Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
A livelier atmosphere compared to the slightly more romantic Divi Aruba next door
Compared to Divi Aruba's entrance tucked away off the main road, Tamarijn's entrance is quite visible. At night, the building becomes a beacon for passersby, lit in changing neon lights to create a playful vibe. This look continues in the open-air lobby, where the front desk is bedecked in a color-block structure similar to a Rubik's Cube. Furniture in the seating area is bright blue, and there are pool tables as well as an area for books and board games. All of these factors contribute to the resort's family-friendly atmosphere; Divi Aruba next door is slightly more romantic (though guests have access to all restaurants and amenities there as well).
The main pool, restaurants, and a line of shops form the hub of the property. Despite the focus on families, the resort does offer some sophisticated dining choices, such as Paparazzi, with a dark wood bar, leather furniture, and outdoor courtyard for romantic meals.
Taking up a prime expanse 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 Tamarijn 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 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, restaurant 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, Divi Aruba, is a nice stroll down the beach (guests have access to the amenities here, as well). To get to the Divi Aruba, 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.
Rooms have island-style decor, modern bathrooms, and balconies; all have ocean views
The resort's 236 rooms are located in a long row of two-story buildings set alongside Druif Beach. They're a bit smaller than the rooms at the Divi Aruba, but unlike the Divi Aruba rooms, all come with ocean views. They are are decorated in island-style decor: pale yellow duvet covers, tile floors, and rattan accents. 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. Updated bathrooms include walk-in showers with glass partitions, and toiletries in eco-friendly receptacles.
Picturesque Druif Beach has beautiful white sand and ideal swimming conditions.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire resort is Druif Beach, the long, oval-shaped stretch of white sand that remains 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 the shore has lapping turquoise waves resembling a postcard -- great for swimming and long barefoot strolls in either direction. In fact, guests can walk towards Divi Aruba, 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 -- peak season may require saving a spot in the morning. The area directly in front of the resort can get crowded since the two-story buildings are built close to shore. For more beach space, simply walk north for a huge expanse of white sand.
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 drinks and bathrooms are easy to get to from the beach.
Halfway between the Tamarijn and Divi Aruba is a can't-be-missed colorful tent that offers an extensive array of free non-motorized water sports including snorkeling equipment, beginner windsurfing gear, sail boats, floats and kayaks. Instruction and clinics are also offered.
For land activities, guests can partake in beach volleyball or try out the outdoor 30-foot rock-climbing wall.
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 Tamarijn Aruba is the hub of the property. This area can get crowded at times -- especially in the evenings when live entertainment plays here -- but cushy lounge chairs provide a relaxing spot for ocean views without the sand.
Guests also have use of Divi Aruba's two pools. The main pool, on this end, is situated on a pleasant deck area along the ocean, and it includes a sleek wading pool and comfortable daybeds dressed in white fabric. This 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 two locations at both Tamarijn Aruba and Divi 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 like seaweed, mango, papaya and sea salt.
Both locations offer manicure and pedicure treatments.
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 guests' hotel room for a minimum of three hours.
To dine as a family, the resort offers easy restaurant and buffet options 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. Tamarijn is also home to a small arcade and game room for books and board games.
Guests have unlimited access to nine dining options between two resorts.
The two resorts, Tamarijn Aruba and Divi 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.
Tamarijn, specifically, has some great option in the hub of the resort, such as Paparazzi, for a more sophisticated scene. Interiors are decorated with dark wood and leather furniture, while the outdoor courtyard is a romantic spot for al fresco dinners.
For a special occasion, guests can also 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, Tamarijn 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 as the frozen Blue Monday or Yellow Belly.
Guests staying at either the Tamarijn or Divi 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, Merlon, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. A big plus: Guests can order a full bottle at dinner as well -- this is a rarity in all-inclusive resorts. A specialty wine list (including champagne) is also available for a surcharge at Paparazzi and Red Parrot restaurants.
An easygoing atmosphere, and more variety than other typical all-inclusive resorts.
Sure, there is a wristband involved, but the Tamarijn 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 Divi Aruba resort as well.
This all-inclusive resort offers some basic services for an additional fee.
Tamarijn 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 Tamarijn Aruba or Divi 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 that offers 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, like 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 Tamarijn doesn't have a casino, but the Alhambra Casino, next to Divi Aruba, is a five-minute walk away. 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 new function room opening 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 (completed in 2012) 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 an event space located at the casino
The Tamarijn Aruba appeals mostly to leisure clientele, however, business groups are welcome. For smaller groups, there is 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.
This romantic beach setting offers honeymoon packages with free extras.
Though the resort welcomes families and groups, the resort manages also to appeal to couples with its peaceful setting along the ocean. 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 setting.
Before dinner, guests can lounge under one of the straw huts for beautiful sunset views. Tamarijn's pool area tends to get crowded during the nightly entertainment, but next door Divi Aruba has additional outdoor seating areas for a romantic drink spot. The white daybeds by the wading pool become 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 Tamarijn's Druif Beach location facing west for spectacular sunsets. The continuous white sand leads down to lapping turquoise waves for great photo ops.
The resort's wedding planners "Aruba Weddings For You" will handle all arrangements -- they are based on-site at the Tamarijn.
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 for 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 has hosted Kim Cattrall of the Sex and 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 Divi Aruba next door.
Divi Resorts is a small group of Caribbean properties in Aruba, Bonaire, Barbados, St. Maarten and St. Croix. Sister property Divi Aruba was the first Divi property to open on the island in 1969, and the beachside rooms, also knows as "casitas", were the only rooms available when the resort opened. The Tamarijn soon followed with the first 50 rooms completed in 1975. Since then, the property grown to include a casino, nine-hole golf course and additional properties both in the Low-Rise and High-Rise hotel districts of the island. The company continues to go strong with updates and new additions added each year.
This resort stays fresh with new additions and constant upkeep.
Tamarijn Aruba renovated its outdated bathrooms in 2011, adding walk-in showers with glass partitions.
For new retail options, the Shops at Alhambra Casino opened in 2012. Ginger (a second location to the Tamarijn Aruba restaurant) also opened in 2012 to 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
The Tamarijn Aruba and Divi Aruba are both handicap accessible. There are two designated guestrooms at Tamarijn and one designated guestroom at Divi 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 in 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. Tamarijn 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 kitchens have met HACCP standards to ensure safety and food quality.
Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive is one of five Divi properties on the island. This family-friendly, 236-room resort is situated close to the shore along Druif Beach, dotted with straw beach huts for shade. Though beach space in front of the long row of two-story buildings is tight, there's a broader stretch of sand a short walk north, in front of the slightly more romantic sister resort, Divi Aruba. The all-inclusive bracelet worn by guests allows for unlimited meals and drinks at both Tamarijn Aruba and Divi 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. All rooms come with ocean views, balconies, duvets, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms have been updated, though the property as a whole does show some wear and tear.
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