We got a last minute deal, purchased Friday, went Monday. It was our second time in Aruba and all we wanted to do was lie in the sand, swim in the ocean and play in the pool. Everyone at the hotel was great; friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Seems like almost all of them spoke at least four languages very well (english, spanish, dutch, aruban language - VERY impressive and appreciated). Maid service seemed to go in to our room the minute we left, so it was always cleaned in the morning. We were in the new tower which was great because everything was brand new but it was a bit of a walk to the towel station and front desk. HINT: the pool by the new tower is much quieter than the main pools. We did not get the all-inclusive because of our last food experience at an A.I., but, for the most part, food was decent here. Do NOT order the steak sandwich at the Iguana grill, makes Steak-um look like filet mignon. Aruba as a whole is a little confusing on who charges service charge and if that goes to your server.
POSITIVES: staff, cleanliness, price, mini-fridge, free wi-fi, umbrellas, chairs & towels included (you need to sign up for the umbrellas and chairs after 4pm the day prior), short walk to restaurants (try Le Petite Cafe for breakfast and Dushi Bagels-Burgers&Burgers for lunch. Reasonable prices and good food, great service. There is a great creperie right across the street from the hotel as well. Lots of shops and a nightly water show at a mall across the street. The beach is nice (small), great sunsets, water was perfect temperature (be careful for rocks, broken shells and gross slime on ocean floor in parts), super close to all water sports and a dock restaurant and bar a short walk away. Huge checker/chess board available to play and they have different entertainment during the day and at night. Nothing great, but free (ex: movie night, live band, costumed show, pool zumba, orange peeling contest, etc.). They keep the grounds spotless, including pool restrooms and restaurants. Everything is printed in USD.
NEGATIVES: CHILDREN. Mon-Wed was not bad, a lot of cute babies, but Thursday evening tons of pre-teens and teenagers with negligent parents showed up and took over the pools. Super annoying, but probably fine if you have kids and are used to obnoxious, screaming, pushing brats. Bed was uncomfortable for me and my husband, I ended up using the pull out sofa a few nights and he slept on the floor. If you like soft bed, you will be fine. Food was expensive (if not on AI) for the quality (not out of line with the rest of the island for the most part). Smoking allowed in the main lobby of hotel and casino so I could not go into the Casino due to asthma. Pools only open 7-7, would have liked to go for after-dinner swims. Printing boarding pass was a cluster. You have to pay for the computer in the business center. Cash only. People from other hotels were actually in there using it because they said the computers in their hotels did not work at all so I guess we were at least happy to have access. Rates were $1US for 10 minutes I think.
OVERALL: I highly recommend this hotel if you get a good deal, it was very pleasant and relaxing for the most part and the staff was wonderful.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
June 20, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,
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Thanks so much for staying with us and for sharing your detailed experience with the Trip Advisor community! We are delighted to see you enjoyed your stay. Our focus is 100% on guest satisfaction, so we really appreciate & welcome your feedback. We hope you choose our resort for future visits to Aruba and look forward to your return. Thanks again for staying with us and we wish you happy travels!
Holiday Inn Resort Aruba Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.