If you’re looking for the perfect Caribbean island that has not only gorgeous beaches but plenty of adventures, too, head to Aruba. We’ve been all over the Caribbean, but no island compares to Aruba.
One of our favorite areas of Aruba is Palm Beach. Here you’ll find high-rise hotels running the length of the beach. We just got back from a trip to the island and had an amazing stay at Barcelo Aruba. Here’s why we love it!
1. Location: Right on Aruba’s Palm Beach
Barcelo Aruba is located right on one of the best beaches in Aruba, Palm Beach. Aruba has been blessed with some of the best beaches in the world. If you’re looking for where to stay in Aruba, you’ll want to stay right on Palm Beach.
Think pristine white sandy beach, gorgeous turquoise waters, tons of the best restaurants in Aruba & bars should you forgo an all-inclusive option, nightlife, shopping, and home to Barcelo Aruba.
2. Easy Access to the Best Nightlife in Aruba
Some of the best nightlife in Aruba is just outside of Barcelo Aruba. The hotel is located in the “high-rise” area, where you will find all the other “high-rise” hotels with shopping malls, restaurants, and bars.
If you don’t want to leave the hotel for some action, you don’t have to. Head to the Gran Salón for their nightly entertainment or the casino right at the Barcelo Aruba.
#1 Tip – Rent a car in Aruba
The best way to see Aruba is by renting a car. Driving in Aruba is super easy and safe. They drive on the right side of the road, the steering wheel on the left the same as in the USA. There is very little traffic in Aruba. Renting a car gives you so much more freedom! We always rent from Discover Cars, it is super easy, and they have the best prices.
3. Barcelo Aruba Royal Level
If you book a room in the Royal Level or upgrade to Royal Level, you’ll have several upgrades that make it worth the extra money.
Premium alcohol & beersFree room service (7 am-10 pm)Free Wi-FiRoyal Level Lounge Restaurants located on the top floor- Restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for only royal-level guests.Preferential bookings at the specialty restaurantsBeach Bar only for Royal Level onlyRooms with a view on the top floors (7-9)
There are only 35 rooms on the Royal Level. We stayed on the 8th floor. When we were checking in, it seemed there might be an option to upgrade to Royal Level amenities for a daily fee. Royal Level guests are provided with a distinct colored wristband. The week we visited, it was a black band.
4. The Pool Area
Between the towers of the Barcelo Aruba, they have created an oasis, complete with a large organically shaped pool surrounded by loungers. From the early morning until the sun goes down, the pool area gets nice sun while still having adequate umbrellas and shade when you need to escape the rays.
The center of the pool area gives way to a hot tub surrounded by large rocks that mimic the landscape of the island. The design of the pool area is top-notch and makes for a great place to spend time while at the resort.
*When looking for the best price and the biggest selection of hotels in the Caribbean, check prices on Booking.com. We’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
5. Drinks At The Swim Up Bar
On a hot day in Aruba, you’ll find yourself at the swim-up bar cooling down with a frozen drink or two throughout the day. We also love meeting other couples at the bar and hearing about their trip and other travelers.
It’s always fun to talk about other Caribbean Islands people have been to and other things to do in Aruba we possibly haven’t heard about. There is always a fun crowd at the swim-up bar.
6. Sunsets on the Beach
Barcelo Aruba is located in the perfect spot on the island for sunset. Every night the sun sinks into the sea right in front of the resort. Pull up a beach chair and grab a drink for the nightly show of natural colors.
7. Parking for your rental car included
We love the independence of having a rental car in Aruba to explore the island, and the Barcelo has parking available for you if you choose to rent a car. We love being able to go out and explore during the day and then come back to a luxurious hotel – it’s the best of all worlds!
For the best prices, book in advance on Discovercars.com. They also have free cancelations.
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8. Beach Life
There are plenty of beach chairs for guests. We’ve been to plenty of resorts where if you are up before the sunrise putting your towel down, you aren’t getting a chair. We never had trouble finding a spot on the sand.
Getting a prime seat at the pool is slightly trickier but still very doable here. We prefer the beach anyway because the water is almost as clear as the pool and the sand is about as white as it comes.
9. The Suites
There are several room types where you get some extra room to spread out while staying at Barcelo Aruba. We stayed on the royal Levels with a large suite complete with a separate living room and large bathroom.
Another perk of the suites is the generous balconies. From ours, we had nice sea views. Some rooms even come complete with a private hot tub right on the balcony!
10. Plenty of dining options
For dinner and lunch, the resort offers several options meals many of which are plated and not buffet style. At night Barcelo Aruba has Mexico Linda (Mexican), L’OlioItalian, Kyoto Japanese, Aruban Seafood, Beach Club Restaurant – Club de Playa, and The Palm.
In addition to these, the resort offers a few upgradeable dining options, including the Chef’s Table, a private dining experience with the chef, and private beachside dining can be booked also with a special menu. Royal Level guests also have access to room service from breakfast all the way into the night.
Things To Do While Staying at Barcelo Aruba
Aruba is not short of things to do and see. You could be off on a day trip exploring the island every day of the week if you’d want, but we suggest having a few days to do nothing and stay at the resort. Here are our top 4 things to do in Aruba.
1. Rent a car in Aruba
The best way to see the island is to rent a car and explore. Drive around the entire island and sink your toes into some of the best beaches in Aruba. The roads are super easy to navigate and the other drivers are respectful of the roads. As long as you can navigate a roundabout you’ll find driving in Aruba straightforward.
Renting a car in Aruba is super easy and quite cheap. On our last trip, we rented a car for 3 days for $110. We always rent on Orbitz as they have free cancelations so if we choose not to show up we don’t get charged.
2. Sunset Cruise
There is no better place for sunset than on a catamaran. Right down the beach from Barcelo Aruba, you can jump on a sunset cruise at the De Palm Pier. Enjoy a rum punch while watching the sun sink into the horizon.
3. Natural Pool
One of the coolest places to cool down on a hot day in Aruba. The Natural Pool is an adventure in itself to get to but out of this world. If you attempt to drive here yourself you need a 4×4 vehicle, trust us on this one.
There are several ATV tours and “Aruba Safari” companies that come here too. We suggest renting a Jeep in Aruba and driving yourself that way you can stay as long as you want and have the pool to yourself once the tours leave.
4. Arikok National Park
You won’t believe you’re still in Aruba in Arikok National Park. It’s so different on the other side of the island it’s like you are in a desert. The park takes up 20% of the entire island! Some of our favorite stops in the park are Quadirikiri Cave, Boca Prins, and Jamanota Hill (the highest point on the island).
Again this is where you’d want a rental car. A day pass is $11 for adults. There are several Aruba day trips that visit the park if you choose to not self-drive. For our complete list of things to do in Aruba click here.
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*Our trip was in paid collaboration with Barcelo Aruba*