This was our first time in Aruba. The location was terrific for our kids (ages 5 and 8). We would get an umbrella near the pool and beach, and venture from there. At night, we would walk across the street to the plaza. The kids loved to eat at the Iguana Cantina and look down from the balcony at the different plaza shows which usually started around 8pm. There's also a Starbucks across the street for those who need a stronger cup of coffee in the morning. So, here's how I would break it down: PROS - Kids eat free (average, but adequate for young diners) - great beach and fun kid pool (iguanas perch on the rocks above the small waterfall in the kids' pool) - water sports (hotel is close to many outdoor companies) - free Wifi (although the connection wasn't very fast or consistent) CONS - Had to wear a plastic wristband all week (biggest pet peeve) - Room service doesn't exist on some days - Employees were very polite, but they weren't really friendly (but not rude by any means!!) - front desk was extremely understaffed when we arrived. I had my kids and husband go to the restaurant, so only I had to wait. It took about an hour waiting in line to check in. That's tough after a full day of traveling. Overall, it was a great experience and we'll return again! A few tips to those planning to travel to Aruba: 1 - Don't worry about booking airport-to-hotel transportation before you come in October. There are taxis that will take you straight to your destination. We arrived at the hotel much sooner (and saved about $60) than people who booked bus transportation with multiple stops. 2 - Compare water sports companies once you arrive. Again, had I booked the activities online before we left, I would have spent $300 more than with the companies we used when we arrive.
This was our first time in Aruba! Only complaint is we requested a king bed in the reservation & they only had rooms with 2 full beds. The hotel & location could not have been better. Great value for your money. You are literally in the heart of the shopping/restaurant district. This is the best part of the island. Beaches all across it, water view from our hotel room (which was upgraded to a better room upon check-in), clean & friendly staff. I will return soon!! We also had a chance to walk along the back of the hotel to check out different beaches, scenery, & cute shops that were not on the main street. There is plenty to do & I wish we had more time to explore-even though we stayed 5 days/4 nights. We have been home now for 1 week & I have been telling everyone about our experience and the price-no one can believe it. I was surprised also by the friendliness of the locals and everyone spoke English. The island was clean, everyone friendly, & very safe. Also, do not do all inclusive! Aruba is known for their wonderful food/restaurants. We ate out every night & didn't break the bank. We actually went to restaurants & had 3 course meals & they were $25 pp. We dined like kings and enjoyed the tasty cuisine. I hope you enjoy your vacation as much as us.....we are headed back soon!!
My husband and i Just got back from holiday inn aruba, march 2013. The hotel was clean. Nothing spectacular, but how much time do you spend in your room when you are in Aruba. Only steps from the beach-amazing location. The beach was so amazing, crystal blue and white sand. we walked the beach past other resorts and the holiday inn was really clean compared to other resorts. Close to all the shops and restaurants. We chose not to go with all inclusive since we like to try different restaurants. Pretty much all rooms had a partial ocean view. The weather on the island is pretty much guaranteed to be great whenever you go, there is a constant breeze, so the heat is never unbearable! We would definitely recommend this hotel for the value and can't wait to go back next year!
I stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba from 5/26/12 - 5/30/12 during the Soul Beach Music Festival Memorial Weekend with my cousin. I went to Aruba 5 years ago and had a nice stay at the Westin, a 4 star hotel (also booked through Cheap Caribbean) and visited the Holiday Inn (within walking distance). It looked like a nice resort with several shops and a casino and was closer to the shopping area and restaurants than the other hotels on the strip. The more expensive hotels in the high rise area were out of my budget this time so I wasn't against staying at the Holiday Inn since I already had an idea of what to expect. My cousin and I purchased round trip hotel / airport transfers provided by De Palm Tours. We spent approx 2 hours on the bus from the airport to the hotel dropping other guests off at various hotels. A straight cab ride would have taken approx 20 minutes. Returning to the airport took less than 1 hr, probably because it was 6A . Not sure how much a cab ride would cost but if you're pressed for time (fortunately, we were not) take a cab. They don't charge per person. Check-In process (we arrived @ 5P) was a little long but there was no wait at all checking-out (left @ 6A). We were given complimentary tropical non-alcohol drinks from the lobby bar while we waited. Yummy! Our room was simple, clean and comfortable and cleaned daily. The balcony faced the parking lot with a tiny view of the beach. Sure, it would have been nice to have an oceanfront or gardenview, but no big deal. It wasn't requested and the trip was only booked 3 weeks prior. The lot was pretty quiet anyway. The room needed new carpet as did the hallways (lots of stains). Most of the staff were helpful and friendly. Of course, we encountered 1 or 2 non-enthusiastic staff, but they did not spoil our trip or not help us when we asked. The Holiday Inn has a really nice beach (better than Baby Beach). Reservations for an umbrella need to be made by 10:30A but after 12P we always found an unused one. There are four restaurants on the property which are available for all-inclusive purchase. We did not choose the AI package but did eat at the Iguana Beach Bar and had the special buffet brunch at the Coral restaurant. Both were very affordable and very good. I'm glad we didn't choose AI because there are so many restaurants to choose from on the strip and I'm sure AI would have cost way more than what we actually paid to eat off the property. Cafe Rembrandt and Iguana Joe's on the strip were very good as well as Moomba Beach Bar and Restaurant next door to the Holiday Inn (Try the grouper with mango salsa). And if $25 is too much to pay for a meal there are other affordable places to eat at on the strip such as the Chinese Wok which offers meals for $8.95, McDonalds, Wendy's and Dunkin Donuts. Try the ham and cheese "pastechi" for $1.25 at the Snack Shack. Coupons are available online for many of the restaurants on the strip and the downtown area. Also, check out the meal deals and coupons the restaurants give out. Getting around Aruba is convenient. For $1.25 you can take a bus to the low rise area or downtown. And of course, there is always a cab. One day we took an island jeep tour with Pelican Tours to the caves, lighthouse, chapel and baby beach. Beverages, snacks (sandwiches) and lunch at the Pelican's Nest were included with the tour for $80pp. Oh yes, the food at the Pelican's Nest was very good also. Our driver / tour guide Ruel was pleasant. However, next time I would prefer to do the wild safari jeep tour provided by De Palm Tours. I like the concept of riding in an open jeep off road. Overall, I would stay at the Holiday Inn again and recommend it to anyone looking for a nice, less expensive hotel. Great location to shopping, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, entertainment and yes, a tatoo parlor.
The hotel was a good value for the money, the room was cleaned quickly and nicely. The hotel was in a good location and felt safe walking at night. There were many options for dining in the area. The only improvement would be the staff attitude as they were not the friendliest or did not appear to be willing to help. I would return for a short stay 4-5 nights but I would not choose this resort for a longer stay.
The room was comfortable and clean. The beach was beautiful and relaxing! We enjoyed our stay tremendously. I would recommend the Holiday Inn if you are looking for a deal. It's the best you will get in Aruba!
As I was booking my trip, I was a little bit hesitant being that I did not know what I would be getting at the Holiday Inn. I was SO pleasantly surprised. The resort is in the most perfect location. We stayed in the Bonaire tower and it was extremely clean and seemed recently updated. The bathrooms seemed fairly new and there was a nice flat screen TV. We had not opted for the ocean view since we were on a budget, but were so happy when we looked off our balcony and had a wonderful view of the ocean. Restaurants, shops, other hotels, bars, activities, and more are all right outside your hotel. If you're looking for luxury, I would not say this would be your top choice, but if you're looking for a great location, beautiful beach, and clean rooms, I would recommend the Holiday Inn Aruba.
Just returned from the Holiday Inn on a ten day vacation to Aruba. Stayed at the Holiday Inn and you couldn't beat the price. The rooms have been updated and the service was great. Rooms & properties were very well taken care of. Didn't go all inclusive, and was told that the food was very bland, and they haven't changed the menu in seven years? Cheap Caribbean.com & Jet Blue did a great job of getting my party of seven to the island. Aruba was beautiful as usual, but it is starting to remind me of Cancun. I liked it better 22 years ago when I made my first trip to the island, it was a lot more tropical back then.
Based on a non-all-inclusive stay. This hotel also offers all-inclusive. Our last encounter with this resort was 5-6 years ago while visiting family staying here. Pros: found a great deal on Cheapcaribbean. Newly renovated. Air conditioner worked very well. Beautiful view of the resort and sea from our nice sized balcony. Clean, comfortable and relatively spacious-feeling room with a table and chairs for two, king sized bed, couch, small refrigerator, in-room safe and nice t.v. (just note that if you have children in your room, make sure to "lock out" certain channels...otherwise, enjoy the free "soft-adult tv channel"). Quality shampoo and conditioner. Maid service was excellent. Nice fitness room with very good equipment, weight machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals and stationary bikes, open 24/7. This is located in the "new" building. There are 3 well-maintained swimming pools, 2 cool whirlpools and one warm one. Concierge service was very helpful with reservations. Happy hour daily. Fast and tasty room service that won't break the bank. Dinner buffets by the pool a few times a week that were loaded with options, and everything we tried was very good. Palapas (beach huts) can be reserved for free. Beach bar, outdoor restaurant and lobby bar/coffee shoppe offered drinks, snacks, meals and pizza (each offers different options) that were very good and reasonably priced (except for alcohol, which is pricey anywhere except for the grocery or off-site stores) also, there were two other restaurants (Davinci and Corals) that I didn't try. Cons: no assistance with our baggage available upon our arrival, but then again, this is a Holiday Inn. If we were truly in need of assistance, I believe that if we had gone to the front desk and asked, they would have found someone to help us. Beach palapa spots fill up quickly, and they don't seem to have as many as other places we have stayed. That said, we were still able to get one everyday, even though some were out of commission due to some construction on the beach. I don't believe there is any bar/snack service on the beach as I never saw a waiter or waitress on the beach (and believe me, I surely would have ordered some nice cool drinks from my palapa if I could have!). My only real (and major) complaint is: Pools don't open until 8 am and close at 7 pm. Also, all pools and whirlpools are in the sun, no shade...and again, they all close very early. Overall: Very good experience, greatly improved rooms, air conditioning and staff attentiveness versus 5 or 6 years ago. I would probably stay again (if I can find another great deal again), but I hesitate mainly due to the pool hours. It really is a beautiful resort and the room was very comfortable and clean. Steps away from many shopping and dining options. Tips: bring a collapsible cooler and hit the grocery store for drinks and snacks if you want to save (quite a few) bucks. Also, try the red sangria at Oceanside beach bar, yum!
We went to Aruba 7/3/13 to a family destination wedding on the 4th. Everyone stayed at the Marriott where the wedding was but for the price difference (big difference) we decided to stay next door at the Holiday Inn. It was an excellent choice. Our package included direct flight jet blue, 7 nights and 8 days at the holiday inn. When we arrived I had spoke to Wanethca (?) in reservations who took care of my room for us along with being very informational and very very pleasant. If you have any questions, request to speak with her. There is also Pauline, the manager, another very very pleasant person. As we were also celebrating our anniversary, Pauline sent us a bottle of champagne. Nice touch. The check in was quick as we arrived around 1pm. The staff was just wonderful all around. The room we had faced the Marriott hotel with an ocean view. Rooms have been renovated and very clean. Beds were comfortable. Have a good size frig, flat TV, table w/2 chairs and a long balcony w/table and 2 chairs that had an ocean view. The air conditioning was excellent. The bathroom had a large shower. The room overall was quite nice. The breakfast restaurant was always a buffet. The only problem we had was there was not an egg station where you could order your eggs anyway you wanted. They had precooked omelets. This was not a problem though, there were plenty of restaurants out the door of the Holiday Inn. There were two other restaurants, Italian and one outside that overlooked the ocean. Did not eat there though. There are two pools that are very nice, both right off the ocean. The iguana bar is a must to stop at. Happy hour 3-6, 2 for 1 drinks. Also serve food. Bartenders are great. The location is one of the most convenient. Walk out one door and the beach is right there and walk out the other side and there are so many shops and restaurants to choose from. There is also a walkway on the beach that brings you to all the other hotels (within walking distance) and casinos. I recommend the ARU. There casino is quite hopping and the waitstaff walks around with free sandwiches. All drinks in casinos are free if you are playing but be aware if you are playing a machine at the bar you will have to PAY. That is the only place in the casino that you pay for drinks. The beach is absolutely beautiful with a lot of water activities. There are three things I suggest; definitely get a hut for the day (free) rent one of the floating rafts ($5) for the day. It is well worth it as it is very hot in the sun and you can float all day long on the water and not get hot. The other is the couch ride. ($20pp) at the Holiday Inn. It is a 20 minute ride where you sit on a float that is like a couch and is hooked up to a speed boat that takes you around the island. Much fun. But there are many other water activities available. When dining out, be aware that there is a 15% service charge on your bill at most restaurants and depending on the restaurant, a lot of that 15% does not all go to the waiter/waitress. Restaurants are expensive. There is a hut on the beach called Scott's Brats that has hot dogs, sausages, brats, grill cheese for under $6. Very good cheap lunch. A must stop, they do a wonderful job. Tony Roma's right across from Holiday Inn has great ribs. We ate there but again very expensive. Others told us that they did not get a great meal at Smokey Joes BBQ ribs. There are two Italian restaurants, Sol Mare, and Anna Marie that were very good. But there are so many more restaurants on the island to choose from. If you rent a car be aware that gas is about $6 a gallon (they go by liters). Cabs are pretty reasonable. Airport to hotel $25. Taking to other restaurants and strip $10. Everywhere has a happy hour which is good because drinks can be expensive. You can take a cab or bus to downtown Aruba but it is the same as the shops across the street. If you are interested in going to the natural arches, or natural pool, I suggest a jeep or take a tour. Can not go by car. The boose cruises are fun to do or a sunset cruise is nice. . There is the trip up to the lighthouse with breathtaking views and a very nice restaurant that overlooks the whole island. All in all the Holiday Inn was an excellent choice from the room to the view to the service. Also, there are all kinds of small shops inside the Holiday Inn and a small Casino. Everything you want or need is available right there and right across the street. Would recommend staying here it offers just as much as any other hotel. It has a wonderful part of the beach. If you are looking for a more expensive resort, I would recommend Playa Linda than the Marriott. Except Playa Linda does not have a Casino. If you are planning a destination wedding, the Marriott did an excellent job but I am sure all the hotels would do an excellent job. I definitely would book again through www.cheapcaribbean.com for an island vacation but check their prices frequently as they change day to day. You can pick up a good package price through them. Room Tip: 6th floor (top floor) in the tower that faces the Marriott. Either side will give you an ocean view.