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The 10 Best Hotels in Aruba for a Truly Local Stay

By AFAR Editors

Apr 22, 2022

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The Renaissance Aruba boasts its own private island with beachside cabanas and resident flamingos.

Courtesy of Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort

The Renaissance Aruba boasts its own private island with beachside cabanas and resident flamingos.

With everything from sprawling resorts and boutique hotels to luxury condos and a city stay with two private beaches, Aruba offers endless ways to experience island life.

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The picturesque beaches along Aruba’s west coast lend the island an air of escapism unmatched in the Caribbean. Amid the white sands and sparkling waters, there are a wide range of accommodations, from supersize resorts to more boutique offerings.

Whether you prefer a beachfront resort with seemingly infinite amenities, an adults-only hotel with a focus on sustainability, or a secluded stay with overwater bungalows, the island has a place to suit your travel style. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best hotels in Aruba for a trip to remember.

The sprawling Aruba Marriott is home to the island’s largest casino and spa.

1. Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

Superlatives reign at this massive Palm Beach resort. Among the outsize offerings? The biggest casino in Aruba, with more than 500 slot machines and 26 gaming tables, as well as the island’s largest spa. Its 414 accommodations aren’t lacking for space either: Each room has a walk-in closet, double-sink bathroom, and private balcony; the highest-end suites are so palatial their balconies alone measure up to a sprawling 500 square feet—with ocean views to sweeten the deal. 

When you’re not playing roulette or indulging in a moisturizing coconut-milk wrap, kick back in one of the beachside palapas, or practice your breaststroke in the free-form pool, complete with cascading waterfalls and a volleyball net (a serene adults-only pool features a tiki bar if that’s more your speed). In keeping with the more-is-more theme, guests are spoiled for choice with seven on-site restaurants, bars, and cafés, including a Ruth’s Chris Steak House, where the 500-degree plates ensure another best—the hottest meal in town.

Casitas at the Boardwalk Boutique Hotel feature private patios with hammocks and charcoal barbecues.

2. Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba

Aruba’s Palm Beach is known for its powdery white sand, tranquil blue waters, and sprawling full-service luxury resorts. Just steps away, however, the intimate Boardwalk Boutique Hotel is a laid-back alternative. Owned and operated by Belgian twin sisters Stephanie and Kimberly Rooijakkers, who were born on the island and spent their childhoods there, the 46 casitas are scattered on the grounds of a former coconut plantation and individually decorated: studio, one-, and two-bedroom spaces are outfitted with bright pinks, yellows, and aquas, fully equipped kitchens, air-conditioning, and private patios with their own charcoal barbecues and hammocks.

There are also two pools on site (one for relaxing, one with over-water hammocks and cocktail service), plus guests have access to a private area on Palm Beach with traditional Aruban huts and comfy sunbeds. Breakfast and lunch offerings include vegan and plant-based fare from local Eduardo’s Beach Shack, and can be delivered to your casita or one of the pools, but with no restaurant on site dinner is up to you.

Pack your days at the Hilton Aruba with watersports, spa treatments, and family-friendly activities.

3. Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

This Palm Beach resort lets type A vacationers make the most of every minute of their trip. For families, the jam-packed roster of activities ranges from cycling tours and bird interactions to cupcake decorating, beach marble races, and scavenger hunts. Meanwhile, adults can keep busy on their own at the beachfront fitness center and eforea spa, which offers native aloe experiences, outdoor cabanas, and signature treatments. 

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Have a little down time? The 357 rooms have an airy, modern feel; each also has its own private balcony or patio ideal for enjoying island breezes. For those happy to while away the hours near the water, chaise longues surround two palm-fringed pools, and plenty of beachside palapas sit just steps from the sea. There are also six different dining options on site, from a tapas-style breakfast spot and high-end steakhouse to a seafood shack and cocktail bar with live entertainment.

In addition to a swim-up bar, the pool at the Hyatt Regency has waterfalls, Jacuzzis, and a two-story slide.

4. Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino

You won’t find a better pool than the one that awaits at this 359-room, family-friendly resort situated on the powdery sands of Palm Beach. With cascading waterfalls, a swim-up bar and grill, two outdoor Jacuzzis, and a two-story waterslide, the 8,000-square-foot stunner is every kid’s dream. If more adult-centric diversions are on your wish list, the concierge can arrange catamaran-sailing excursions, deep-sea fishing trips, and snorkeling and scuba-diving expeditions off nearby shores, as well as spa treatments that utilize local ingredients like red mud, seaweed, and aloe vera. 

The resort’s nine dining options provide plenty of atmosphere for winding down after a jam-packed day: sample seafood specialties like miso-glazed Chilean sea bass in a setting inspired by the island’s plantation ruins, or watch the sunset over the water, rum punch in hand, from your perfect perch at the pier bar.

With spacious rooms, a plush spa, and top-notch dining, The Ritz is luxury defined.

5. The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Travelers hoping to find the lap of luxury in Aruba need look no further than the Ritz-Carlton. Backed by the aquamarine waters of Palm Beach, the resort’s 320 rooms are generously sized, with cheery turquoise-and-yellow color schemes and balconies overlooking the ocean. Leisure pursuits can be as easy as a daytime doze in a poolside cabana or as strenuous as a catamaran sailing trip complete with a diving lesson. 

Need a break from all that sun? Indoor facilities include a spa that specializes in island-inspired treatments (think full-body massages with local aloe and divi-divi tree oil) and a state-of-the-art gym that opens at 6 a.m. so guests can sneak in early-morning workouts. Before you roll your eyes, consider the four on-site restaurants (BLT Steak, from noted chef Laurent Tourondel, is a favorite). For an even more memorable experience, staff can arrange a private sunset dinner on the beach to the tune of a serenading violinist.

Get apartment-style accommodations with resort-style amenities at Blue Aruba Rentals.

6. Blue Aruba Rentals

Situated in three high-rise towers on the Golden Mile along Eagle Beach, the Blue Aruba complex is home to luxury condominiums available for both short- and long-term stays. Expect enormous windows with stunning ocean views and modern furnishings in apartment-style configurations that top out at more than 2,000 square feet; most come with fully equipped kitchens, and ground-floor residences have private patios and Jacuzzis. All the resort touches are here, including beach facilities, an infinity pool, a spa and fitness center, and even a high-end restaurant that offers eight-course dinners. But golf lovers have an excellent reason to venture off-resort: The nearby Tierra del Sol Resort combines tee times on an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones II with sublime seaside panoramas.

The eco-pioneering Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort was the first carbon-neutral resort hotel in North America.

7. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort

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It’s easy to see why Eagle Beach is touted as one of the world’s best shorelines. Studded with iconic fofoti trees and backed by sparkling waters, the powder-like sand draws sun worshippers and, a few months out of the year, the highest concentration of nesting turtles on the island. The eco-pioneering Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort is especially mindful of its unique setting, supporting local wildlife initiatives and ensuring it has the lowest electricity usage (per occupied room) of any hotel in Aruba. It was also the first carbon-neutral resort hotel in North America.

A focus on health pervades the adults-only property, which has its own certified wellness specialists; yoga, Pilates, and tai chi classes; a restaurant that sources local, organic produce; and air dehumidifiers and purifiers in each of its 104 rooms. Yet guests can still expect traditional island-style pampering: romantic offerings include beachside dining in a private, candlelit cabana under the rustle of swaying palm fronds. 

Two of the swanky rooms at Ocean Z boast infinity pools with hydrotherapy jets.

8. Ocean Z Boutique Hotel

Conceived by Venezuelan architect Óscar Enrique Bracho Malpica, the Malmok Beach beauty, Ocean Z Boutique Hotel, stands out from the pastel pack with its modernist aesthetic: think wall-to-wall windows and pitched roofs, as well as gauzy curtains and minimalist furnishings in a palette of creamy whites and beiges (don’t miss Philippe Starck’s Kong chairs in the lounge). 

The 13 rooms and suites come in a range of impressive configurations: Two have their own infinity pools equipped with hydrotherapy jets, two have sprawling 1,076-square-foot solariums, and most have spacious outdoor showers that open onto private wooden decks; all bathrooms come with rain showerheads and a range of luxe SPA Bulgari toiletries. In keeping with the contemporary feel, a wealth of high-tech amenities make the modern traveler feel right at home, including 48-inch flat-screen LCD smart TVs, Bose alarm clocks with Bluetooth capability, and Buscaglione espresso machines.

The Renaissance Wind Creek offers the best of both worlds: a downtown location and a private island of its own.

9. Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort 

Upon your arrival at this 555-room resort, you might be disappointed to find a small pool instead of sandy palapas overlooking the sea. But the Renaissance makes up for its location on a busy thoroughfare in the capital city of Oranjestad with its own private island, a 40-acre oasis dotted with pink flamingos and iguanas. After an eight-minute water-taxi ride, you can choose between two distinct beaches—one adults-only, the other designated for families—plus an array of vacation-friendly amenities. A beachside bar and grill serves burgers and wood-fired pizzas; an open-air spa offers massages, facials, and body scrubs; and an extensive water-sports program includes activities like snorkeling, scuba diving, and ocean kayaking. If that’s not enough to tire you out for the evening, a steakhouse and casino await back at the main resort.

Stay in the island’s only over-water bungalows at Aruba Ocean Villas.

10. Aruba Ocean Villas

Nestled on the beach in the small town of Savaneta, Aruba Ocean Villas is home to the island’s only over-water bungalows, the most camera-ready of which is the Isla Alistaire. A favorite of Instagram influencers, it offers gorgeous sunset views and a hammock strung over a cut-out in the broad wooden deck so guests can sway over the water.

Should you not have the budget for an over-water room, there are also a variety of waterfront and bungalow-style accommodations available, some with direct access to the sand. Additional amenities at the hotel include a popular seafood restaurant, spa services, and complimentary use of watersports equipment like snorkels and paddleboards. If you’re staying for more than three nights, be sure to ask the concierge for a private photographic island tour.

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