They call Aruba “One Happy Island” for good reasons, and our happy little family felt right at home in those famous warm waters and white sands. Our stay at the Tamarijn Aruba All-Inclusive Resort was awesome because we didn’t have to think about much more than which beach chairs we would occupy each day.
Traveling To Aruba
There are no direct flights to Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) in Oranjestad, Aruba from our home town in San Diego (SAN). However, we were able to book good routes with American Airlines that got us there happy and rested.
Once we arrived at the Tamarijn the check-in was easy, and we were escorted to our rooms on one of the property’s zippy golf carts. These carts with drivers came in handy, and were available at our beck and call to drive us places we did not want to walk. After all, it was an all-inclusive vacation and we enjoyed being driven everywhere like royalty. Talk about a luxury resort!
Caribbean Rooms on the White Sand
One of the reasons we loved the Tamarijn was its low-rise buildings located right on the beach. Stretched out along the white sands of Divi Beach, just south of Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, the Tamarijn rooms are situated in two-story buildings with all rooms facing the ocean. From our oceanfront ground floor rooms, we simply opened the slider and walked out on to the beach.
We reserved two adjoining rooms, one with a king bed for the parents and one with two queen beds for the girls. (Nightly rates start at about $490 for two guests, all-inclusive with food, drinks and on-property activities. You may find different vacation packages and special offers available). Although not enormous, our rooms provided plenty of space for us to move around. There were places to store our things and not get in each other’s ways. Each room contains two closet areas – one open space by the front door with hangers, shelves and an easy place to store the luggage. The other closet was a built-in unit with two hanging spaces, a safe and a mini-frig. Next to this, our chest of drawers easily fit all our beach clothes and swim trunks. The beds were super comfortable, with fluffy pillows and soft linens. Importantly, the air conditioning (which is absolutely necessary) worked beautifully to provide us with a cool slumber.
For those seeking privacy, the ground floor rooms may not supply as much of that as you might like. There is a boardwalk winding through the sands between the rooms and the ocean. Positioned right on the beach, this boardwalk serves as the main thoroughfare to the resort center and restaurants. Walking home from dinner at night along this boardwalk, we were able to see into people’s rooms if their lights were on and curtains open. I don’t know about you, but one of the reasons I like staying so close to the ocean is to see and hear the waves at night. Here, it’s best to do that in the dark if you plan to stay on the ground floor. It was a trade-off we did not at all mind, considering we were able to walk out directly on to the sand.
Note on WIFI: The resort WIFI was free and strong throughout the property, even from the beach!
Easy Beach Access
In front of our rooms, several dozen palapas were positioned to favorably catch the Caribbean sun or shade, depending on the mood. Lounge chairs were stacked neatly each night, ready for us to grab and place under a palapa each morning. We threw a couple of towels and a book or two on the chairs, and set out for coffee and breakfast while the girls slept in. It was beyond wonderful to just roll out of bed and into the ocean for a morning dip.
One note on the lounge chairs: People in Aruba Beach Resorts bring their A-game when scouting out spots, so we had to be early and nimble to grab chairs on the beachfront real estate of our choice. Snooze in, and we would have lost our opportunity for a prime spot. This is definitely one of those cases where the early bird gets the worm!
All-Inclusive Package Makes It Easy
When traveling with kids in tow, we’ve learned to be parents that go with the flow. When our girls were young, the best laid plans were sometimes thrown off track. Often one of our kids had a melt-down after too many daytime activities. Many a vacation dinner reservation was changed or cancelled at the last minute because someone woke up from their nap cranky. Now as teens our girls have different reasons for being cranky, but they still throw us off schedule.
Not to worry with all-inclusive dining, because they snapped that colorful little bracelet on our wrists when we checked in. From there, we could just saunter into any of the restaurants at the Tamarijn whenever we wanted.
The beauty of an all-inclusive package is that you can eat as you please, when you please. No arguing over who gets to pick the restaurant, or trying to make a kid eat when they aren’t hungry. At the Tamarijn, there are a variety of restaurant choices to please any palate. The main restaurant, Cunucu Terrace, features a buffet that is out of this world. Serving tables stuffed full of delicious dishes ranging from salads to carved meats to all manor of side dishes and desserts. There is also a very nice Italian restaurant called Paparazzi, complete with a grand piano and white table cloths. Another is Ginger, an Asian restaurant with a sampling of dishes inspired by Japan and other countries.
And if that isn’t enough, the Tamarijn’s sister property Divi Aruba All-Inclusive is just down the beach. Our wristbands worked there too, giving us access to that beach resort’s restaurants as well.
The strangest thing for us about the all-inclusive dining happened at the end of each meal. With no check to sign or bill to pay, we felt awkward just standing up and walking out. We joked that we were dining and dashing, and the kids thought that was pretty funny. (No ideas, kids!)
Activities and Water Sports Galore
The Tamarijn definitely felt like it catered to kids and families, with lots of activities to keep everyone entertained. We could borrow bikes from the activities hut and ride along the boardwalks to explore other beaches or the downtown area. Nearby, a giant chess set waited for thoughtful players. Near the beach, a shuffleboard court was set up and ready for fun.
Down the way, the Tamarijn shares a stretch of beach club area with its sister property, the Divi Aruba All-Inclusive Resort. Here we found water sports like ocean kayaks, snorkel gear, air rafts and other beach toys for endless hours of fun and games. Head a little farther north and you come to Eagle Beach, and Palm Beach after that. All of these areas are filled to the brim with water sports and other activities for the whole family.
There certainly is plenty for families to enjoy in Aruba. We’re so happy we had an opportunity to visit this beautiful and friendly island and stay at the Tamarijn All-Inclusive Resort. From check-in to check-out, it was big fun for our whole family!