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This was our 2nd time to the lovely island of Aruba.
The first time we stayed on Palm Beach at the Radisson. I'm a travel agent and have been in the industry for 17 years. We've stayed at many beautiful resorts and this one really tops my list.
First off, I'm not sure why people are saying the staff was rude they were very very accomomdating. From the time we checked in to the day we checked out. I had 2 rooms and check in took less than 5 minutes not 1 hour. There was just a little language barrier between our English and their English but with a little patience and slowing down on our part it worked out. They tried their best to understand what you were saying. Americans tend to want things RIGHT NOW and tend to talk very quickly just remember that you are on their island and to relax, enjoy and be patient.
We had a room at the Marina Tower facing the street but didn't really notice any loud traffic or noise with the sliders closed. The rooms were very clean and we always had plenty of towels. There was maid service twice a day and a nice turn down service at night. The only complaint about the room (and it wasn't that big of a deal) was that there isn't really cold water coming out of the tap. We finally found out that their pipes are above the ground not underground like ours so the water doesn't really get cold. So if you want a drink of cold water just make sure you have plenty of ice in the room.
I did get to see the Beach Tower rooms which are separate bedroom suites. Very very nice. I would have liked to stay at the Beach Tower instead only because in the morning while my husband slept I could have hung out in the living room with my 6 year old. It's a short walk to the Beach Tower but we always took the golf cart. The Marina Tower pool seemed to be more for adults.
The childrens program is over at Beach Tower. If you want to leave your child there all day it's $20 from 9-430pm and they are excellant with them. If you want to just hang out by the Beach Tower pool and give your kids a break from the sun there is no charge just as long as you stay on property and your child knows where to find you. The $20 fee is only if you are leaving the Beach Tower to do a tour or go shopping for the day. My son didn't stay in the program all day just for a few hours to give him a break from the heat. We did tip the guy that entertained him. They really do have a great kids program and very good counselors.
The highlight of our vacation was the private island. It was great to get in the boat and be wisked away to your own private beach. The beach and water were beautiful! We stayed on Palm Beach and had to fight for beach chairs and cabanas last time. The boat goes every 10-15 minutes and takes about 10 minutes to get there. The airplanes weren't a big deal either...but then again, I like loud fast cars planes motorcyles ect. There were only 3 a day that came in and I didn't smell jet fuel like some people said. The snorkling at the private island was the best I've seen. So many fish and if you snorkle over by the topless beach way down on the right is a sunken ship....it's awesome! The food was expensive at the restraurant on the private island and the service was very slow. It took 45 minutes to get a burger but like I said before, you're on vacation so RELAX. We took Uno, a deck of cards and my sons Gameboy so he wouldn't get antsy.
The phone service on the island is a joke. Don't bother to take a phone card or your cell from here because you can't use it. We found an internet cafe downstairs in the hotel that my 17 year old used to IM his friends and they had pay phones in there that you could use for .25 a minute.
You can eat pretty inexpensively too. We went to Subway, Duncan Donuts, Pizza Hut and Wendy's and all are right there in the shopping center.
We went horseback riding rode ATV and went on a fishing charter. If you want to know who we used email me and I'll let you know. I would highly highly recommend the Renaissance. Probably the Beach Tower if you have kids and only want one room but both are very very nice. I will definitely stay here again if I get the chance!
Thanks to Tracey (Cleveland, Ohio) for this trip report ...