Located in the southern Caribbean, Aruba is a popular year-round island destination with gorgeous, white-sand beaches, cooling trade winds and an average daily temperature of 82-degree.
Aruba is located just below the hurricane belt, and unlike many islands in the Caribbean, the climate is dry and rarely has a rainy day. Because of this, it is one of the most visited islands in the Caribbean.
Like most other Caribbean islands, Aruba is considered expensive. I’m here to tell you that Aruba can be done on a budget or in high-end luxury.
On the south and west coasts of Aruba, you’ll find most of the hotels and all-inclusive resorts in Aruba. Most resorts are found in Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, which is a 15- to 20-minute drive from Oranjestad, which is the capital of Aruba. Eagle Beach is quieter and most hotels are either across from the beach or a short walk. In Palm
Eagle Beach is quieter and most hotels are either across from the beach or a short walk of a block or two. In Palm Beach, you’ll find many familiar chain hotels located directly on the beach. Palm Beach is more crowded but offers more water-sports vendors and restaurant options.
Aruba Hotel Guide
During my visit to Aruba, I stayed at four hotels ranging from budget to luxury. Here are four hotels that each offer a different price point and accommodation experience.
Budget: Dorado Eagle Beach Hotel
Even on Aruba, you’ll find budget hotels. The Dorado Eagle Beach Hotel, Sasaki Apartments, and the Coconut Inn all offer reasonable rates.
The Dorado Eagle Beach Hotel is a great family run business, that feels more like a motel than hotel. It has 10 rooms that are more like a studio apartment than a hotel room. The room has a kitchenette with refrigerator, sink, mircowave, coffee maker, as well as dishes, cooking utensils and silverware.
If you want to do Aruba on a budget, this is one of the best hotels on the island for the money. The major pluses were wifi in our room and it was only a two block walk to Eagle Beach, which was my favorite beach in Aruba.
What You Need To Know About Dorado Eagle
- It is located outside of the touristy Palm Beach area.
- It is an easy two block walk to the beach.
- There are a few restaurants located nearby including Zuzuroh, which is next door and a must if you visit Aruba. Zuzurho is a Greek/Italian Taverna and one of the best little restaurants on the island.
- There is an outdoor pool at the hotel.
- They do not offer towels for the beach or pool.
Related Article: A Perfect Aruba Vacation on a Budget
Family Friendly: Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino
Tropicana is more than a hotel but, not quite a resort. This a perfect for families on a budget who still a bit more than a basic hotel.
The rooms are huge, in fact, they are more like suites. A one-bedroom also includes a kitchen and separate living area. Besides the size of the rooms, the huge feature they offer is their waterslide. It is the best on the island. It wasn’t huge, but it was fast and twisty and super fun. They have two pools; the one with the slide and second with a great waterfall.
What You Need To Know About the Tropicana
- They have a casino next door, that also has a restaurant.
- On property they have two bars and one casual restaurant with pizza, salads, and a pretty Americanized menu.
- The property is also a time-share and they will call you to ask if you want to take a tour.
- It’s located behind another hotel, so you’ll need to walk through a parking lot and then through another hotel to reach the beach.
- They are a 5-minute walk to a huge supermarket, making it really easy and convenient to stock up the kitchen and save, instead of eating three meals a day at restaurants.
- There is a pool towel card and you have to sign to receive the card and agree if you don’t return it, you will pay a fine.
- Wifi is in the lobby only.
All Inclusive: Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Beach Resort & Casino
The Holiday Inn Resort Aruba is located in Palm Beach and is big property. It has 597 rooms and can be booked as hotel only or all-inclusive. It’s located next to pelican pier, an area of beach with quite a few water activity vendors and a cute pier with restaurants and a bar.
The holiday Inn would fall into the budget resort category for me. The property has a casino, several restaurants, several pools, a spa and fitness center, a kids’ club and is located directly on the beach. There are a slew of organized activities as well, which gives is a bit of the cruise on land feel.
The Holiday Inn Resort Aruba is a great hotel for anyone who wants the resort experience at a bit of a budget.
What You Need To Know About the Holiday Inn
- They have wifi with a password, but it was spotty for us. In fact, we had a very hard time getting it to work in our room
- The only way to get pool & beach towels is with a ‘towel’ card that you had to turn in, in exchange for towels. I wish those could just be done with. Do that many people take pool towels home?
- 3 swimming pools, 4 restaurants, a casino and live nightly entertainment.
To check current hotel rates for the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.
Luxury Resort: Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino
Hyatt knows how to develop a property. They also know how to create a jaw-dropping entry and the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino property is no exception. As you walk up the stairs to the open air lobby, there is an arch that perfectly frames the tropical landscaping with the gorgeous Caribbean sea in the background.
The 357-room property is located in Palm Beach and directly on the sand. The grounds are stunning with rivers, tiny waterfalls, geese swimming in a freshwater lagoon, parrots in ornate cages around the property. Not to mention several pools including a three-tier pool with waterfall, whirlpools tucked away in little alcoves and a great waterslide.
Hyatt knows how to create a luxury experience and it’s all about the details.
What You Need To Know
- There are 4 indoor/outdoor restaurants and 5 bars, including swim-up and beach bars.
- There is a full-service spa, a gym and tennis courts, plus a casino.
- Located across the street from a great shopping and restaurant area.
- Wifi throughout property without need of a wifi code.
- The fluffiest bath towels on the island.
- Turn down service with chocolates.
To check current hotel rates for the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, I suggest visiting Hotels.com or Booking.com.
One last thing on the hotels in Aruba.
This Aruba Hotel Guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the palapa situation on the island. If your are visiting Aruba you’ll want a palapa when you go to the beach. Some of the hotels is first come first serve. Others have a website booking system. The issue with the booking system is that it’s hotel individual and it opens up before check in, so they are usually fully booked by 4pm check in. The other option is to be at the papala or pool hut when they open, which is 7am for most hotels. That could be a nuisance or not depending if you are a morning person or not.
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I hope you found this Aruba Hotel Guide useful. If you’ve been to Aruba, please share your experience in the comments below.
A huge thank you to many of the hotels for the generous hospitality. I was a guest at some of the above hotels, but as always, all opinions are my own.
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