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Thread: Trying to decide to book a hotel or AI

  1. #1
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    Trying to decide to book a hotel or AI

    Hi there,

    We will be first time visitors to Aruba in a week from Canada and are trying to decide whether to stay in a hotel or an AI. Also couple options we are looking at is the Westin or Occidental. Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are 48/49, no children. We've traveled quite a bit and have stayed in accommodations from 3* in Mexico/Cuba to Sandals/Beaches 5* in Turks and prefer more the 4-5* type resorts. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    welcome to the aruba.com community forum.
    both of the properties that you mention are very nice.
    neither are 5 star
    calling the westin a 4 star would be a stretch.


    aruba is not the kind of place where you are restricted to your resort.
    the island is safe and there are many many many restaurants and bars to frequent, so it is not really necessary to do an all inclusive.

    figure out what your prices might be and how much alcohol you'll drink and do the math.

    check out this thread too All inclusive vs pay as you go??
    Quote Originally Posted by flyjazgirl View Post
    Hi there,

    We will be first time visitors to Aruba in a week from Canada and are trying to decide whether to stay in a hotel or an AI. Also couple options we are looking at is the Westin or Occidental. Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We are 48/49, no children. We've traveled quite a bit and have stayed in accommodations from 3* in Mexico/Cuba to Sandals/Beaches 5* in Turks and prefer more the 4-5* type resorts. Thanks so much!

  3. #3
    Senior Member luvsun's Avatar
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    there are so many great places to eat it would be hard to do a AI here...
    Scotts Brats
    Playa Linda Resort
    facebook - Legends Pub Aruba
    legendspubaruba.com
    Legends Pub

  4. #4
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    I would not do AI - the island is so safe it's best to get out and enjoy all the different restaurants this amazing island has to offer.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    IMO the 2 best properties on Palm Beach are the Hyatt and the Radisson. Both have great staff, grounds and amenities. I agree with rapp110 - pass on AI, there are too many great restaurants available on the island and within walking distance of these 2 resorts. Exceptionally safe out at night and it's nice to get out. Enjoy the stay and welcome to the forum!

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone. How reasonable is it to eat out every night? Also is expensive at these hotels to drink - ie average price of beer, cocktails, wine? Are there liquor stores where you can purchase your own alcohol and is this expensive?

  7. #7
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    We generally average 100 per night for dinner... and that's with a couple of glasses of wine and a mix of 'top shelf' places and fun places like Smokey Joe's. You can plan on resort prices for drinks (8-10 mixed and 5-6 beer)... but happy hours are plentiful with 2 for 1 specials. There are liquor stores on the island and you can always hit the duty free at baggage claim for a supply before you get to the resort. Here's a great site for restaurant information:

    http://www.restaurantsaruba.com/

    BTW... drink free at the casinos... well, if you don't count your casio investment!

  8. #8
    Aruba since 1979
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    Andrea J.'s Avatar
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    CPJONES gave a great answer.

    re: liquor stores.......if you do not get your liquor at duty free and decide to buy it there in the stores........it is sold in the supermarkets "liquor dept". probably 20 - 40% higher priced than the usa

    the resorts have little mini mart stores with liquor as well and those prices are even more expensive than the grocery stores.

    as i had said before......
    figure out what your alcohol bill will be per day and then decide.

    you may want to check with MCM tours http://www.aruba4u.com/
    and see if there is a partial AI or beverage credit w/ the Radisson? a partial AI may suit your needs.

    I advise people to enjoy the safety and hospitality of Aruba and feel free to dine out safely.

    Aruba is NOT jamaica or mexico or the DR and dining off resort property is very much the norm.

    Quote Originally Posted by flyjazgirl View Post
    Thanks everyone. How reasonable is it to eat out every night? Also is expensive at these hotels to drink - ie average price of beer, cocktails, wine? Are there liquor stores where you can purchase your own alcohol and is this expensive?

  9. #9
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    Andrea made a great point, the island is not like other places, it is safe. You can explore all on your own with no worries. Our first trip to aruba we did not do AI and we loved the freedom of going all over the place. If we would have did AI I bet we would not have explored as much and we may have missed out.

    Now that we have kids, our next trip (10 more days) will be AI since the kids are free. We are beach people so I like to wake up and skip over to the breakfast buffet, then hit the beach. In march we will not do AI, and i can't wait to explore all the places to eat. It can get a tad old eatting AI everyday, its the same food, lol.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cpjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea J. View Post
    CPJONES gave a great answer.

    re: liquor stores.......if you do not get your liquor at duty free and decide to buy it there in the stores........it is sold in the supermarkets "liquor dept". probably 20 - 40% higher priced than the usa

    the resorts have little mini mart stores with liquor as well and those prices are even more expensive than the grocery stores.

    as i had said before......
    figure out what your alcohol bill will be per day and then decide.

    you may want to check with MCM tours http://www.aruba4u.com/
    and see if there is a partial AI or beverage credit w/ the Radisson? a partial AI may suit your needs.

    I advise people to enjoy the safety and hospitality of Aruba and feel free to dine out safely.

    Aruba is NOT jamaica or mexico or the DR and dining off resort property is very much the norm.
    Do check Andrea J's link for MCM...... the Radisson and Hyatt do pop up with the type of plan DW and I do each year at the Radisson! It still gives us the opportunity to explore some fantastic restaurants, drink what we want and save some money! I cannot say enough good about the Radisson or MCM/Player's Choice.... they are both great!

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