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“Lots of subtle improvements and long serving staff”

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Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
Hitchin
Level Contributor
70 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Lots of subtle improvements and long serving staff”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

We stayed through First Choice 15th to 29th July 2014, as a family of 3 with our 17 year old Son, and our friends and their two sons (20 & 16).

We fellow from Gatwick on the Thomson 787 Dreamliner. Great new planes that had extra leg room all round, many (free) film choices, and up to date entertainment, including the ability to charge you laptop or smartphone via the touch screen in front of you. Good food and service both ways. Thomson need to offer some free drinks other than with meals if they are to get up to Virgin Atlantic's standards in my opinion. We were about 35 mins. late leaving. As the Dreamliner flies at 40,000 ft on a very direct route there isn't much chance to make up for lost time. The cabin is less pressurised meaning we experienced less jet lag.

As the bouts had been doing GCSE/AS levels/University exams we managed to go just before the main UK school holidays, meaning there were many more older teenagers in the Tamarijn and its sister hotel The Divi. This meant they soon made lots of new friends from all over the UK, USA and also Argentina.

I should say that this is the 3rd time we have been to stay at the Tam, our previous visits being in Summer 2011 & Summer 2009. As experienced travelers we always look for a good quality accommodation, normally somewhere in the Caribbean on an all inclusive basis. In previous years we have traveled to Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico as well as many times to the Greek Islands and Spain.

The thing that stands out for me with the Tam is that each time we return there have been improvements. There are many very long serving members of staff including Irene, Edwin and Ronny and Curtis on the various bars, the great Carmen in The Tam's buffet at breakfasts and lunches and the lovely Iris who works very hard to give great customer service as one the hotels Concierges.

The improvements we saw this time included:

> Many chilled water stations throughout the property
> New patio doors at the back of each room, with new security bars
> New sink tops in the bathrooms
> New shower doors and a small lip to stop the bathrooms flooding when someone has a shower
> Improved number and quality of machine in the Tam's gym

We ate at most of the specialty restaurants across both hotels, and as many other reviewers agree, we found that The Red Parrot was the best overall quality/service. The service at the Italian (Paparazzi) is very relaxed and some could say slower. We also went just for drinks to Paparazzi most evenings before our dinner as you can get drinks served in chilled glasses unlike most of the bars where drinks are served in plastic cups, due to the strong winds and eco friendly nature of the Tam - it has won an Eco award.

One dining option we did twice was the $35 pp + drinks offer for AI guests at Windows On Aruba. Both times the service was warm and very friendly. They took pictures and presented us with a certificate & cake with a candle at the end of the meal, and glasses of Champagne on arrival as we were celebrating our 22nd Wedding Anniversary. The quality of the fish and steak dishes at Windows is very high, and we chose a Sauvignon Blanc & a Shiraz on both evenings we went to Windows which cost $38 per bottle - not too bad we thought. The local Balashi beer is served in bottles in Windows.

We met many new friend this trip including Sarah & Trev, Jane & Cliff and Karen & Andy. Our boys soon made friends with these guys kids - they were all staying at The Divi and we met up most evenings for drinks. The Divi's buffet area has been totally renovated since we last went. It is now much nicer than the Tam's. You can of course choose each day, including a stroll 10 mins up the horseshoe shaped Druiff Beach Bay between the hotels for breakfast.

It is not uncommon to meet many folks particularly from the States who have been many more times than us to The Tam and Aruba - there are very many repeat visitors to the island

Check in was done on the De Palm sponsored transfer bus, which does really only take about 20 minutes from the airport.

Other activities we booked through De Palm using our Aruba Plus discount card that I bought online before we left $17, and we worked out we had over $100 value in just the discounted trips we went on, included

> Atlantis Submarine (Weds 23rd July) - you have to pay for a $9 each way taxi to the capital Oranjestad from the hotel. Then you dive to about 150 underwater and see sunken ships and reefs and of course lots of fish. Full cost was $104pp for over 12s. Elton our guide, and Bryan and Jan E made the whole thing very enjoyable for all. My family & friends enjoyed seeing the marine life as they don't SCUBA dive like me;

> De Palm Tours Morning Snorkel Adventure (Sat 26th July 2014) - You are picked up from the Tam at 8 am and taken to De Palm's own pier in the high rise area of Aruba - 10 mins drive - and sail on a large catamaran which stops at 3 snorkeling site including a reef just offshore, Antillas a 400' GermanWW2 wreck, and another stop near a lovely beach. Lunch and booze/soft drinks are included. Call out to the Captain and hard working crew who sail every day morning, afternoon and a sunset cruise. We have done this trip 3 times and still feel this is the best water based fun you can have. Full cost was $84 pp for over 12s

> Deep Sea Fishing with Driftwood (Monday 21st July 2014) - We had done much research online including TripAdvisor. 5 Chaps got a taxi to the Renaissance Marina where we met the Captain Marcelo and his First Mate Anthony. We had booked a 4 hour morning charter for $400 for up to 6 people. All Tackle bait and soft drinks were included. Once on board Marcelo took us into the cabin for a full briefing, and said the water was "a little rough". We steamed out for over 30 minutes in heavy seas, and thought our usual luck was going to be the case for over 2 hours, as we caught nothing. Anthony however had other ideas. He was constantly changing lures and bait. Then the reels started screaming. We took in turns to haul the fish in. We caught 2 smallish Bonito (tuna of about 20 lb, a 25lb Wahoo and others fish. If you are thinking of going fishing DO BOOK The Driftwood. Its not cheap, but we managed to find a £20 discount voucher in the bag ladies are presented with when you leave the airport. This meant we could add to the tip for Marcleo and Anthony. I was seasick for the first time ever, and (sorry Anthony!) managed to catch him a little bit - no problem he was moving across the deck helping us despite the very rough seas. Both guys are consummate professionals. The booking online through the owner's website (Mr. Herbert Merryweather) was simplicity its self. Written confirmation came back within 10 mins. of booking online and we paid on the day. Great service. We will be back the next time we are in Aruba. We gave the fish to the boat as we has a restaurant reservation. They cooked it up in the sister Driftwood Restaurant where we went for a drink another night and bough Driftwood T-Shorts to commemorate a great fishing trip

Some reviewers of this hotel say that some staff are rude. I can understand this comment, but I found that if you made eye contact used their name and said please and thank you the staff were generally very pleasant.

The entertainment at both The Tam and the Divi were of a consistently higher quality than previous visits, including and early evening musician, and later (9:15pm - 11 pm) acts and artists. The boys and their friends enjoyed plugging their iPhones into the sound system on several nights and whilst we were there ta young US DJ kept the teenager highly entertained. Special mentioned to Bradley at The Tam. He is the official "Fun maker" and his regular poolside B-I-N-G-O, and his hilarious use of his meaning of some numbers was very funny. He even had his own words to a Queen song for the bingo. Keep shaking those bingo balls my friend!! I would say that The Divi evening entertainment was better of an evening, The Tam during the day. Great bar staff at the beach bar for sunset watching and later in the nights at The Divi. Whilst we did tip, is was not expected, and gratefully received. One barman at the Divi is engaged to The Thomson Holidays. I don't remember his name I'm afraid but he always has a smile and gave exceptional service bringing my wife a bottle and her friend of wine one evening in an ice bucket. Brilliant.

The weather was very windy the first week and less so the second. Sunrise was about 7:30 am and sunset about 7:15 pm. Do take higher factor creams as you are near the Equator and the sun is strong. Also buy some of the local "off!" insect repellant as it does work - we bought one to take on next year's hols! One night we were stuck (on well!!0 at The Divi as a Tropical Storm passed by dumping about 4 inches of rain in 2 hours. The entrainment and bars just kept going as if nothing was happening. Amazing!

Nature had taken much of the sand away in front of The Tam, which was a shame. I know it will come back - just walk towards the Divi to be able to walk in without climbing over large rocks or coral in the sea. Those going soon might be best to take some water shoes. It didn't spoil our holiday

Whilst I have mentioned the improvements we saw this time, and I don't ever recall seeing a comment against a review on TripAdvisor, there are some suggestions I would make to further improve the resorts:

> More places to drink from real glassware especially on a evening;
> Take the entertainment area out of the buffet at The Tam. If you want to use their buffet after about 7:30 pm you will find it very busy as people keep their tables;
> Move the safes from under the counters in the bathrooms - too inconvenient; Also make them free. This is supposedly a 4* resort so the $2 per charge is a bit daft in my opinion.
> More frequent shuttle services. There were noticeable less;
> Improve the pool area at The Tam as they did a few years ago at The Divi;
> Make the WiFi free and of a consistent quality. Behind the 1200 rooms ( we stayed in room 1207) there is free wifi, or you can pay $50 per week for a code. We didnt.

Overall this was our favorite trip to Aruba. With may subtle improvements and friendly faces at The Tam who made our holiday so special. We will be back but are going to try elsewhere for a few years, but this place, at the prices available online is definitely very hard to beat.

One Happy Island truly delivered a great holiday. Thanks to all at The Tam & First Choice. Karen is a confident and friendly rep. Her welcome meeting was very informative even though we had been twice before.

Room Tip: 1200 block down stairs to make the most of both resort hotels without being on top of either
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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6 Thank Denchy69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Skem
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 7, 2014

Although the hotel overall is very good, the best thing is the staff within the restaurants who are all consistently friendly, a special mention must be made for Yaldo at the Red Parrot who is a credit to the hotel and company, nothing was too much to ask and I would like him to share his excellent customer services manner with the Concierge staff in the Tamarijn who could learn a lot from him!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
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4 Thank Tony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willand, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2014

Me and my husband chose the Tamarijn Aruba for our Honeymoon, and it was our first visit to the Island. Were so glad we did!!! We had an amazing two weeks.
On arrival we were checked in by the hotel's staff...on our transfer bus, which meant that as soon as we arrived at the hotel, we could start to enjoy our holiday.
Our room was a lovely oceanview, they only thing was that we were put next to loads of screaming children, and as there is a connecting door between us, you could hear a pin drop.
Normally it wouldn't have bothered me but we were on honeymoon!!!
Luckily the reception staff moved us as soon as they could which was fine.

As we had requested that it was our honeymoon, we recieved a goodie bag which had champagne, champagne flutes, a frame and 2 matching t-shirts...and the best bit, a complementary three course meal on the beach at the pure ocean beach restaurant....Lush!
All the food was excellent, the buffet had loads of choice as well as the snack bar, and the ala carte restaurants were fab as you could eat in them as much as you liked (book 2days ahead).
The bars were great as you get any kind of drink you want on your all inclusive, they are not restricted to local brands....and the cocktails are made to what you want, not just whats on the menu!!!!!!
You would never get bored at this hotel as there are so many facilities that are part of your all inclusive, snorkelling, rock climbing, canoeing, and much, much more. The DJ/entertainment team were great fun too....Also recommend a flutter in the casino.
The rooms were kept well every day and were very clean.
All the staff were brilliant.....from bar staff to cleaners.
We had an amazing time from start to finish!!

Oh and as for the weather......Yes it was very windy....But it's a WINDY island, We were glad of the breeze.

Thanks to everyone at the Tamarijn.

Room Tip: In the thomson Brochure it doesn't state that there are inter-connecting rooms.... But alot of t...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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4 Thank JonesSoda88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Castle, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014

This was our first time in Aruba and all in all we had a wonderful experience. Our room was steps away from the beach and an awesome wind that never ends. The room was average, it was definitely clean but cramped, air conditioner worked very well, refrigerator in room worked excellent,(it is not stocked with anything) water was always warm. The beach was right in front of us which is what we wanted. We were in room 2218 which is close to the bunker bar so you don't have a long walk if you need a break from the beach. The view is amazing and there was plenty of lounge chairs every day at the beach. The lounge chairs at the main pool were hard to get but the other pools that are in the resort seemed to have plenty. You will need water shoes for different areas of the ocean because of coral and rocks. Some of the beach was excellent and some was really rough on your feet. The food in the buffet is just that, buffet food. I don't know anywhere you go that buffet food is perfect but it was not bad and had a variety of different things to choose from. Our favorite restaurant was the Paparazzi, it was Italian foods and very good! Everyone recommended the Red Parrot, its one of your choices for restaurant dining but we were not very happy with food or service there. The pizza tutti was one of our favorite places to hang out to snack and drink and its right by the pool. They have a different drink of the day every day you are at the resort, and you must try them all at least once! Oh they also served miller beer from the states. There are digital bulletin boards around the check in area that give you details of the entertainment for the week. (we didn't find this out til about our 3rd day there). Towels and snorkel gear are offered to you everyday free of charge (but only once a day) and you have to pick them up at the towel shack. The shuttles can take you from divi to tam, service was usually very quick but sometimes delayed. If you are a gambler the casino is very close you can walk or take the shuttle. There is a grocery store down the street just a little off the resort. You really have everything you need or want at this resort. Every person is different and it's a learning experience so I hope this helps. My only true disappointment was the service. I am a tipper but only if you deserve being tipped. I felt it was expected and service wasn't given.(they even had tip jars for the cooks) Andrea at the Pizza Tutti has my 5 star rating. She was the most attentive server in the resort. Carmen was also very good, she deserves a 5 also. I have to say I was not happy with any of the servers at the buffet or restaurants. Maybe they were short staffed and underpaid I am not sure but the service definitely could have been better. We will definitely be back to this resort regardless but if you have ever traveled and are looking for top shelf service this is not the place for you. My husband and I met some really awesome couples while there and plan to keep in touch with them, hopefully sharing our next vacation together! I really don't think you will disappointed with this resort unless you are looking for 5 star service.

Room Tip: 1600 and up are quiet but not far from anything. If you want more action 1600 and down to the pool a...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Justine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

We was going to Aruba for my 50th birthday with all my family. First time that we had been to Aruba. We fell in love with Aruba. The hotel was beautiful and clean and pur room was upstairs and right near bunkers bar. Food was brilliant and plenty of it.

The staff was excellent and very friendly including the secuirty who i got friendly with as i would be up at 5.00 in the morning to sit on the beach and watch the beautiful sunrise and watch the pelicans. Its very safe on Aruba and we visited the local market which is so close to the Diva. While we was there we had a trip to do the Aqua trek which i was very frighten to do as im so afraid of the sea. We was given a very good brieffing on what to do and they was very good with me and put me totally at easy. And i was so glad i had done it. To walk on the bottom of the sea and touch and play with the fish was amazing.

I would go back in a heart beat. Because it was peaceful, safe, and i have taken Aruba to my heart. Beautiful ♥♥

Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Karen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

Tamarijn Aruba is awesome! We went in June 2013 and loved it so much we came back again in November 2013. Rooms are not fancy but steps away from the beautiful beach. You get two for the price of one cause you can enjoy the Divi next door for free. We like to walk the beach and get a drink at the bar and watch the beautiful sunsets in Aruba . Food was very good. Loved the Red Parrot and the Asian Restaurant. Service is great, beach is beautiful, you will never go hungry. Pool is small, but we are beach bums and don't even get in. Golf carts take you to nearby casino to gamble. We rented bikes and rode them around aruba. Aruba is very safe and the water is desalinized and is delish and safe to drink. People are very sweet. One happy island. Oh yeah it's out of the hurricane belt weather is great all year!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank kjutexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2014

Stayed in June 2014 and on arrival we were told that the room had been recently renovated however not sure in which year. It was dated but did have an amazing sea view which you could not fault. The island is small and every day is windy which is very refreshing during the day when the sun is at its highest. However at night it "gets you down". Especially when your food and nearly empty glasses blow off the bar and tables ! They have international drinks and most of the bar staff are great especially Felix and Carmen (who constantly topped up my husbands brandy before the glass was empty ). Restaurants varied, Ginger - food was good but staff not so attentive. Red Parrot - again felt invisible at times to the waiters. Paparazzi - didn't have everything on the menu at times but staff were cheerful and friendly. Palm Grill- where you cook your own food is a good experience but not when the only sitting you can get is at 5.30 it's just too darn hot!
You can use all the facilities at the sister hotel Divi, which had a nicer pool area.
Don't get me wrong Aruba is a lovely island but so are all the other Caribbean Islands so we will not be going back to this one.
On the plus side the island does have a sunken ship just off the coast which is a great place to snorkel and the fish are amazing

Room Tip: Read the brochure- but most defiantly have a marvellous ocean view
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank swallow06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive

Property: Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Address: J.E. Irausquin Blvd #41 | Druif Beach, Oranjestad, Aruba
Location: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive 3*
Number of rooms: 236
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
All oceanfront rooms on the mile-long beach make this lively resort the perfect choice for beach lovers. The Tamarijn Aruba is Aruba's hot spot on the beach where the fun never stops. There's plenty of activity day and night. Learn to windsurf, ride a bike on the boardwalk or climb the 30-foot rock climbing wall right on the sand. Kayaking and snorkeling are just steps from the rooms. When the sun goes down, the fun begins with lively music around the pool and theme shows. Or try your luck at the Alhambra Casino nearby. All Inclusive Amenities: • 10 Restaurants and grills • 8 Bars with daily drink specials • 4 Freshwater pools • Non-motorized water sports • Divi Winds Sports Center with fitness center • Bikes, beach volleyball, tennis clinic • Weekly water aerobics, yoga and Zumba classes • Lighted tennis courts • Nightly entertainment with theme nights • 30ft Rock climbing wall on the beach • Daily activities • Kids Fun Club for ages 5 - 12 • Free Wi-Fi throughout property ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Hotel Oranjestad
Hotel Tamarijn
Aruba Tamarijn
Tamarijn Aruba Beach Resort
Tamarijn Aruba Beach Hotel
Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Oranjestad

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