Post # 1
Hi ladies! So I have made a bunch of posts on here about honeymoons (first it was Jamaica…then the Caribbean…) and now I think we have settled on Aruba. I really like that it is a safe, modern island that we can explore and enjoy (and not have to stay on resort 24/7).
That being said… we originially really wanted to do all-inclusive but Aruba doesn’t have very many. The main reason we wanted all-inclusive is because we do like to enjoy adult beverages while on vacation. I found a resort that includes breakfast but you’re on your own for lunch/dinner/booze and it has all the amenities that we want.
I’m also afraid if we go all-inclusive in Aruba that we are going to feel ‘stuck’ at the resort since we’ve paid to eat there (as opposed to a place like Jamaica, where you really can’t leave the resort to explore).
-For bee’s who went non-inclusive (even on places other than Aruba)…did you end up spending MAJOR money on alcohol/food? Was it worth it?
-What are some must see things while in Aruba?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
Well I’ve never done an all inclusive in my life so I guess I don’t have a very balanced perspective, but it doesn’t appeal to me at all. Part of what I love about traveling is exploring and trying all the awesome foods a location has to offer! I’m sure it’s somewhat more expensive than an all inclusive to do it that way, but you also get a much more interesting experience, and usually if you do some research in advance you can find the restaurants that have the best food for the least money.
However, I don’t usually drink a ton on vacation because I hate being hung over when I’m trying to sight see 😛 It is possible that could add up fast if you want to only drink in bars. If you buy bottles of wine or cans of beer etc to enjoy in your room or on the beach from a liquor store it might not be too expensive though.
Post # 4
We went to Aruba for our honeymoon and also couldn’t decide between all inclusive or not. So we did 5 nights at the Hyatt (not all inclusive but breakfast is included) and then 3 nights at the Riu which is all inclusive. We found we prefered the hyatt wayyy more! it was much more modern and pretty plus their breakfast was awesome. We wished we stayed at the Hyatt longer.
One of the resturants that I highly recommend is Carte Blanche. If was amazing! definitely a splurge but one of the best meals I’ve ever had! http://carteblanchearuba.com
Post # 5
We stayed at the Hyatt as well. Nice hotel. Beautiful grounds, great location, standard rooms.
The alcohol was pretty expensive. We only at Lunch at the hotel and went out for dinner. The lunch was a little more expensive, but thats expected.
From what I understand, the Hyatt is one of the nicest hotels on the island. I also hear the Mariott Stelaris is nice, but the location isnt as convenient. They are building a Ritz which is supposted to be awesome, not sure when it will be completed.
Post # 6
@weatherbug: I am not an All-inclusive kind of traveler. Like you pointed out yourself you then might feel “obliged” to stay at the resort because you already paid for everything… I’d rather choose breakfast only… Have fun planning your honeymoon 🙂
Post # 7
if i had the choice, i would go non-inclusive. i wouldn’t want to be tied down to eating at the same place every day. i would want to explore what the island has to offer in terms of cuisine.
Post # 8
Have you considered stopping by the Duty Free Shop after checking in and buying alcohol for your honeymoon?
Even when I stay at all-inclusives, I still stop at the DFS to buy decent booze. I find it difficult to spend a whole vacation drinking mediocre booze (my stomach and head just cannot seem to handle the cheaper stuff).
Aruba has some grocery stores that you can visit to buy soda, wine, beer, etc.
As for restaurants, there are a done of non expensive places to eat….
I would opt for non all inclusive for this vacation spot…. especially since it is safe to walk and roam……
Post # 9
I am posting to follow, as we are too considering going to Aruba! We will most likely go with all-inclusive. But your right, there aren’t a whole lot of them! I can imagine you can leave the resort to roam whenever you please? But yet you can still eat & drink all you want because its covered under your all inclusive. I think thats what we would do, but if your looking forward to eating at different places and you will be buying food anyways, then an AI might not be for you!
Post # 10
I’m all for all-inclusive! You just can’t beat the price.
Post # 11
@renn486: I hadn’t thought about splitting the time between two different places. I will have to look into that and figure out the pricing – though you said you didn’t like the Riu. Can I ask why? I had been looking @ that one too.
@pghbride2013: I think the Ritz is a bit expensive for us :). We were looking at Bucuti and Tara which has really good reviews. We can get a room there for $2100 for 7 days. I’ll have to look at the Hyatt also!
@ajillity81: That’s why I am unsure about this all inclusive thing… everything I read says to explore Aruba and try all the great restaurants. FI and I love to go out to eat so I’d prefer not to be stuck at one resort…what if the food ends up being crappy? On the flipside, I can only imagine how nice it would be to not have to carry cash/credit cards around.
@californiabride2013: I hadnt even thought of visiting the duty free shop! The resort we are looking at will serve you on the beach, but I know it’s a public beach so I would imagine you can bring your own drinks/snacks! Thanks for the idea!
@Nookie123: What all inclusives have you looked at? I was having trouble finding one that really caught my eye and wasnt $$$$$$!
Post # 12
@weatherbug–we really wanted the bucuti and tara, they were all sold out! I heard its great there for honeymooners
Post # 13
@weatherbug: We didn’t like the Riu I think mostly because it was a much much older building (even though we stayed in the newest section) the rooms smelled alot of SMOKE :S the food wasn’t anything special especially when there is so much choice in aruba but the pool they have is gorgeous!
We also looked at bucuti and tara but it was sold out when we were booking. But we did go to their resturant and it was amazing!
Post # 14
@weatherbug: Everyone I know who was been to Aruba LOVES it, and says that you should not do an AI as the food on the island is amazinggggg.
Post # 15
We stayed at the Aruba Phoenix, which is not all-inclusive, for a week for our honeymoon. The place was gorgeous and we got to go out for all of our meals. I wouldn’t do it any other way. You said you were concerned about the food maybe not being good, but honestly, we didn’t have a single meal while there that wasn’t SPECTACULAR. Don’t worry, it’s not a ton of native food you may not like, there’s a little bit of everything. We’re picky eaters and managed to gain 5 pounds while there.
Post # 16
Thanks everyone for your responses so far! Keep them coming!!!
Has anyone stayed at the Amsterdam Manor? They offer an all-inclusive package that would put our price at $600 more than Bucuti and Tara but leave us $1000 under budget. That way – we could dine out a few nights and do some excursions and still have booze/lunch/some dinners included in the price… Hmmmm….