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Where to Stay in Oranjestad
Though Aruba offers multiple choices of accommodations for every budget and taste, there are only a few dozen hotels on the island. Most of these are located along the west-facing beaches on Aruba’s northwest side. Oranjestad sits at the southern end of the lodging strip, where the hotels are situated close to shops, restaurants, bars and other points of interest. If you travel north of the city, along the island’s west coast, the resorts and attractions are spaced more widely apart, and the scene is a bit quieter.
Extending north from Oranjestad, major beaches include Drulf Beach, Manchebo Beach, Eagle Beach, Palm Beach and Boca Beach. You’ll find a handful of lodging options in each of these areas, with the largest resorts towering over popular Palm Beach. Many hotels are located right on the beach, and virtually all of them are within a ten minute walk of the sand. If you need cheap hotel deals in Orangjestad to fit your budget, look a few blocks inland. The farther from the water you book your room, the lower your rate will be.
Oranjestad Hotel Tips
Lodging options in and around Oranjestad range from five-star luxury resorts to comfortable mid-range hotels. A few intimate guest houses and B&Bs, which are largely upscale and luxurious, round out the great selection. Because there is only so much prime beachfront to go around in Aruba, resorts and hotels compete vigorously to attract guests with updated accommodations, unconventional amenities and rate specials. Whether you plan to splurge on an exclusive suite or seek out a more modest room, you can expect most Aruba hotels to meet or exceed your expectations.
Many Oranjestad hotels have on-site casinos, bars and dance clubs, which is convenient for many party-going travelers, but can be a concern for families vacationing with young children. Some hotels are more appropriate than others for an all-ages crowd, so be sure to research thoroughly before making your reservations.
Oranjestad Hotel Recommendations
The Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino is actually two hotels in one; its Renaissance Marina Hotel caters only to guests ages 18 and older, and its Renaissance Ocean Suites is designed with families and kids in mind. Located right in Oranjestad, the Renaissance has the distinction of operating Aruba’s only 24-hour casino. Another special perk is the hotel’s Renaissance Island, a remote private beach with a modern fitness center accessible only by the Renaissance’s water taxi.
Just north of the city, in the Manchebo Beach area, the Bucuti Beach Resort featuring Tara Suites & Spa is among the island’s most elegant properties. Its rooms are sharp and modern, and its luxurious adults-only Tara beach suites are in exceptionally high demand. Book early if you want to stay here, as the serene setting and indoor-outdoor spa make Bucuti a major Caribbean destination resort.
If you’re more interested in the island’s major high-rise towers, look a little farther north in Palm Beach. The Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, following a multi-million dollar renovation in 2009, stands out from the pack as a distinctively glamorous and comfortable choice. The comparably priced Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino is another prominent Palm Beach tower with lighted tennis courts, a full-service day spa and an impressive multi-level complex of swimming pools connected to a man-made lagoon.
The best way to get around during your time in Aruba depends on the type of vacation you have in mind. If your entire agenda consists of lounging on the beach, taking advantage of your resort’s amenities and indulging in Oranjestad’s shopping, dining and nightlife, taxis are the cheapest and most convenient means of getting anywhere beyond walking distance. At most hours, you can find available cabs near hotels and nightlife districts, but you can always ask a host, concierge or doorperson to call one for you.
If you want to see as much of the island as possible, you’ll save the most money by renting a car and exploring on your own. You can rent from any of several car rental agencies at the airport following your flight to Oranjestad, and if you plan on doing a little exploring every day, this is a good idea. If you think you’ll only travel the island’s outer reaches over the course of a day or two, consider renting a car in town for only the amount of time you need.
A cheap, safe and efficient bus system is the only public transportation alternative, but it reaches most areas of interest to tourists. Most hotel front desks can provide you with information on routes, schedules and fares.