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Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

chicago, IL
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Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

My boyfriend and I are in our mid-30s and are trying to decide between going to Aruba or Barbados in February. We don't really do any excursions. We like to eat, drink, lay by the pool, go out at night, relax and shop....and like live entertainment too. My boyfriend loves to gamble too and I know Aruba has quite a few casinos.

Any of you been to both and have any suggestions? We've been to Key West, Cabo, Cancun and a lot of really fun party places and are looking for something new. I don't even know where to start looking. Is there a "hot spot" area in Barbados and what are the good hotels in the best areas? Thanks for your help!!!

Burlington, Canada
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1. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Just put "Barbados Aruba" in the search box and you'll find pages of information and comments about the comparison.

If one of you likes gambling or casinos Barbados is a casino free zone. You can go to the horse races or there are some slots in places, but that's all.

London, United...
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2. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Barbados is great for lying by the pool - but I prefer going to the beach, much prettier than a pool! There's plenty to keep you amused of an evening, especially if you stay in St Lawrence Gap, there are lives bands on in various places throughout the week.

However, if shopping and casinos are important to you, then perhaps Barbados is not for you, as previously mentioned there are no casinos, only slot machines (Lucky Horseshoe etc) and maybe a day at the races at Garrison and shopping is not really a big thing, even in Bridgetown.

If you do head for Barbados, I would aim for the Gap (due to your nightlife request), not sure if you want AI or self catering or a villa or what your budget is, but some to look at would be:

Almond Casuarina

Turtle Beach

Time Out at the Gap

Escape at the Gap

Southern Palms

Butterfly Beach Hotel

Yellow Bird Hotel

Dover Beach Hotel

Ocean's 11

Rostrevor

South Gap Hotel

Barbados Beach Club

All of these are on the south coast, some within walking distance of the Gap and varied from AI to room only for varying budgets.

Good luck, I hope you find the holiday you are looking for!

Limerick...
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3. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Aruba has the gambling

Both have fine restaurants.

Rental cars available but in Barbados they drive on the opposite side.

All the high rise hotels in Aruba are in one area.

For your age and for what you want I would say Aruba.

Check out the Hyatt very nice.

Next trip Barbados.

Were heading back to Barbados we really like it

Barbados
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4. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

I've been to both, but I don't think a holiday should be based on gambling. Therefore I'd say Barbados.

Aruba is very americanized. A barrage of high rise american chains on the coasts. Excellent beaches, hungry sharks (natahlee holloway), great restaurants.

Barbados has few american chains, we have a 350room Hilton with a Caribbean flair that is just fantastic. Most of our hotels are Barbadian owned and operated. The Hilton is also owned by the Barbados Government.

St Lawrence Gap and Oistins is excellent nightlife.

Barbados....just beyond your immagination!

Limerick...
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5. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Aruba more americanized.

Barbados more britishized.

Referring to a crime that was committed in Aruba

totally uncalled for

What about what happened to the two tourists on the beach?

A fish fry and people playing loud music is not night life.

Edited: 06 December 2009, 00:31
Barbados
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6. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

What crime did I refer to? I said hungry sharks. I never implied any crime took place. Nobody ever proved that a crime was comitted. No body, no crime!

Oistins Fish Fry is an integral part of our tourism product and has been for many years, and will continue to be in the future.

Barbados has a better mix in its tourism product. It's not just a flat island with hotels pinned along the coast.

Edited: 06 December 2009, 02:40
Balsam Lake
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7. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Hi,

Have been to both and based solely on what you have said you would like to do I would suggest Aruba. Aruba has beautiful beaches, nice hotels with beautiful pools, great shopping. Both islands are top notch but Barbados does not offer you all the things on your list. Maybe try Barbados next time.

Kawartha Lakes

Kansas City
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8. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Hi there, I have been to both places a number of times, and would like to help if possible. To start, you have selected two great places, so you won't end up with with a poor choice regardless. My boyfriend and I travel to the islands often, and I will say, Barbados remains one of our favorites over all. Barbados had a very laid back atmosphere, you can relax on the beach without constant disruptions. We always meet locals who make our stay amazing. Last year we hung out with a fisherman, Terry who was the highlight of our trip. You also can snorkel right of of blue monkey beach and swim with sea turtles, sting ray, for no charge (if you have your own gear, around $12, if you rent). I love sea turtles, so for me this is a major plus. There is also a super neat wildlife reserve in which you can see the monkeys and other wildlife up close. You can go out and enjoy yourself at night, however the night life with be nothing like Aruba!

Aruba, is also wonderful, yet has became less exciting to me in the past few years. It is becoming a little too commercial for my liking. I love to shop, but at markets and things unique to each island, not in stores I can find at home. There are plenty of shops, both high end and markets if you are interested. There are also beautiful beaches......Eagle beach and Palm beach to name a few, they are both excellent. There is a butterfly farm, which I found fun for a short little stop. The night life is a blast, not as wild as Cancun....yet there are large crowds, live and loud music and more than enough to keep you sleeping through the next day if you are not careful.

For my boyfriend and I, if we had to choose one, we would hands down pick Barbados for the best balance. Yet, if you are wanting to gamble, and party you should choose Aruba!!!! Good luck, hope it helps. Any other questions let me know.. By the way, if you go to Aruba......The Occidental is the place to stay!!!!!!!! Love it!!!!!

Barbados
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9. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

I've heard good things of the Occidental. I stayed at the Renaissance when I was there.

Guildford
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10. Re: Aruba or Barbados?? Help!

Great to see Geneticsniper back

And someone said this forum was dull....