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All inclusive or not?

Toronto, Ontario
4 posts
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All inclusive or not?

My fiance and I are planning a pre-honeymoon in August 2006. We will either choose The Radisson or The Occidental Grand. We love to eat and try new foods etc..we are not big drinkers, but we would like to know that we could have a few pina coladas and NOT have to pay over $10 for one. The deals from Toronto for one week for two is about $4025 for the Radisson (without meals and drinks). The price for the Occidental is approximately $4225, all inclusive. We have budgeted for $5000 for the two of us for the week. We are wondering if the difference of having to buy food and drinks (if we book at Radisson) will be way over the 5 g's? Just how expensive are the restaurants and drinks in Aruba?

Graham, NC
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85 posts
1 review
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1. Re: All inclusive or not?

What websites are you looking at for your prices. I just looked up flight prices for a Saturday to Saturday trip in August from Toronto on Orbitz.com and it was about $950 apeice. The radisson room rates are only $199 per their webisite. With the special they have going on it comes with a $100 food and beverage credit. That is about $600 less than what you are saying. I just got back from my honeymoon to Aruba. Stayed at Bucuti beach (beautiful and not all-inclusive). If I went again with my wife I would not go all inclusive. We went to a few resaurants and they were awesome. Drank some at our beach bar and the bill was just added to our room. When we checked out our bill was about $390, but we ate there and drank on average about 10 drinks there per day. You can catch happy hour at any of the bars around the hotels and they have half price drinks.

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2,668 posts
62 reviews
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2. Re: All inclusive or not?

Hi Christine,

It's difficult for me to recommend A-I to you, simply because there are so many wonderful restaurants in Aruba. It's also a challenge to approximate how much you will spend without going A-I, since the cost of food is really dependent on where you eat. For example, dinner for two at Marandi (fine dining on the beach) ran us approx. $120, which included a bottle of wine, appetizer, two entree`s, dessert and coffee. Another night, we opted to dine at Que` Pasa, which is more casual. That meal was $70 for the two of us, which included three drinks, apps, two entree`s and dessert. Breakfast could be the buffett at Marriott, which is $20 pp, or bagels and coffee for $5. I think you see where I am going with this. Drinks in Aruba can be expensive, but as mentioned above, there is always Happy Hour!

If the Occidental is only $200 more, then you may want to go with them, but I would still recommend having a couple of dinners off-property. If you decide not to go A-I, you have many options, ranging from fast-food to fine dining and can budget accordingly.

Hope this helps.

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520 posts
9 reviews
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3. Re: All inclusive or not?

Can you choose wherever you want for happy hour or do you have to be staying at that particular place in order to go to happy hour? Also was wondering if we needed to take any dress clothes along or are most restaurants casual (like shorts).

Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Destination Expert
for Aruba
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1,614 posts
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4. Re: All inclusive or not?


You can go to any happy hour you choose.

Aruba is very casual. There are only one (or maybe 2) restaurants on the entire island that require men to wear pants. Every place I've ever been I've worn shorts and a decent shirt (that would be getting dressed up) or shorts and a tee-shirt.

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5. Re: All inclusive or not?

We are going in Jun on our honeymoon and decided to not limit ourselves with an all inclusive plan.

i will post when we return and let you know how we fared.

So excited...

Loveland, Colorado
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631 posts
30 reviews
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6. Re: All inclusive or not?

I agree with the above posters. I wouldn't go all inclusive. There are just too many great restaurants to go to, you'd be cheating yourself out of all the fantastic food in Aruba!

I think the only reason why an all inclusive hotel would work for you is if you and your finace are big drinkers-but you said you're not. There are TONS of places that have great happy hours, and you won't pay $10 for a pina colada.

If I were you', I'd look into the Bucuti, it's a wonderful hotel for honeymooners. Just my 2 cents! =)

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5,944 posts
136 reviews
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7. Re: All inclusive or not?

Not..too many wonderful dining spots..and bars...

Learn here or at www.aruba.com where to dine..I love:


Chez Mathilde

Que Pasa




Mojitos at Cuba's Cooking...oh so many...

King Rib for guess what??

Jamaican Me Crazy

Black Hog Saloon