Loads of lux shops selling coffee, jewelry, and Ritz-Carlton items
7,500 square foot ballroom can be divided into three event rooms
Daily resort fee
Lingering smoke smells in the lobby from the adjacent casino
The most affordable rooms have limited ocean views
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba is one of the most luxurious stays in Aruba. It's located directly on a beautiful stretch of Palm Beach and interiors combine a beachy aesthetic with high class polish. The 320 guest rooms and suites all feature furnished balconies and Caribbean Sea views. Club Rooms come with access to the seventh floor lounge. There are two ocean-facing pools, plus a stretch of sun loungers on the sand where staff delivers drinks on segues. For relaxing, the spa is one of the largest on the island with 13 treatment rooms. Six restaurants include a sushi bar, fine dining, casual beachfront restaurant, and a coffee shop. For gaming the (smoky) 24-hour casino offers over 300 slot machines. Note that there's a daily resort fee. For lower rates and the same beach access, check the neighboring Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.
From the street, it's hard to miss The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba. The exterior is painted bright yellow and turret roofs hold orange shingles, there's a slight incline up the palm tree lined driveway that leads to the hotel's grand lobby. Once inside, the reason for the slope becomes evident: excellent ocean views. The lobby leads to a bar and lounge area with large windows overlooking the pools and beach beyond. Guests take an elevator down to the pool, since the lobby is elevated. Wide hallways feature patterned carpet and chic sets of living room furniture where guests can rest. A fresh fragrance usually permeates the air, though there's a distinct smoky odor near the casino entrance (which is just behind the reception desks). Guests are mostly families and couples on vacation, with the occasional wedding party or conference participant.
The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba has a privileged location directly on the quiet and northern end of beautiful Palm Beach. The clean, white sand meets bright blue clear water that's ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Wind conditions can pick up (Aruba is world famous for its tradewinds) but most days are ideal. There's a kite-surfing school next door, and then the beach gets slightly more rocky to the north. However, its' possible to walk for miles in the opposite direction to the south. Immediate neighbors include the three Marriott resorts, then a smattering of snorkeling and cruise outfitters. Palm Beach Plaza Mall (home to a movie theater, bowling, and shops like Victoria's Secret) is about a 12-minute walk or three-minute drive. It's about a 20-minute drive to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad. For cyclists, there's a bank of bike rentals docked just outside the hotel's entrance. Guests can bike north to the scenic Arashi Beach in about 20 minutes (or drive there in six minutes).
Tropical and contemporary rooms with furnished balconies -- and some gorgeous ocean views
The guest rooms at Ritz-Carlton, Aruba all have similar decor. Expect: a bold aqua accent wall, bright floral bedding, and contemporary furnishings. Subtle beach accents include coral in the bedside lamps and sunburst mirrors hanging over desks. Sectional sofas provide a place to relax. The guest rooms clock in at 550 square feet and include a spacious furnished balcony. The only real difference is the views. The most affordable rooms have a resort view with maybe a peek of the ocean. Coastal View Rooms offer views of the street and ocean. Oceanfront Rooms cost the most, and have direct views of the Caribbean. Rooms include a 46-inch flat-screen TV, coffee machine, electronic safe, Wi-Fi, telephone, and iHome dock. The bathrooms are lovely, with glass shower stalls and soaking bathtubs. Bathrobes and Asprey toiletries are provided. Evening turndown service is a luxurious touch.
Upgrading to a suite buys additional square footage, larger balconies, and luxe decor. Club Rooms include access to the Club Lounge with free drinks, breakfast, and snacks. Ritz-Carlton Suites (there are only two) and Club Suites (there are only four) also come with Club Lounge access. Notably, Ritz-Carlton Suites have outdoor showers and panoramic balconies.
Beach access, six restaurants, and a sprawling full-service spa
Features are luxurious and well designed. The obvious draw is easy access to Palm Beach. Guests get access to quality sun lounger and umbrellas, and finding an available chair doesn't seem to be a problem throughout the day. Guests can order drinks and food from staff members on segues. Paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkel equipment is available to borrow. There are also two chic outdoor pools. One is livelier, with occasional live music, and the second quiet pool is by the spa and has cabanas for rent. Food and drink service is also offered here.
There are six dining options at the hotel. BLT Steak offers a modern interpretation of an American steakhouse restaurant for dinner. Casa Nonna does house-made pastas and an expansive wine list for dinner. Solanio opens early for a la carte and buffet breakfast options. Madero Pool & Beach Grill sits between the two pools and offers casual options like sandwiches, salads, and ceviche. It's open from late morning until late afternoon. Divi Sushi Bar & Lounge (off the lobby) provides sushi and light bites and cocktails all day and into the evening. Ritual Coffee Culture, by the shops on the lobby level, provides pastries and specialty coffees all day and into the evening. Room service is available 24 hours. Staff can arrange private dining on the beach.
The Club Lounge is on the seventh floor and provides a food and beverage presentation throughout the day, plus gorgeous views of Aruba's landscape and the Caribbean Sea from floor-to-ceiling windows. The space is only available to guests staying in Club Level Rooms, Club Level Suites, and the Ritz-Carlton Suites. Ritz Kids has an indoor and outdoor play area. There's also a 24-hour casino with an assortment of casino games and over 300 slot machines.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa is one of the largest on the island at 15,000 square feet, plus 13 intimate treatment rooms, a salon, and a boutique. Treatments are performed with locally grown ingredients such as aloe, cactus, and coconut. The fitness center is available 24 hours and includes modern LifeFitness equipment.
Event space includes a 7,500 square foot ballroom dividable into three salons, three meeting rooms, and a beachside reception area. Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Note that the hotel charges a daily resort fee.
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