This review of our stay around the beginning of April is long overdue, but not because our visit was unremarkable. I knew it would take some time to write something helpful and accurate. For reference, this was my 6th trip to Aruba, 2nd to the Holiday Inn, and the original Holiday Inn visit was about 10 years ago, so I was very interested to note the differences, as well as do some recon for a trip we are planning with our whole family in the fall.
In previous visits, we had wandered past, as well as into the Holiday Inn, which was very notably "under renovations". We were looking for a different experience, especially going at a different time of year and didn't want to think too much about our usual procurement of food/beverages that we do at other hotels.
Holiday Inn seemed the best choice for value and convenience at the very least, and anything above that would be bonus.
We arrived on a late flight, landing in the dark after a long day of travel, headed to HI as fast as possible to be greeting with a fast check in at the comfortable and familiar lobby and off we zipped to the room where we found, to our surprise, a bottle of wine and a cheese/fruit plate. What an incredibly welcome site after a late trip. Checked out our room, did the washroom function test (flushing, running water etc.) and passed with flying colours. Room was spacious and comfortable, no big bells and whistles, but honestly, not really different from other hotels on the island that are more expensive. Bed very comfortable. Fridge super handy! Not filled with expensive food and drink, actually useful for storing what you like!
Now for the quick run down of the important things: we do not have our room cleaned when we stay, so can't comment on that service.
Food: Italian restaurant closed, others: Buffet (Corals): Well stocked and food is warm (unless you get there just before close of course). Standard options for breakfast, but we were super happy to see little arepas and shredded beef! and took full advantage of that. Had dinner there once, good for families, hot dogs, hamburgers, beef, and of course the Dutch treat bitterballen. Decent food, but not quite our speed ambiance wise. Service was always great though.
Oceanside, the beach/bar/restaurant: our go to around lunch time, lots of delicious food and any drink you can imagine, totally in love with their sangria, and try the Greek salad! The warm pita and dressing that comes with it are perfect. Drinks can be a bit of a wait at the bar, but be patient, vacation is for relaxing, and it's obvious they are serving as fast as they can, especially right when the bar service opens and lots are waiting at the same time. Best to plan on going there 15-30 mins after the opening rush clears. No idea about people saying drinks were watered down etc, based on how we felt, they seemed full power to us!
Our go to restaurant though, was the Sea Breeze. More than enough variety and quality, with more of a restaurant setting and it's open walled, so you get all the breeze (so it's well named of course) and warmth etc. Service always great and we sampled almost everything on the menu. The steak and salad was a solid choice for me, lunch or dinner, but so many other tasty dishes and the desserts!!! Wow. We normally don't indulge, but seriously... treat yourself! And throw in some espressos, also well executed.
A very special shout out to the pizza menu. Just spectacular. Crispy, cheesy, you can design your own, have as many as you can manage to enjoy annnnd they have hot chili flakes to shake on them, so perfection. Grab a couple to put in your fridge.
The pointer that I do see in other reviews is accurate though, food availability shuts down early. Grab some sandwiches from the lobby bar, or pizzas etc. and put them in your fridge for later. Problem solved.
The beach area is decent, it's Aruba of course. We don't do palapas, so never an problem getting a chair, or space, all good. We did very little pool area, but again, the other comments about kids being in the adult pool are true, there were always kids in there jumping and splashing, as kids do, so if you are looking for a less boisterous experience in the adult pool, you may not find it.
Aruba is not a typical, closed in resort type place. Which is why there aren't really any shows, events put on at hotels. We prefer to wander out, check out other night life off the resort, go to some of our other favourite places that we've grown to love and are regulars at.
Lots of shopping/stores in the hotel, very convenient. More than I've seen in other hotels in the area. Gifts, clothing, essentials, mostly reasonably priced (I did pay about $10 for a bag of chips though! Not Holiday Inn's fault) There is also a casino there, my dislike for it is strictly personal, as I did not win anything, so I am biased.
All in all, another fantastic trip to Aruba and in particular, the Holiday Inn. Great for families, and as a couple, we had no complaints about the kid population. If you are looking for high end luxury, gourmet nouveau cuisine and a butler following you around, this is not your hotel. And fyi, all of the hotels that I have stayed at in Aruba are humid, and smell humid, it goes with the territory!
The Holiday Inn Aurba is comfortable, consistent, provides great amenities and service for the traveler with reasonable expectations and attitude. Our recon worked out so well, that we actually booked our return trip to the Holiday Inn for us AND our family while we were on this trip, using Skype to call back home to our travel agent. Since I waited so long to post this, we depart on this trip very soon, and writing this adds to the anticipation, remembering how great is was and will be. Thanks HI Aruba, see you very soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- At the beachfront Holiday Inn Resort Aruba, we've gone to great lengths to further enhance the miracle that is our island by creating a carefree getaway that truly has something for everyone. With the best location on Palm Beach, wide variety of water sports including PADI certified diving and designer shopping just across the street look no further when booking our Aruba vacation. Whether you're here for a corporate retreat, family vacation or just a little downtime you'll find refreshing accommodations, an attentive staff and a vast array of amenities and activities. The resort features free in-room Wi-Fi access. ... more less
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- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with IHG, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Cancelon, Travelocity.ca, getaroom.com and Evoline ltd so you can book your Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Resort Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Holiday Inn Sunspree Hotel
- Holiday Inn Sunspree Aruba
- Holiday Inn Palm Eagle Beach
- Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Aruba
- Aruba Holiday Inn
- Palm/Eagle Beach Holiday Inn
- Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino