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Thread: Which All-Inclusive???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Which All-Inclusive???

    I know that there were a couple comments on this in my Aruba 2009 story, but I want to throw it out there again!

    On the plane home on Saturday my wife and I discussed coming back to Aruba (it was our first trip last week).

    We stayed at the Radisson which we really liked. People say to stay in a standard hotel vs an all-inclusive because of the food on the island. I have to say that the food was wonderful for the most part, except for one establishment that was not very good. But the food there was no better than I can get at home, and nothing really ARUBAN.

    So we are looking to go all-inclusive next year.
    Here is what I am looking for:


    • Traveling with wife and 2 daughters (4 and 7 net year)
    • Not worried about price right now (I am not going to stay in a presidential suite) but want to see what the field of play is.
    • Food has to be good but dosen't have to be full 5 Star.
    • Beach is important! Kids love to play in the sand, and water should be clear, they might be a pain if there is a lot of other stuff in the water. Palm beach was beautiful at the Radisson.
    • Kid Friendly, my kids are pretty well behaved (but not ANGELS), I can take them to most places but I don't want to be looked at funny with 2 little kids.
    • Easy for the kids to get what they want (with my help)

    I know that there are a few, the RIU, the OCCIDENTAL, the TAMARAJIN....

    Let me know what you think. We would be traveling most likely next July again!

    Thanks for any info that you may have!!
    Decided to take down my timer!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Since you just completed a stay at the Radisson, you may be interested in a comparison I wrote between the Radisson and the Tamarijn. The two are entirely different types of resorts, but this will give you some food for thought. After staying at the Radisson four times, and Palm Beach many others, moving to the Tamarijn was like night and day. Truthfully at the beginning we were in shock and were not really sure how we would enjoy it.

    I have written pretty extensively about our experiences with the Tamarijn in the following threads.
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Overview
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Getting There
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Food, Beverage & Service
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Activities
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Rooms
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Rest of Our Vacation

    Tamarijn Aruba June 12 - 24 (Long) our experience last year at the Tamarijn
    Tamarijn June 17 - 29, 2009 (Long) our experience this year at the Tamarijn

    Hopefully these would give you a feel for the place. The Tamarijn is definitely not even a four star resort, but there are many tradeoffs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sgroi135 View Post
    Here is what I am looking for:

    Traveling with wife and 2 daughters (4 and 7 next year)
    Our dd, though now growing out of it, enjoyed the kids club at the Tamarijn. It is included in the price of your stay. Children under the age of 5 are invited to particpate with the assistance of a parent. Sample activities http://www.arubabound.com/accommo/tamarijn_kidsclub.jpg

    Not worried about price right now (I am not going to stay in a presidential suite) but want to see what the field of play is.
    Kids 17 and under stay free at the Tamarijn, this enables us to extend our vacation.
    Food has to be good but dosen't have to be full 5 Star.
    Food at the Tamarijn in not gourment by any means. HOWEVER, there are a wide variety of choices and imo, very good ala carte choices. You are able to use all of the facilites and amenities of both the Tamarijn and her nearby (within walking distance or use the shuttle provided) sister resort the Divi. Between the two resorts, for dinner, there are choice of 4 ala carte restaurants and 2 buffets.

    Beach is important! Kids love to play in the sand, and water should be clear, they might be a pain if there is a lot of other stuff in the water. Palm beach was beautiful at the Radisson.
    Palm Beach is the only beach on Aruba with resorts where you can find "guaranteed" calm water, storms not considered, then all bets everywhere are off.

    Our recent stay at the Tamarijn we had some days with 3 foot swells and others the waves were non-existant. Somedays the water is crystal clear and other days it is not.
    Kid Friendly, my kids are pretty well behaved (but not ANGELS), I can take them to most places but I don't want to be looked at funny with 2 little kids.
    With kids staying free, obviously the Tamarijn is a family resort. No problems there whatsoever.
    Easy for the kids to get what they want (with my help)
    Not exactly sure what you mean. The Tamarijn has a self serve soft ice cream machine and self service soda.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arubalisa View Post
    Since you just completed a stay at the Radisson, you may be interested in a comparison I wrote between the Radisson and the Tamarijn. The two are entirely different types of resorts, but this will give you some food for thought. After staying at the Radisson four times, and Palm Beach many others, moving to the Tamarijn was like night and day. Truthfully at the beginning we were in shock and were not really sure how we would enjoy it.

    I have written pretty extensively about our experiences with the Tamarijn in the following threads.
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Overview
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Getting There
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 Food, Beverage & Service
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Activities
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Rooms
    Tamarijn All Inclusive 12/22 - 1/3/08 The Rest of Our Vacation

    Tamarijn Aruba June 12 - 24 (Long) our experience last year at the Tamarijn
    Tamarijn June 17 - 29, 2009 (Long) our experience this year at the Tamarijn

    Hopefully these would give you a feel for the place. The Tamarijn is definitely not even a four star resort, but there are many tradeoffs.

    Our dd, though now growing out of it, enjoyed the kids club at the Tamarijn. It is included in the price of your stay. Children under the age of 5 are invited to particpate with the assistance of a parent. Sample activities http://www.arubabound.com/accommo/tamarijn_kidsclub.jpg

    Kids 17 and under stay free at the Tamarijn, this enables us to extend our vacation.
    Food at the Tamarijn in not gourment by any means. HOWEVER, there are a wide variety of choices and imo, very good ala carte choices. You are able to use all of the facilites and amenities of both the Tamarijn and her nearby (within walking distance or use the shuttle provided) sister resort the Divi. Between the two resorts, for dinner, there are choice of 4 ala carte restaurants and 2 buffets.

    Palm Beach is the only beach on Aruba with resorts where you can find "guaranteed" calm water, storms not considered, then all bets everywhere are off.

    Our recent stay at the Tamarijn we had some days with 3 foot swells and others the waves were non-existant. Somedays the water is crystal clear and other days it is not.
    With kids staying free, obviously the Tamarijn is a family resort. No problems there whatsoever.
    Not exactly sure what you mean. The Tamarijn has a self serve soft ice cream machine and self service soda.

    Each post you write, you give more and more information. You are a wealth of info!!!

    With my last bullet you hit it on the head. I knew what I was writing, and you guessed it. And also meaning that if they walk up to the bar and ask for something will they get it with somewhat ease. I saw in one of your reviews that your daughter had a problem at the bar.

    I will not allow my small children to be alone, but if I'm standing there will they be able to ask for what they want. I guess more to the tune of "kid friendly"

    The Tam kinda does not fit the bill with your review, because of the beach. I would like to have calm waters (not talking storms). a 3 foot swell would swallow my daughter . And I also read that you spoke about the beach erosion there, and the rocks by the beach.

    I will keep reading and looking into things.

    Any info on the Renaissance (Marriot)? I was just looking at their site and the price does not seem that bad.
    I was also looking at the Occidental and the Riu. I guess I will have to stick with something on Palm Beach, since the water is very important. I wish the Radisson did an All-Inclusive, my decision would be made!
    Decided to take down my timer!

  4. #4
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    the tamarijn is "laid back" and as lisa says as different from the radisson as "night and day'.

    i think your kids would love it.
    hands on, hands dirty, kid's activity with good staff.
    i think you and your wife should try it.
    think of it this way................radisson : tamarijn
    neiman marcus : kohls

    if you opt for the riu, you will not only be paying much more, but will not have the laid back eagle beach experience.

    occidental, still dealing with the hussle and bussle of palm beach.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sgroi135's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post

    if you opt for the riu, you will not only be paying much more, but will not have the laid back eagle beach experience.

    occidental, still dealing with the hussle and bussle of palm beach.
    The beach was not that bad last week. I don't want to pay out the wazoo, but then again, i don't want to go to the beach where my kids wont be able to have a good time. They are not really good swimmers and the calm waters are important.

    I appreciate all the tips from all.

    Thanks
    Anthony
    Decided to take down my timer!

  6. #6
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    Would you consider a time share?

  7. #7
    Senior Member nikko's Avatar
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    we just got back from staying at the divi links....right across from the tam...the beach was amazing and fine for small children. i would definately consider it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikko View Post
    we just got back from staying at the divi links....right across from the tam...the beach was amazing and fine for small children. i would definately consider it.
    Unfortunately there are days where there can be waves.
    click on thumbnail to enlarge

    Other days just ripples. FWIW, these photos were taken two years apart.

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