Near bars, restaurants, and De Palm Pier (a hub of beach activities)
Iconic modernist architecture paired with fresh and chic decor
Two freeform pools lined with sunbeds and cabanas
Handsome rooms with private balconies or patios
Lush tropical garden grounds with exotic birds on display
Premier Eforea spa, plus state-of-the-art fitness center
Effective online beach palapa reservation system
Water sports like scuba diving offered, plus bike rentals
All rooms and common areas were renovated in 2016
Wi-Fi available throughout -- even on the beach
Some Partial Ocean View Rooms overlook a parking lot
Lacks kid-friendly activities for a family resort
Casino is small and unimpressive
Following extensive 2016 renovations, this upscale Hilton (formerly a Radisson) stands as an icon of modernist architecture with chic surroundings on Aruba’s popular Palm Beach. Its 357 rooms are spacious, comfortable, and handsomely appointed, with furnished balconies or patios and a choice of views. Highlights include two lovely big pools, immaculate tropical garden grounds (complete with caged Macaws), a top-notch spa and fitness center, and beachfront dining, although kid-focused activities are surprisingly lacking. The Hilton is a popular hub for couples and families seeking an elegant backdrop to their Aruba vacation. A major plus is the prime location -- right on popular Palm Beach -- perfectly calm for swimming and floating; with plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightlife within walking distance. Travelers seeking an upmarket vibe for adults only could try Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.
Chic, modernist decor paired with stunning tropical gardens and plenty of lounge space
Formerly a Radisson, this property became a part of the Hilton chain after extensive renovations to the entire property in 2016. The overhaul pays tribute to the resort’s original architect, Morris Lapidus (of Miami’s Fontainebleau fame). As such, modernist design is echoed throughout interiors topped off with coastal colors and natural materials. Soft beiges, whites, and timbers with rustic stone floors give a backdrop for the sleek mid-century modern loungers and armchairs that are scattered throughout the lobby, along with leafy potted plants and neat little succulents. Cool retro snapshots throughout the public spaces display the hotel’s past, which all reveals a fun, colorful, and iconic history.
Past the lobby, wide stone pathways unfurl through lush tropical gardens that connect guests with nature -- the Hilton brings a lush jungle-esque contrast to the island’s notoriously arid landscape. Colorful (tame) lizards leap past winding garden paths, and a cacophony of parrots squawk from their homes in the Bird Garden, enhancing the tropical effect. Guests (mostly parents with young kids) line up each morning to get a photo with a Macau sitting on their shoulder. The winding lagoon and circular pool, shaped like a wavy exclamation mark, are separated by a slim walkway to the beach, where calm conditions invite guests to float the day away.
Guest rooms are scattered across three buildings -- the main Aruba building, the partially attached Curacao wing, and the completely separate Bonaire tower. All three are connected by garden paths winding over brooks and mini waterfalls. All in all, this Hilton has created an exotic Aruba atmosphere unto its own.
Right on popular Palm Beach in Aruba’s north west, with plenty to eat and drink nearby
Located in Noord on the island’s north west, the Hilton sits right on Palm Beach, sandwiched between the Riu and Barcelo resorts that share the beachfront. On the waterfront side, the resort is near De Palm Pier, where guests can kick back, get a drink, and take a speedboat for a spin. On the street-front side, plenty of restaurants and bars are located within easy walking distance on “The Strip.” Arawak Gardens and Shopping Mall is a four-minute walk away, too. Other nearby highlights require a car, but there's a bus stop right by the Hilton’s entrance (buses arrive about every 20 minutes), and free parking is provided for guest with their own cars. The Bubali Bird Sanctuary and quieter Eagle Beach can be reached in a six-minute drive, and golfing at Divi Village Golf Course is 10 minutes away. The capital city of Oranjestad and Queen Beatrix International Airport are both a 20-minute drive away.
Handsomely decorated rooms with private balconies or patios and a choice of views
Guest rooms are divided into separate towers with a choice of ocean, garden, or pool views, and king or double bed configurations. But travelers should keep in mind some Partial Ocean View rooms overlook a parking lot. Throughout, rooms are spotless, comfortable, and decently sized, and Suites significantly bump up the square footage with big living/dining areas opening to roomy terraces. All rooms were revamped in 2016 with new carpets, curtains, beds, artworks, 50-inch flat-screen TVs, balcony furniture, and bathroom fixtures. Their refreshing, natural color palette blends neutrals with soft blue textiles and white bedding, all of which is offset by dark timber furniture and bold pops of color in beach-inspired artworks and historic property photos. Bathrooms are done up in beige marble tiles with big granite vanities, shower/tub combos, and bright imbedded lighting around large rectangular mirrors. All rooms include desks, mini-fridges, safes, irons, ironing boards, and coffeemakers. Free in-room Wi-Fi is provided, too.
Two pools, a spa, a fitness center, and on-site dining -- all executed with finesse
The Hilton's features are focused on maximizing their guests' fun in the sun, and its pools do not disappoint. The resort has two of them outfitted with plenty of sunbeds, plus cabanas for hire. Both are large and lagoon-like: The Lively Pool features activities like volleyball and water aerobics, while the Quiet Pool offers a more laid-back setting. But for many guest's the hotel's crowning feature isn't its pools but it's stunning crystal-blue beach. Plenty of shaded deck chairs are available to guests here, and palapas can be reserved ahead of time on the online iPalapa reservation system, which guests rave about. Apart from its calm aqua waters (perfect for floating), the beach's greatest asset is De Palm Pier -- a long, wooden gangway into the ocean. The pier has a lively bar at its very tip. Guests can nosh on some quesadillas at the bar and then catch a sunset cruise around the coast.
Apart from the pier's dining, on-site options include the Laguna breakfast restaurant, Gilligan’s beachfront lunch restaurant, and the Sunset Grill -- the Hilton’s fine-dining option -- open for dinner. Mira Solo bar overlooks the grounds to the beach and features live entertainment every night. Castaways Bar, located between the pool and Gilligan’s, offers daily happy hour. Smit & Dorlas in the lobby, is a small daytime cafe serving pastries, snacks, and espresso coffee. Evening room service is available, too.
Spa fanatics will appreciate the Hilston's beachfront Eforea spa, which includes Vichy and steam rooms, a sauna, and a plunge pool set amid Japanese-style gardens. There’s also a large modern gym with windows that look out over the water, and a great mix of cardio and weight-training equipment. For those that prefer exercising in fresh air, bicycles can be rented on-site, and water sports on offer include sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and scuba-diving lessons. On the beach, there’s also a smattering of water-sports kiosks run by outside vendors.
The beautiful tropical gardens of the property are a feature in themselves, complete with a Bird Garden housing an array of exotic birds like Macaws and Cockatoos. Guests can have their pictures taken with them each morning. These grounds are also used as a backdrop for destination weddings. The Hilton can accommodate weddings of up to 1,000 guests with a choice of ceremony locations.
Gamblers are catered to in the Hilton’s one-room casino, although it seems like an obligatory add-on, as if to keep pace with other Aruban resorts. Freebies include self-parking and Wi-Fi, which is provided throughout the property -- even on the beach.
While there is a kids’ club, this place isn’t brimming with kid-friendly activities, yet the property attracts plenty of families nevertheless.
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