Just returned from our 1st trip, stayed at the Radisson.
Just returned from 7 day stay at the Radisson resort on Palm Beach. I'll start from the beginning, we flew Jet Blue which was a direct flight from New York, took about 4 and a half hours. Our first time flying Jet blue and the flight to and from went very smoothly, no delays and very comfortable seats. We took a taxi ride to the hotel which was about $30, the taxi driver was very friendly and readily welcomed us and explained a few things about the island, which was helpful.
The Radisson hotel grounds were great, one of the best, I thought, of the many high rise hotels. We had a garden view room with a small balcony and wonderful view of some of the gardens. The only complaint of the room was, it was a little small as well as the bathroom. On the 4th day my husband opened the bathroom door and one of the ceiling tiles came crashing down, almost on his head. Housekeeping and maintenance readily came up and cleaned up the mess and fixed the ceiling while we were out. The hotel also credited us $100 towards some of our room charges. The hallway to the rooms also had this very strong musty smell, almost as if the floors had gotten wet at one time. Overall, we really didn't spend much time in the room, and the grounds and the pools certainly made up for the other things. We loved both pools at the Radisson, and the beach area was great with many huts available for guests.
After about two days of taking taxis, we decided to rent a Jeep Wrangler for 3 days, which was well worth it, it cost about $100 a day to rent the jeep. With the jeep, we drove to baby beach and went snorkeling, which was great. We also drove up to the California lighthouse, saw the natural bridge ruins and tried to find the natural pool. One thing I was looking forward to was going to the natural pools, the rental places do not want people taking the jeeps there, but the locals say you can get there by jeep. After contemplating how to get there, we decided to venture on our own with the jeep. After a couple of hours of driving and trying to get directions along the way, we could not find it. I was disappointed, but we ended up seeing alot of the island which was great. I would definitely recommend either having a guide or renting an ATV tour to find the natural pool. Overall, the jeep was well worth it, I would recommend it for at least a couple of days.
The food overall was good, we ate at three, what I would call top of the line restaurants- The flying fishbone, which was absolutely wonderful, we had a table right next to the water. The sea bass was the best my husband has ever had- Gianni's Italian restuarant, which was absolutely wonderful-the Aqua grill, which was absolutely wonderful. All three were very pricey, for three of us, me, my husband, and my daughter cost about $150-180. We also ate at L.G. smith's steak house, the Bucaneer, Smokey Joe's, and Moomba beach at the Hyatt, which were all pretty good. The food definitely was more expensive than I thought. I had originally counted on about $200 a day for the three of us, but it was more like $300 a day. On the 3rd day, we requested a small refrigerator for the room and went down to one of the supermarkets and got bottled water and sandwich meats and bread and ate sandwiches for a few days, which did save us some money.
We decided on the last day to go on one of the sailing and snorkeling trips. We decided on the Octopus, which takes only about 20 people. It was $80 for 3 hours of snorkeling at Catalina Bay, it also provided free drinks and a light snack. It was truly amazing, actually one of the highlights of the trip. At Catalina Bay there were tons of fish and great coral also. It was a great end to the trip.
The beaches were wonderful, sand soft and white. The water was wonderful, clear all the way to the bottom, cool and refreshing. Baby beach had beautiful water, only complaint was it was very windy there, which made it a little chilly. On our way back from California lighthouse we stopped off at one of the beaches which I think was Arashi beach, that was truly beautiful. Actually, it didn't matter what beach you were on, Eagle beach, Palm beach, Manchebo beach, they were all truly beautiful. One of my favorite things to do was to walk on the beach at night, listening to the wind and the waves, it was truly amazing. During the day, it was very windy which made the sun very deceiving. We went through 3 bottles of sunscreen in an attempt not to burn and we all actually ended up with very nice tans, none of us burned at all.
The locals on the island were overall very nice, they were very willing to help and to please. It was very obvious that they make their money off tourism. Just a helpful thing for anyone, the Radisson does cash traveler's checks, US cash is good anywhere and almost every where takes credit cards. I think it was the Flying Fishbone that did not take American Express. Overall it was a very relaxing, wonderful trip. I actually was a little depressed on the last day, and found myself tearing up when our plane left the island. I tried to add things that might be helpful for anyone interested in going to Aruba. I would definitely recommend going there and we will be returning.
I actually was a little depressed on the last day, and found myself tearing up when our plane left the island. I tried to add things that might be helpful for anyone interested in going to Aruba. I would definitely recommend going there and we will be returning.
Please, take heart in knowing that you are not alone in your feelings. I can empathize with you. Speaking from experience the best cure is to start planning your next trip!
Great trip report.... I do understand the melancholy involved with leaving Aruba after such a delightful week. I agree with Arubalisa... start planning the next trip - it will help you 'heal'! Great choice with the Radisson..... it's our favorite resort.
What a wonderful review. Thanks for sharing.
Here are my questions-- $30.00 for a cab-- was that a sunday? lots of luggage? I know prices went up-- but not to 30 bucks.
(just wanting to have that covered)
I got a gardenview room---which building was your room in?
Great review, thanks. Sorry to hear your sadness, i guess the planning for your next trip will be your uplift.
So you rented a jeep, very nice. I've read from so many that its hard to find flying fishbone , did you find that also ? Good but expensive, just looks so good , want to try it, but at this time am not choosing to rent a car. Do you know, does the radisson have a rent a car place in their location ? ( in case )
"All rates must be in Aruban Florins (AWG) as well as in US dollars (USS); Minimum fare is Awg. 9.00 / US$ 5.00. Exchange rate is Awg. 1.80 to US$ 1.00;
Prices are based on distance with a maximum capacity of 5 passengers per taxi;
Sundays, official holidays and after midnight there will be a surcharge of Awg. 5.40 / US$ 3.00 to the regular fares;
Each passenger from and to the airport is allowed on piece of luggage. For each additional piece of luggage there will be an additional charge of Awg. 3.60 / US$ 2.00 per piece;
Use of car trunk, not going to or coming from the airport, will be an additional charge of Awg. 3.60 / US$ 2.00;
Waiting time is Awg. 5.40 / US$ 3.00 per 5 minutes;
In case of damage due to wet clothing, sharp objects or otherwise to the cars interior, there will be an additional damage charge of Awg. 90.00 / US$ 50.00;
Taxis can be hired at an hourly rate of Awg. 72.00 / US$ 40.00 per hour;
The driver is - within reason - responsible for lost items in his/her car. Found objects must be immediately be reported and turned over to the Department of Public Transportation or the nearest Police Station;
The driver is not allowed to ask other fares than these approved by the Government;
The driver is not allowed to transport more than five (5) passengers in a taxi;
If a passenger being the first one to ask to be transported to a location, refuses, the driver is not allowed to take more persons in to his/her taxi. If more passengers, not being part of the same group, are transported to the same destination, then the far has to be divided within the group.
The tariffs must be placed in sight for the passengers in the taxi;"
Speaking from experience, know the fare before you go. Verify it with the taxi driver before getting into the taxi. If the fare quoted is not what it should be, ask to see the fare sheet where it states what the fare should be.
I will try to reply to everyone, yes the cab ride was $30 with tip included on a Saturday afternoon, three pieces of luggage. I know everyone was saying about $20 but it was $30 for us. I was a bit surprised at the prices for cab rides, that was one of the reasons we opted to rent a Jeep. The prices were higher than I expected. Thanks arubalisa for the info.
The flying fishbone was a little hard to find, it is in Savaneta off the main road, 1A , but they were doing construction down there and we had to take some detours. Honestly, we almost didn't find it, just kinda happened onto it. But, I can't not empasize enough how awesome it is. We go out to eat alot and it was one of the best restaurants I have been to, it's an amazing Aruba experience. Just be prepared for the price.
The Radisson had Hertz rent a car right next to the conceirge, very convenient and their prices were equal to other places. I honestly can't remember the name of the building we stayed in, it was right next to the south pool and just a short walk from the lobby. The view from the balcony was great, but as I said the room was a little small, I have heard other buildings are better, but being our first time we didn't make a fuss, even over the ceiling tile. Honestly, you won't be staying in your room very much, unless your sick! It was not really that crowded, the other larger hotels were way more crowded, and I'm not sure I would have like that. I wouldn't even mind next time staying in a low rise hotel down on Eagle Beach.