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“Excellent Trip to Aruba”

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Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Oranjestad
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellent Trip to Aruba”
Reviewed 23 September 2012

This was my first trip to both the Tamarijn as well as Aruba. I did a ton of research before booking this trip and I got pretty much exactly what I was expecting.

LOCATION: Can't be beat. All the rooms are DIRECTLY on the beach. I stayed on the ground floor and you literally can open your back door and walk five feet to be on the sand.

FOOD/DRINK: The Tamarijn has a few restaurants that you need to make reservations for, as well as the Divi next door which has the Red Parrot. Many of the reviews I read specifically mentioned the Red Parrot as the best place to eat and while it was nice, both I and my travel partner thought that Ginger at the Tamarijn was THE BEST restaurant at the resort. Ginger is rather small and we really got lucky even being able to get a reservation since we aren't the type of people to get up at 8am to make bookings. The Red Parrot next door was also good, but I don't think it lived up to all the reviews I read about it, although the service there was EXCELLENT. The Palm Grill is also pretty good, although I can see why some people wouldn't enjoy cooking their own food on the table. I did not get a chance to eat at the Italian restaurant, Paparazzi. The lunch buffet was surprisingly good with a good selection every day. Same for breakfast. The pizza at the pool bar was also surprisingly good. The bartenders at all the bars were attentive, friendly, and constantly refilling our drinks. Some of them poured a little heavier than others, I would always suggest tipping. No complaints about food or drink at all.

ROOM: Could use a little updating and the leaking showers are annoying but not a deal breaker. You get what you pay for here and while nothing here will WOW you, it really was totally fine for me. Some TV stations really come in terribly (ESPN for instance) but honestly if you're sitting around watching TV you probably shouldn't bother going to Aruba.

Other things I thought I'd mention since I didn't see much of them in the reviews I read before booking:

The casino is a quick shuttle ride away. It's small but has a lot of slot machines if that's your thing. The Blackjack tables have VERY low limits ($3 from 6-8pm and $5 after) as well as craps. If you like to gamble but aren't a high roller, it's a pretty fun time.

The nightlife was actually better than I expected but still lacking in a few areas. There was a DJ playing dance music a few nights and it seemed nobody but my travel companion and I felt like dancing. Same thing for the live bands - good music but a very...subdued crowd. I realized before booking that this was a pretty relaxed resort but you'd think some of the other people here would rather be in a library or sleeping than enjoying their night out. One of my only complaints is that there is no good sound system around the pool bars at night and so no music once the live bands stop playing around 10:30 or 11. The travelers here seemed to be a very diverse mix of younger and older couples. I went at a time in September as I figured there wouldn't be many kids around and this was the case. There was a diverse mix of Americans, as well as some European and South American travelers, which is fun if you're interested in meeting people from all over the world as I am.

Overall, a *spectacular* trip, especially for the price. I wouldn't even hesitate to book here again, although next time I'd stay for twice as long.

Room Tip: Stayed at the 1800 block, just far enough away from the center to be quiet and easier to get good sp...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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3 Thank mofroman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Altoona, Pennsylvania
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2012

We stayed at the Tam for 9 nights for our honeymoon, and overall, we were very impressed. We took a taxi to and from the airport and I would recommend this over the bus ... both times we beat the line of people coming off the bus. If you like to sit on the patio/balcony in the evening I would recommend a 2nd floor room; I think we would have used a balcony much more than we used our 1st floor patio in the evening (details below). The rooms have soap and shampoo, but no conditioner, so be sure to pack some! We had a great trip and would definitely recommend it. Here are our pros and cons (sorry so lengthy!):

PROs:
- Most of the staff were friendly and helpful; everyone did their job adaquately but it seemed like the Tam bar staff was friendler than the Divi staff.
- Room was close to the gorgeous beach and we were on the bottom floor. From our beach chairs under an umbrella we were about 30 feet from the water and 20 feet from our room ... very convenient! The beach was not crowded at all.
- Food was great! We tried the Red Parrot and Paparazzi, which were excellent. The dinner buffet was okay, the lunch buffet was really good. We frequently ate at Pizza per Tutti whenever we wanted. The great thing about the All Inclusive was that we could try the buffet, sample some food, and if we weren't full we could always go grab something at Pizza Per Tutti (and yes, this is probably why we gained a combined 15lbs on our trip!). We also tried the Windows on Aruba restaurant, which was nice, and something different.
- Our (included) honeymoon dinner at the Sunset Bistro was incredible ... absolutely gorgeous atmosphere and incredible service. I unfortunately did not catch our waiter's name but this was the best service we received in Aruba. The Tam provided transportation to and from the restaurant.
- We met a lot of great people on our trip, almost everyone was friendly! It was really a nice mix of all ages; it wasn't all honeymooners like a lot of other resorts.
- Great drinks anywhere we went ... they were strong and most of the time we didn't have to wait long. Usually at the Bunker Bar the drinks were refilled before we even asked.
- I was nervous that our room would smell like cigarette smoke but it didn't at all. It was cleaned every day and we were very happy with the cleaning service.
- I read a lot of reviews that the rooms were small but it was plenty big enough for the two of us.

CONS:
- The $2/day for the safe seemed a little silly after what we were already paying. Also it was inconvenient to carry the safe key around all week, a combination lock would have been better.
- We stayed in room 2515, the last room of the resort. If I went again I would definitely book something closer to the main area. Once the Bunker Bar closed at 7, it was a long walk just to get a drink or two. Although it was usually pretty quiet, the public beach was beside us and a few days got a little noisy. We also saw people from the public beach helping themselves to the resort chairs, even chairs that had people's towels on them. Security was always around but never said anything to the locals.
- On that note, the security guard literally sat on our patio throughout most of the night ... there was even an extra chair there for him. While we were happy to have security around, it was just... odd. It made us feel like we couldn't sit on the patio at night, and it was weird to wake up in the morning with someone out there until 6am. We would have felt more comfortable with a 2nd floor balcony.
- They definitely could have used more beach chairs -- getting up at 6 or 7 just to reserve chairs isn't how I'd like to spend my vacation. Honestly on our end of the beach, probably 4 more chairs per block would have meant that everyone would have a chair without having to reserve them early.
- The entertainment wasn't really our style, but I realize that's just a personal preference.
- Would have preferred that the restaurants were all non-smoking.
- The only unfriendly staff members we encountered were at the desk for reservations ... I had questions about some of the outings and was just handed brochures without a word.
- The shuttle service seemed inconsistent, sometimes we'd walk from our room to the other end of the Divi without seeing a shuttle go past. We waited a little while at the Windows On Aruba for our shuttle back to the resort, and for awhile we wondered if the shuttle was even coming.
- Would have been nice to have a fan in the bathroom ... there was a window but our screen didn't really work. Also it wasn't very nice to hear "bathroom noises" from the room above us every morning!
- Would have been nice to have conditioner supplied in the shower with the shampoo and soap.

Room Tip: If you like to relax outside in the evening, choose a 2nd floor room to enjoy the balcony.
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  • Stayed August 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank FNB354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
minneapolis
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 September 2012

Went there for my honeymoon and it was perfect. We got a room in the 25 building but it was super nice and we didnt mind the walk to the main area with the bars, and we could swim to the bunker bar. Truly a place for the "newlyweds & overfeds". The beach is incredible! The food is good, especially the red parrot. The buffet is OK, but not great. Gabriel the bartender was the man! Just do your own thing and enjoy yourself and dont stare directly at all of the incredibly sunburned flesh of the fat retirees that sit out for weeks on end because it will cause retinal damage and emotional distress. After a few days of chilling out we were glad to explore the island, and it was all the better after a little adventuring to come back to the laid back Tam. Also if you are upset about the bar opening at 11AM you might need help. They let you drink all day long!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank daveed d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2012

We stayed at the Tamarijn for our Honeymoon from Sep 10-17. Overall the experience was great...with a few exceptions. I hope the Resort Management takes note of the reviewers on here and makes adjustments accordingly.

The Sweet:

THE BEACH. Gorgeous white sand and crystal clear beach. Completely serene. The beach was maintained carefully each day. The staff combed the beach for garbage and debris. The staff took extra care at the end of the evening to stack the beach loungers and maintain the huts. We took notice of the extra care in keeping it a clean environment.

Rooms: We stayed in the very last block of rooms, the 2500's. We had no complaints. Our room was fresh and clean. Plenty of storage in the armoires. We had a very comfortable king size bed that was steps from the beach...priceless. The bathroom was updated as was the air conditioning units. There were some minor flaws that could be easily overlooked. The rooms are also very sound proof from your neighbours. We had a baby in the room next to us and never heard a peep...even when the mother apologized that the baby cried all night.

Food: Food was very good. There was always a tremendous selection. This however is not gourmet dining. If that is what you're looking for don't book here. The Pizza per Tutti bar always provided an excellent alternative to the buffet. We ate here daily...the staff were generally very good and fast. Special thank you to Edwin for effortlessly taking care of us on our first day after a lengthy day of travel. Also to Carmen for the best margaritas...we think she was the only one to get it right! The a la carte restaurants were ok, nothing to write home about. We never had trouble booking a reservation.

Honeymoon Package: Weird. We got in and were told to redeem our package we needed to head over the the Divi between 1-4 to book our dinner at the diamond shop...odd. In my opinion, if you offer a honeymoon package this is an extra the hotel should provide effortlessly at the concierge desk. We assumed you needed to go the diamond shop so that they would put in a sales pitch to buy diamonds...apparently not, lol! When I asked to see a pair of earrings the woman tending the counter was very disinterested in helping out...when I asked for price she pulled out a calculator and randomly came up with a number...it made no sense. The dinner itself was once again bizarre. We got shuttled to the Divi Phoenix. There were a mishmash of tables scattered on sand but not quite on the beach as you were divided by a public boardwalk where people were strolling with children and joggers were running by frequently. This was not quite so romantic. I didn't actually have high expectations so we made the best of it. The service here however was OUTSTANDING. The best we had all week. It was genuine and deserved a tip for going above and beyond.

Service: Overall very good. Our only complaint would be that everyone was constantly on or checking their cellphones...a tremendous distraction and in my opinion should be banned during work hours. One evening a staff member was sitting behind the bar tutti checking his cellphone and when I asked him for an ashtray he was rude and directed me to the other side of the bar...when the ashtray was actually within 10 steps of where he was sitting checking his phone. RUDE.

The Bitter:

This is my only complaint and in my opinion not a matter of taste or opinion.

On Saturday Sept 15 a pair of sentimental earrings were stolen...presumably by housekeeping (this pains me to say but it is the only logical solution as we kept our rooms constantly and obsessively secure). At first we assumed that I had misplaced them and so we checked everywhere...still hesitant to accuse anyone of theft we let it go a day until Sunday where we again did a very thorough check of our room, pockets etc. On Sunday night we decided to report this to the reception desk. When we spoke with the woman at the desk she had a blank stare, she made no notes or comments and we left baffled.
The next morning when were checking out, the receptionist (a different woman) asked us how our stay was...we explained how we enjoyed our stay with the exception of our missing property. She was SHOCKED. When she asked us if we contacted security we told her about the previous evening and our encounter with the receptionist. She immediately called security to have them come and take a report. If this is standard protocol how did the woman miss instructing us to do this the night before. We were SHOCKED.
When we finally met with security we were pretty much resigned to the earrings being gone. The security officer was kind, respectful and empathetic. He listened to our concerns and reassured us that he would investigate. He told us to double check our belongings when we got home and look and see if we misplaced them. I did unpack and check everything again carefully. They are not here and hence our conclusion that they were stolen was likely correct.
The earrings were a nice pair of genuine Swarovski crystal earrings that were a sentimental more than expensive gift from my husband. I can only assume someone thought there were real diamonds.
Nonetheless, as with any theft, you feel a genuine sense of violation and vulnerability. We do take ownership in the carelessness of not putting them in the safe immediately and leaving them on the side table. Unfortunately we let our guard down with the sincerity of the staff that we actually felt we could trust them.

OVERALL:
A nice relaxing vacation (just what we needed). Not perfect,but after travelling around the world at varying degrees of service, no one place is ever perfect.
Only reason we mention the theft is to make sure other travellers keep their wits about them no matter how comfortable you are.

Room Tip: All rooms are currently being updated. We stayed in the 2500 block and it was a fair distance from...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank iamwonderwoman21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Levittown, NY
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2012

My boyfriend and I decided to try a trip to Aruba for our long awaited vacation this year, a place neither of us had ever been...We chose the Tamarijn Resort / Divi All Inclusive through our travel agent. I can't say enough nice things here. This place was GREAT. The people were incredibly friendly, the accommodations were clean and very comfortable, and the attractions were fantastic!! With the all-inclusive deal, you get both hotels amenities (Tamarijn and Divi) including use of all of their pools, beach areas, restaurants and attractions. The restaurants were terrific...I recommend the Canucu Terrace at the Tamarijn for the buffet style dining, Pizza Per Tutti at the Tamarijn pool, and The Red Parrot at the Divi complex for international dinner. They have a wide variety of foods, all of it VERY fresh. The staff was very helpful and pleasant as well. I felt SAFE there, and there was an excellent "security" presence on the property. The front desk was great for information and help. Also, it was incredibly CLEAN. I didn't see so much as a cigarette butt in the sand ANYWHERE. The staff is out there making sure everything is "just so" every day, and are right there to help you with any issues you might have. The shuttle service, (used to get from one hotel complex to any other complex) was fast, fun and efficient. Nightly shows and contests (karaoke, bingo, dancing, water volleyball, etc.) were SO much fun! The Dj's, "funmakers" and musicians were a treat. (The guy on the steel drum playing pop hits was fantastic!) There are several good shops for souvenirs or minor necessities as well. They even have a 70" TV on the wall in the games area, where you can play pool, ping pong, shuffleboard or shop. I could go on for HOURS about how much I loved this trip...but instead, go try it for yourself. And don't miss the "Infinity Pool", at the Divi Golf Resort across the street. A bar in the water, a big, FUN slide, and the beauty that surrounds it is NOT to be missed. Even the iguanas were fun! (And yes, they are EVERYWHERE!) An excellent trip! We already decided to do this again in the future. Even the DRINKING WATER was great! The only thing I thought was odd was having to make "reservations" for some of the restaurants a day in advance. There were many empty tables on arrival, so the idea of reservations seemed a bit out of place for such a "free and easy" type place. But we just went with it and enjoyed each day. "One Happy Island" is the perfect slogan for Aruba. We sure were happy while we were there. If you are depressed while staying at the Tamarijn, get help because there's something VERY wrong with you! :)

Room Tip: First floor rooms have a big patio, second floor rooms have a great balcony view, both just steps fr...
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  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank altimmus1
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
Region: Caribbean > Aruba > Oranjestad
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Romantic Hotel in Oranjestad
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Oranjestad
Price range (per night): $426 - $837
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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