The 10 best hotels and resorts in Aruba in 2021 – Business Insider

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Aruba has the moniker “One Happy Island” for good reason. The Dutch country enjoys sunny year-round weather, breathtaking sunsets, colorful plants and wildlife, and sandy beaches flanked by the aquamarine Caribbean Sea.
I’ve been to this enchanting island multiple times and keep returning for 19 miles of white sand beaches and the protected Arikok National Park where you can dive off crab-filled cliffs or go off-roading in your own ATV.
Aruba has strict COVID-19 protocols in place, including mandatory testing, insurance, and occupancy limitations, but even during a pandemic, there’s no such thing as a bad day in Aruba. For a relaxing getaway with guaranteed good weather, plan your visit and choose from boutique hotels that savor a romantic, intimate vibe, or splash out on a sprawling resort right on Palm Beach.
Book Hyatt Place Aruba Airport
Category: Budget 
Location: Airport
Typical starting/peak prices: $119/$230
Best for: Solo travelers, business travelers, those who just need a place to sleep
On-site amenities: Outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, fitness room
Pros: This is the only hotel from a trusted brand near Arikok National Park.
Cons: This is a basic airport hotel, so don’t expect much more than standard rooms and limited amenities.
While this is a no-frills hotel located next to the airport, this Hyatt made our list because of its close proximity to Arikok National Park, and the fact that it is the only hotel from a trusted brand in that area.
The protected Arikok National Park makes up 20 percent of Aruba, with a unique desert landscape filled with caves, original Indian rock drawings, dry riverbeds, secluded bays, and land formations from lava, quartz diorite, and limestone. The Hyatt Place Aruba Airport is just an 11-minute drive from the park’s San Fuego Entrance. And, if you have an early flight to catch, it’s on-site at Queen Beatrix International Airport.
In true Hyatt quality, rooms are large, comfortable, and clean. Each has a blue, teal, and neutral color scheme with plush beds, flat screen TVs, a work desk, an ergonomic chair, a sofa sleeper, and large bathrooms with walk-in glass showers.
Amenities like free continental breakfast, free parking, a gym, and a pool ensure basic travel needs are met. In light of COVID-19, the hotel also offers digital check-in and room keys, as well as Knock & Go room service to minimize face-to-face contact. 
After a day of hiking or off-roading at Arikok National Park, grab a drink at the bar or by the lobby fire pit. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort
Category: Mid-range
Location: Palm Beach
Typical starting/peak prices: $213/$636
Best for: Families, couples, solo travelers, business travelers
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, golf, spa, BBQ facilities, meeting and event spaces, fitness center
Pros: Guests receive access to expansive amenities at three other Divi resorts: Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, Divi Aruba All-Inclusive Beach Resort, and Divi Tamarijn.
Cons: The beach at this hotel gets crowded and you’ll have to show up early to snag a first-come, first-serve palapa and lounge chair.
Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort has everything from studio to three-bedroom suites, each with pale yellow walls, bright teal accents, and pretty views of the Caribbean Sea.
The entry-level Studio Suite is moderately sized with a Queen bed, sleeper sofa, dark wood furnishings, en-suite bathroom, and a large balcony.
The resort is nice, laid-back, and comes with modern conveniences that make it a good fit for multiple types of travel groups. There are two freshwater pools with a swim-up bar, a kids’ pool, a spa, gym, and lit tennis and basketball courts for an evening pick-up game.
When the sun is shining, walk downstairs to snag a complimentary lounge chair or thatched-roof palapa on bustling Palm Beach and order an Aruba Arriba, the island’s signature drink. Like many resorts in Aruba, Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort offers on-site, same-day COVID-19 testing for your return home. 
Guests also have access to three other Divi properties in Aruba and their amenities, including the links course at Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort, which is just three miles away. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
Category: Mid-range
Location: Downtown Oranjestad
Typical starting/peak prices: $269/$689 
Best for: Couples, friend groups, families, business travelers, Marriott loyalists
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, Flamingo Beach, restaurants, bars, casino, spa, meeting rooms, fitness center
Pros: This is the only hotel that guarantees access to Aruba’s famous Flamingo Beach.
Cons: The Renaissance is not right on the beach, so you will have to either drive to one or catch the ferry to Flamingo Beach.
Sitting on top of a mall in downtown Oranjestad, the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort is actually two hotels in one: Renaissance Ocean Suites and Renaissance Marina Hotel. The latter is adults-only, but both offer everything you could ever need from multiple dining options to several pools, separate family and adults-only beaches, a casino, a fitness center, water sports, and more.  
Guest rooms in both hotels feature natural wood furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead out to large balconies, while Renaissance Ocean Suites are inspired by the colors of the sea, and Marina Hotel rooms have wood floors and rattan light fixtures.
The resort itself is beautiful, but most people book here for exclusive access to Aruba’s famous Flamingo Beach where flocks of flamingos roam freely on sugary-white sand beaches and mingle with visitors for the ideal Instagram photo. Accessible only by water taxi, Flamingo Beach is on the resort’s adults-only Renaissance Island where there is also a restaurant, an outdoor bar, spa treatments, and luxury cabanas. While non-guests clamor each day for one of a few $125 day passes made available to the public, hotel guests always receive complimentary transportation and access to the island whenever they want. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Category: Mid-range
Location: Palm Beach
Typical starting/peak prices: $280/$761 
Best for: Families, couples, friend groups, business travelers, Hilton loyalists
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, casino, spa, tennis courts, kids club, water sports, meeting rooms, fitness center
Pros: The Hilton has the best location on desirable Palm Beach, without the inflated price points of nearby ritzier hotels.
Cons: Rooms are standard size and layout, making the $402 starting price a bit steep.
The lush Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino sits on a 15-acre property right in the middle of popular Palm Beach. There are a wealth of activities here in addition to the majority of the island’s high-rise hotels, shops, and restaurants. Queen Beatrix International Airport is less than a 20-minute drive away.
Rooms and suites are comfortable and well-designed, as you would expect from a Hilton hotel. Beds are made with crisp white linens, and living areas feature natural wood furniture and art inspired by the Caribbean Sea and Aruba’s vibrant sunsets. Bathrooms are large and have walk-in rainfall showers and all rooms come with a furnished private balcony or patio with views of colorful tropical gardens, the sprawling pools, or the sea.
There’s also a hotel-within-a-hotel concept. Book a Palm Beach club-level room for something a bit more exclusive with special access to reserved palapas, a private lounge with full breakfast and appetizer buffets, cocktails and afternoon tea, and other luxe perks.
Whichever room you book you’ll enjoy amenities like a full-service beachfront spa, a freshwater lagoon, a kids club, and six dining concepts ranging from a coffee shop to a sultry, open-air lounge with live music.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
Category: Boutique
Location: Palm Beach 
Typical starting/peak prices: $285/$594
Best for: Couples, families, groups
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, hammocks, restaurant, library, spa, yoga, BBQ grills, beach service, fitness center
Pros: This design-forward hotel is covered in bright colors, fun patterns, and over-water hammocks, making it an Instagrammer’s dream.
Cons: This isn’t a large hotel, and while you won’t want for anything, don’t expect to have 24-hour amenity access, either.
Owned by twin sisters and built on a former coconut plantation, the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba feels like a secluded tropical oasis but is right across the street from bustling Palm Beach.  
Rooms have pastel pink or aquamarine walls, palm frond murals, wicker accents, bright yellow stairways, bamboo room dividers, and bougainvillea-clad exterior walls. For more space and privacy, there are 46 casitas with kitchens and living rooms, some of which have hammocks, private patios, and BBQ grills.  
Lounge around on overwater hammocks that dangle above two pools, or take advantage of the gym, a shaded yoga deck, a lobby library, in-room spa treatments, and a weekly rum punch happy hour. Walk five minutes to Palm Beach to use an exclusive area with complimentary beach huts and lounge chairs, and the hotel has free beach chairs and coolers to take with you, too. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Hotel Riu Palace Aruba
Category: All-inclusive 
Location: Palm Beach 
Typical starting/peak prices: $304/$1,688 
Best for: Couples, families, friend groups 
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, nightlife, casino, spa, water sports, beach activities, fitness center
Pros: Fun amenities like liquor dispensers and hydromassage bathtubs are available in every room. 
Cons: There is a three-night minimum stay (which drives up the price), the food is average, and the property lacks a local Aruba feel.
With domes and turrets peeking above the Palm Beach skyline, the Hotel Riu Palace Aruba is an expansive all-inclusive resort with over 400 rooms, complimentary in-room minibars, three outdoor pools, beach palapas, a gym, and a spa. Restaurants vary from a steakhouse to Italian and Japanese restaurants, as well as a patisserie, a sports bar, a swim-up bar, and an ice-cream parlor.
Admittedly, the food at this resort is just average but with its 24/7 bars and drink service, this property caters to partiers and guests who want to eat, drink, hit the pool or beach, and repeat. However, it’s a good option for families too, thanks to so many included activities to keep little ones occupied at all times. 
Packages include all meals, 24-hour room service and snacks, unlimited alcohol, beach and water sports activities, and nightly shows and entertainment for all ages. Spa treatments, however, are not included in the price of the room. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Category: Luxury
Location: Palm Beach
Typical starting/peak prices: $379/$689 
Best for: Adults, business travelers, Marriott loyalists
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, spa, beauty salon, casino, tennis courts, meeting rooms, fitness center
Pros: Rooms here have the largest hotel balconies in all of Aruba, which overlook the garden, pool, or the Caribbean Sea. 
Cons: While stylish, this resort feels more like a business hotel, which may not be the preferred vibe desired by travelers.
The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has moderate, spacious, and comfortable accommodations, with the largest hotel balconies in Aruba. Rooms and suites are relaxing and playful, with white linens, dark wood furnishings, sandy carpeting, and aquamarine walls.
For a more exclusive stay, book a room on the Tradewinds Club floor, which starts at $670 per night and offers exclusive amenities like a private concierge and check-in, a lounge with complimentary food and drink offerings, personal parking spots, a reserved beach area, and unlimited drinks.
Outside of the room, indulge in treatments at Mandara Spa, book a range of water sports, or stop by the gym, casino, barbershop, or salon. Pools include the adults-only H2Oasis with private cabanas and a tiki bar, and a family pool with a swim-up bar and daily happy hours. 
In the morning, wake up to Starbucks coffee, enjoy an international breakfast at La Vista, followed by a casual lunch at the seaside Waves Beach Bar & Grill. Cool off with a sweet ice cream treat at Gelato & Co. and order a steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris. For the perfect date night, Atardi offers a romantic, toes-in-the-sand dinner.
COVID-19 policies can be found here.
Book Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino
Category: Luxury
Location: Palm Beach 
Typical starting/peak prices: $455/$1,214 
Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, business travelers
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, casino, spa, tennis courts, meeting and event space, fitness center, kids club
Pros: The whole resort recently went through a multimillion-dollar renovation resulting in refreshed rooms and a brand new, adults-only pool.
Cons: Some rooms have no balcony or only a small Juliet balcony with no room to sit.
The Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, adding a new pool and fully remodeled rooms and suites. These new spaces now stand out with tropical colors, plush bedding, and handcrafted furniture, resulting in an elegant setting overlooking the sea.
What I love most about this resort are its beautiful grounds and top-tier amenities. In between lush palms and hidden waterfalls, is the tucked-away Trankilo, which is the resort’s new adults-only pool. For a worthy splurge, rent an extravagant cabana that comes with private butlers, a shower, a smart TV, a Bose sound system, a fully-stocked minibar, lounge chairs, a sofa, and even spa treatments. In fact, the Massage den Awa is a gentle treatment performed in the actual Trankilo pool.
Daily yoga, meditation , and Tai Chi classes keep things active, while a one-hour Master Mixology class teaches guests about crafting basic cocktails. As this is a beachfront resort, be sure to reserve a palapa or tent on the sand, which come in different sizes depending on your group, so check with the concierge to select the right one for you.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba
Category: Luxury
Location: Palm Beach 
Typical starting/peak prices: $589/$1,199
Best for: Couples, families, groups of friends, business travelers, Marriott loyalists
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, restaurants, bars, casino, spa, beach activities, entertainment, meeting rooms, fitness center, business center
Pros: Expect large rooms, nightly live music, and a luxurious, but comfortable and welcoming feel that appeals to both families and couples.
Cons: The hotel is located at the far end of Palm Beach, closer to Hadicurari Beach, and not within walking distance to island restaurants, bars, and shopping.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba is a five-star resort right on Palm Beach with club-level rooms, a lavish spa, the high-end BLT Steak restaurant, and a dedicated concierge team to pamper your every whim.
From day programs for kids to private, toes-in-the-sand dinners for couples, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba will please both families and honeymoons alike. There are 320 large and lavish accommodations, some with two bedrooms, and all with flat screen TVs, marble bathrooms, deep bathtubs, and big balconies with Caribbean Sea views. Book a Club Level room to take the opulence up a notch with a dedicated concierge and a private lounge serving complimentary food and drinks all day long.
The spa is a must-visit for the Aruba Divi Divi Massage using unique local oils extracted from Aruba’s trees to improve circulation and boost metabolism. A full-service business center with high-speed internet and copy and fax capabilities makes this a good pick for business travelers.
Activities are varied; I loved my paddleboard yoga class on the resort’s beach, and nightly live music takes place around fire pits on the lobby terrace, which I found paired perfectly with a glass of wine. 
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Book Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba
Category: Wellness
Location: Eagle Beach
Typical starting/peak prices: $2,015/$2,915 
Best for: Adults, couples, LGBTQ, wellness enthusiasts
On-site amenities: Outdoor pools, beach service, romance and wellness concierge, restaurants, spa, fitness center
Pros: This adults-only hotel is the only dedicated wellness and romance resort on the island.
Cons: There are no bathtubs in rooms and no speakers allowed at the pool. The hotel website specifically says it’s not for “groups of any size.” There is a five-night minimum for all bookings.
For the ultimate in romance, Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba is an adults-only resort centered around tranquility and wellness. You’ll leave feeling healthy, relaxed, and more in love with your S.O. than ever before. 
Rooted in luxury, 104 rooms and suites are decorated with neutral fabrics, dark furnishings, airy curtains, and subtle orange or blue accents. Each has a large balcony or terrace overlooking the sea or garden, and a “romance concierge” is available to schedule and organize romantic outings and activities. Meanwhile, “wellness specialists” will curate a tailor-made program to meet any dietary needs and fitness goals.
Oceanfront Pilates, morning yoga, and Tai Chi classes complement that mindset, and treatments at Purun Spa, vegan cooking demonstrations, a “Daily Healthy Hour” with smoothies and mocktails complete the holistic approach. However, a daily happy hour with real drinks is still offered, as are cushioned and shaded sunbeds by the pool and outdoor movies under the stars.
COVID-19 procedures are available here.
Aruba is home to four main areas where guests like to stay. No matter where you stay, however, everywhere in Aruba is easily accessible. It only takes 45 minutes to drive the length of the island. 
Palm Beach is my favorite, and where you’ll find the island’s high rise hotel district with many great restaurants, shopping, and activities all within walking distance. The popular beach is lined with water sports adventures like snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, SNUBA, and SEABOB. This is the busiest part of the island, so if you’re looking for a remote beach retreat, staying in Palm Beach isn’t for you.
Just near Oranjestad is a quieter low rise hotel district with boutique accommodations and secluded, quieter beaches. Most activities and restaurants aren’t within walking distance, so you’ll need to rent a car or plan to take a taxi.   
Downtown Oranjestad is also popular; it’s where cruises dock with lots of sparkling luxury storefronts. There aren’t many hotels here aside from the most famous one: the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino with its private access to Flamingo Beach.
Finally, Eagle Beach is a happy medium of all of the above, with smaller hotels and resorts across the street from a popular, but not overcrowded beach. There are restaurants and bars and relaxed stretches of sand with vendors for beach tennis, jet skis, and banana boats. The water is rougher at Eagle Beach, so if you’re traveling with small kids, you might want to stay elsewhere.
There’s never a bad time to visit Aruba, but there are less expensive times. January to March is high season in Aruba, so expect hotel and flight prices to soar. Late summer and early fall is cheapest, but the best time to visit is from April to August. Since Aruba sits outside the hurricane belt, you don’t have to worry about hurricane season like the rest of the Caribbean, and the off-season guarantees a good hotel deal.  
Aruba requires all visitors who are 15 years or older, vaccinated or not, to take a COVID-19 test no more than four days before arrival. Should you test positive, you will need to test again in Aruba and quarantine in your booked accommodations until you are cleared. Travelers can upload test results to the Aruba Health App and ensure it is verified prior to arrival.
Those with verification will get to go through the faster “Pre-Approved Health Lane” when going through immigration and customs at Queen Beatrix International Airport. Anyone traveling back to the U.S. must test again no more than three days prior to departure. Many hotels and resorts in Aruba offer on-site, same-day COVID-19 testing.
All travelers will need to purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance to cover medical and non-medical expenses during their stay should they test positive for COVID-19. This insurance costs $15 for all visitors 15+ years old.
The local government also requires visitors and locals to wear a mask on the flight to Aruba, in the airport, and in all indoor public spaces such as grocery and retail stores, museums, casinos, and others. Alcohol is restricted in some areas and casinos and non-hotel establishments are required to close at midnight.
Every traveler is different, and whether you choose a regular or all-inclusive property is a personal choice. Aruba’s all-inclusive resorts are wonderful, especially if you plan to do nothing but lay by the pool or on the beach since it will add value to have all your food, activities, and accommodations included together.
That said, Aruba is a gem of a destination with so much to do and see and excellent restaurants and bars to try, which you may not experience to the fullest if trying to get the most value out of an all-inclusive property.
There are many great hotels and resorts in Aruba, so the best for you depends on your needs. The Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino is a solid option with the best of everything. It’s cheaper than nearby options, has great amenities and restaurants, sits in a prime location right on Palm Beach, and is within walking distance to a slew of top water sports vendors, restaurants, bars, and shopping.
For a boutique option with a more intimate and local feel, the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba is a charming, island-inspired property with 46 individual casitas on an old coconut plantation across the street from Palm Beach, which has the most amenities for travelers visiting Aruba.
Every beach in Aruba is wonderful, but the best beach for visitors is Palm Beach because of its large collection of restaurants, bars, watersports amenities, and shopping. The water here is also calmer than other beaches on the island. The hotels on this beach include the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino, Hotel Riu Palace Aruba, and Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort.
With the exception of the Hyatt Place Aruba Airport, every hotel on this list can cater to couples. The Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort Aruba is the only resort in Aruba dedicated to romance, however, with a “romance concierge” included in the price of the stay who can schedule and organize any romantic outings, date nights, couples massages, and more. 
Families will benefit from staying on Palm Beach, as that is where you’ll find the majority of watersports vendors, activities, and guides for all ages. The Hotel Riu Palace Aruba is great in that it’s an all-inclusive property, so everything is centralized and you don’t have to worry about paying for meals and activities once you’re there.
Moderate hotels on Palm Beach are also great options for families, like the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, and Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, as they are laid-back and cater to families with kids clubs, children’s entertainment, and amenities for all ages.
Aruba can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be. The hotels run from budget-friendly to ultra-luxurious, and dining out can mean everything from eating cheap, fresh-caught fish in a shack at Zeerovers to an indulgent, toes-in-the-sand dinner at Atardi.
Like anywhere, tours, classes, and guided activities are offered at a range of prices, but Aruba’s main attractions, the beach, and the water are always free.

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