All inclusive Aruba

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ve been to aruba probably close to a dozen times, because my parents have timeshares there and it was pretty much our summer vacation for years.  I LOVE it.  I don’t stay at an all inclusive resort.   there’s a ton of nice restaurants and I like going out.  But the best all inclusive resort is probably Riu Aruba.  another really nice one (with a great beach) is Divi Aruba.  Tamarijin is part of the Divi complex (which is huge).  Great restaurants, and you’re on EAGLE BEACH, which is awesome.  Eagle beach is better than the beach the high rise resorts sits on, and WAY less crowded.

 

The downside of not staying at the high rise area is that the nightlife is there.  you’re going to cab back and forth a lot at night.  I personally think it’s worth it.  I LOVE the beach, I always stay at a hotel right next to Divi Beach and I find it wonderful.  

 

This is with the caveat that I have no idea how the rooms are at the Tamarijin.  Based on location, reviews, and the fact it’s part of divi aruba I’d say it’s going to have nice accomodations.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Post # 5
Member
872 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@itzjustme:  commenting to follow because we are looking into Aruba for our honeymoon as well! 🙂

Post # 6
Member
285 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Beautiful resort! You won’t be disappointed. And like a pp said, it is part of the Divi Aruba so you get to use both resorts and their amentities 🙂 

 

Post # 7
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Have friends who went to Riu Palace Aruba a few years back, and they still rave about it.

Mr TTR & I haven’t been to Aruba (yet) but we have many friends who have… and they all LOVE the island… very safe, clean Destination.  Several have gone more than once (and to me that says a lot, as the Caribbean has so many Islands to pick from / people want to see)

 

Post # 8
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve stayed at Tamarijn. I’m NOT a fan of all inclusives though so my response is very biased and I’m kind of a food snob – I went as part of vacation with my parents. I thought the food was pretty meh and not authentic – I’d much rather have them make authentic Aruban food than try to do Italian, sushi, whatnot, but the beach and the bars are nice. The rooms are decent, some areas get wet from pool splashing around.

Post # 9
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@melonseeds:  I am also a food snob!  Or, I like to eat new things and go outside of comfort zones on vacation.  When my fiancee and I go on a trip – even just a work related trip – we scope out new restaurants and anything that looks interesting.  It’s part of the fun of planning time “away”! Of course, if I was bombed and super tired after a wedding I might really appreciate foregoing that nad not having to think about it. 🙂  So I can totally see the appeal of all-inclusive.

 

Years ago we made friends with one of the bartenders at our resort, and he took us to some of the “non-touristy” areas of Aruba.  They were mildly depressing.  The food was ok, I ate at a traditional place and I wasn’t over the moon. I think the best food on the island tends to be restaurants that might be called “new american” over here… or prepare some new spin on traditional netherlands dishes.  I assume Windows on Aruba wasn’t included in the “all inclusive” plan?  That restaurant has some traditional dishes like pumpkin soup for brunch, and their own take on a pancake which is more like a crepe. Lots of french notes in the place too. I love it.  Carte Blanc, a resturant right next door to the divi, is the one splurge I would take (though I haven’t been to 2 Fool and A Bull, which has rave reviews too).  Carte Blanc has room for 12 people a night, everyone sits at the bar and the chef tells you stories of each course he prepares.  It is so fun for a food lover.  I believe he’s from the Netherlands.  He prepared a traditional food from his home which was delicious.

 

But if you are into food and committed to all inclusive I think divi is not a bad option.  Lots of restuarants.  I don’t like doing all inclusive because  I feel “obligated” to never go outside of the prepaid options to “get my money’s worth”.  I think even if you do go all-inclusive you should plan at least 1 dinner out though. 🙂 

Post # 10
Member
1318 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@audrey_lane:  Which non all-inclusive hotal would you recommend? I am planning a vaca. for DH and I and I am interested in Aruba. Also, what time of year do you recommend to go? I am a beach bum and would love to be near Eagle Beach!! Thanks!

Post # 11
Member
564 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Commenting to follow

Post # 12
Member
1057 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

following for advises 

Post # 13
Member
5016 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

@itzjustme:  What is your budget for the honeymoon?

So FI and I are going to Aruba and I have done A LOT of research on all the hotels there. 

At first, we really wanted to do all-inclusive. However, a lot of people on this site (and others) convinced us not to. Aruba has GREAT food we have heard – and it seems like it is not worth it to be stuck with 1-3 restaurants all the time due to paying all inclusive pricing. Aruba is also safe so you can really explore, walk around, take taxis, etc. It seems to me that all inclusives are really for the poorer countries (jamaica, mexico, etc) where you cannot leave the resort due to safety reasons.

We chose to stay at the Bucuti & Tara resort. It is adult only, includes breakfast, and is on Eagle beach, which is the calmer beach. Also, its rated #1 out of all hotels on eagle beach – #13 best hotel in the caribbean and #5 most romantic hotel in the caribbean.

The Palm Beach area (where the riu is) is busy, busy busy, so if you are into that kind of scene, that may be where you watn to book. I read a lot of the reviews for the palm beach hotels, and it seems you have to get up at 6 am to reserve a palapa on the beach, and that is SO not what we want to do on our honeymoon. Also a lot said people will tip the ppl and get their palapas just for doing so. Again, not what we want at all. 

My friends stayed at the Riu after they got engaged, and they disliked it. Said the beds were hard as rocks & the food was bad. They ended up going off resort for every dinner any way which seems kind of pointless to do all inclusive at that point.

The Divi and Tamarjin are both on Eagle Beach and seemed like nice options but they had 3.5 stars (I think) and I didn’t really want to risk it. Also, I didn’t really want kids running around! 

The one hotel we did consider doing AI at was the Amsterdam Manor. They are not an all inclusive resort, but do have the option for $125/pp per day which I thought was a bit steep. You have access to 3 restaurants, 1 off site, and 1 that you choose from a list for one meal. 

Also, Aruba offers a “dine around” plan for $39/per person per day. They give you a list of restaurants and I think you get a three course meal at each restaurant. Again, we didn’t want to be tied down to specific restaurants but that is always an option.

In case you were wondering – our hotel room at Bucuti ended up costing $2300 (we got a garden room – dont plan on spending much time in there anyway. And if we are…we arent going to be looking out the window if you know what I mean, lol). Our flights were $1200.  Our budget is $5,000 (thanks FI’s parents 🙂 ) so we have $1500 or so left for food/excursions, etc.

Post # 14
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LovelyLaura:  I am partial to Costa Linda.  Good location, AMAZING beach, very nice people.  I’ve stayed at the Marriott and a place on the other side of the divi (can’t remember the name), I didn’t like either as much as Costa Linda.

 

There is a “low rise” section and a “high rise” section of hotels.  Low rises = better beach.  By the costa linda, if you are facing the ocean and turn right, keep walking and there is a kkiller jet ski rental place right on the beach.  I believe there are banana boats and tubing as well.  You can rent a REALLY fast water skii and have a huge open area to play.  But other than that to do most of the activities – boating, windsurfing, etc,  most of them are by the high rises, the crowded areas (at least this was true as of last summer).  So you’d have to commute which most do via taxi.   Never a problem, but a few extra dollars.  A lot of activity places offer a free pickup and drop off too! I personally like the low rises better for the *relative* quiet that usually comes with it.  And the ocean in aruba is so, so warm, so clear, so calm, it’s like playing in a huge, salty pool. even the sand underneath your feet is usually soft by the Costa Linda…

 

 

Post # 15
Member
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@weatherbug:  Bucuti & Tara is right next door to Costa Linda and houses the Carte Blanc restaurant which is UNBELIEVABLE, one of the best meals I had.  Make reservations far in advance it fills up quick!!

 


 

I’d love to hear anything from people who do the “dine around” program.  There are a handful of restaurants I like (a few I DID NOT, but I have been going to Aruba since I was 16 years old, so maybe it’s time I give Iguana Joe’s another try?:)).  I just wasn’t sure it was worth it for the cost.  But I’ll be going again in July so let me know anyone who tries it! 🙂

Oh I just looked up where we stayed years ago, It was the Dutch Resort on eagle beach  I think a lot of the hotels there are so nice, but I was not as in love with the Dutch Resort.  I would recommend looking at other places if anyone is considering that.  And I would continue to pump up eagle beach.  I’ve never gone to the high rise section on “peak season”, but my parent’s have and they said it was absolutely awful getting space on the beach, that it was loud, etc.

Post # 16
Member
5016 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

@audrey_lane:  I have already been stalking Carte Blanche. The reservations for July aren’t open yet!

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