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Reviewed December 27, 2014

Well, a little background first.
Our family have been going to Aruba for the past 10years, after Caribbean island hopping all over the place, Punta Cana, Cancun, Bahamas, St Martins, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, among others. Having a long list of necessities and priorities: New world class hotel, island quality, food, casino, direct jet flight, and most important hot weather in December. Aruba was the only one that met all requirements.

The island is great, well developed for tourism, without loosing its soul like Cancun. But as a frequent visitor, I know that local hospitality its Not its strength.

Sorry for the long introduction.

The Ritz Carlton have succeeded where every other hotel in Aruba have failed, it has Amazing hospitality. It feels they got the few best crew in Aruba, from every hotel and brought them to the RirTz. Its truly amazing, you feel at home and it really shows they are happy to be working there. Always going out of their way to help you on hour weirdest demands. Extra room fridge, inflatable pools, even a stroller.
when you review a hotel, it must be in context with the country and its standards. In the software, hospitality, the Ritz Aruba earned 10 out of 5 stars.

Lets start with the good. The children pool is amazing, big, shallow and supper clean. Free sunscreen and off, water pampers is really amazing. Hotel is new, only a year, it has no competition in Aruba, everything screams luxury+beach.

The Bad, one set of 3 elevators, for the whole hotel. It was so badly designed that to get to the last room you have to walk 10mins from the elevator. Totally unacceptable. To make matter worst, the hallway was also skimped on, can't believe how they achieved this, the hall way is so narrow it feels claustrophobic, although the windows help allot.(there are no rooms facing the back). Even the bellman could not help but crash the trolley against the wall several times.
It doesn't finish there, the hallways not straight, at least 6 turns to get to the end.
Hopefully you won't be much time on the hallway, but it does become a pain every time you left something in the room.

Its a shame, because this could be easily avoided by adding 3 sets of 3 elevators each with exit to the pool(like the Marriott Stellaris next door). The hotel is big enough to warrant it.

The Manager did not show his face voluntarily during the whole stay. Should mingle with group leaders.

Food at the pool restaurant was good, but took way too long everyday.
Service at the beach was really missing, no one was handedly available.

Spa had ample reception and massage areas, but actual Jacuzzi, locker, sauna, steam room, moon shower, was really small and lacking. Jacuzzi felt like they forgot to make space for it and fenced the patio area for it, really small and lacking.

In general we felt the hardware, infrastructure, had much to be desired from a brand new 2014 Ritz Carlton standard opening. The talk is that the local owner ran out of money at the end.

Even with this, we felt a solid 5 star hotel. Would pull half a star for the hardware issues.

After staying in the Ritz Carlton for 7 days with 30 family members, I can say this hotel have elevated Aruba to another level. For the first time, not one person had enough and wanted to leave.

Date of stay: December 2014
Trip type: Traveled with family
3  Thank WorldTrotter100K-Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2014

I stayed in this hotel unfortunately just for one night on December 13, 2014. I was staying with a Mariott Elite Rewards member and we were upgraded to a very nice one bedroom suite. I would highly recommend this hotel - it is very new, beautiful, and the staff is incredibly attentive. Also, you get free access to the stand-up paddle board place next door, so you can rent those for free and paddle around the swimming area - lots of fun.

Separately, if anyone is planning to go there, would you mind ordering a Pina Colada from the outside bar and asking them how these are made? It was the most wonderful pina colada that I have ever had (fresh coconut around the brim, etc...) and I'm now experiencing major withdrawals from them back in freezing Chicago!

Date of stay: December 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tiffiany_Holmes, Hotel Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, responded to this reviewResponded December 28, 2014

Dear David H,

Thank you for your post on The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba. I understand from your post that you have enjoyed our
hand-crafted Pina Colada and are inquiring on the recipe. Our mixologist was kind enough to provide me the recipe to share with you:

Bacardi Rum standard pour
Pineapple juice 4 oz
Fresh coconut milk 4 oz
Fresh shave coconut 2 oz
Dip rim of glass in honey
Dip rim of honey into shaved coconut

On behalf of all the ladies & gentlemen, we look forward to welcoming you back to
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba on your next vacation.

Tiffiany Holmes
Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2014 via mobile

Walking in to the Ritz was pleasant and friendly. The pool area at night was beautiful with lights and fire pits. The casino staff were good humored and friendly. Just the right amount of relaxed versus serious. Drinks were complimentary and nicely presented. Only drawback was the blackjack payout which was 6 to 5 versus the normal 3 to 2 - and continuous shuffle is neither good nor bad. Nice to find low limit $5 tables. Not very crowded. Recommend a visit.

Date of stay: December 2014
2  Thank 123mitchellf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2014 via mobile

What a luxurious hotel! Beautiful grounds! Perfect beach! The food was great! Very friendly beach boys put fresh towels on plush and cushy beach chairs by the pool or the ocean! It was also very amusing to watch the drink servers zip around on their segways! Made for a speedy delivery! You don't even need to leave the Ritz, they have it all! Very friendly and accommodating staff! All of the rooms have a fantastic ocean view with a balcony! I can't wait to go back!

Date of stay: November 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Boomqueefa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2014

We stayed at the Ritz Dec 9 to 16th, a very lovely property. We did have a room on the 2nd floor about as far from the elevator as possible, but not a big deal to me. I always enjoy a nice walk! We had a nice view of both the resort and the ocean as well as the resorts further south. The beaches at the Ritz are incredible! This was our first time in Aruba and I was totally blown away by how cool to the touch the sand is, such a pleasure to walk barefoot on.
The staff was exceptional, service was wonderful. For about half of our trip we were with a large group of about 250 people, we were never treated differently when we were with the group or on our own. I see there are a few complaints about the group but they were just having fun. The pool is rather small so even if the hotel was full of regular guests and they all wanted to use the pool it would have been overfilled, so not sure how the group took over the pool. Yes, some of the group was a little loud but they were enjoying themselves and isn't that part of a holiday?
I loved the gingerbread lighthouse, incredible!
The complimentary coffee outside Solanio and in our rooms was fantastic, yes we drink a lot of coffee!
As much as it's a beautiful property, the regular rates are rather expensive, we've stayed in hotels & resorts that are more stunning for less money. I found the hallways quite boring, which is no big deal but they just felt like I was walking down a Super 8 hallway to my room.
If you want a good spot on the beach best be out there about 7 am.

Room tip: Ocean view 2nd floor and up. Ocean Front would be awesome though incredibly expensive!
Date of stay: December 2014
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank omanaomi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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