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“Ritz but not Ritzy”

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The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
Ranked #13 of 24 Hotels in Palm - Eagle Beach
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 20 March 2014

As long-time Aruba travelers, we could not wait to see the new Ritz finished. However we were disappointed, to say the least, in the finished product. The outside is very plain. the lobby area is a kind of "contemporary minimalist" décor and the grounds lack the tropical lushness you would expect (like the Hyatt that has been there forever). I will say that the training and service levels of the staff are incredible. Everyone is polite, knowledgeable, and helpful. The casino needs a little more décor and equipment to take up space, but again, everyone is customer oriented and they actually smile! Although we did not stay there, and I cannot comment directly on the rooms, we visited there at least 6 times during our 3 weeks in Aruba and spoke with many other people, both Ritz guests and others, who all said the same thing. Maybe someday they will do something to the property to actually LOOK like a Ritz.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
3  Thank Rodney G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 March 2014 via mobile

I have stated at both the Grand Cayman and St. Thomas Ritz Carlton properties a few times over the past years and my stays have been nothing short of amazing. The Ritz Carlton Aruba property did not live up to my expectations and was a bit of a disappointment.

Pros:
- The rooms are brand new, spacious and decorated nicely.
- Bathrooms are large and provide a separate tub and shower. Shower over tub is one of my biggest hotel pet peeves.
- Housekeeping was great.
- Comfy lounge chairs on the beach with cushions and set up available from the beach staff.
- Beautiful beach
- Adult only pool

Cons:
- Limited beach amenities. They do not provide water hammocks/trampolines or floating tables like the Grand Cayman property. Big let down.
- Lounge chairs missing individual shade canopies that both the Grand Cayman and St. Thomas properties offer.
- Water sport offerings are limited.
- The resort is boring. They do not play any music on the beach - only by the pool bar and very low. St. Thomas plays music that you can hear clearly on the beach and by the pool. There is no swim up bar or anything fun like the other resorts along the beach. Nightlife at the resort is non existent.
- The pools a little small.
- Children allowed in the adult only pool area.
The resort is pretty sparse. There is hardly any landscaping. It feels bare. The Marriott and Hyatt do not have this problem. Would it kill them to add some palm trees?
- Lunch menu is extremely limited. Much more so than their other Caribbean properties.

I was really excited for this new property to open, however, the negatives outweighed the positive. I wish I had just rebooked Grand Cayman. That has been my favorite vacation to date.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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7  Thank beachgirl1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto G, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2014

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at our property. I am sorry to learn that your stay was not up to your expectations. Your pro’s and con’s comments were very helpful as we try to find ways to better serve the needs of our guests. Based on the feedback we have received we are currently working on some amenities such as better music entertainment and items for recreation. Our most eye catching attraction is the view from our lobby bar and terrace where the sunset provides breathtaking views while enjoying cocktails and pre-dinner snacks. Many beautiful pictures have been captured of the wonderful sunset from the terrace overlooking the garden and beach just as the sail boat passes by the sun setting on the horizon. These breathtaking views are why we have kept the landscaping as open as possible to capture those special moments. I hope that this together with the changes we will make in recreation and music entertainment provide the right combination for future returns to our beautiful island and property. Thank you again for your sharing your comments.

Roberto Grisi

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Reviewed 19 March 2014

My husband and I returned last week from a 6 night stay at the Aruba Ritz Carlton. Was a combination of paid days and reward points. Read all the reviews and were somewhat concerned, but were more than pleasantly surprised with the professionalism of the staff. Helen, a front desk supervisor, went out of her way to ensure that our room was wonderful with a beautiful view. When we had a situation that needed assistance, she checked and double checked with us until it was completely resolved, and we are most grateful.
The staff was extremely friendly and very eager to please; they all seem aware that the "soft opening" lead to some difficulties and they go out of their way now to give a true Ritz Carlton experience to their guests.
Best beach chaise lounges you could ask for! Attentive attendants, always were able to find a spot under an umbrella on the sand or by the adult pool.
Casino was lively, no smoke odor, and paid off nicely!
Enjoyed the spa very much as well.
Only recommendation has to do with restaurant options; they need a casual take-out style restaurant with coffee, muffins, sandwiches similar to the Marriott next door. Having to go for an expensive full breakfast every day was not our style, and lunch by the pool/beach is extremely pricey as well. We've stayed at the Hyatt many times and they have such a cafe; hope they decide to add one here as well.
Highly recommended, and kudos to the staff for their personal attention. And thank you again Helen!

Room Tip: We liked being in the center near the elevators.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank maidaweb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

Greeted with a glass of champagne, one can immoderately tell that the staff of the hotel is trained to the highest level. Everyone is professional, knowledgeable and friendly. The food at Les Crustaces was wonderful, and the wait staff was top notch. Wi-Fi is free and easily available throughout the facility.

The structure, on the other hand, looks like a ginormous Holliday Inn Express. The rooms are OK, but just OK. I would call my room a $249 room, maybe a $299 room. It's just not what I would expect for the prices that the Ritz charges.

At the pool area the story is the same. A great staff serves wonderful poolside meals, but it makes you wonder I'd the architect has ever been to the site. There is no windbreak between the beach and the pool, so Aruba's famous trade winds whip up a sandstorm of Saudi proportions each day. Guests are coated with a thin layer of fine sand which swirls around the patio and accumulate in mini-dunes. Ipad screens are treated to a good sandblasting, and drinks need to be covered up or skimmed of sand.

Overall I'd recommend it, if on sale. Paying full price I would expect more.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jhoge123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014 via mobile

Very nice hotel but multiple problems give me pause with regard to an enthusiastic review. Upon check in we were given the partial ocean view room we had reserved for 799/night. They have one section of the hotel which is marred by terrible views of road and some sort of field. For me completely unacceptable for a ritz and we quickly had our room changed to a beauty with a resort view...EXTRA 560/night...so be careful when booking...

As far as the resort goes...very beautiful...great gym...beach very windy with frequent sandstorm type gusts...pool better...food at lunch limited and very expensive...as are the drinks...

So pretty good...be careful about which room you book...avoid the no view section...other caveat is elevator can be very far from room...try to book a room with a lower last 2 numbers...even our executive suite was a hike...very much prefer ritz grand cayman....won't be returning

Stayed: March 2014
4  Thank lsmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto G, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 21 March 2014

Thank you for having stayed with us and for sharing your comments. I can see how staying at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba you were looking to have a beautiful and unobstructed view of the ocean as our property’s location has a stunning view of the ocean and coastline. I truly agree that we have a beautiful product. The added friendliness and warmth of our staff that focus on providing excellent service really makes us one of great Ritz-Carlton destinations. I very much appreciate you sharing your feedback and I look forward to welcoming you back for an unforgettable experience.

Roberto Grisi

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Reviewed 16 March 2014

Spent one night-March 2, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton. We came in one day early to avoid a potential East Coast snow storm. Had read many negative review so I was a bit nervous. Here is what I found. Upon checking in , we were greeted nicely and welcomed with a glass of champagne- nice touch after a day of travel. We had book a garden view but are Ritz Platinum member so asked for and upgraded room. They did honor our request and gave us an oceanfront room..will preface it by saying the hotel was NOT full and the room was on the first level and overlooked the restaurant which was a problem at night...noise. Luckily we were only there one night!!

We ate out by the pool since we had just got in from a day of travel. At first, we were greeted right away, seated and the waiter took our drink order as well as the food order in a timely fashion. BUT that was the end of that ....the food came out prior to the drinks and all we were having were draft beers nothing fancy. We were given the excuse that they were very busy...we certainly didn't see any evidence of that......

Overall the property is beautiful. The sand on the beach as well as in the water in front of the hotel is great. You do not get that crowed feeling either. The downside is the staff really doesn't inform you of the services they offer- a guest told my husband about the free paddleboards for Ritz guest. So if you don't ask or they don't tell. I am hoping that with a little more time they will be able to get more the the kinks out...

Room Tip: Higher floor and certainly not overlooking restaurant!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank DelbartonMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

My husband and I spent four nights at the new Ritz in Aruba with three other couples. There wasn’t much about the hotel that was worth the price. The rooms have fabulous views of the ocean and nice balconies. They were new, clean and nice enough; ditto with the bathroom. However, there was just no “WOW” factor it looked a little mass-produced.

The service was spotty all around. Staff seemed un-trained, certainly not Ritz caliber. The staff at the pool and beach hut preferred to stand around and chat amongst themselves, comparing notes on their tips, rather than provide service. Towels were hard to come by, often stained. After 4 pm they seemed to pack up for the day and you had to hunt someone down to get anything.

Several of our group had problems with the phone message lights in their rooms never going off. The sixth floor had major water leaks and the hall carpet was flooded. We had water shut-offs twice.

The spa facility was nice with steam rooms, saunas and hot tubs. But the treatment and relaxation rooms were freezing; three of the four massages our group had were mediocre. The staff was not accommodating, even after scheduling errors on their part.

There was a constant attempt to up sell - I’ll just give one example. On our first night before dinner, drinks were priced according to the drinks menu. After dinner, they were more than twice as much. After we pointed out to the staff that nothing on the drinks menu came close to that amount, almost $40 for a glass of wine, they agreed to credit the bill; but everything was a battle.

On the positive side, we had fun on complimentary paddleboards that were available at the sports cabana in between the Marriott and the Ritz. The buffet breakfast at Solanio was good and the staff at the breakfast buffet was well trained and professional. Aruba is a lovely island; weather, beaches, water and even the constant breeze were wonderful. I’m just not sure I would return to the Ritz.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank HobokenGlobetrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roberto G, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded 19 March 2014

Thank you for sharing you review about your recent experience. I am always enlightened to read about the property experience from a guest’s point of view. In this case I am very sorry to learn that your experience was not what you were expecting. Though we have a beautiful property with very nice views and facilities I can see by your feedback that there are things we need to work on. I can assure you that we are working on turning things around and hope to welcome you back to provide you with a more memorable experience. We are committed to providing the finest personal service to our guests and it is through constructive feedback such as yours that we are able to eliminate defects and continue to be the pioneers in the hotel industry.

Roberto Grisi

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Additional Information about The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Address: LG Smith Boulevard, 107, Palm - Eagle Beach, Aruba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Palm - Eagle Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Casino Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#9 Spa Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#9 Luxury Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Palm - Eagle Beach
Price Range: £333 - £1,202 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba 5*
Number of rooms: 320
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

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