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Oyster Hotel Review
A lack of activities make for a less lively atmosphere than at most Aruban resorts.
Until recently, the Tropicana Aruba was part of La Cabana, the resort that looms directly across from the hotel's parking lot. In fact, some of the bathtubs are still emblazoned with "La Cabana" in bold, raised lettering.
As for the general vibe and character at the hotel, you are likely to hear some 1990s Latin pop music at the pools, but the rest of the resort remains extremely quiet. In the lobby, the only sounds tend to come from the bellmen and the breeze.
Overall, you can find a much better hotel for the money elsewhere. And you don't have to take my word for it: Read through a year's worth of TripAdvisor reviews and you'll likely spot titles like "Don't Stay at the Tropicana Aruba," "The Web Site Lies!" "Not What I Expected," and "What a DUMP!" Although, an early 2011 change in management and renovations to the bedrooms have seen an upsurge in support for the dated resort.
To get to Eagle Beach, you either have to walk for 10 minutes past La Cabana's property and cross a highway, or ride the tram that takes guests to and from the water. A few restaurants, including Le Petit Café, line the way, but it's mostly parking lots and palm trees.
- Seven-minute, $10 to $15 cab ride from downtown Oranjestad
- Five minutes from the High-Rise shopping complex,
- Though there is an overpriced mini-mart on the property, there's a supermarket across the street
- About 15 minutes from the airport ($20 to $25 by taxi)
Eagle Beach is one of the nicest beaches in Aruba. The sand is as white as the volleyball poles, and the sunset looks like a National Geographic spread.
- The resort has a limited number of thatched-roof palapas available to guests free of charge on the beach, though you may need to show up by about 6 a.m. to claim one.
- There are no beach towels available at the beach itself, though the hotel passes them out to guests in the pool area.
- The resort doesn't have any food facilities on the beach, but there are other restaurants nearby.
Updates to the rooms include new beds, bedding and rugs, but bathrooms are still outdated
A one-bedroom suite
Since the Tropicana Aruba is mostly devoted to time-shares, every guest room is either a one-, two- or three-bedroom suite. All come equipped with kitchens that include refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, coffeemakers, and even blenders, making it easy for guests to cook their own food. All living room couches are also sleeper sofas.
After a renovation, all rooms have new beds and bedding, curtains, rugs and flat-screen TVs. There have also been updates to to the roof, elevators and TVs (with an expansion in programming.) Unfortunately the bathrooms are still outdated.
- Narrow balcony, barely able to fit its plastic table and chairs.
- Color TV with HBO, Showtime, Cinemaz and Starz
- Given the Tropicana Aruba's distance from the beach, none of its rooms have ocean views; the best you can hope for is a nice view of the pool.
Eagle Beach is separated from the resort by a large highway, so accordingly the hotel puts a lot of effort into its two free-form pools.
- The quieter adult pool has a shady grotto jutting off its end.
- The kids' pool has a 150-foot-long waterslide and the swim-up bar
- The only real poolside activity is water aerobics every day from 11 a.m. to noon.
- The fitness center offers top-notch cardio equipment, including ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes, in addition to free weights and weight machines.
- 10 beach tennis courts
- Free internet in public areas, but not the rooms
Some parents might worry about their children getting sick from dirty rooms, mildewy curtains, and cranked up air conditioners. Others might detest having to cross a four-lane highway with small children to get to the beach. In short, there are probably worse places to go with kids, but there are certainly betters ones too.
- 150-foot waterslide at the pool
- Very little action at night to keep kids awake
- The Tropicana Aruba's suites can easily sleep five people.
- Kitchens enable families to economize meals
Dirt, mildew, and general wear and tear pervade the resort's rooms.
I found stains and specks of dirt all over the white-tile floor, and a circular rust imprint taunted me by the bathroom's tissue dispenser. I encountered mosquitoes in the bedroom and living room, and found the crevices in the floor tiles to contain more than an acceptable amount of grime and dust. The TV screens had greasy smudges over the displays. The bathroom, in all its turquoise glory, smelled a little musty.
Beyond the particulars, the rooms just don't feel clean. In many rooms, the dull vanilla walls and old furniture look like they haven't been renovated in more than a decade.
Between the two on-site restaurants, guests are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
The Tropicana Aruba currently has three restaurant options, two of which are open for all three meal times. Pizza Bob's serves up pizza and other Italian dishes like lasagna; it's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Poolside is Bikini's Bar & Grill, which has daily happy hour specials and live music on Sundays. Double Down Sports Bar & Grill serves up typical sports bar dishes in a casual restaurant.
Also available is a Dunkin' Donuts and a Baskin Robbins. Both are open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Not surprisingly, most guests at the Tropicana Aruba choose to take advantage of their kitchenettes and cook their own food. The closest major supermarket, Superfoods, is about five minutes away by car.
A 362-suite property, the Tropicana Aruba is minutes from shopping, downtown Oranjestad, and the Aruba International Airport. However, even with its stocked kitchens, the outdated bathrooms and 10-minute walk to the beach make the Tropicana Aruba a less-than-ideal option.
This Hotel Also Featured In
Things You Should Know About Tropicana Aruba Resort & Casino
- 25 J.E. Irausquin Blvd, Oranjestad, Aruba
Hotel Is Also Known As...
- Aruba La Cabana
- Aruban Hotel Oranjestad
- Aruban Resort Casino
- La Cabana Resort Aruba
- The Aruban Hotel
- The Aruban Resort & Casino at Eagle Beach
- One Bedroom Suite
- Penthouse Suite
- Three Bedroom Suite
- Two Bedroom Suite