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Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

Toronto, Canada
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Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

Greetings,

My wife and I along with possibly a few other couples for my 40th and seeking a true beach / all inclusive vacation and our first visit to Aruba the week of Oct. 20th, 2013. We're going to take this opportunity to celebrate our 10th year anniversary two years later.

We are looking for the best valued all inclusive resort that is suited for adults and/or couples as our preference is to stay at a resort without many small children. We have 3 small ones that will not be travelling with us and my wife would prefer not to see too many small kids as this will be our first week-long getaway without them.

We've stayed at AI resorts throughout Canun, Mayan Riviera, Puerto Vallarta, Cuba, MB Jamaica as well as Punta Cana - Dominican and have picked Aruba for October travel due to what we've been told is almost guaranteed warm and dry weather.

We are beach oriented and enjoy basking in the sun and relaxing so pools are secondary to our needs and not the pickiest eaters. A beach bar would be preferred.

Any assistance that can be provided would be greatly appreciated as we have researched a few hotels and have shortlisted them as follows in random order (please feel free to rank or recommend any):

Holiday Inn (great beach - not sure about food)

Riu Palace (familiar with Riu brand)

Occidental Grand (looks good)

Divi Beach & Golf (located across the street from beach)

Thanking you in advance,

Mario & Helen from Toronto

Niskayuna, New York
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for Aruba
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1. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

If I were in your shoes, I would opt for the Divi. Eagle/Druif beach is a wide, uncluttered stretch of Paradise. The other hotels are located on Palm Beach, which has easier access to nightlife.

Are you SURE you need to do all-inclusive? If you aren't big drinkers, many will tell you to stay bed-only. All inclusive hotels in Aruba are NOT the posh affairs you will find on other Caribbean islands or in Mexico.

The Bucuti is an adults-only hotel on a gorgeous beach and includes breakfast. Amsterdam Manor has an AI option and has a wonderful, boutique-y vibe. The rooms there all have kitchens or kitchenettes.

Congratulations on your happy occasion.

jl
Waltham...
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for Aruba
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2. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

The only resort with no children will be the Bucuti, which is not AI. The Renaissance Marina (downtown) also has an adults only section.

Rather than the Divi Beach and Golf, have you considered the Divi AI located directly on the beach next to the Tamarijn?

Edited: 27 August 2013, 16:41
North Cape May, Nj
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3. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

http://www.diviaruba.com/

Divi Aruba is on the beach. It is located on Druif Beach, an extension of Eagle Beach.

Riu Palace is located on Palm Beach.

These are the two AI's that appear to be highest rated in Aruba.

Druif is the nicer beach. Riu is the nicer hotel. Personally, I can not wholeheartedly endorse either because AI resorts in Aruba are not in the same class as those you are familiar with. Most on this forum will advise that you do not go AI because Aruba is safe to explore and has excellent dining options.

Amsterdam Manor and Manchebo Beach Hotel have AI options, but neither is a good value, IMO.

Edited: 27 August 2013, 16:49
Limerick...
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4. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

Special occasion if u can afford it Bucuti.

Then you can eat where you want when u want.

Save some money Dunkin Donuts for bkfst or Subway for lunch.

Lot's of excellent restaurants in Aruba.

You can easily get by with out a rental car.

jl
Waltham...
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for Aruba
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5. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

Bucuti offers free breakfast

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6. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

way too late to consider bucuti. booked for all of october

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

This is unfortunate; however, we are going to have to stick with all inclusive as we like to eat and drink when on vacation.

Minneapolis...
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for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
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8. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

We love to eat and drink while on vacation, too. :) And Aruba has some really great restaurants (anywhere from casual to high end) and some fun pier and beach bars as well. We look forward to dining/drinking on every trip to Aruba since there are so many great places to choose from.

As Tony said above, the few AI's that are located in Aruba are not in the same class as the ones you're used to. Probably the closest (as far as food/drink) would be the Riu.

Southampton, PA
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9. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

I have stayed at two AI in Aruba: Riu and Occidental.

As others have stated, these are not the same class of AI as on other islands. It's true that Aruba is very safe and has great dining options.

Of the two we've stayed at, we prefer the Riu. The food and drink at the Occidental is sub-par in comparision. They're both nice hotels, the Riu is just a slightly nicer one. The Occidental has far more palapas at the beach than the Riu, however. We got a palapa every day around 9 AM. That DOES NOT happen at the Riu.

As many have stated, AI is not required on Aruba. We only do it because we like to hang at the bar in the evening and have a few drinks. That could get pricey for us, so we choose AI. But we also do hit some restaurants and bars off-property as well.

Hull, Massachusetts
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for Palm - Eagle Beach
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10. Re: Please Help - Best All Inclusive for Beach-Loving Couple?

If you've done AI's in all those places, I'd tell you to look carefully at the resorts in Aruba-they're nothing like that. As mentioned, Riu is probably the closest, but we stayed one year with friends at the Divi Divi and had a great vacation. We found most of the kids were at the Tam next door so not many at Divi Divi. The rooms are basic as is the pool, but what a beach!!