Where to stay in Aruba?

Old Jul 15th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Where to stay in Aruba?

So after much consideration and great advice from everyone, I've decided to go to Aruba this August!
We want to stay on Palm Beach because we've heard it's beautiful. However, we are kind of torn on where to stay.

Many people say AI resorts in Aruba aren't necessarily worth it as there are great restaurants to eat at. However, I'm wondering how much drinks and food might cost at the average restaurant and/or hotels there?
We've narrowed it down to the Raddison or the Riu. AI vs not AI.
The Riu would only cost us roughly $300.00 more so I'm trying to decide whether or not we are likely to spend more than that over 6 days.
Also, does anyone have any personal experience with either of these hotels? I've heard some "not so nice things" about the Riu (theft and food issues) and was wondering if anyone had personal experiences with this?

Also, is it true it's hard to get beach chairs on Palm Beach unless you reserve one quite early in the morning?

Thanks for all your help thus far!
Kairis is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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We really enjoyed the Radisson. Unless things have changed in the last 18 months, you can reserve your beach chairs in the late afternoon for the next day. We went in April (not spring break) and didn't need to reserve the chairs. We ate breakfast everyday at the Radisson except for one morning when we went for a walk; they also have dunkin donuts, etc if that's your thing. We did have some terrific meals and a couple of disappointing ones also. One night we took a cab into town and ate in a lovely Cuban restaurant. The rest of the week we stayed within walking distance of the hotel.
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 03:21 AM
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i would recommend staying at the boardwalk, arubaboardwalk.com.
it was fabulous. the riu is very, very, very high end. it is usually crowded, and plays loud music.
and i second that about the cuban place! it's called cuba's cooking, and we've been there twice! once on each trip, it's wonderful. cite is also good for lunch. our favorite restaurant is ruinas del mar, in the hyatt. enjoy aruba.
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Old Jul 16th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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The beach chair thing is terrible in March, but in August you should't have a problem.

IMO, there are so many restaurants in Aruba that I wouldn't go AI. Have you thought about a condo or apt.? Check out www.vrbo.com or www.homeaway.com We like to do that and have breakfast and snacks on our balcony, then go out for dinner each night. We have used both services with great success all over the world.
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Old Jul 17th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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We have stayed at the Radisson and not been happy. Imho, the beach is great and it is big, and the pool area is very nice, but we were not happy with the room or staff.
Additionally, as a couple who has been to many Caribbean islands, we didn't find the food in Aruba to be any more than average. I wouldn't have a problem doing an AI there.
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Old Jul 17th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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So interesting to hear different points of view about the Radisson. We last stayed there two years ago at Thanksgiving, and were very pleased with our rooms in The Aruba Tower and the beach, which was one of the nicest (we thought) and most uncrowded in that area. Have there been management changes recently? Or other changes that negatively impact the hotel?? From what I've heard, it's still considered significantly nicer than The Westin.

Also- having traveled to many islands in the Caribbean- we found the food at least a step or two up from many other places that we've visited. We had great dinners most nights, and were pleased to find inexpensive places for lunch both in Oranjested and on Palm Beach.
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Old Jul 17th, 2010, 08:14 PM
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We really enjoyed our stay at the Radisson in January. It seemed relatively low key compared to some of the other hotels along Palm Beach, in a good way. Beautiful pools and beach, pleasant gardens/grounds (including some cool birds) and comfortable rooms (not overly luxurious but definitely sufficient). The staff was friendly and welcoming and we didn't have trouble reserving space on the beach (though some people did line up the afternoon before to reserve the first row of beach chairs/palapas for the next day). We had fun trying the different restaurants across the street from the hotel and at some of the other hotels. Definitely a relaxing, fun trip overall.

Have a great time!
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Old Jul 18th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Thank you for all of your responses!
I was totally sold on the Radisson and was all set to book it today. However, upon visiting a TA, he found us a really good deal for the Riu. We ended up booking with them.
Hopefully our trip will be just as wonderful but I definitely still plan on visiting the Radisson another time after reading all of the great reviews.
p.s. Even though this is an AI resort, we still plan on visiting that Cuban restaurant both debsnj and otto recommended! Thanks for the heads up!
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