We have two Families going to Aruba in March and would like to find a nice AI hotel to stay, 10 days. we would like to find a AI that has choices of where to eat and not limit you to on or two places to eat or what you can and can't order. Also some hotel that does not have a ton of add on's, anyone have have a good place in mind ??.
I agree with Andrea. The Tamarijn and Divi, sister properties, offering the use of the facilities and amenities of both resorts, will give you the widest variety with a choice of a total of 9 restaurants and grills (not including bars).
There are no surcharges on any dining or beverage menus, however there is no room service or in room minibars. There is an option of dining at Windows on Aruba at the Divi Links for a surcharge of $35 per person, but you will have plenty of other choices if you choose not to go that route.
We have stayed at the Tamarijn four times, two times in a group of 10+ (extended family) with age ranges of 10 yo - 90+ yo and everyone has enjoyed it immensely.
We have been told that the rooms at the two hotels you spoke of are not very good and so far have been pointed in the direction of the Occidental but I am not sold on that idea yet and leave it up to the people who know ( You ).
that is unfortunate that you have been told the rooms are not very good.
personally, my husband and i have stayed at the tamarijn a few times over the past few years and lisa who posted in this thread has stayed there more recently.
i cannot say enough nice things of the properties.
clean, comfortable, wonderful YES.
laid back yes
good food, good drink YES
i cannot comment on the occidental as i do not frequent that part of aruba.....many folks love the palm beach area.
i prefer the lo rise area eagle and druif beaches.
I do not think you will have the variety at the Occidental that can be found at the Divi/Tamarijn. The rooms at the Divi/Tamarijn are basic and on the small side. The bathrooms are outdated but they, as well as the rooms are clean.
If you are looking for glam and glitz, then yes, this will NOT be the choice for you. If however you are looking for one of the best values for the $$$ on the island, even more so if you are traveling with children 17 and under in your group, then imo, this is the best choice.
We did not find out how little time we really spent in our room while on vacation in Aruba until we started staying at the Tamarijn...sleep, toilet, shower, dress and that is about it. The beach outside our room literally becomes our living room.
If a photo speaks a thousand words, I have photos of rooms at both the Tamarijn and Divi.
Actually that is an excellent question. The Divi is traditionally more expensive than the Tamarijn. It does though vary from time to time based upon specials.
The Tamarijn offers only one category of room- oceanfront.
The Divi offers 4 categories of rooms, from least expensive to most expensive:
We have found the facilities such as the buffet and pool area to be just a tad more upscale at the Divi than the Tamarijn. For us personally it is an issue not only of money but an oceanfront room. The Divi oceanfront rooms are not only limited in number but fairly expensive.
Keep in mind you can stay at the Tamarijn and eat every meal at the Divi if you choose to do so. Though admittedly you will need reservations for the ala carte, Red Parrot restaurant. You can also use their beach and two swimming pools.
If you have children of the age who will be participating in the kids club, the kids club is located at the Tamarijn. When our dd was younger and participated in activities, it was nice staying right at the Tamarijn and being close by in order to check in on her.