We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First Timer

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Topic
First Timer

My husband and I, along with our 15 year old daughter, are thinking about a trip to Aruba early June. This would be our first time to any of the islands. I do understand that there is construction, currently, but we are looking at the Holiday Inn to stay for the week. Price does seem to fit with what we are looking for. I would love any feedback on the hotel or any hotels that would be along the same price. Also, is the AI worth it? What does food typically cost? We don't usually eat expensive... low key. Groceries? We would like to be near or on the beach. Also, any tips or hints of things to do, what to bring, and what to see would be appreciated. We enjoy the sightseeing, adventure, along with the laying back and enjoying the beach. We would love to do some snorkeling also.

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: First Timer

also, we are open to other island ideas. Price would like to stay near $900 to $1000 per person for hotel and air.

White Plains, New...
Destination Expert
for White Plains, Aruba
Level Contributor
6,225 posts
186 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First Timer

You would enjoy Aruba. Lots to do. Nice beaches and activities. I get books from the library. Many about Aruba. Fun to read besides what you can learn on the forum. Especially when it's cold at home.

We get a car, it works for us. Get stuff for breakfast and lunch, plus snacks.

Bring lots of sunscreen and a hat.

Enjoy

Indianapolis...
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: First Timer

Thanks. I've been scouring the internet. All the islands look perfect and its so hard to pick!

Lexington...
Level Contributor
516 posts
352 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First Timer

The first thing you probably want to do is decide if you really want an all inclusive package or not. Though I am not sure what the Holiday Inn charges for its all inclusive package, most such packages would charge you at least $100/pp/day and that would include food, some drinks, use of facilities, and (most likely) use of some non-motorized equipment. If that sounds reasonable to you then fine. Aruba has many fine dining facilities and I tend to discourage all-inclusives in deference to trying some of the other places. By the same token Aruba also has many moderately priced dining options including McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, Sbarro, Tony Romas, TGIF Fridays, HardRock, and others (including some local one's which are fairly good) - and all of them are within a short walking distance of the Holiday Inn. Groceries are available - but what you could do with them would depend on the nature of the room you would have and whether it had appliances to utilize the food. If you are talking about snack foods - they are available as well (at slightly inflated prices - you might wan to bring some with you). Depending on what

you would be buying probably would determine where you would go to buy it, but there is a large food store available that would require either a bus or taxi ride and would most likely have everything you would want..

By next June, the construction should be completed - but things happen on Aruba time there, so that is not a guarantee - but that should not be a factor, you will survive.

Holiday Inn is essentially right on Palm Beach - which usually is a busy and somewhat crowded Beach but it is not offensively so.

Things to do might depend on whether you are renting a car or not - for a week's stay at the Holiday Inn, I wold recommend not doing that. Having said that, consider doing a whole or half day Island tour with a company like ABC, also do a snorkel cruise - there are a variety of vendors for this. Beyond that there are several other options depending on your interests which I leave open for you to explore.

Enjoy your trip.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 14:56
North Cape May, Nj
Level Contributor
8,615 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First Timer

I'll be as brief as possible while trying to narrow your search. I visited orbitz.com and found the following information. These choices would not be all inclusive. Prices are complete for 2 adults and on teen.

Radisson - $3307

Westin - $2799

Holiday Inn - $2659

These prices are for low season, approximately April 15 - December 15. Dates may vary slightly according to hotel. In my opinion, the Radisson is the best choice, but the $500 difference over the Westin would go a long way in paying for food/beverages. I actually like the location of the Holiday Inn more than the Westin, So I would choose Rad, HI, Westin in that order.

I suggest that you visit each hotel's web page. Write down a few questions and post them. Good luck.

Airfare would be out of Indy. One stop via Air Tran.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 15:10
Lexington...
Level Contributor
516 posts
352 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First Timer

Agree with TONY in choosing the Holiday Inn over the Westin for you.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 15:15
Pottersville, New...
Level Contributor
123 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First Timer

You may want to start by researching airfares. I don't know what the cost might be from Indianapolis, but I would imagine tickets would be at least $500 per person. That would leave you with a max total budget of $1500 for food and lodging for the family for the week. It is doable, but you'd probably find it to be tight.

To get the most for your money, it might be helpful to investigate which islands you can fly to most cheaply. Again, I'm not familiar with Indy, but Puerto Rico and/or St Thomas are sometimes good options. Happy travels!

North Cape May, Nj
Level Contributor
8,615 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First Timer

Post #5 has an error. Radisson price is $3438.43. Air is $1666.20 . Hotel cost is difference. You would save $226.48 by booking a package. Air cost will be the same no matter where you choose to book. So, not sure if I would choose HI or Radisson. Depends on your budget..

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
3,417 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First Timer

Tony great post.

If money is an issue then it's The HI hands down for me.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 20:47
Michigan
Level Contributor
54 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First Timer

You also could investigate the possibility of renting someones timeshare. Aruba has many great timeshare operations such as Casa Del Mar and lacabana. In June you probably could find a deal from an owner to rent a 1 bedroom for a$1000 or less. They all have relatively comfortable pullout sofas where your daughter could sleep, and you could do most of your meals right in the condo. We usually eat breakfast and some lunches in the room, and eat dinner out most nights. In a week we'll do 3 to 4 moderate to nice dinners out, and other nights just get pizza or a burger. There are also some really inexpensive local rib places we like to go. I find Aruba to be VERY inexpensive compared to even Florida let alone some of the other islands. You'll have a GREAT in Aruba.