Various boarding packages plus all-inclusive options
Mini-mart and specialty shops on-site
Free Wi-Fi throughout
Restaurant food quality varies
Narrow beach area can get crowded
Palapas are free but reservation-only and they go fast
Wi-Fi can be spotty
Lower-floor rooms may pick up noise
The three-and-a-half-pearl Holiday Inn Resort is a massive, family-friendly beachfront property with several lovely pools, a casino, and four restaurants and bars. The 597 rooms are all pleasant, but some are more modern than others -- they include flat-screen TVs and small furnished balconies. There are a slew of organized activities to help entertain the American and European guests who stay here, though frequently long waits for a palapa on the hotel's beach can be a nuisance. The reasonable prices and prime spot right on Palm Beach make this a decent value, especially for families with young kids. As an alternative, the Divi Village Golf & Beach Resort has similar features, rooms, and rates (plus a golf course), though its beach is across a busy road.
Massive, humble brand-name resort with a lively vibe
An open, breezy lobby with high ceilings and cream pillars greets guests at the Holiday Inn Resort. The resort itself is massive, and the first impression does little to mitigate that effect, though the abundance of activity is what draws so many people here. Specialty shops line the far right side of the lobby -- like luxury jewelers and a mini-mart -- while a line of yogis frequently mimic their teacher’s downward dog on the grass outside and onlookers relax on hammocks nearby. It’s a pleasant scene, and a lively one as well. Farther along the path through the well-landscaped ground lies a huge zero-entry pool, which even early in the morning starts filling up with children paddling around on noodles. It’s decorated by a rocky fountain and small bridge, from which you can see the crowded activity that surrounds the beach area ahead.
The style throughout the property is humble and a bit dated in most public areas. There's a lot of dark wood and paneling used throughout, and furniture is kept simple. Here and there are a few beachy accents -- like starfish on the wall behind the reception desk -- that help remind guests of where they are. The prime beachfront location, plus the hotel’s social vibe, reasonable rates, and immense range of activities makes it attractive to most travelers, but especially American couples and families.
The Holiday Inn Resort’s location might be the hotel’s best feature -- not only is it on the island’s most popular beach, it’s also in a bustling touristy center of Noord, with various restaurants and shops within walking distance. Directly across the street are the upscale Paseo Herencia Mall and Palm Beach Plaza shopping complex, which include stores, a movie theatre, samba club, and specialty shops. Popular Hostaria da Vittoria, an Italian restaurant, is also around the corner, a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Palm Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in Aruba among international tourists. In terms of the beach scene, this is the ultimate place to see and be seen, at least partially because of its crystal-clear waters and gentle current. The other reason might be the exceeding variety and quantity of restaurants, beach bars, water activities, and hotels that fill every inch of the sand. Between foot traffic from nearby shopping and the number of neighboring hotels -- including the Hyatt, Occidental, Hilton, and others -- the area is well populated at night.
It takes a little while longer to get here from the airport than most hotels on the island -- about 25 minutes in a cab. The drive to Eagle Beach is eight minutes, and downtown Oranjestad is just a bit farther -- 15 minutes or so, depending on traffic.
Classy, neutral decor and some noise issues from lower levels
The bright rooms here are mostly pleasant, though not all are as modern as others. Some rooms include a soft green color scheme with heavy cherry wood-veneer furniture that's well-kept but outdated. Other rooms have a sharper blue-and-gray color scheme with simple light wood veneer furniture that's more on-trend. Both room styles have a mix of abstract art and soft beachy landscapes hanging on the walls.
All feature amenities like coffeemakers, mini-fridges, safes, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs. Wi-Fi is free, but not always reliable. They're also spacious, and even entry-level Oceanfront King Rooms have a small seating area with a a loveseat and table-and-chairs set. The balconies in every room are also nice to have, and many have ocean or pool views. Bathrooms aren’t the biggest, but they’re bright, have a narrow shelf for storage, and feature toiletries from Bath and Body Works. Again, the style will vary and some are dated, with pink granite countertops and older fixtures, while others have sharp contemporary fixtures, sleek white vanities, and walk-in showers.
A few noise complaints from the pool-facing rooms plus the stunning ocean views from up high means it might be a good idea to request a room on the third floor or higher.
Crowded beach area, pools, several restaurants and bars, and a casino
The Holiday Inn’s designated beach area is narrow in comparison to that of the nearby Marriott and Ritz Carlton, which can make it feel crowded, though the lounge chairs are placed closer to the water here than at the neighboring hotels. One major con is the general lack of beach chairs -- it’s free to reserve them, but those that aren’t already designated for Platinum or Gold members are in high demand, and waits up to two hours for shady palapa spots aren't unheard of.
Iguanas lounge by the various bubbly whirlpools at the resort’s expansive pool area, which offers shady tiki huts, some rocky natural landscaping, and plenty of beach chairs around two huge pools. One pool is split by a bridge and has a zero-entry side where parents will often play with their young toddlers. The other side has a little watery island in the middle of it, with some lounge chairs inside -- likely the most prized lounge chairs of the whole resort.
Near the pools are various restaurants and bars, including Oceanside Bar and Grill, a restaurant within a circular rotunda serving mostly burgers and fries. Fancier meals are found at Da Vinci, the hotel’s Italian eatery. There’s also Coral’s buffet restaurant, seafood at Sea Breeze Restaurant, and Palm Bar, with light snacks and a rum bar, featuring 20 different brands of rum. Dining packages are available -- some only include breakfast and others are all-inclusive. Daily happy hours are also offered, but keep in mind that food across the board gets mixed reviews.
Otherwise the hotel offers Etnika Spa treatments, a 24-hour fitness center, and themed nights to keep guests entertained and relaxed. They even have activity zones, where they specific areas are organized by mood (one is called “Chill & Mingle”) and that include everything from tennis to diving and yoga. During our visit, the Excelsior casino, a one-room gaming spot, was swarming at midnight. Parking and Wi-Fi are both free.
Customers Who Viewed Holiday Inn Resort Aruba - Beach Resort & Casino Also Viewed