The Divi All-Inclusive Resoirt is around 15 mins by taxi from the airport in Oranjested. It is on the outskirts of town, in a pretty busy area. However it is in the nicer low-rise section of Aruba, as opposed to the high-rise section that is a further 5kms ahead on the same road. The taxi ride costs $23 - regulated by the goverment, so need to haggle. The resort is a little set back from the main road 1A, which is a pretty busy road. The Tamarijn All Inclusive (which you have access to) is right on the road and you can hear cars and buses all day along - so the Divi is in a slightly better location. However, these resorts (or any other in Aruba) arent really as isolated or idyllic as you can get in other Caribbean islands. There are in a very Americanized section of Aruba. The Alhambra casino is a 2 mins walk outside the resort. The casino building also has a dunkin donuts and other fast food if you fancy that on a caribbean vacation.
The resort is big, but feels very cramped. This is probably because there isnt really much place on Aruba to build beach resorts on - it is a very small island and fully developed on the calmer side. When you enter the resort, you have the reception desk right at the entrance, right next to a couple of shops inside that sells basic amenities and souvenirs. These are all right next to the lobby, which is right next to a bar/grill, which is right next to the pool, which is right next to a south beach style pool lounge area, which is right next to the beach bar, right next to the beach itself, right next to the main buffet restaurant, right next to a ala crate restaurant. You get the idea - everything is cramped in a small space. This isnt a resort with lush gardens and lawns. However these sections are very tastefully done and very well maintained. The lighting and vibe at night is very modern and very South Beach Miami style. The oceanview rooms are right next to all of these common areas and many overlook the pool/lounge with an angled view of the beach. Slightly further away are the veranda rooms which themselves are very cramped and close to each other - almost military barracks style buildings - but right on the beach.
Upon checkin you will be given your All-Inclusive wrist tag. You will be warned that they will charge you $100 per day if you lose. Really, this is the first thing they tell you when you check-in. Dont insult me like this Divi management. If I lose the tag, just give me another one - you know who your guests are. They cost a few cents only. I'm a paying guest, dont make me feel like a thief, especially if my 3 yr old manages to tear and remove his. I dont want this stress on my vacation of having to protect a wristband with my life.
We rented a car for a day and drove around Aruba and checked out all the beaches. The Divi has the best beach in Aruba. It is very wide - I would guess 50m or so and is part of a long beach that stretches along the shore, alongside several other resorts. It isnt crowded at all with people from other resorts. The sand is white/creamish in color and the softest you will get and extremely clean - except for cigarette butts dropped by guests who dont care about it. The waters are the expected aquamarine, teal, green - all shades of blue and green and extremely clear and clean. The waves are small, but not gentle. Adults and kids can swim for hours, but not small kids. Kids 5 yrs and younger willget knocked around unless they stay on the edge with just their ankles in. All in all, this is a really fabulous beach compared to many others all over the Caribbean that I've been to. (7 islands so far for me). They have a sand rake tractor that cleans the beach every morning in front of the resort. The beach section in front of the Tamarijn is nowhere near as good as the Divi - so if you have the choice, book the Divi over the Tamarijn even though rooms at the Tamarijn are 5 steps from the sand. You can watch fabulous unsets from the Divi beach. In 7 days I never saw any vendors trying to sell things. The only people you see are the resort guests. No dogs, no animals, which was great.
Baby beach which is another beach on the island quite hyped up by everyone is pitiful compared to the Divi beach. Save yourself the hassle and avoid going to Baby Beach - unless you like a great view of great big oil refinery next to you and a narrow piece of sand.
The Divi beach bar is right on the beach itself, right next to where all the palapas are, so that is quite convenient. The pool is right there too. The beach beds are light enough to carry around and place them where you want them. However there arent enough of them. On some days you might go without finding one until the afternoon. This is a shame because you dont want to pay thousands for your vacation and not get a beach chair to lie on. The palapas offer the only shade on the beach but there arent enough of them. You will need to get up at 7 in the morning and put your towels on them otherwise you will be without one. Management really needs to do something about these issues because i'm not paying that much to not get a beach chair or a shaded place or to get up at 7am to put my towels on. Some people claim their chairs and palapas and dont even show up until after late afternoon. The Divi does not have drinks service on the beach, you need to get up and get what you want. Atleast the bar is vey close by. The beach has two areas to take a shower to remove sand before going back to your room, or to the pool.
The pool isnt very big, for the number of guests that the resort has. It is probably 25ms long and not very wide. The depth varies from 4ft to 6ft. There are nice padded pool chairs all around. There are cool cabanas around and a nice 6in deep wading pool with round beds in it - this is the South Beach vibe I mentioned before. There is a shack where you can get floats and pool noodles. However the attendent who was there most of the days wasnt very friendly. Also they have a limited number of floats that you can borrow. You will be warned to return it before 5 (or be charged a fee) and return it clean. This is also where you get beach towels. The towel service is quite good with enough towels all around. They need to buy more floats and noodles and be more polite about giving those to guests who are paying a lot of money instead of being treated this way.
There are two main bars at the Divi, within 25 steps of each other. One is next to the pookl, the other on the beach. Most of the bartenders are friendly. The mixed drinks they make are okay, not great. Usually very very sweet. If you tell them "not too sweet" and "extra alcohol" you will end up with a decent drink.
Our room was a "Oceanview" room in the first building - Vista 1. This is right next to the lounge and pool area. The rooms are decent. The beds was extremely springly - good for my kid to jump on, but not to sleep on. The cheap part of the resorts tactics are what dampen some of the vacation spirit here - there is a safe in the room, but you need to get a lock from reception, and you have to pay $2/night. Come on, really? This is like the airlines nickel and diming you. The resort guide book tells you to secure your room and close the patio doors and lock them securely, but wont give you a free safe to secure your valuables. The bathroom was decent - only thing is in the evening you will be lucky to get hot water in the shower. The housekeeping service is really good though. In the Vista 1 building, you will hear the nightly entertainment - live music or whatever is going because it is loud. The patio doors arent soundproof . So if you sleep early, you will not sleep until the nightly loud music is done.
The main buffet restaurant, Pelican, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is average, definitely not on the good or great side. Instead of serving up local cuisine, or other Caribbean island, they try to create "regular" food. It isnt very good. Anytime they attempted to make asian style dishes they were extremely salty. I think they use soy sauce that has already very high salt, and then add more salt on top of that. The seafood was terrible. Stale, dry, wrinkled. And you think that on an island you would get good seafood. The beef and pork dishes are the only eatable dishes. They do have a hot station where you can choose the meat and 1 of 3 sauces and they will cook for you. Breakfast was fine - the pancakes and waffles were awesome - Belgian style. You have the usual omlettes and eggs as well. Overall, each meal has a lot of variety, but not very high quality.
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- Also Known As:
- Divi Aruba All Inclusive Hotel Oranjestad
- Aruba All Inclusive Resort
- Aruba Divi Divi
- Divi Aruba Beach Resort
- Divi Aruba All Inclusive Oranjestad