|Depends what your expectations are. The comments on the HI range from "it should be torn down" to "loved it".If you’re used to high end hotels, you’re better off somewhere else. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an economical way of experiencing Aruba, choose it.The rooms are typical HI, perfectly adequate, but unfortunately they’ve made a few unwise choices in design and material. For example, white colored tile, carpeting in places most Caribbean hotels wouldn’t have it. So, while perfectly clean, you end up with a dingy look that hasn’t weathered well.Food: my comparison point was Dominican, Cuba, Mexico, so it was fine. They know how to serve everything, what condiments go with what, all extremely civilized and normal. Buffet is buffet. So, you get excellent chicken breasts…sitting in a very hot serving dish, slowly becoming overdone and slightly dry.We heard people complain about lots of things, if they weren’t exactly like home e.g. coffee too strong (you’re 20 miles from South America). Some people on the all-inclusive racked up big bar tabs elsewhere as they insisted on Budweiser instead of the local beer.If we weren’t on the all-inclusive, in all honesty we would have had only a handful of meals at the hotel as there are lots of choices around. On the other hand, I had every intention of having a fancy supper or two elsewhere and never once did (an admission Aruba regulars would find scandalous). Between the sun, sand, water, exercise (and the hurricane), there was never a night where we I had enough of an appetite to justify a $40US/person meal at a restaurant.
Aruba has much to recommend it that make for a very easy, relaxing trip, such as weather, beaches, first-world infrastructure, safety, transport, multilingual, and US dollar usage. However, if you prefer your travel to be challenging and genuinely foreign, it would be fairly low on the "exotic" scale.
|anyone ever stayed at holiday inn? how is the food and the resort thinking of going in April. Hi solazul;
We haven’t yet, but we’re going at the end of February. email me early March and I’ll let you know how it was. my email is [email protected]
There are about 8 reviews on the review page. Wife and I just read them this morning.
Stayed for one week in October 04 and had a very nice time. Had lunch at the beach restaurant on most days and found it to be very good. Booked the AI at a fantastic price and found it suited our needs for lunch and drinks during the day. We ate off site most nights. Beach can get crowded but what a gorgeous beach!! My understanding is that the pool has been renovated and it is supposed to be quite nice. We are planning to return in April.
|Hi there.We didn’t stay there, but one morning we decided to "check out" the adjacent resorts and the Holiday Inn was on the list, mainly because of their attractive prices. The place is definately dated. "If Lucy and Desi were with us, they’d love it!", was how one couple we met put it. We didn’t sample the food, but we did hit their casino. Not bad, as I remember, though my memory is possibly colored by the fact, that I won a little money!They do have, perhaps the nicest streach of beach I saw on the whole island! Over all, I wouldn’t be in any rush to stay there, when a little more money buys you a lot more atmosphere, down the street. I wouldn’t go so far as saying "they" should tear it down, but it definately needs a bit of freshening.RegardsDave
|OK, we just got back from Aruba and the Holiday Inn. Here are my thoughts…We did not go All Inclusive. Those who did, did a fair amount of complaining that once the staff saw the blue AI wristband, they weren’t particularly interested in waiting on you. I heard this fairly often.In general, Holiday Inn waitstaff seemed understaffed, slow, and generally "uninspired". Sorry to sound kind of hard, but that was our experience.We paid as we went for food and drink, and came in priced far less than the AI option would have cost us. Going AI would have added $1000 to the trip cost for the wife and I.One of the nicest things in Aruba is the wide variety of restaurants there, and the ease and safety of transportation to the various restaurants. My personal opinion is that unless drinking alcoholic beverages is a high priority, skip the AI and get the enjoyment of dining around. I drank a couple of Balashi’s (the local beer) with lunch, and a couple with supper. Wife had one mixed drink with lunch and one with supper. Bagels and tea for breakfast ran around $10. Lunches ran $20 to $25. Suppers ranged from $35 to $75.The Holiday Inn is older. Very clean. Our patio door wouldn’t close properly and rattled in the wind. Most people that I spoke with had requested a room change. We just stuffed a washcloth in the patio door to stop the rattle and just let it leak air… they were paying for the Air Conditioning, and we were on the seventh floor so security wasn’t a concern.My biggest complaint was that there were an insufficient number of palapas on the beach. To "reserve" a palapa, people told us that they got up at 5:00 AM and went down to the beach. I didn’t pay $2500 and travel 2500 miles to get up at 5:00 in the morning so we said the hell with it and we sat under the shade of the palm trees. (The only negative about this is that you need to keep moving the chair a few inches every 20 minutes as the shade moves.) Plenty of broken chairs also to sort through to get a couple of good ones.If there is anything specific that I can help anyone out with, feel free to email me off-group at my private email.
It is [email protected]
Enjoy,Jerry in Pennsylvania.
|I have a few years ago and it was the worst all inclusives we have ever stayed at. The attitude and service was terrible if you had a wrist band on. Tipping (bribe) is expected before you are served to get service. The food was medicore at best and there were surcharges on some items so read the fine print carefully. Not much was included in the way of activities, entertainment and sport equipment compared to other all inclusives we have stayed at anywhere else in the Caribbean and Mexico.
We found the beach while it looked nice the water clarity was terrible and the sand was being used as people’s personal ashtray, which is a shame.
|Jan 3 2006
We Was there for our first Aruba Experience in Feb 2001, we are NOT Yankees I have a trip report someplace if you search, I may be going back in Feb 2006 or Punta Cana or St. Marten depends..The Holiday Inn was fine and great location for the beach and metal detecting which is why we travel to resort beaches to search for your lost jewelry items.
We were at the Holiday Inn first week of September 2005. Great food Great Beach and Great weather. You can’t go wrong.
|It is now 2011 and on this forum all the commends about the Holiday Inn Sunspree resort in Aruba are a little stale.We have booked two weeks for the end of March this year.What has changed since the last postings in 2005.Do the beach lounges still have fabric to lay on or did they changeto the solid plastic style?Are there enough of them?This is our first trip to this island. What should we pack beside the usual stuff?Any advice is appreciated.Egon.
|It all depends on what you are looking for. They are economical but you will not get as great service and what not as you would at a five star hotel of some kind.You could also try asking on the facebook page in my signature link.