Travelers-Family of 3, husband and myself (mid 30’s) and our 5yr. old daughter.
Previous travel experience- Husband and I have been to Aruba, and honeymooned in Jamaica at Sandals Dunns River. Husband has been to the Bahamas. This is our first trip with a child.
Our travel agent booked us through Apple vacations, and the trip to and from Aruba went without a hitch. Upon arrival in Aruba, we were pleasantly surprised to see that, since our last trip there in ’94, they had built themselves a ‘real’ airport, as opposed to the small, un-airconditioned building that was there before. Our Apple representative got us to our bus, and we made it to our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Aruba(rated 6 golden apples), with no problems. The bus stops at each hotel on the strip to drop off passengers and since the Hyatt is one of the last hotels, it took about 30 minutes to arrive. Check in was smooth, punch and fresh fruit were offered. Our room was cool, clean, large and comfortable with a balcony that faced the water slide. (we had requested only a standard room). 2 Queen beds, as per our request, and a large bathroom. Maid service was excellent throughout the week, our room was immaculate every day.
The weather was steamy…it remained in the 90’s all week (May 5-12) with little of the breezes that Aruba is known for. We spent much of our time poolside, either sipping drinks at the swim up bar, enjoying chairside service from the staff, or playing on the water slide. We had no trouble getting chairs, either at the pool, or on the beach, which was immaculate, well cared for, and beautiful. Towels are also provided for guests. There was a nice mix of couples and families at the hotel, but I didn’t see many singles. We heard guests speaking Spanish, French, Japanese, Italian and of course, English. Everyone we dealt with throughout our week in Aruba spoke English. Language was never an issue. American money is accepted throughout the island.
The service throughout our stay at the Hyatt was excellent. The restaurants on the property had a wide variety to choose from…everything from chicken wings to filet and lobster. Don’t pass up their breakfast buffet…it’s wonderful! There is also many familiar eateries in Aruba…a Tony Romas, McDonalds, Wendys, Subway, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts…many of these are only a short walk from the Hyatt.
Crime is not prevelant in Aruba, and safety is not a problem for tourists. Public transportation is clean, safe, convenient and reliable. Taxi service is waiting outside the lobby of the hotel and prices are fixed. There is much shopping in Oranjestad…jewelry, perfumes, clothing, and of course, souveniers.
Our first time in Aruba, we stayed in the Holiday Inn (rated 4 red apples), and were quite disappointed. It was well worth the extra money to stay at the Hyatt.