230 Je Irausquin Blvd, Palm/Eagle Beach, Aruba
"The beach is just beautiful with nice fine white sand,"
Posted by: Brian/Julie04
on May 1, 2004 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2004
114 people found this review helpful
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Aruba from the 10th of January to the 17th 2004. I must say that comparing to all our other travels in the Caribbean (we’ve been to 5 different islands), this was by far the best trip.
The flight from Toronto was pretty good considering that it was a charter. Skyservice Airlines showed two movies and had a bit of a breakfast service (ham croissant sandwich). The flight was fairly full and service was adequate.
Our tour operator (Sunquest Vacations) had a bus waiting for us at the airport in Aruba. You can really feel that the Arabian people are warm and friendly as soon as you land. Arriving at the resort at 1pm, we were told that we couldn’t check in until 4pm. That was perfect since we could go and enjoy ourselves right away because we came prepared with our bathing suits and sandals in our carry on bag. The lunch buffet was a bit disappointing the first day. Much smaller than any other all-inclusive buffets that we’ve seen elsewhere. There is also one à la carte restaurant outside, which we frequented for the rest of our stay there. The Italian restaurant, Miramar, required reservations. We ate there three nights out of 7. The breakfast was probably the best buffet meal because of their omelette station. They are made to perfection right in front of you!
The one confusing thing about the all-inclusive plan is that they give you a bill after each meal except at the buffet where you had to sign in with your room#. Nothing is really charged to you though. Tipping is also more than expected there. It’s a must! Our Tour operator told us right away that the tips were not included in the all-inclusive, only the gratuity is. Funny thing is, I always thought they were the same. But I guess they are not in some countries.
The bars were also pretty good. One piece of advice, pick your spot at the bar wisely since the bartenders always seemed to serve the same area. Just being a few chairs over meant you had to wait a few minutes more!
The beach is just beautiful with nice fine white sand, but there are a lot of cigarette butts. The water is great except for the first very few steps, which are lined with shells and rocks. But afterwards it becomes smooth sand. My husband had no problem walking on them but I wore my sport sandals in the water therefore eliminating the problem.
Pelican Watersports runs the activities and expeditions for the resort. We took a sunset cruise and a snorkelling cruise. Fairly cheap comparing to other Islands that we have been to. It is also open bar. Well worth it!
The service we received at the resort was above our expectations all week long. You have to remember that it is the Caribbean; their pace is not like our North American way. They are on island time, and you are on vacation. Our maid did the best job cleaning our room everyday… nothing was ever forgotten! She even arranged all of our shoes on the first day we arrived. How many maids do that? We bumped into her on our 2nd day and she told us to “not worry about a thing, enjoy our vacation, and leave the rest to her to worry about” in good English. We noticed that every staff member speaks English very well. The staff is friendly, warm and hard working. I would highly recommend this resort. We are definitely going ba
"The hotel was what you would expect from a Holiday Inn"
Sarah on May 1, 2004 >
Visited on: May, 2004 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
151 people found this review helpful
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Aruba at the Holiday Inn Sunspree from May 9-17, 2004, and wouldn't hesitate to return. I must say that having travelled to Mexico and the Dominican, that Aruba is now my favourite destination. The location is beautiful, the economy is good, English is widely spoken, you can drink the water, the food is good, and no bugs!
We flew with Skyservice from Toronto - seating was cramped, but to be expected on a charter airline! Our first room was not to our liking, we had booked a standard room, we were in room 3618, balcony overlooked the lower building roof and multiple satellite dishes. The next day we requested a room change - the front desk was very helpful and offered us another room with a better view, at no extra charge. We were also offered a room upgrade to an oceanfront room for $50 U.S. a day - this was eventually lowered to $30 U.S. a day, which we accepted, room was 5682, view was beautiful! Had a king bed, pull out couch, table with 2 chairs, TV with numerous American English channels.
The hotel was what you would expect from a Holiday Inn - not fancy, but clean and comfortable. The pool is not large but has lots of comfortable lounge chairs. Some nice stores in the hotel, prices are higher than in town, which is to be expected. Spent some time each night at the hotel casino, playing the slots. If you're looking for non-stop nightlife, you will need to go into town, but if you're okay just watching a show and then having a couple of drinks at the lobby bar, you'll be fine.
Food was very good - buffet breakfasts, the Seabreeze for a la carte lunch or dinner, wonderful wood oven baked pizza at the Iguana grill and fabulous dining at the Miramar. Reservations required at the Miramar, we went there 3 times, no limits because it was low season.
Beach was beautiful, could walk for miles. The constant breeze helps to keep you cool. It rained for 5 minutes on one day.
Spent the day on a jeep safari tour with De Palm Tours - it's well worth the money, lots of fun and you see all of the island, just don't wear a white shirt as it won't be white for long with the dust when you're off-road! Takes only 10 minutes to get into town on the bus, costs $1 U.S. each way. Great deals on jewellery, no taxes, especially recommend Gemani jewellers.
Wouldn't hesitate to recommend Aruba and this resort.