Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A laid-back and friendly all-inclusive resort with an international crowd
The Divi properties exude an authentic Aruban feel, especially when compared to other American chain names on the island, and tend to attract an international crowd. This includes a high percentage of Dutch tourists (Aruba is a former Dutch colony, after all), but it is not unusual to find Brazilian couples on honeymoon alongside Swedish families.
The decor is nothing fancy -- don't expect a marble foyer and chandeliers -- but the property is clean, comfortable and well-maintained throughout (especially considering it first opened in 1969). Open-air seating in the lobby leads outside to the resort hub -- mainly the pools, bar and expansive beach. During early morning hours, guests can pour a cup of hot brew from the coffee stand and read the paper on one of the white daybeds until breakfast is served (at night this lounge area becomes a romantic spot for a drink).
The all-inclusive resort does not feel secluded from the outside world, and there are very few rules and regulations. Since all beaches in Aruba are public, guests can take a long barefoot stroll along the sand (all the way to Eagle Beach, to the north, for those who don't mind the trek) and then return to one of the two resorts for a glass of beer. Having access to both properties allows for less monotony.
There are five Divi properties total, and four of them make up a major section of the "Low-Rise" hotel district, just 10 minutes from the capital of Oranjestad.
Taking up a prime stretch of Druif Beach, close to the airport and capital city
Aruba is a small island 15 miles north of Venezuela, known for having white-sand beaches and constant trade winds. The Divi Aruba is situated on a prime beach in the Low-Rise hotel district, just 10-minutes from Aruba's capital city of Oranjestad and Queen Beatrix International Airport. (The Low-Rise district and High-Rise districts are exactly what they sound like, with low- and high-rise hotels, respectively. The High-Rise section fronts Palm Beach and has close proximity to shopping, restaurants and bars, but the Low-Rise section to the south tends to feel less crowded.)
A rental car is recommended (there is a desk on-site), but taxis are readily available 24 hours a day. The neighboring resort, Tamarijn Aruba, is a nice stroll down the beach (guests have access to the amenities here, as well). To get to the Tamarijn, walk along the shore, the footpath, or use the free shuttle service via golf cart vehicles. This service runs between the two resorts, the Casino, and The Links golf course, approximately every 15 minutes. Airport transfers are not available.
Comfortable rooms come with balconies or patios, but views vary.
The 203 rooms are located in a cluster of one-, two- or three-story buildings along Druif Beach. They come with two queens or one king bed, and room types range by view: Gardenview, Beachside Casita, Oceanview and Oceanfront Lanai rooms. The Oceanfront Lanai rooms are considered the resort's best, and there are only 20 offered -- 10 on the first floor and 10 on the second floor. All room types are decorated in a similar color scheme with island-style furnishings, pale yellow duvet covers, flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges. Air-conditioners and ceiling fans help keep guests cool in this humid climate. The balconies and patios come with porch furniture, and are a nice spot to enjoy a glass of wine before dinner.
All rooms include:
Picturesque Druif Beach has beautiful white sand and ideal swimming conditions.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire resort is Druif Beach, a long, oval-shaped stretch of white sand that is free of debris and sharp objects. Not only is the area safe -- the beach is home to many Low-Rise resorts -- but the views face directly west for outstanding sunsets. The beach is cleaned daily, and because of the great expanse, it is impossible to feel crowded. The shore has lapping turquoise waves resembling a postcard -- great for swimming and long barefoot strolls in either direction. In fact, guests can walk all the way to Eagle Beach and beyond. All beaches in Aruba are public so there are no off-limits areas to worry about.
For those who want nothing better than to relax with a book, lounge chairs and straw huts are available to guests -- though it may be necessary to save a spot in the morning in peak season. Each guest is given a beach towel card at check-in, and the towel hut is central to the beach and pool. The resort's main bar, for sunbathers in search drinks or bathrooms, is easy to get to from the beach.
Halfway between the Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba is a can't-be-missed colorful tent that offers an extensive array of free non-motorized water sport equipment, including snorkeling equipment, beginner windsurfing gear, sail boats, floats and kayaks. Instruction and clinics are also offered.
Three free-form pools offer either quiet relaxation or lively water activities.
Though none of the resort's pools are very large, the Main Pool at Divi Aruba is the hub of the property. This area can get crowded at times -- daily activities may include water polo, aerobics and/or volleyball -- but cushioned lounge chairs provide a relaxing spot for ocean views, without the sand. The pool deck includes a sleek wading pool and soft daybeds dressed in white fabric; it's a great spot for cocktails before dinner when the sun sets and soft evening lights come on.
Near the Casitas section of Divi Aruba is the Veranda Pool -- this is a quieter area of the resort where people come to relax rather than partake in activities. There is a small wading pool here for children, as well.
A spa and salon with a variety of treatments, including couples massages on the beach
The spa company, Indulgence by the Sea, has locations at both Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba. Depending on the location, guests can schedule services such as hair styling, hot stone massages and couples massages on the beach. Body treatments include moisturizers, salt rubs, wraps, and exfoliation treatments using local ingredients such as seaweed, mango, papaya and sea salt.
Both locations offer manicure and pedicure services.
A family-friendly resort with easy dining options, safe swimming, and a kids' club
The resort's comfortable accommodations cater to families, with adjoining rooms and spacious patios or balconies. Cribs are also available at no additional charge. For a romantic night out, babysitting services are available in a guest's hotel room for a minimum of three hours.
The resort offers restaurant and buffet options suited for families, and variety of entertainment in the evening.
For children ages five to 12, there is a Kids' Camp (Monday through Friday, with morning and afternoon sessions). It offers plenty of activities, such as Papiamento lessons, T-shirt and face painting, pool and beach games, scavenger hunts, snorkel and tennis clinics, basketball, movies, soccer tournaments, bingo, arts and crafts, and more.
Druif Beach is ideal for young ones, with areas of calm waves for swimming and plenty of sand for sculptures and castles.
Guests have unlimited access to nine dining options between two resorts.
The two resorts, Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba, offer a total of nine dining options in both air-conditioned and open-air seating areas. Both buffet and a la carte experiences are available, which helps alleviate monotony for all-inclusive guests. A large breakfast selection is offered to start the day, and popular lunch options include made-to-order brick oven pizzas and grilled sandwiches. Fine dining restaurants for dinner include Asian, Italian, and seafood options, to name a few. A beach casual dress code is welcome everywhere, and live music is on offer many evenings; for instance, couples can dine at Red Parrot while a jazz band plays.
For a special occasion, guests can dine at the romantic Windows on Aruba restaurant (open to the public) with fantastic views over the golf course and ocean beyond. This is a three-course meal offered for a per person surcharge.
An impressive variety of wine, beer and specialty drinks
Compared to standard all-inclusive resorts, Divi Aruba offers a wide variety of liquor including international and local beer (Balashi, Amstel, Miller Lite, and Heineken), rum, vodka, gin, Scotch, tequila, bourbon, cognac and liqueurs, red and white wine, white zinfandel and non-alcoholic beer. There are also daily drink specials such the frozen Blue Monday or Yellow Belly.
Guests staying at either the Divi Aruba or Tamarijn Aruba have full use of all bars of both resorts. In the evenings, guests can enjoy nightly entertainment and theme nights that occur on stages near the main bars.
Sit-down restaurants offer different grape varietals for red and white wines: Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Savignon. A big plus: Guests can order a full bottle at dinner -- this is a rarity in all-inclusive resorts. A specialty wine list (including champagne) is also available for a surcharge at Red Parrot and Paparazzi restaurants.
An easygoing atmosphere, and more variety than other typical all-inclusive resorts
Sure, there is a wristband involved, but the Divi Aruba resort feels more laid-back than typical all-inclusive resorts. Since there is only one option for all guests -- it's all-inclusive for everyone -- it makes for a more relaxing atmosphere. There are few rules and regulations, and guests will appreciate the variety of restaurants and activities, as they have full use of all the facilities at the neighboring Tamarijn Aruba resort as well.
This all-inclusive resort offers some basic services for an additional fee.
Divi offers nightly entertainment for all ages -- jazz, salsa, movies on the beach, and karaoke, to name a few.
Guest will have access to nightly entertainment at either Divi Aruba or Tamarijn Aruba. Performances occur on stages near the main bars, which can get lively and serve wine, beer, mixed and frozen drinks until 1 a.m. in the morning.
Entertainment includes theme parties such as salsa dance classes, Caribbean night, a mystic show with fire eating, jam sessions with a live band, and a romantic jazz night. Other theme nights have Aruban circus dance shows, Latin dance shows, carnival shows, Mexican dance shows, water ballet shows, limbo shows and karaoke. An evening market is also held weekly and local vendors sell a variety of locally produced arts and crafts.
For sporting events, the plasma widescreen TV at the air-conditioned Paparazzi Bar provides a fun place to watch the big game.
Movie nights give guests a chance to watch a new film or an old classic right on the beach.
The Links -- with nine scenic holes, a pro shop and restaurants -- is one of only two golf courses on the island.
Golfers staying at the resort will enjoy being in such close proximity to the Links at Divi, right across the street. Opened in October 2004, the Links is one of only two golf courses on the island (the other is an 18-hole course at Tierra del Sol). This 9-hole ocean view course was designed by architects in Florida and offers play over water and landscaped lagoons for any level. Golfers also have use of a video golf swing analysis station, driving range area (in net), chipping area and bunker practice area.
Overlooking the course with scenic views is the clubhouse, offering two restaurant options: the casual open-air Mulligans Bar & Restaurant and the elegant Windows on Aruba for fine dining.
On the lower level of the clubhouse is the pro shop, which sells golf equipment and accessories, men's and women's logo apparel, and other related merchandise and services, such as club repair and a re-gripping facility.
Instruction and lessons are provided by golf professionals from the Johnson & Wales Golf Academy. In addition, well-known PGA Member and Tour Coach, Donald Ross (with his unique FeelGolf School and swing method) is also based on-site.
Stay in shape with a plethora of free activities such as biking, snorkeling, tennis, Zumba, and rock climbing.
A nearby casino with low-limit tables and over 350 slots
The Divi Aruba doesn't have its own casino, but Alhambra Casino is right next door. The complex has over 350 slots, video poker machines and multi-game machines. Table games (only available in evenings) include blackjack, roulette and craps, and they come with low-limit offers.
As of spring 2012, there is a function room on the second floor of the building with an attached kitchen for catering needs. This space can seat up to 180 and is ideal for wedding parties, special occasions and business meetings. In addition, the Shops at Alhambra Casino feature a variety of boutiques and restaurants, including a sophisticated cigar bar.
Aruba's first casino opened in 1959, and gambling became the island's most popular attraction, aside from the beaches. There are a number of venues in Oranjestad and the High-Rise hotel district, but Alhambra Casino stands out for its Low-Rise location.
A boardroom setting for small groups and a brand-new event space located at the casino.
The Divi Aruba appeals mostly to leisure clientele, however, business groups are welcome.The property itself lacks meeting facilities but there are options nearby. For smaller groups, the neighboring Tamarijn Aruba has one meeting room with the capacity to seat 36 people, boardroom-style. For larger groups, the function space at Alhambra Casino -- with an attached kitchen for catering needs -- can accommodate seating for 180 people.
A romantic beach setting, and honeymoon packages with free extras.
Though the resort welcomes families and groups, the resort manages also to appeal to couples as well with its peaceful setting along the ocean. The beach never feels crowded, and since all beaches in Aruba are public, couples can walk for miles along the shore. In the evenings, restaurant options such as the Red Parrot and Paparazzi offer an intimate candlelit settings.
Before dinner, guests can take their drinks out to a lounge seat under one of the straw huts for beautiful sunset views. The white daybeds by the wading pool are lit in soft colors during the evening, and live jazz music often plays near the bar.
For couples on honeymoon, packages can be provided on the spot without prior notice. All guests have to do is provide proof of marriage when checking in to receive a free upgrade.
Free honeymoon extras include:
Druif Beach -- the highlight of the resort -- provides an ideal backdrop for relaxed weddings.
Couples looking for an easy destination wedding will appreciate Divi Aruba's Druif Beach location facing west for spectacular sunsets. The continuous white sand leads down to lapping turquoise waves for great photo ops.
Most ceremonies take place on the northern end of the beach for additional seclusion, though there is some flexibility with location. The Red Parrot restaurant overlooking the ocean can accommodate smaller wedding groups for dinner, and the event space above the casino can handle larger groups of up to 180 people.
Basic wedding packages and free extras depend on how many rooms are reserved for the group.
Tier 1 Package (requires a minimum of 10 rooms):
Tier 2 Package (requires a minimum of 20 rooms):
A few celebrities have been spotted at Divi's elegant Windows on Aruba restaurant.
Aruba may have a small landmass but it does attract the occasional celebrity. One of the island's best-rated restaurants is located on the top floor of the Divi Links clubhouse. Windows on Aruba is open to the public and has beautiful views overlooking the golf course and ocean beyond. The restaurant hosted Kim Cattrall of the Sex & The City while she was in town for the Aruba Film Festival, as well as Michael Bolton.
Though the restaurant is not a part of the all-inclusive package, guests of Divi Aruba can order a three-course meal for a surcharge of $35 per person (excluding beverages).
The Divi Resort brand remains committed to growing their eco-friendly practices.
The Divi brand first entered Aruba in 1969 with the opening of this very hotel.
Divi Resorts is a small group of Caribbean properties in Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados, St. Maarten and St. Croix. In fact, this was the very first Divi property to open on the island, and beachside rooms, also knows as "casitas", were the only rooms available when the resort opened. Since then, the property grown with the addition of several two- and three-story buildings that offer garden, pool and ocean views. Over the years, Divi has expanded to include a casino, nine-hole golf course, and four additional properties in the Low-Rise and High-Rise hotel districts of the island.
Though it's the oldest of five Divi properties on the island, the resort stays fresh with new additions and constant upkeep.
Divi Aruba opened in 1969, and has undergone steady stream of updates and renovations over the years. Renovations to outdated bathrooms at several buildings in the resort were completed in May 2012.
For new retail options, the Shops at Alhambra Casino opened to the public in spring 2012. Ginger (a second location to the Tamarijn's all-inclusive restaurant) and the Fusion wine and cigar bar will help rejuvenate the aging casino. The building's second level will also open a new meeting and function space with an attached kitchen for event catering.
Designated handicap rooms and free shuttle service between properties and restaurants
The Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba are both handicap accessible. There is one designated handicap guestroom at Divi Aruba, and two at Tamarijn Aruba next door. The two resorts are separated by a stretch of beach. Free shuttle service runs between the two resorts, the Casino and The Links at Divi Aruba golf course approximately every 15 minutes. The property grounds, including restaurants and bars, are all handicap accessible.
The resort is located in the safe "Low-Rise" hotel area and has around-the-clock security.
Despite the infamous Natalee Holloway case, Aruba is widely considered to be a safe island. Divi Aruba is located in the "Low-Rise" hotel area and the premise has 24-hour security, as well as lighting throughout the property at night. Employees have gone through fire training, and all restaurant kitchens have met HACCP standards to make sure safety and food quality.
Divi Aruba All-Inclusive is one of the five Divi properties on the island. This easygoing 203-room option is situated on a prime stretch of Druif Beach, dotted with straw beach huts for shade. Guests can walk north along the sand and end up at Eagle Beach (one of the most popular beaches in the world), or head south to the neighboring Tamarijn Aruba resort. The all-inclusive offering includes unlimited meals and drinks at both Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba (nine dining options and seven bars, total) as well as nightly music and entertainment, water activities, a kids' club, tennis courts and a rock-climbing wall. (Wi-Fi, however, is an extra fee.) Rooms include balconies (some lack views) and clean furnishings with duvets, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs.
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