This review is mainly aimed at the British... First a few things about Aruba: It is fairly hot constantly around 27-33 degrees C. but you don't notice because it is always windy and sometimes overcast (though you still get burned) and quite humid. Take plenty of sun cream and insect repellent because you will go through it and it is expensive to buy over there and 23kg allowance is more than enough. Also if you suffer from prickly heat/heat rash definitely take cream with you because they don't seem to have any. There is no need to change currency to Aruban Florins because everywhere accepts US dollars. My advice is to change your currency before you travel because the hotel gives a poor exchange rate and limits you to £50 a day which is no good when you want to buy excursions. The water is perfectly safe to drink from the tap and almost all food (and everything else) is imported from the US so don't worry about stocking up on bottled water or getting stomach cramps.
On to the hotel... we thought it was great! Be aware that the hotel require $100 deposit cash or credit card details (no withdrawal is made) when checking in. Thomson don't seem to make people aware of this. Also the room safe is $2 per day. The airport transfer is 10-15 mins and you are checked in on the coach - easy peasy. Sandra the rep is excellent. After reading mixed reviews about the state of the rooms I emailed the hotel in advance to request a room in one of the vista blocks. They said they couldn't guarantee anything but thankfully we were given a room in Vista 2 looking out toward the sea. The room was very clean and tidy and quite modern. The bathroom was fine. The view from the patio was outstanding. The only drawback was the damp smell coming through the vent in the closet but this was minor and probably inevitable due to the humidity. Iron and board are provided but kettles are not. If you drink tea then take your own bags because the ones they have are poor.
The food at the hotel is excellent and to a high standard as would be expected when catering for Americans and there was always plenty of choice. The a la carte restaurants can be used unlimited times at no extra cost but requires 2 day advance reservation usually before breakfast. We found the service average at these restaurants but the food definitely worth it. The bars are open 11am-1am and supply a great variety of cocktails and international brand spirits. There are 3 choices of beer. The nightly entertainment was ok but still better than any other all-inclusive resort i've been to. The beach is to die for!!! The staff are generally very polite and helpful and there is no pressure to tip.
The white powdery sand beach is spacious and clean (and doesn't burn your feet) as is the warm ocean. Divi Aruba is actually situated on Druif beach not Eagle beach as advertised and it is by far the best beach on the island and one of the best in the world. Sunbeds are always available but shaded areas are taken early as are the poolside loungers. Don't forget everything at the Tamarijn (sister hotel) is also included just a stroll down the beach or 5 minute golf cart ride away. The Tamarijn is more suited to families and kids and is definitely more lively.
The excursions in Aruba are limited in selection and very expensive mainly because they are monopolised by one company (DePalm Tours) so we booked with Sandra so she would get commission. We went to the local carnival which to be honest was a bit of a rip off but still worth going to just for the local flavour and experience. The boat trip to DePalm Island is overpriced but still worth it if you do the SeaTrek (walking on ocean floor with helmet) as it is amazing truly a once in lifetime experience. The jeep safari tour to baby beach is a must. You get an off-road tour of the island which is fun and baby beach is great for snorkelling and poor swimmers.
If you are going on honeymoon make sure you tell Thomson or the hotel in advance. We got a gift bag including bottle of wine, two t-shirts, a photo frame and a great discount at Windows which is a very posh restaurant across the road at the golf course. Windows is very expensive but the honeymoon package gave us both a 3 course meal, a glass of champagne each and a couple of drinks all in for $50 - bargain! If you are not on honeymoon Divi guests can still go for $35 each not including drinks and it is still great value for money.
Overall, the holiday was amazing and the Divi resort is definitely great value for money especially in comparison to the other big 3 hotels (Riu, Marriott, Renaissance) that cannot boast the best beach on the island and are much more expensive. We have a policy of not returning to the same place twice because we like to try different places but we will definitely return here one day. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The mile-long beach is just the start. Enjoy breezy, sunny days strolling along the shore or relaxing pool side with a cocktail. The Divi Aruba is a refuge of relaxation, do as little or as much as you like. The atmosphere is laid-back both day and night. There are activities ranging from pool volleyball, to snorkeling to sunfish sailing. The nights heat up with theme shows including carnival, limbo and salsa dance lessons. Select from a variety of restaurants, bars and lounges, most right by the water's edge. All Inclusive Amenities: • All meals and snacks throughout the day at your choice of 10 dining options • Unlimited beverages at 8 bars • Guest accommodations just steps from the sand • Accommodations with a patio or balcony • Four freshwater pools • Non-motorized water sports • Complimentary Wi-Fi • Bikes (child, youth and adult sizes) • Lit tennis courts for night play • Divi Winds Sports Center with 30-foot rock climbing wall and fitness center • Taxes and service charges ... more less
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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