For booking in Aruba. Look at MCM Tours. http://www.aruba4u.com/ Though I haven't used them they get good reviews.

There are limited AI's in Aruba because it's just not a destination that needs it. We love AI resorts and been to many, but Aruba has tons and tons of really great restaurants and bars that part of the experience is trying them. Also, the hotels that have AI plans are overly outragously expensive compared to true AI destinations like Mexico or Jamaica.

For a candle light dinner on the beach look at Passions. It's the beach restuarant in the Amsterdan Manor Hotel. I would also suggest that you look at the Amseterdam Manor and see if it would fit your criteria in a hotel. They do have an very high priced AI plan. The beach is across the street, but the rooms have jacuzzi baths and kitchenettes and sits on the bus line.

Look at the MiDushi and Tranquillo for snorkeling. DePalm for a beach hopping tour, ABC jeep tours for a full day Island tour. Red Sail sports or DePalm for dinner cruises. We did the one with Red Sail, but DePalm offers a sunset cruise and then docks for dinner on the beach. I would have preferred that one instead. Check out DePalm.com. If you like to bar hop do the Kukookunuku Bus. Great fun.

True AI resorts would include the Occidental and RIU on Palm Beach. However, the non-AI Radisson gets really great reviews and I think you'll get more of what you are looking for if you are interested in a high rise hotel. They usually have packages that include beverage and spa credits. Check their web-site or contact a TA to get the very best deal. You'll be directly across the street from restaurants, bars, shopping, entertainment and the bus line. Excellant location.

Check this site for resturants:

http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/
KVR is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2011, 05:20 AM
  #5  
KVR
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Here's the meal plan info for the Radisson. The least expensive option for 2 people on a 7 night stay would come to $1,680. That is very expensive. Any plan over $700 - $800 for 2 on a 7 night stay is not worth it. (IMO)

http://www.radisson.com/palm-beach-h...uaruba/dinings

The Radisson has packages that offer free daily buffet breakfast, a $200 beverage credit and a $50 spa credit. That would be better than their meal plan.

Here's their breakfast, lunch and beverage package. That might be worth looking more into:

http://www.radisson.com/arubabreakfa...handdrinks2011

Since you are going in May that's when their rates drop to their lowest. If you go with the Radisson I would highly suggest you go with a TA that can negotiate for you everything you are wanting for a good price. If you go with an on-line booking company you'll just get what they have posted.
KVR is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2011, 05:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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www.CheapCaribbean.com/Aruba

RIU Palace best of a dodgy lot

Hayatt Regency

far more HM worthy at Palm/Eagle beach

www.secretsresort.com Maroma more HM worthy

Congrats!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2011, 05:59 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
How could I have forgotten this?! We booked twice to Aruba using Players Choice Tours, which has now merged with MCM Tours. Got a very good rate through them both times for non-AI at The Radisson, but they also represent most of the other hotels.

Just a last thought- I assume you're not even considering Mexico? We returned two weeks ago from Live Aqua, a 5-star AI in Cancun. We were upgraded into an oceanfront suite with jacuzzi and huge terrace ( more like a deck) overlooking the beach. The hotel facilities ( great spa,excellent gym, 8 swimming pools (!) mostly good food) were amazing. With everything except airfare included, it cost us about $5000 total. Both my husband I agree that it was probably the nicest resort we've ever stayed at in many years of traveling all over the world.
Weadles is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2011, 10:14 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I wouldn't recommend Aruba for a honeymoon. We've been there, it's nice, but the hotels are just not THAT special (there was even an article at the time saying how Aruba is trying to get luxury hotel brands to come to the island, and the Ritz-Carlton has said they are going to build there). Mexico, Turks and Caicos, St Barth and even Hawaii have better options for honeymooners.

Playa del Carmen has some amazing all-inclusive resorts for couples only that are very romantic, you should take a look. Good luck!
lbmisura is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2011, 03:27 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 35
We love Aruba! Our first stay was at Bucuti, and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially for a honeymoon if you want privacy, uncrowded beach, and great service. It is not AI, but as others have said, the restaurant options in Aruba are unbelievably great and it would be a shame to miss them! You can take the bus up to the high rise area if you feel like some "action"! Last year we stayed at the Holiday Inn -- less expensive, but the beach was smaller, more crowded and the water not as clear. We rent a car so we can go off exploring the "other side" of the island, and also get to the restaurants without using taxis. For information on anything you could possibly think of, go to the forum at Aruba.com -- it's awesome!
whammy77 is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2011, 06:00 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 86
If you want to stay with Aruba, posters have given some very good suggestions. However, I agree with the poster that said that the resorts are just not that special on Aruba. I have been to a lot of islands and Aruba wouldn't be my choice for a honeymoon, it's very Americanized and filled with mostly high-rise resorts, it sort of reminds me of Marco Island Florida in that it's a long stretch of beach with resort after resort (but I think Marco is less crowded!) Agree that the section where Bucuti is located is much nicer and much less crowded -- Palm Beach is jam-packed with people and resorts and very little space. Out of the you mentioned, I think I would choose Grenada. I have not been there yet (stopping there on a cruise in March) but from all my research it's a wonderful Caribbean island with the best of all worlds -- nice people, lush and tropical with waterfalls etc. and beautiful beaches, not overly expensive like St. Barts and Grand Cayman and a wide choice of very nice resorts in your price range. If I was going for 12 nights I would split my time between two resorts, you might look at LaLuna (having a special for that time of year) Mt. Cinnamon, Maca Bana Villas, there are so many others but these three to me seem unique and special and in your price range. Spice Island is also supposed to be lovely but it is the most expensive resort on the island. Good luck, wherever you choose you will have a wonderful time because it's your honeymoon! I spent my honeymoon in a high-rise Holiday Inn on Paradise Island (before Atlantis absorbed it for their property), hadn't really been any other place at that point so didn't know what I was missing on other islands and had a wonderful time!
allisonjames is offline  
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