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Aruba Bound!  Aruba Trip Reports  Our Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Trip Report December 2009

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Our Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive Trip Report December 2009

This trip we traveled with our extended family of 12 people. This group included children ages: 17, 16, 15, 13 and 10 years old. Three of the children had stayed at the Tamarijn previously and quickly became reacquainted with the pizza bar and self service ice cream machine. My parents have mobility issues, and anticipating traveling with my 96 year old grandmother we had requested building 1300 through our travel agency MCM Tours. Unfortunately my grandmother had to cancel at the last minute due to a broken pelvis the month before. Upon arrival we were assigned four adjacent groundfloor rooms in building 1300.

As to the Tamarijn itself, not much had changed from June. They were allowing people to make reservations for up to two nights in advance. I believe this policy varies depending upon time of year. I have heard since then that they now allow reservations for three nights in advance. Making reservations each morning is not fun, but a necessary evil if you do not wish to eat at the buffet or wish to choose a specific restaurant and specific time. If you are late diners, say 9 pm, you will have a better chance of getting a reservation at your restaurant of choice. In June when we were unable to get a reservation for dinner at an ala carte restaurant, we chose to dine at Windows on Aruba (for an up charge) or have dinner “off property”. Visiting some of our favorite Aruba restaurants (“off property”) figured into our plans anyway so was no real inconvenience.

Paying the up charge of $35 per person for the 3 course dinner, we ate at Windows on Aruba Christmas night. Having five children in our party, we were a little unsure how much our "meat and potatoes" kids would enjoy it, but our worries were for nothing. Our family traditional has Chateaubriand on Christmas Eve, so this year they waited a day later and ordered the "Chateaubriand for 2". All in all, it was a nice change after eating at Paparazzi twice and the Red Parrot three times. We also ate at Ginger which was just okay and the Palm Grill which was awful. The Palm Grill was at the children's request. The novelty of cooking their own food is a big attraction, but for the adults, it was hot being seated next to the wall and an overall greasy experience. If you do go, the Profiterole dessert is to die for.

At the buffet now for lunch they "discourage" you from serving yourself soda and water. We used to hit the self serve bar before sitting down and this time we were politely told not to do it, we would be served. AND we were, even being offered refills! Another nice touch which was added, were "real" glasses and linen napkins.

We headed over to the Divi Aruba for lunch one day and it is definitely a notch above in the buffet department. On a whim on the way out I asked the front desk if they had a room available to see and they gave us a key to a room in the Vista Building. The rooms were MUCH nicer than the Tamarijn and I was very impressed. On the way back to the Tamarijn dh kept reminding me staying at the Divi would be different; we stay at the Tamarijn for the oceanfront rooms. The oceanfront rooms at the Divi are much more expensive than those at the Tamarijn. The other downside is that now we are used to the familiar faces at the Tamarijn: Carmen, Iris, Igmar and Andrea just to name a few. Dh’s final argument was that for the extra money we do not spend any time in our room except to sleep and shower.

Rooms are being updated little by little. 2008 they installed flat screen TV's. In 2008 they began replacing sliding glass doors on rooms (not yet completed) starting at the higher numbered buildings and replaced all room soft goods. During 2009, they had begun replacing mattresses. Evidently this was being done on a piece meal basis. During this stay, my parents were two doors down from us and had a thicker mattress than us. Theirs was new, ours was not. This was not a factor for us. We always sleep like babies in Aruba (must be all the fresh sea air) and have never had a problem with the mattresses at the Tamarijn or awakened with a backache.

Also since our last visit in June 2009, the Bunker Bar was spiffed up with a new roof and fresh coat of paint. There was some exterior painting going on throughout the resort while we were there, but none of the buildings themselves. They were painting buildings when we were at the Tamarijn in June. I suppose because it is slower then. At that time, they would shut down an entire building to paint it.

The palapa issue at the Tamarijn this trip, as in our three previous visits to the Tamarijn, is extremely frustrating. You will never find a resort on the island of Aruba with one palapa for each room. It is what it is. The island is much too windy for umbrellas so shade palapas are the only way to provide shade. I personally am very fortunate in that dh awakens very early and was out to claim a palapa as the sun was rising. He has to work while on vacation so takes his laptop out under the palapa to work until I wake up.

This December trip there was a Swedish couple staying at the end of our building and we had the next 4 consecutive rooms. They had a palapa out in front of their room and for all purposes, claimed "ownership" by leaving their possession out under it 24 hours a day. A shame for sure, they hardly ever used it. They had an infant as well as two toddlers, so afternoons were spent in the room or on the patio. Many other times I saw them spending time at the swimming pool. Complaining is fruitless and it makes no sense in spending all that money and allowing it to ruin ones trip. If you know what to expect and bring plenty of suntan lotion, you should be okay.

All in all we had another great stay at the Tamarijn Aruba and look forward to returning to our "home away from home". You cannot beat this resort for value on the island of Aruba.


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