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Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino {ABW}

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino {ABW}

Old Feb 12, 04, 1:50 pm
  #1  
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Arrow Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino {ABW}

Posts older than 2016 rebranding as a Hilton for this OPEN THREAD can be found in the

ARCHIVE THREAD for Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino

Links to moved posts should still work.

Kiwi Flyer
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Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Jul 2, 16 at 8:14 pm
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Old Mar 4, 16, 8:21 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Have some friends staying here in a couple of weeks using a US Govt rate. She is HH Gold. She called the hotel with a couple of questions regarding the hotel. When she inquired about her chances of an upgrade at check-in, she was told since she was using a Govt. rate they would not upgrade her. Anyone had any experiences getting upgraded as a gold?
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Old Mar 25, 16, 5:05 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Absolutely. Breakfast at Gilligans every day was a great part of our trip! Loved it there every morning!

- John...
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Old Mar 31, 16, 5:04 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta
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When I called the hotel, I talked with the manager on duty. We received our 3 Hilton reservations (staying for 6 nights). She was very friendly and assured us that all Diamond benefits apply. She said that if we can not be accommodated in the lounge, we will receive a coupon for a free appetizer and drink each night. Guess we'll see this Sunday. Anyone know if the lounge has s dress code? Shorts and button up t-shirt ok?
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Old Apr 15, 16, 7:53 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Jersey, USA
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Trouble in Paradise...

Just completed a 4-night stay as an HH gold at this property. We had booked an Executive Level, partial ocean view room in January 2016. As is the case with most Hilton properties, a room on the Exec level is significantly more expensive that the same room on a lower floor.

Upon arrival, we were given a 6th floor standard room, partial view and passes for the lounge. When we complained about not being on an Executive level, we were told that the hotel has done away with "Executive floor" rooms. Three separate conversations at the front desk and a demand to speak with the manager resulted in us being transferred to the seventh floor, full ocean view room. The seventh floor was an Executive floor (the lounge is on the eighth floor). Needless to say, the new room had better/nicer amenities than what we had on 6. For example, new room had a massive lounging chair with integrated ottoman, bathrobes in the closet, etc.

I recognize that the hotel may change the classifications of the rooms but not honoring previous reservations that guests paid a premium for is an unadulterated bait-and-switch. In contrast, when I have stayed at other Hilton properties, the staff went out of their way to upgrade us and treat us well (I'm looking at you London Hilton Tower Bridge!). At the Hilton Aruba I feel that the hotel intentionally tried to downgrade us on the sly.

As for the lounge, it was great during breakfast and evening reception. Tea time was rather pathetic and snacks had to be requested during this time. Most of the lounge staff was awesome, however one supervisor there was dreadful and seemed to try to discourage us and everyone else from using the lounge.

On 2 of the 4 days we got breakfast coupons to eat in the restaurant, which is supposed to be at Laguna's. The passes can also be accepted at Gilligan's, which is where we ate. If taking breakfast at Gilligan's, be sure to show the coupons to the wait staff prior to seating because some of them know how to ring them up and others don't.

Other highlights of the trip were the awesome beach and the aviary. Pepe the Cockatoo was especially friendly and entertaining. For those that need it, there is a Dunkin' Donuts at the edge of the property on the beach. It is on the dock between the Hilton and the Riu, which is the hotel on the adjacent property.

As for condition of the property, our rooms were satisfactory but showing signs of age. Typical with Caribbean style, there is a lot of dark wood in the rooms and scratches tend to show easily. The maintenance department has been generous with the caulk in the bathrooms over the years. The open-air lobby is lovely but we also got a glimpse of the Marriott lobby which is enclosed and air conditioned. I would rate the Marriott's lobby half a star nicer.

Reserving a Palapa (large fixed beach umbrella made of palms) is recommended. You can reserve a Palapa for the next day if you queue up for 4:00 p.m. assignment at the towel hut. Some people get on line early for this (i.e. 3:15) but we waited until the line subsided (4:20) and got one every day.

In summary, this property has the potential to be awesome but we got off to a bad start with not being given the Executive Level room that we paid for immediately upon check-in.

Feel free to post any questions or comments - we greatly appreciated the info from previous guests and would like to pay it forward.

SilverGoat
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Old Apr 15, 16, 1:07 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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SilverGoat--You mentioned Marriott( we also got a glimpse of the Marriott lobby) -- how does the beach compare?
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Old Apr 15, 16, 3:53 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: New Jersey, USA
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Aruba Marriott vs. Hilton

The beaches are virtually identical. The Marriott Stellaris also has the same Palapa umbrellas, both have food & beverage service on the beach.

The Hilton's pool area seemed a bit larger, but the Marriott had more restaurants/bars near the beach to choose from.

Lastly, the Marriott had a fair amount of seaweed in the shallow water, the Hilton had less. You can't go wrong with either one.
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Old Apr 16, 16, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by SilverGoat View Post
The beaches are virtually identical. The Marriott Stellaris also has the same Palapa umbrellas, both have food & beverage service on the beach.

The Hilton's pool area seemed a bit larger, but the Marriott had more restaurants/bars near the beach to choose from.

Lastly, the Marriott had a fair amount of seaweed in the shallow water, the Hilton had less. You can't go wrong with either one.
TKS
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Old Apr 18, 16, 7:43 pm
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Originally Posted by SPLP007 View Post
SilverGoat--You mentioned Marriott( we also got a glimpse of the Marriott lobby) -- how does the beach compare?
IMO.. The beach area in front of the Hllton is much better then the Marriott. I have found the Marriott to be more crowded.. More likely to have a slimy bottom. Also the fact you can reserve a hut ahead of time and at the Hilton is worth gold to me since I hate getting up in the morning and I only want the front row.

When you check in at the Hilton.. they give everyone a card to make charges to your room.. If you are gold member they will be CB on that card for continental breakfast. We used the credit to eat some days at Gilligans and some at Laguna Buffet.

Also asked for an upgrade and got a suite.

After renovations this place will be great...
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Old Apr 19, 16, 2:00 pm
  #10  
 
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Palapas can be reserved at both properties. I do not know the costs at the Marriott, but the Hilton charges $40 per day for a waterfront palapa (further from the water is less expensive). Reserve it the day before at the towel hut before 3:00 p.m.

And I agree with gogiantsfan11, after some renovations the Hilton will be awesome.
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Old Apr 19, 16, 8:00 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by SilverGoat View Post
Palapas can be reserved at both properties. I do not know the costs at the Marriott, but the Hilton charges $40 per day for a waterfront palapa (further from the water is less expensive). Reserve it the day before at the towel hut before 3:00 p.m.

And I agree with gogiantsfan11, after some renovations the Hilton will be awesome.
Silvergoat - you sure you can reserve at the Marriott ahead of time.?. My understanding you can reserve for a fee once you get there but only 3 days at a time....At the Hilton I reserved months in advance to get what I wanted Front row hut was $35 dollars and I reserved for my 8 days.
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Old Apr 21, 16, 12:54 pm
  #12  
 
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I do not know the details of reserving a palapa in advance at the Marriott. We stayed that the Hilton and learned the routine for that property, which is that you can reserve a specific one for a fee in advance. Reserving for a fee must be completed by 3:00 p.m. the day before (I don't know how far in advance you can do this, but if you're willing to pay in advance, I suspect that the Hilton will gladly accept!). At 4:00 p.m. you can reserve a palapa at the Hilton for no charge, on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is why people queue up starting at 3:30 - you can usually get a waterfront location if you are early. We were happy with NOT waiting on line and getting a palapa further back. The upside for us was that we were closer to the pool, restroom and restaurants.

While in Aruba we caught up with some friends that were staying at the Marriott and we went to their property and hung out on the beach with them. My impression was that the Marriott also offered reserving a palapa in advance for a fee but I do not know the specific procedure or how far in advance this can be done.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 10:25 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Considering this property or the Hyatt. Am Diamond with both. Can anyone thats been to both provide a comparison? Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 26, 16, 11:37 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by gogiantsfan11 View Post
IMO.. The beach area in front of the Hllton is much better then the Marriott. I have found the Marriott to be more crowded.. More likely to have a slimy bottom.
As someone that was just there a few days ago (and stayed at both the Holiday Inn next to the Marriott and at the Hilton), I absolutely agree with this. I think the Hilton has the best beach on the strip between the beach quality itself and their palapa setup. Also, the ocean bottom really was slimy near the Holiday Inn and Marriott -- and NOT that way at the Hilton. Freaked my wife out a bit at the HI/Marriott end.

When you check in at the Hilton.. they give everyone a card to make charges to your room.. If you are gold member they will be CB on that card for continental breakfast. We used the credit to eat some days at Gilligans and some at Laguna Buffet.
Not sure if this is still the case? They did this for me (as a Gold) back in October, but now that the Lounge is open, they seem to be pushing people only to the Lounge and granting a breakfast pass at one of the restaurants ONLY if the Lounge is absolutely full. That being said, maybe it is different for Gold and Diamond (since I'm Diamond now -- which includes the lounge access but Gold only does under certain circumstances).

In any case, I asked if we could do Gilligan's instead of the Lounge and was told no -- only if the lounge was completely full. That being said, I ended up being glad the way it worked out -- because the Exec Lounge breakfast (and especially the 5-7pm evening time) turned out to be great!

- John...
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Old Apr 26, 16, 3:55 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Great review!

How did you transit from the airport to the hotel? What are some of the options available?
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