The Best Beach Hotels to Book in Aruba

Get a flavour of Aruba with a stroll on the beach to see the flamingos
Get a flavour of Aruba with a stroll on the beach to see the flamingos | Courtesy of Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort / Expedia
Ashley Pope

Compared with the brochure, big-hitters – Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua and Grenada – the southern Dutch-Caribbean outcrop of Aruba flies under the radar. But it’s not a bad thing – it’s a holiday discovery which will surprise and delight. It ranks among the safest islands in the West Indies, all the prerequisites for a paradise getaway are present and correct: egg-timer-soft white sands, horizons of photogenic shaggy palms and sea shallows the iridescent blue of topaz. Best of all, Aruba hotels are, without exception, devoted to world-class service, whether you want activities to keep the young ones happy, or fine dining is more to your taste. Read on and explore the best bookable with Culture Trip.

1. The Ritz-Carlton Aruba, for international-class beachy luxury

Hotel

A bird-eye view of the swimming pool and outdoor seating area at the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, next to a beach
Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Aruba / Expedia

Aruba gets back to nature on the northwest coast: cacti rise beside dirt roads best tackled by 4WD. In glamorous contrast stands the Ritz-Carlton Aruba, several stories high, butterscotch and imposing, gazing out over clear blue Caribbean waters and apricot sunsets. This is luxury magnified (even if you choose an entry-level limited-view room), plushly curtained and carpeted. We advise a junior suite or higher for sweeping marine views. The highlight? Apart from the 15,000sqft (1,390sqm) beachfront spa, it’s surely the shrimp tacos at Madero Pool & Beach Grill as you watch swimmers and strollers on Palm Beach.

2. Family fun at Barceló Aruba

Resort

A stylish king room at the Barceló Aruba, with a cushioned bed and wooden headboard with lamps and TV
Courtesy of Barceló Aruba / Expedia

Beach hotels in Aruba don’t get more hulking than the 370-plus room Barceló Aruba, towering over the sands of Palm Beach. Yet you won’t find a more relaxing space in northwest Aruba for lazing under the palms by the foaming shallows. Young ones love it here – the Kids Club keeps children aged four to twelve active from 9am to 5pm. For adults? There’s a natural lake-form pool edged by rocks and palms, as well as two hydro-massage pools. Tennis and golf lovers are catered for. Speaking of catering, the ​​All-Inclusive programme covers seven restaurants and three bars. Don’t miss sushi dining at Kyoto, for starters.

3. Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort, for culinary heaven

Resort

Bungalow over the blue sea at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort
Courtesy of Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort / Expedia

To its returning clients, this is the best beach hotel Aruba has to offer – particularly once they’ve found Renaissance Island, a guests-only sandy outcrop plied by complimentary water taxis. Book a private cabana with hammocks over the sea, and lunch the afternoon away at Papagayo Bar & Grill – or sip a beer at Mangrove Beach Bar as flamingos stalk by. The rooms are spotless at the Renaissance, handily set in Oranjestad: Scandi-pale, cool and high-raftered, whether you choose a resort or island-view. When dinner beckons, so do seven restaurants. Try L G Smith’s Steak and Chop House for the Black Angus beef.

4. Spin the wheel at Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

Resort

A beach with shades and view of the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino
Courtesy of Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino / Expedia

With 12 casinos, Aruba may be the best island in the Caribbean if you’re game. As its full name indicates, the Hilton has a Vegas-worthy playground with 200 slot machines and table games from roulette to Caribbean stud poker. Not your scene? Not a problem – in the heart of the Palm Beach strip, the Hilton is handy for bronzing days and clubbing nights. Of course, you don’t even need to step out – on-site drinking and dining are diverse, from poolside cocktails to beachside seafood, lagoon-edge brunches to lobby coffees. And the rooms and suites are serenely clean and cool – made for idling in.

5. Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba, for eco-principles

Resort

A hotel and beach view at the Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba
Courtesy of Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort Aruba / Expedia

With a touch of the Dutch village to this upbeat retreat – maybe it’s down to the gabled facades and gingerbready facades. There is certainly the antithesis of international brand-bland. Take the low-footprint ethos – staff strive to protect hatched turtles, with a monthly clean-up on the sands, so you can join in to help keep Eagle Beach spotless. Whether you splurge on the penthouse suite or go low with the manor studio, rooms ooze character, all whirring ceiling fans and gaily toned bedspreads. For dinner, visit Passions on the Beach – and try the calypso shrimp with spicy piña colada-red curry creamy sauce.

6. Designer good looks at Ocean Z Boutique Hotel Aruba

Boutique Hotel

A outside area at the Ocean Z Boutique Hotel Aruba with a swimming pool
Courtesy of Ocean Z Boutique Hotel Aruba / Expedia

Noord, the far-northern tip of Aruba, is famous for Palm Beach, which is the vacation epicentre. Here you’ll find white-on-white Ocean Z Boutique Hotel, set among palms. It’s an urban-groovy five-star hideaway, designed by an excellent Venezuelan architect: low-rise, with a fashionable slash of blue pool; there’s a scattering of pale-pine-floored rooms and suites overlooking the swimmers doing lengths. Popular with wedding parties, it’s a lively property, but dinners at the Med-flavoured restaurant are as romantic as they’re restful, you’ll realise, as you both fork your way through linguine frutti di mare.

7. Playa Linda Beach Resort, for food, glorious food

Resort

A swimming pool and outside area at the Playa Linda Beach Resort in Aruba
Courtesy of Playa Linda Beach Resort / Expedia

There is something Aztec-futuristic about this giant stepped complex: 215 rooms cover nine categories, from the entry-level studio, via luxury spa lanai suite (sleeping six), to a California-worthy three-bedroom townhouse. In the tourist-loved hotspot of Palm Beach, it’s got the works: from kids club and family pool to DIY BBQ grills, aqua-aerobics to basketball and tennis courts. More lazily, you might idle under a parasol – Palm Beach runs for six sandy miles – or switch off in the spa, where Aruban aloe features in balmy treatments. Go Greek at Kouzina restaurant – one of 14 excellent dining and drinking spots.

8. Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, for palm tree beauty

Resort

A double room with a balcony in the Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort, with a balcony and sea views
Courtesy of Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort / Expedia

It’s hulking, it’s a high-rise and for a good reason – or reasons – it’s hugely popular among budget-minded Caribbean sunseekers with families in tow. There’s the massive expanse of safe, sandy Palm Beach, waiting for tiny footprints. The highly Instagrammable pool has a handy children’s section. And PureBeach Bar & Restaurant (one of three fine places to indulge) has a menu loaded with pizzas, burgers and nachos. Head out for a day trip to De Palm Island and you’re in for a treat, from the water park to banana-boat rides. You’ll sleep soundly later, in rooms of zingy, nautical blue-and-white furnishings.

To experience Aruba as locals do, discover our guide to where to stay in Aruba for a local experience, bookable with Culture Trip. Or heading to Curaçao? Discover our guide to the best hotels on the island and book now on Culture Trip.

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