Just back from five nights at the brand new Ritz-Carlton which opened late November 2013. Great location on Palm Beach. The positives include a nice wide beach with lots of frontage means a measure of privacy while sitting on the beach. The water is warm, shallow and gentle, with a powdery soft sand bottom once you step past the first 8 to 10 feet. Service on the beach is great as friendly servers on segway scooters zip around bringing drinks and food to your lounge chairs. Two separate pools (family and adults only) are nice but pretty standard. The lobby area is not overly opulent, but is nevertheless tasteful. Rooms are ample size and bathrooms are high finish you would expect of a Ritz-Carlton. Bed was very comfortable. TV was a good size Samsung, with HBO, ESPN and a range of other channels (but no on demand movie access). Ocean view is best view by a fair margin over others; our room was partial ocean facing north and I probably would pay the extra for the ocean view if I had it to do over. Housekeeping was provided twice daily. Nice terrace off of the room. Coffee maker in room was a brand new Nespresso maker. We were interested to try it but the coffee it made was not good, unless you like super strong espresso-like coffee. One glitch on our first night was the absence of hot water throughout the hotel for the entire evening. This was pretty surprising and we were a little disappointed that the hotel didn't make a small gesture to the guests for the inconvenience.
The hotel was pretty empty during our visit; we heard that occupancy was under 25 percent. This meant that staff had plenty of time for us and we enjoyed interacting with them. The staff was very friendly and kind, consistent with Arubians that we met everywhere on the island. I am concerned that when occupancy moves up to over 80 or 90 percent, the staff will be overmatched. Many of the staff members we met were still going through training and I think it will take a while before a level of first class service is uniform. As nice as the members of the front desk staff and concierge team are, they seemed like newbies that are not ready for the demands that will follow once the hotel has higher occupancy. The concierge was supposed to look into setting up some tennis for us but never got back to us after promising she would. It seemed as though she was not knowledgeable about tennis options. The concierge staff also did not seem familiar with some of the popular restaurants that we inquired about.
We ate at Les Crustaseus ( the upper end restaurant) and it was expensive but we enjoyed the seafood and service was attentive (albeit somewhat inexperienced).
The hotel should also consider opening a shop in the lobby where guests can grab coffee, fruit, croissants, etc. Most people don't want a sit down breakfast everyday. We asked for takeout coffee at Solana (main restaurant) after the maid had not restocked the coffee in the room and were surprised when the hostess provided it to us complimentary.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba's 320 stylish guestrooms, including 55 suites, all boast private balconies with sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea and design elements that blends the island's relaxed aesthetic with incomparable Ritz-Carlton character. Two Ritz-Carlton suites deliver panoramic oceanfront views with outdoor showers, while the expansive Club Lounge sits atop the building on the seventh floor with 34 rooms and an endless array of cuisine, beverages and personal service throughout the day to a backdrop of Aruba's extraordinary seascape framed by floor to ceiling glass windows. For an unrivalled retreat of relaxation and pampering, The Ritz-Carlton Spa will be the largest on the island revealing a 15,000 square foot tranquil oasis complemented by 13 intimate treatment rooms, salon, boutique and a variety of naturally-influenced indigenous services. Signature island-inspired treatments incorporate the natural elements of Sky, Water, Earth and Fire, infused with locally grown ingredients native to the island of aloe, coconut and cactus, all enhanced by the healing components of herbs and rich earth minerals. The hotel's culinary offerings display a selection of four savory fine dining experiences that reflect Aruba's oceanfront backdrop coupled with authentic dishes and rich flavors. Madero Argentinian Grill features an assortment of specialty cocktails, light bites and poolside seating overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Solanio offers an all-day trattoria with outdoor terrace seating or dramatic open-air kitchen views, Les Crustaces pays homage to impeccably prepared seafood in a fine dining setting, while hand-crafted cocktails and flavorful small bites are presented at Divi Bar & Lounge, the resort's lobby lounge bar named for Aruba's wind swept Divi Divi trees unique to Oranjestad and the island. The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba introduces exceptional meeting, corporate retreat, and special event space with a selection of indoor and outdoor venues, including a 7,500 square foot ballroom divisible into three salons, three meeting rooms and a selection of outdoor locations, including poolside decks, manicured lawns and a beachside reception area. The beach resort also features a 24-hour 15,000 square foot vibrant casino in an island paradise paired with an assortment of casino games ranging from traditional table favorites to over 300 slot machines. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba Palm - Eagle Beach