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“unexceptional and too expensive”

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Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
beautiful Harpers Ferry WV
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
“unexceptional and too expensive”
Reviewed 3 September 2014

This isn't a bad place, it's just unexceptional and too expensive. For $400/night, I expect better.

- Our room was very small. With a small bathroom, small dresser, small fridge, small TV... get the idea? That would be OK at half the price, but not $400/night. Could have used more lights, and the shower temperature was very temperamental, I never knew what I'd get, even minute to minute. Maids did a good job. The a/c worked great, thank goodness.

- The balcony was very nice, great view, though there is no privacy from all the other balconies.

- The safe (for a few $ per night) was ludicrously placed under the sink. We had a 12-year-old to crawl around down there for us, you may not be so lucky.

- The many pools within the resort were very nice. Kept clean, not too crowded, lots of friendly iguanas to talk to.

- Shuttles to get around the large grounds were nice, since you could always call ahead to get one sent out to you, they'd come within 5 minutes.

- Entertainment was pretty lousy. Maybe I'm just an old fogie, but all this pre-recorded music is lame, it'd be so much better to hear an actual band playing actual music. If there was any of that, I missed it.

- I don't think it was part of the resort per se, but in any case, the nearby Alhambra Casino was small but nice.

- Somewhat of a disappointment generally -- again, this is in the context of $400/night -- was the food. I'll go a bit more in depth on this, since I'm something of a foodie:

The main restaurants:
* Red Parrot (Caribbean food) was very good. Items ranged from decent to really tasty. This was definitely the standout restaurant. Things we liked best were the grouper, thai soup & arugula, cheese cake, and even beef tenderloins (Aruban cows?).
* Palm Grill was pretty good, you got to grill your own food, which was a first -- weird but kinda fun. Best were the shrimp, grouper, and salmon.
* Paparazzi was decent, we liked the calamari, shrimp, grouper, and desserts.
* Ginger (Asian) was not good. We tried 5 or 6 items, ranged from fair to bad. The chicken curry was especially lamentable.
Service at these places was good, nothing special.

Buffets et al.:
* Cunucu really wasn't very good. Even by the low standards of buffet, there was a lot of plain/tasteless stuff.
* Blue Pelican was usually much better, though still nothing to write home about.
* Pizza Per Tutti, the poolside bar, was definitely your best bet, oddly enough. Many good pizzas and sandwiches.
Service at these places was pretty bad.

So there you have it. Small accommodations, adequate but generally uninspiring food, and a big hit on your bank account. There's gotta be better than this out there.

[Plz, thumbs up if this review was helpful to you.]

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank SpunkyDawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Thornhill, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2014

We stayed here the end of July. It was beautiful. The rooms are small but who cares, that's not why you visit Aruba. The restaurants were great, the weather was fabulous. We got engaged here, and hopefully will be back for our wedding :) The land is dry becasue it hardly rains, not a lot of grass but a lot of Cacti. Only 2 cows on the island, one is a pet, and one is in the zoo...A must do it the Trike Tour AMAZING and ask for Michael Angleo...he's the best!

Room Tip: If you like quiet then choose any room 22-24. Lower leverl...it's like your own private beach.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, PA
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2014

My husband and I vacationed at Tamarijn (pronounced TAM-AH-RAIN, for those of us who do not know how to pronounce it) from August 27 to Sept 1 (5 nights). I try to make my reviews as detailed as possible and give information that I myself would want to know. We have vacationed all over the Caribbean, and while we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation, reading reviews ahead of time definitely “cushioned the blow” for us on some things. Tam is a nice resort that has potential, but it is NOT glitz and glamour.

ARRIVAL: We landed in Aruba about 2pm. Processing thru customs and immigration was a breeze. We caught our bus and headed to the resort, about 15 – 20 minutes away. We checked in and received our key cards, 2 towel cards, and wrist bands. We were informed if we lost our wrist bands it would be a charge of $150 per night, per person. Also, they ask you to write down your credit card number for incidentals. I wasn’t entirely comfortable doing this, but I did it anyway. Needless to say, when we came back to the US, the next day there were fraudulent charges on the card. Not saying this was the cause, but it seemed a little too coincidental. We were then told that a bellman would be there to help us to our room. We sat on the couch for about 10 minutes. No bellman came and then an influx of people arrived with a large group. We ended up walking ourselves to the room. We were in room 2111 which in my opinion was the best section.

ROOM: As I said, we were in room 2111. It had a king bed. The bathroom had been recently remodeled. It is a little bit of a walk from the main area, but we didn’t really mind. The walking does feel good after lying on the beach all day. Of course, as I am sure you have read by now, the big draw to this place is the ocean front rooms. You are literally steps from the beach. You can lie in your bed and look out and see the beautiful water. The room was on the smallish side but we didn’t need anything big. There is a mini fridge, not stocked. The cleaning staff came every morning and were quick and efficient. We left a note requesting 3 extra pillows and they were there when we came back after lunch. My husband wants me to point out that there are golf carts (maintenance maybe?) going by the rooms at all hours of the day and night and it can get really annoying when you are lying in bed trying to sleep.

BEACH: While the water is beautiful and warm, I do take a few issues with the beach area. I have been to at least a half a dozen resorts in the Caribbean. At this resort, they do have huts on the beach and they lock up the chairs every night. You do have to wake up early to reserve a chair. This isn’t a big deal for us, it is like this at every resort we have ever visited. My husband would wake up about 6:30am and get the towels and put them on the chairs and come back to bed. We would sleep in, have breakfast and be on the beach from 9 to 4 or 5. My issues are 1) they don’t clean the beach. They go thru the effort to lock up the chairs, but they don’t rake the beach? There are a lot of cups and straws laying around on the beach (and all over the resort for that matter) that are there for long period of time. The cleanliness needs addressed and the cups need picked up nightly. Some of the guests also treat the beach as an ashtray, disgusting. 2) erosion is winning the war in a big way here at this beach. I felt our stretch of room blocks were the best area because most areas of the beach have gigantic boulders between the huts and the water, but thankfully not where we were. I would see some people crawling over these to get to the water and hold my breath, waiting for them to impale themselves on the rocks. The resort really needs to come in and dump sand and fix this problem or they will eventually lose the draw for the beach front rooms. Some of the huts were unusable because they are literally dangling over a sand/rock cliff! The stretch of beach between this resort and Divi is nice, but quite a hike from some rooms, kind of defeating the purpose of an ocean front room.

POOL: Didn’t use the pool, but I think there are 4 or 5.

FOOD: You have the option to dine at Divi and Tam. We quickly discovered the Tam buffet is strongest for breakfast. Lunch is almost unbearably hot; dinner was never that great either. I can’t put my finger on it exactly; it just didn’t meet our likings. The buffet at Tam is open too, making it really hot and a mecca for flies and birds. We would walk out to the lobby of Tam and take the little cart over to Divi for lunch and dinner. It is like a 3 minute ride and the buffet is much better and enclosed and air-conditioned. We liked the Pizza / Bar option at the pool at Tam. My husband would make a late night cheese fry run. We only went to one reservation restaurant, Paparazzi. It was very good and we were pleasantly surprised by the portion sizes.

SPA: We had a couples massage at the spa at Divi. It was very good and relaxing!

DEPARTURE: We didn’t wait for the bus to pick us up; we took a cab to the airport. Be at the airport 4 hours before your flight! You have to go thru both Aruba Customs and instead of doing US Customs when you arrive back in the US, you do it before you leave Aruba. Don’t stop for anything until you get thru US Customs.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: 1) I don’t understand why this resort is not cashless? Most of the other resorts I have visited, they (electronically) put a credit card on your room and no matter where you buy something on the resort, it is charged to your room and therefore the electronic credit card. 2) We also paid $5 for 20 minutes of internet usage to email family and I swear every time we were in that room, there was hotel staff in the room hanging out on the computers. 3) Aruba is very windy, just be prepared. If it wasn’t windy though, it would probably be ungodly hot. 4) Divi resort is definitely better maintained and taken care of. Just take a walk around and you will see the difference.

TIPS: We bought a gigantic 52 ounce Bubba Mug to take with us. We took it to the beach us and had it in the room since the fridge isn’t stocked so we always had ice cold water. Super important to stay hydrated here. You don’t even realize how hot that sun is because of the wind/breeze. All the water is drinkable on the island. We also took clips to clip our towels to the chair; this is a must have. Also, I highly recommend water shoes. While the water wasn’t extremely rocky where we were, but it had some sections while walking out that the shoes really came in handy. We never felt pressured to tip anyone. I think we tipped the cleaning staff the most, $5 a day. Also, just get the safe for $2/day. Stupid that they even charge their guests for this service and it is very inconvenient where it is located, under the sink.

Room Tip: Get in block 20 or higher.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank renateli33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2014

From the Reviews below, it is obvious that everyone has different standards. Like other comments, if this is your first Caribbean Holiday, then perhaps you would think this was amazing, however if you have been to other Hotels in other parts of the Caribbean and also the World, you will would most certainly have the same opinion as I did and many others.

The service provided by the Tamarijn is poor, Staff unfriendly, Food below par, "Cocktails" (if you want to call them that) terrible. The Breakfast choice is basic and I would agree with other comments, served with greasy plates. The food in the Restaurants for the evenings was much better, however you need to book these days in advance otherwise you end up with a 5.30pm or 9pm booking.

The rooms although very clean, were small with outdated furniture, even though they had been renovated - pity the furniture was not as well. The rooms are also very noisy if you happen to get one with the Club Cars going past your door every hour of the day/night. The Safe is in a stupid place under the sink, but then again, there is no other secure, solid piece of furniture in the room you could fix the Safe too.

The beach along blocks 16 to 20+ was poor, dirty and not cleaned, littered with cigarette butts. We stayed for 5 days, and not once were the cigarette butts or the ashtrays cleaned from the previous people on the beach. The beach in the Divi is 100% better than the Tamarijn - take a 5 minute walk down there to see the difference, or even just look on Google Earth!!. The Sunbeds at the Tamarijn are stacked and locked up at night, either to prevent theft or maybe to stop the usual "towel reservers" from getting up at 6am. You will have to get your own Sunbed around 7.30am, not too sure though if this happens further down the beach towards the Divi?

To be honest, Aruba is a fantastic island, beautiful, clean and very friendly. I would most definitely not think twice about going back, but I would choose either one of the smaller B/B resorts on Eagle Beach, or opt for one of the High Rise Hotels.

Please do some research first before booking the Tamarijn, as I say, everyone has different opinions about the Hotel - it all depends on what you want and how much you are paying for it.

Room Tip: Blocks 16-20 have a little beach
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FrostytheCamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Laguna Niguel, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2014

I stayed at the Tamarijn last week with a family group raging from age 5 to 70 and we all had a wonderful time. There are nothing but good things that I can say about this place.

Food was great, drinks were great, service was great, absolutely no problems with crowds (at the pool, beach, restaurants, bars - nothing!), very relaxing environment, the grounds and beaches were kept very clean, fun pool area with music and games, plenty to do at all times, beautiful beach, accessible, and nearly everything overlooks the beautiful ocean (and nightly sunsets)! We went kayaking and saw sea turtles! We found sand dollars in the ocean. Some of us won at the casinos. We enjoyed the shops and tables. We always felt safe.

In general, we found the staff at the Tamarijn and the other locals to be very proud of their island (rightly so). They seemed to take great pride in this resort as well. One Happy Island definitely resonates.

We also had perfect weather. Yes, it was a bit hot, but the winds were perfect for cooling down. We were there for a week in the height of hurricane season and got maybe 10 minutes of rain total.

The rooms are a bit basic but they're comfortable. The property isn't extremely glamorous, but it's very nice and very charming. Moreover, while we were there we heard some disparaging things about the high-rise area (crowds, bad food, etc.) and were glad we stayed in the low-rise.

Overall, this was exactly the stay I was hoping for - easy, relaxing, fun, enjoyable, memorable, and beautiful. A perfect escape. None of us wanted to leave. I'd love to stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Eric F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 September 2014

We have stayed here twice. Food was great and steps from our door to beach! Highly recommend this place. Walk to most restaurants and stores. Taxi service also available and very handy. We will be back soon!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Madre250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oshawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2014

What can I say about my first trip to the "Hawaii of the Caribbean " other than it was one of the best vacations I have ever had. I made sure I indulged in the "All inclusive" aspect of the holiday, and had way too many Balashis most days. The a la carte restaurants were very good, we ate at the Red Parrot and the Paparazzi several times, the buffets were "ok" at best for dinner, and the breakfast spread was average to fair. The best meal we had was at the Windows on our final night on the island. The room was good, nothing fancy, but it served the purpose and as we were on the first floor, access to the beach was very handy. The beach had suffered some erosion, but it did not take away from our enjoyment. I loved all the lizards and Iguanas that were about, and most days there was one large Iguana foraging just outside our door. The staff were good, and other than a minor room mix up, we had no complaints . I would definitely go back again.

Room Tip: Get rooms in blocks 1100 to 1600, once you are in 1700 and beyond it gets too far away from the rest...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SaC15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Property: Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Address: J.E. Irausquin Blvd #41 | Druif Beach, Oranjestad, Aruba
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive 3*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All oceanfront rooms on the mile-long beach make this lively resort the perfect choice for beach lovers. The Tamarijn Aruba is Aruba's hot spot on the beach where the fun never stops. There's plenty of activity day and night. Learn to windsurf, ride a bike on the boardwalk or climb the 30-foot rock climbing wall right on the sand. Kayaking and snorkeling are just steps from the rooms. When the sun goes down, the fun begins with lively music around the pool and theme shows. Or try your luck at the Alhambra Casino nearby. All Inclusive Amenities: • 10 Restaurants and grills • 8 Bars with daily drink specials • 4 Freshwater pools • Non-motorized water sports • Divi Winds Sports Center with fitness center • Bikes, beach volleyball, tennis clinic • Weekly water aerobics, yoga and Zumba classes • Lighted tennis courts • Nightly entertainment with theme nights • 30ft Rock climbing wall on the beach • Daily activities • Kids Fun Club for ages 5 - 12 • Free Wi-Fi throughout property ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Hotel Oranjestad
Hotel Tamarijn
Aruba Tamarijn
Tamarijn Aruba Beach Resort
Tamarijn Aruba Beach Hotel

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