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.

All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

Thousand Oaks, CA
Level Contributor
45 posts
Save Topic
All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

We have a 18 and 20 year old young men that are active and can eat. At the same time, there are a lot of restaurants and some hotels have 2 bedroom units with little kitchens.

What makes the most sense: 1) Financially 2) Dining (taste)

All help is appreciated!

Stow, Massachusetts
1 post
Save Reply
1. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

Don't Recommend! There are just too many fantastic places to eat at. Our favorite is El Gaucho's Steakhouse (they have a martini/piano bar across the street from the restaurant were you can grab a drink before and/or after your meal, without the kids of course). All-Inclusive prices at most of the hotels in Aruba are too expensive. Unless yourself and others in your party are HUGE drinkers and don't plan on going out to eat at all would I get it. Other than that, don't waste your money. There are plenty of good & cheap restaurants on the island and all nearby. Also, the prices at the local supermarkets are double or triple what you pay here in the states.

Edited: 01 September 2011, 14:31
Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
Level Contributor
15,096 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

It's really all a matter of personal preference.

Personally though, I would never do AI in Aruba. Too many great restaurants (from casual to high end) and fun little bars to go to.

We also always book a room with a kitchen so we generally do breakfasts and a few lunches "in". We buy most of our beverages at the grocery store and take a soft-sided cooler to the beach with us during the day. Saves on the high prices on drinks that resorts charge.

Niskayuna, New York
Destination Expert
for Aruba
Level Contributor
3,518 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

Have you considered splitting your trip? Perhaps spend a few days at an AI on Eagle Beach, and then going to a non-AI on Palm?

White Plains, New...
Destination Expert
for White Plains, Aruba
Level Contributor
6,500 posts
186 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

From what I have read on this forum from those who have stayed at the AI resorts, the food does not sound good, interesting, or shows the many great and interesting restaurants on the island. For many, they seem to enjoy, not making choices, not leaving the resort, and that is for them. Many also say, they drink! If you like to experience the island,make choices. Then do not do AI.

Connecticut
Level Contributor
1,303 posts
206 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

We always split our trips both ways, since we see the pros and cons of each. The savings on drinks can make A-I worthwhile. Not having to drive/walk around to a restauarant makes it easier to do A-I. We have done Divi A-I and Occidental A-I.

When we move over to our TS at Casa del Mar, we go ala carte and it saves a bit of money and we are less likely to over eat as well. The psychology af "getting your money's worth" pushes you to eat and drink more than you would expect at an All-Inclusive.

Also, Aruba has a ton of good places to eat at every price point, in every cuisine and in both indoor and outdoor venues. From burgers, tapas and Asian, to pizza, seafood, steaks and Aruban, you can find it all.

Know your needs and wants and plan accordingly.

In some places, you must do A-I. In Aruba, it is a convenience only.

Lynn, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,828 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

My 2 cents....Aruba is so diverse in options you don't have to do AI ...we have done both and enjoyed both...lately we have been doing the Divi AI while eating out once or twice during the stay...we are not " huge drinkers" but do enjoy the ease of having everything pretty much available to us.... It comes down to what you are comfortable with and I don't think you can make a bad choice either way... Enjoy..

Cumming, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Aruba, Palm - Eagle Beach
Level Contributor
4,909 posts
79 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

We too are not big drinkers, but over the years have found that with the increasing food prices, with the right "special", all inclusive packages are sometimes more economical.

It is truly personal preference. If money is no object then do not do all inclusive. If money is a factor then a two bedroom timeshare with a kitchen is a great alternative.

When we were confronted with traveling with 5 teens who love to eat and 6 adults who did not want to cook while on vacation, an all inclusive was the perfect option.

No one ever starves to death at an all inclusive. Certainly not gourmet, we have never had any problems with the food at the Tamarijn.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
930 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

This will be our first trip in November not staying AI. But having said that, even on our past trips at AIs we eat out 3-4 times for dinner during our week there and 2-3 lunches. You do not have to eat at the AI if you do not want to. We save all our change during the year and before we go to Aruba we cash that in and that has been our eating out $. It worked for us. :)

We will find out this November if AI and eating out the times we did or not going AI and buying some food/drink items and eating out the majority of the time - which one works better for us. $ wise and enjoyment wise.

West Chester, PA
Level Contributor
150 posts
116 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

The first two years we went to Aruba we staryed at an All Inclusive and ate dinner out 3 - 4 times because of all the great restaurants. The third year we went we rented a time share and loved it - ate breakfast and lunch at the unit and ate all dinners out (burger, pizza, tapas to steak and seafood restaurants). We are now timeshare owners and still do our breakfasts and lunches at the unit but love to try new restaurants for dinner.

K C
Rochester, Michigan
Level Contributor
82 posts
221 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: All-Inclusive a bad idea given all the local restaurants?

Agree with all of the above....would not do AI unless you can divide your week. Some places won't let you do that. We take a cheap piece of luggage with snacks and food from home to do some inexpensive breakfast/lunches on the beach and eat out all dinner at the best restaurants. We've done high rise and downtown (low rise this October) and can always walk to great places. AI can be limiting and more of a mediocre buffet experience.

Get answers to your questions about Palm - Eagle Beach