After a quick hello to my Mom, we went to the front desk and received our bracelets which would allow us to eat and drink throughout our stay, towels cards, and room keys and, we rented a key to the safe for the duration of our stay. Again, we booked four rooms through MCM Tours and had asked them to request for obvious reasons, that at least my grandmother’s room, be located on the ground floor with the three
remaining rooms as close together as possible. In checking in we discovered that all our rooms were adjacent on the first floor of the 1300 building- 1313, 1311, 1309 and 1307. We were off to a wonderful start.
Some people worry about security with these ground floor rooms but I would not worry too much if you take the proper precautions. We felt just as safe at the Tamarijn in a ground floor room as we did anywhere else we have stayed in our 15 previous visits to the island. The room’s sliding glass doors have a bar which locks across the middle of the door in addition to a standard lock. Our lock was always locked when we were not in the room. I have heard from others who either forgot to put up the bar or chose to sleep with their door open, that security had stopped by and asked them to shut the door and put up the bar. In building 1300, because of the direction of Aruba’s tradewinds, front to back on our room, we had to ensure we truly pulled hard when shutting the front door to our room to guarantee that the lock had caught. Not doing so, there would be a chance the door could blow open. This is not an issue as long as you are aware of it. There was visible security around the resort day and night. Twice during the day when I walked to the end of the resort to the 2500 building there was a security guard posted there as well.
Rooms came equipped with hair dryers, iron and ironing board (not for me on vacation thank you), and a mini-refrigerator and clock radio alarm. You can put whatever food you wish in the mini-fridge. It is totally empty and located on the bottom right of the armoire. Delicious Aruban water is from their desalinization plant and can flow from the tap quite warm. Bring your own empty pitcher if you want to chill some to keep in the fridge. Satellite TV stations were very well covered: ESPN, ESPN2,
HBO, TNT, Disney, USA, WGN, TBS, CNN, Venevision, Tele Aruba, Cinemax, Fox, CNN Headline News, BBC World, BBC America, CNBC, ABC Family, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox Sports, Golf Channel, MTV, In-house TV and a couple of others, presumably South American, I never heard of.
The maids have a tough job keeping the tile floors clean of sand. I know in all four of our rooms, no matter how hard we tried, we still tracked in some sand each day. We took the towel tub mat and placed it right inside our sliding glass door from our patio to wipe our feet on when we came in the room, and that helped some. I think the rooms in the higher numbered buildings which have grass between their room and the beach, accumulate less sand.
Again, I have read complaints about the noise from these in the wall units but it was never was a problem for our family and, it soon became just background noise. The air conditioning had a digital thermostat to set as you wished and to boot, the room had a ceiling fan! Lighting in the room could have been better for reading at night. Luckily dd, had brought her book light and dh used that to read before falling asleep at night. If you have a lot of hanging clothes, bringing a dozen extra clothes hangers from home is also a pretty good idea. Between dd and
myself we need at least 8 hangers just for beach cover-ups.
Many people state, for them the biggest turnoff is the bathroom, but honestly I thought it was clean. There was always hot water, soap and plenty of fresh, fluffy towels. I have one photo where it looks like mildew on the tiles in the shower, but after close examination dh and I did not think so. I have horrible allergies to mold and mildew and have had allergic reaction in rooms in other resorts throughout the Caribbean because of this. This was not the case at the Tamarijn. The shower had shampoo-body soap "all in one" type wall dispenser and a bar of soap were provided as well. There is a liquid soap dispenser for the sink as well. If you like your “own” brand bring it from home and if you have longer hair definitely bring conditioner for your hair.
With my grandmother being now 94 years old, she has difficulty walking long distances. Past Christmas vacations when we have taken cruises, she has spent most of her days on the balcony of her cabin sharing only meals with us. I just knew that if we could convince her that Aruba was a destination which would appeal to the entire family, that the Tamarijn would be the perfect accommodation. The entire family loves the beach so
our days are spent mainly there and, of course, in the ocean swimming. What would be more fitting for her than an oceanfront room with a patio where she could sit working her crossword puzzle or where only steps away, she could lounge under a shade palapa all within sight and contact of the entire family.
In building 1300, everything was centrally located for her, whether we needed to get her out to the lobby to the rental car for our "do it yourself" island tour or the golf cart shuttle to take us over to the Divi for dinner at the ala carte Red Parrot Restaurant or an even shorter walk to Pizza per Tutti for lunch or a snack or the Cunucu Terrace for breakfast or lunch. Also close by between the lobby and the Cunucu Terrace were the ala carte restaurants, Ginger and Paparazzi. The Palm Court Grill is also located adjacent to the Cunucu Terrace. Again, this was ideal for someone who could not do much walking.
After settling into our spectacular oceanfront room, we met up with my grandmother and headed over to Pizza per Tutti where we had some delicious pizza and my first Balashi of the trip, all while overlooking the ocean just a stones throw away! The snack proved to be more than enough food to hold us over until our first night's dinner at the Red
Parrot. Following our snack, dh headed back to the room to unpack, and I headed to the lobby to await my brother, my nephew and two nieces. It had been a year since I had seen the kids, and I missed them dearly. Following a long day of travel, the next best thing to being in Aruba, was sitting in the Tamarijn lobby gently cooled by the tradewinds, just after dark, relaxing in the warm glow of the Christmas lights and beautiful Christmas decorations and trees.