The room was sufficient, the pool big and beautiful, and the ocean was priceless. The furniture wasn't comfortable, but the maid service was terrific and when there's something to fix, a competent person is sent up immediately.
It's a given that you need passports and that the flight is expensive. It's not at all like a Bluegreen resort in the states: limited and old TV programming, nothing provided except shampoo and toilet paper. No coffee filters, no nice lounge with coffees and teas, or scott towel. I didn't have a dishwasher. You have to pay $2 for one token for a washer or dryer.
It's an island where sometimes you even have to pay to use the restroom. The people of Aruba want us to visit, but make it very clear that you will pay for every little thing and they know we are at their mercy. The hotel advertises an 800 number for family to call, but it ends up being like a collect call. I could not even use my prepaid phone card--I had to buy it there. The only way to communicate with home was via email--and then some websites didn't come through. I didn't bring my cell phone because of the possibility of roaming charges. We didn't feel safe and found out that our medical insurance wouldn't apply in Aruba. We stayed two weeks. We went to the glorious pool and ocean daily--that was the one thing that made it worthwhile.
We got the runaround about an upgrade to the newly remodeled rooms...although we would have if we'd upgraded our ownership to gold. They even admitted that the hotel was only to 60% capacity. We've been owners for about 6 years and are presently silver owners. When we requested an upgrade or a move to a newly renovated room, The Bluegreen rep said to talk to the front desk, and the front desk staff said to check with reservations.
The front desk staff seemed to be helpful but sometimes it seemed that they were snickering at the tourists and all the expenses we incurred.
I paid $35 per week for internet, and the second week it wouldn't work in my room--they'd just smile and say I should go outside to the balcony for better coverage. Or they would tell me to bring the laptop to the desk, like I was ignorant and didn't understand how to connect to the internet. They had that attitude about a lot of things.
Be sure to check out grocery prices and understand that you might have to remind the clerks that you only pay half the stated price plus 10%. It's a beautiful place, but it's full of plain highway robbery. The grocery stores--even the best ones, are grungy. Oh, and Bluegreen website does tell you there's room tax: Aruba charges about $14 per day for room tax. It all adds up to be a very expensive and inconvenient place to be. I'll stay in the USA with my cell phone and complimentary coffee any day. With the prices I pay for maintenance fees and my mortgage payments to Bluegreen, this became a nightmare "vacation" after I add up the costs and expenses of my trip.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Full service, mixed use 449 room hotel/vacation ownership casino resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- La Cabana Beach And Racquet Club
- La Cabana Beach & Racquet Club Hotel Oranjestad
- La Cabana Beach Resort & Casino Aruba/Palm - Eagle Beach