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Aruba is one big happy island and one of the most popular in the southern Caribbean. Its charm is staring you in the face. Think white-sand beaches, windswept vistas, and the great outdoors, whether terra firma or underwater. Think diving into shipwrecks, swimming with turtles, horseback riding, hiking, and more. A cutesy capital and lots of activities sum up Aruba in a nutshell. The island is also bursting with all-inclusive resorts, which makes it very popular with families. A family vacation might sound like a task, but Aruba hotels for families step up to the task – and how! They have everything from like water parks and kids’ pools to excellent kids’ clubs. They go beyond mere offerings like family rooms, striving to make the experience memorable for everyone.
What’s more, there’s so much to explore on the island. Children will especially love playing in the water at Arashi beach and visiting interesting places like the Butterfly Farm and Donkey Sanctuary. If your kids love the outdoors, then the nature trail at Arikok National Park is perfect. In addition, there are underwater tours, bowling alleys, and even snorkeling opportunities. All-in-all, Aruba makes for a great family destination with rich culture and history, year-round sunshine, and a laundry list of things to do. To that end, here are the best family hotels in Aruba that are the perfect base for families visiting this Dutch Caribbean island.
Where to Stay in Aruba?
Aruba is perhaps the most picturesque of all islands in the Caribbean. In fact, all that separates it from Venezuela on the South American mainland is a small water channel. The island might be tiny, but it has some amazing seaside neighborhoods that you can choose to stay at. To start with, there’s Palm Beach in the north, which is the biggest and most iconic beach. It’s also home to Aruba’s biggest brand hotels. if you’re looking for non-resort family accommodation close to Palm Beach, Monserat will be the way to go. The innately Dutch neighborhood is as luxurious as its neighbor but quieter. Hadicurari and Eagle beaches, which lie north and south of Palm beach respectively, also make for great places to stay.
If exploring Aruba’s culture and history is your priority, then there’s no better place to stay than in the capital Oranjestad. Aside from shopping avenues and restaurants, it also has museums and historical sites. Sitting between Palm Beach and Oranjestad is Aruba Downtown, which is often called as the “Amsterdam of the Caribbean.” The 18th-century neighborhood is a beautiful mix of Dutch-Colonial architecture and traditional Caribbean vibes.
What makes Aruba’s hotels for families special is that many of them participate in a program called “One Happy Family.” Formerly known as the One Cool Family program, it especially caters to family vacations. It usually runs for the months of July and August and includes free accommodation and breakfast for children below the age of 12 years.
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Sitting right at the southern end of Palm Beach is the fabulous Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, the island’s first and largest resort. Unlike other international chain hotels on Aruba, the resort beautifully incorporates local touches into its design. Overall, it creates a fascinating, one-of-a-kind hotel experience for families visiting Aruba.
With origins going back to 1959, the hotel has played host to a litany of famous guests, including the likes of Liberace! The massive, vintage photographs and retro-modern furniture harks back to its heyday while being peppered with creature comforts. Two massive swimming pools, one active and the other quiet, separate adults-only and family zones sensibly. Children will have a particularly gala time at the Shocoland Kids’ Club. For an hourly charge, it keeps tiny tots, tweens, and teens entertained with video games and fun activities. Moreover, they even have after-hours babysitting if you and your partner want to grab a romantic nightcap at the bar. You can also try out local massages at the spa. The highlight is, undoubtedly, the Palm Beach sprinkled with thatched palapas and tons of water sports.
Rooms at the resort feature views of the landscaped gardens, the pools, or the ocean. Your family will be wowed by all the space even in its entry-level rooms with a slew of mod-cons and terraces and balconies.
Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club Hotel
Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club Hotel has pride of place smack dab in the center of the Palm Beach seashore. The ever-bustling property is one of the best hotels in Aruba for families. In fact, its best feature is the long, slow-moving Lazy River pool, which allows you to drift on inner tubes with your kids! Additionally, with a Nintendo Wii lounge at the teens-only game room, Marriott is as family-friendly as it gets. Right next to the Lazy River is the waterslide, where your kids can have absolute fun. You, on the other hand, can comfortably lounge and sip on cocktails from the swim-up bar, while keeping an eye on them.
It’s the same scene at the beach, where your kids can play in the sand and you can lounge beneath a palapa. Adults will particularly love the decadent spa and the adults-only Serenity Pool. After all the water fun, you can wind up the day with a fabulous meal at the poolside restaurant.
Some accommodations at the Marriott have been designed keeping families in mind. These include the supersized beach villas, which are more like huge apartments. They’re done up lovely teal-blue hues, crisp-white plush beds, and picturesque balconies looking out to the ocean. Moreover, they even have small kitchenettes which allow you to whip up meals when the little ones are hungry at odd times.
Sitting in the middle of the resort cluster on Palm Beach, Barcelo Aruba is like no other. Its best feature is that it backs onto an absolutely pristine stretch of Palm Beach. The beach is the resort’s main draw, complete with loungers. The hotel’s fabulous all-inclusive package includes water activities, boat rides, scuba-diving lessons, and what-not. Children can play on the sand or the calm, pristine waters, even as you lounge under the palapas.
Besides the beach, the resort has the fantastic Barcy Club that features supervised activities for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years. The lagoon-shaped outdoor pool with arched bridges, potted plants, and palm trees is the resort’s beating heart. Kids can play volleyball and pool aerobics, even as you lounge and sip on free-flowing drinks from the swim-up bar. The Cirque de Soleil-esque evening entertainment on the offer is the perfect end to the day. What’s great is that while your children are busy at the kids club, you can sneak in a massage or unwind in the jacuzzi. With meals at all six restaurants included in the room rates, you never have to worry about your kids wanting a different cuisine for every meal!
Finally, Barcelo’s room designs and hues are ocean-inspired, and some of the best ones even have ocean-view terraces. If you want to splurge, the Royal Level rooms are best.
Playa Linda Beach Resort
If you’re traveling to Aruba with your kids in tow, you might want to consider the Playa Linda Beach Resort. Among other things, it has a fantastic kids’ club and loungers scattered across a large, unspoiled white-sand Palm Beach! So, your children have tons of space to play in the sand or the water, even as you lounge underneath a palapa. What’s more, it even has family-oriented water activities right out front, if your kids ever get bored. Apart from the massive beachfront, the property itself is known for its cordoned-off family pool area with its own submerged loungers and palapas. Spend some time by yourself at the heavenly adult pool or the Asian-inspired spa. In the meantime, the kids’ club is perfect for keeping your children engaged for a while.
Interestingly enough, Playa Linda is a timeshare property. So while it doesn’t have restaurants of its own, there’s no dearth of amazing restaurants that set up shop here. Think Dunkin Donuts, the Subway-esque Garden Fresh, and even places serving Italian and American food. Also, because it’s a timeshare property, the resort’s rooms are spacious and inspired by the ocean. Besides kitchens and living rooms, some even have balconies overlooking the main pool and the ocean. It’s what makes the hotel so great for families looking to vacation in Aruba for a long while.
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Sitting at the northernmost end of Palm Beach and steps from the Hadicurari beach is the stellar Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. In terms of facilities, the resort is no less than any other all-inclusive Aruban resort. However, in terms of ambiance, it’s a far cry from all the usual cacophony and is decidedly on the low-key side. If you’re seeking quiet luxurious time with your family in Aruba, then this resort is perfect.
First impressions are great, what with the chic lobby with a gray hue and pops of teal blue. Young children, and their parents, will be enamored by the large freeform pool, which has a volleyball net and swim-up bar. Beach umbrellas and lounge chairs are perfect for you to stretch out and order a drink from the swim-up bat. Since it’s lagoon-shaped, the discrete clusters make for almost-private spaces for your kids to play in the pool as you watch them from the chairs. The lovely waterfall and swaying palm trees add to the relaxed atmosphere.
Indoor fun for the children rules the roost at the kids club, where supervised activities and games are enough to hold their attention for quite some time. You can either head to the adult-only pool or the Balinese-style Mandara spa to zone out and enjoy some quiet time. At the day’s end, there’s nothing like a trip to the scenic beach, where you can reserve a front-row palapa and watch your children play to their heart’s content. Rooms at the resort aren’t any less impressive. For your family, we’d recommend the spacious suites with a slew of mod-cons and wraparound balconies with garden/ocean views.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino sits on the southern sands of Palm Beach, close to the lovely neighborhood of Monserat. You couldn’t find a better, all-inclusive resort on the island for your family vacation. With a stunning three-tier pool, kids’ clubs, and access to a pristine portion of Palm Beach, it’s hard to beat the Hyatt Regency. The fact that it has a sprightly, vivacious ambiance and no shortage of things to do is only a bonus.
The many features of this resort will have you and your kids going gaga over the delightful digs. The massive, three-level pool with whirlpools and cascading waterfalls is the center of all action. Many patio areas feel like you and your family have that portion of the pool all to themselves. Children will be fascinated by the freshwater lagoon with two-story waterslides, swans, et al. Moreover, the pool area leads right down to the beach, complete with lounge chairs and palapas, and is a great hit with families. Plus, with eight dining places on-site, your children will never be bored with the food either! Steal some time with your partner as the kids are enthralled by the unending activities at the Camp Hyatt kids’ club. Head to the heavenly spa or lounge by the adults’ pool, sipping drinks from the swim-up bar.
If you love the amenities at Hyatt, you’ll love the suites. Apart from well-stocked minibars and high-tech mod-cons, they also have large, lavish bathrooms. Most of them have fabulous balconies with spectacular views of the ocean.
Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort
The Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort is hands-down one of the best family hotels on the island. Located on Palm Beach, it’s the newest Divi property in Aruba and is resplendent with options for the entire family. So, you’ll not only find a series of freshwater pools, but also a kids pool, a spa, a kids center, and more.
The hub of the resort is, not unsurprisingly, the outdoor pool area, which sits right next to the chilled-out beach bar. The lagoon-style pool peppered with palms and walkways makes it look like a series of cozy nooks, complete with sunbeds and loungers. There’s even a smaller pool for the younger guests, which makes it easy for you to lounge at the bigger pool while keeping an eye on them. If water time at the pool isn’t enough, the pristine beach is both shallow and calm, making it a great swimming spot for children too. Aside from children under 12 years staying free, there’s even a kids’ club with activities like scavenger hunts and sandcastle building. Adults aren’t left behind, what with the spa, the DIY barbeque areas, and happy hour at the beach bar.
While staying here, you have a whopping eight options of suites, and are no different except their size and decor. The best part? They all boast sprawling balconies with sweeping, picturesque views of the ocean.
Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Resort
If you’re looking for a Palm Beach resort with amenities tailor-made for the entertainment of children, then the Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Resort would be it. A kids club? Check. Water sports and activities? Check. Children’s playground? Check!
There’s a lot for children, and their parents, to enjoy at the Courtyard by Marriott. The three swimming pools are the activity hub, complete with sun loungers, parasols, and lush tropical greenery. Kids have their own pool, which makes it easy for you t keep an eye on them as you lounge. The water fun extends to the beach area, where you’re whisked by a complimentary shuttle. Moreover, the resort provides everything from chaise loungers to towels to even food and drinks. Two restaurants on-site take care of all cuisine and food carvings that kids might have. The cherry on top is the live entertainment that comes along with it. If that wasn’t enough the hotel is just down the road from the Bubali Bird Sanctuary, which your children will surely enjoy.
What guests have loved most about the rooms here is that unlike most other Palm Beach properties, this isn’t a high-rise hotel. Rather, it’s a pleasing cluster of chalk-white, low-rise properties that are easy on the eye. Furthermore, all rooms are spacious to boot and feature perks like in-room breakfasts, spacious bathrooms, and views of the ocean.
Casa Del Mar Beach Resort
Stay in a home-away-from-home at the Casa Del Mar Beach Resort right on Manchebo Beach. The fun-filled resort lies at the southernmost part of Eagle Beach just north of Oranjestad. All-in-all, its location is perfect to explore the Top 10 Things To Do In Aruba.
Casa Del Mar offers two parts recreation and one part relaxation. You’ll find everything from a bagel shop and a beauty parlor to a shopping mall and watersports rental shop on-site. The two blissful swimming pools are the main attraction here, as is the dedicated children’s pool. Plus, kids have a lot more activities to look forward to here. These include the activity center, the huge playground, and the roster of programs especially drawn up for them. On the other hand, you can sneak in some time in the outdoor jacuzzi or the spa. You can even rent beach huts on the pristine white sands right outside. The resort does well when it comes to food too. Aside from regular world cuisine options, there’s even a healthful beach restaurant if you and your family are on a health kick.
If you’re impressed by the resort, wait till you see the expansive suites. All of them feature separate living areas with huge flatscreen TVs that your children are sure to enjoy. Moreover, they also have full kitchens and private balconies that overlook the pool and the ocean.
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
There’s no better hotel for families in Aruba’s capital Oranjestad than the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. The huge resort complex with two discrete properties – the family-friendly Ocean Suites and the adult-only Renaissance Marina. While the lagoon beach is smaller than the one at Palm Beach, the resort is quieter and more exclusive.
The sprawling hotel is one visually stunning design experience. The decor is playful and bold at the same time. Think bright-blue patterned wallpaper seems to reflect the vibe of the island. The egg-shaped lounge chairs and vibrant claw-foot armoires make the place look like a futuristic dollhouse. So, what makes this hotel great for families? For one, the resort has a Kids’ Club for children between 5 and 12 years old. It not only has a games room but also scheduled activities like shell hunting and sandcastle building to face painting. Furthermore, two freeform family pools with a swim-up bar in the middle is a great place for the whole family to hang out together. The real draw, however, is the private Renaissance Island that’s a 20-minute boat ride away. Children love the thrill of the boat ride and have a special station of their own waiting on the island.
In addition to the above, there’s an excellent selection of restaurants with a plethora of cuisines on the offer. What’s even better is that the suites for families are spacious, complete with sprawling balconies. If that wasn’t enough, they also enjoy views of either the pools or the ocean.
Aruba Beach Villas
Aruba Beach Villas are the perfect alternative to staying at one of Aruba’s massive, all-inclusive family hotels. Located within steps of both Hadicurari and Malmok beaches, the sprawling villas make for a private experience on the quieter white sands of Aruba’s coastline. If you have older children who need their “me” time just as you do, then there can be no better experience than staying here. If your family prefers independence to indulgence, then the Aruba Beach Villas are perfect.
Every villa here features spacious bedrooms, a living room, and even well-equipped kitchens to make everything from coffee to snacks to full meals. Moreover, you can even choose the kind of views you want – the pool, the gardens surrounded by palms, or the ocean. In addition, all villas have balconies or terraces overlooking these gorgeous views.
That said, the beach villas have their own version of all-inclusive packages which allow you to book everything from kayaks and snorkels to maid services. Moreover, the property even offers barbeque facilities, which is a great way to enjoy an evening on the lawns or the beach. Plus, it also offers beach goodies or you to go and enjoy the waters in any way you like. So, you and your kids can lounge on the sand or go snorkeling or diving or even windsurfing, and more. Finally, end the day by sitting in the privacy of your garden or patio and watching those spectacular Caribbean sunsets.
Recommended Restaurants / Bars / Food Tours in Aruba:
- Farm-to-Table Dining Experience: Nothing says local more than a farm-to-table dining experience. Dig into the delicious cuisine of Aruba on this unique food tour.
- Matthew’s Beachside Restaurant: This lovely casual restaurant at the Casa del Mar Beach Resort serves everything from breakfast to dinner. Plus, it’s a favorite with Aruba’s locals, families staying at the hotel, and visitors.