Divi Aruba All Inclusive Rating: 3.5 Pearls
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.
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino Rating: 4.0 Pearls
One of three beachside Marriott resorts side-by-side, the safe, family-oriented Surf Club has clean, comfortable rooms, an excellent gym, a huge waterslide, a teen lounge with Nintendo Wii video games, and the winding "Lazy River" pool (possibly the best pool in Aruba). The beach in back of the hotel begins where the pool ends, and has soft sand, clear water, and plenty of shade.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Gorgeous pools, a reliable kids club, and a soft-sand beach in a modern hotel near the High-Rise shopping/dining/drinking complex -- the Hyatt is virtually flawless, even if it does lack local charm. Rooms are clean and modern, and have flat-screen TVs, excellent beds, and iPod docks -- they're among the best in Aruba, excusing the tiny balconies.
Costa Linda Beach Resort Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Primarily a time-share hotel, the Costa Linda draws the same families two to three times each year. Newbie travelers are likely to stick out, but devotees of surf and sand won't care -- the hotel has one of the most spectacular and quiet beaches in Aruba. Plus, all guestrooms were renovated in 2012. Though there's a stellar restaurant on site, Aruba's hot spots are a cab ride away.
Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Sporting two large pools, exotic landscaping (with caged parrots), a top-notch spa and fitness center, and a long beach where kids and teens run wild, the Radisson is an excellent value, especially after a multi-million dollar renovation to all guestrooms, the casino, and most common areas in 2011. Plus, the location is ideal; ample restaurants and places to party, on-site and off.
Occidental Grand Aruba Rating: 3.5 Pearls
A lively, modern resort in Aruba's tourist center, the Occidental draws young couples, families, and retirees -- all playing together on the hotel's active beach. Comfortable rooms, polite service, and a lagoon-shaped pool -- but less impressive on-site cuisine. Not to worry, though: Great restaurants, bars, and shops are only a walk away from the High-Rise complex.