We stayed and loved the Tamarijn in Nov/Dec 2012. Quite possibly the best value I've ever experienced at a resort. I agree with many of the other reviews, but will add a few things not covered in the other reviews:
Pros: Great value. The food is good. The Red Parrot is awesome. We ate there 4 times; there's no limit on the number of times you can attend any one restaurant. The beach is great - IMO, better than any other beach we saw. There are tons of things to do - kayaking, more swimming pools than you can find, lots of beach time, borrowing bikes. The food in the buffets is good, but not awesome. A little too "Americanized" for my taste (hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, waffles, pancakes, etc.) Every room is on the beach, and the views are amazing.
Cons: The rooms are very small. If you have two queen beds, you have about 2 feet on three sides of each bed, and that's it. It didn't matter too much, though, because you're there to be outside! I also wish they had a non-smoking section of the restaurants, and I wish they served more local dishes.
* If you stay at the Tam, you can eat at the Tam or the Divi, but you can use facilities at the Divi Dutch Village as well. You can walk to all of it, but there are (electric) shuttles to take you there as well. If you like pools, check out the infinity pool at Divi Village. It's awesome for adults as well as kids - on the opposite end of an enormous pool is a zero-depth beach-like setup. They also have a small water slide.
* Look at the map posted at every shuttle station. You'll see pools all over the place on the property. Most of them have something unique about them - a stone waterfall in the center, an elevated sitting area, a hot tub, etc. If you get sick of the main pool area, try out one of the other pools!
* It's about a 1.5 mile walk to downtown, and it's basically a straight shot. You can see all the shopping and carts associated with the cruise ships; good for an afternoon away.
* If you do a timeshare tour, you get a credit toward other restaurants, a 2 day car rental, or a 4X4 rental. The tour is fairly short and not too high pressure, and the timeshare prices aren't too bad. We did not purchase one, but did enjoy a car rental.
* The best snorkeling is in front of Bunker's Bar. Most of the rest of the resort is white sand bottom.
* The bikes come in adult and kid sizes. They also have adult bikes with baby seats. One day they lead a tour where they lead a bike ride 6 miles up to coast to a snorkeling area. They haul the equipment for you, you snorkel, and you're back home for lunch. Need to be 14 years old to go.
* If you walk to the end of the property nearest to downtown (or take a shuttle), the grocery store is practically across the street.
* If you have small kids, you might want to bring along sand toys. They are $8-10 for a small pack of toys in the gift stores.
* Some activities (like bike tour above, sunfish rental, rock climbing, etc.) are only offered on certain days. If there's something you want to do, then check early on in the week to see when it's offered.
* The tips are pooled, not given to an individual. While I do think this shows in the fact the service isn't as friendly as other resorts we've stayed, you also don't have that awkward last day when every service person you've encountered is trying to talk to you to get a tip. I like the more laid-back approach, but I can see how others might not appreciate that.
* Some people complained about being too far away. It's true; if you're in the 2000+ block of rooms, you have a long hike. However, I did meet some people that were able to request room changes, so if your room location really bothers you, ask to change!
Overall, we loved it. It's the perfect mix of relaxation, yet still having stuff to do. The value is great, especially when you see how expensive food is in Aruba. Our family generally likes to try other places with each vacation, but we were certainly return to the Tam. We met some people that have come every year for 15 years!
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- Also Known As:
- Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Hotel Oranjestad
- Hotel Tamarijn
- Tamarijn Aruba Beach Hotel
- Tamarijn Aruba Beach Resort
- Aruba Tamarijn
- Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Oranjestad