by Michael Blanding
At first blush, it may seem strange to spend a family vacation in Aruba — a place with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean — at a golf resort. And make no mistake, Divi Village is a golf resort, with a challenging nine-hole course wrapping around a dozen villa-style accommodations. Despite the name “beach” in the name, the resort doesn’t have any beachfront property or even a view of the water from the accommodations.
So why would a family stay here? Well, the accommodations themselves are geared extremely well for families. Every room is a spacious suite with tons of room and a full kitchen to let mom and dad save costs and the aggravation of restaurant dining. Then there are the grounds, which are also spacious and well maintained, with lots of room for kids to run around in a safe, supervised environment with little traffic to contend with. Throughout the resort, there are no fewer than four different pools, including a separate kids pool, a zero-entry pool for toddlers and a larger pool with a waterslide for older kids.
If all of that doesn’t convince you, there is the presence of two sister resorts, the Tamarijn All-Inclusive and the Divi Aruba All-Inclusive, which are on the beach, just a two-minute shuttle ride away. They not only offer direct access to shining white sands and stunning blue water, but they also have a plethora of watersports activities, table games for kids, nightly family-friendly entertainment and an expanded Kids Club among other amenities. All guests at Divi Village can take full advantage of nine restaurants in the other two Divi resorts, included in all-inclusive packages, as well as four restaurants at the villas themselves, which are for the exclusive use of Divi Village guests. Add it all up, and it makes the lack of direct beach access seem like a small price to pay for the perks and conveniences of everything needed for a fun and relaxing family vacation — golf or no golf.
Our Editor Loves
- Close proximity to a gorgeous, white-sand beach
- Huge pool area, complete with wading pool, waterslide and swim-up bar
- Access to all the amenities of the Tamarijn and Divi Aruba resorts next door
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
The villas at Divi Village are done in a hacienda style with terra cotta roofs, stucco facades and large white columns, adding a certain dramatic ambience to the exterior. It's nothing as dramatic as the interior of the 384 suites though. The suites are surprisingly spacious; even the studio suites have plenty of space for a family, with a king-sized bed, pull out sleeper sofa and the option to add a cot or crib at no extra charge. Bathrooms are equipped with both a bathtub and shower, and all units include in-suite washers and dryers. The one-bedroom suites are even bigger, with a separate bedroom with a king bed and two bathrooms, and can easily fit four or five people. The One Bedroom and Studio Suites can also be combined through a connecting door for an extended family traveling together.
Suites are stylish, with a sophisticated but beachy decor of dark wood and rattan furniture. Modern kitchens feature black marble counters, brushed steel hardware on the cabinets, full-size refrigerators, dishwashers and range tops (though no ovens). Suites include an eat-in kitchen table in addition to counter seats, and a full 42" plasma screen TV. All suites include a balcony or patio and some buildings also feature rooftop Jacuzzi hot tubs. All in all, the accommodations are, by far, the nicest in the Divi collection of resorts, a significant step above the Tamarijn and Divi Aruba next door in terms of size and level of furnishings. The best suites for families, of course, are the ones that sit right in front of the large central pool; more secluded villas cater to couples.
Get the 1-bedroom suite that has a second/half bathroom, since it makes the room so much better.
Great location for this resort. Get a rental car so can explore the Aruba on your time, since so many beaches you can just walk put an snorkel (why pay $60+ per person for a snorkel excursion when they go to the same beach you can just drive up to and leave anytime you want).
by Brian S
It was a great vacation and a great place to stay in a great location would highly recommend it. Staff and people in general were very freindly. It is indeed one happy island! If you get the chance to Aruba stay at one of the Divi Villages.
The nine-hole golf course at Divi Village is a challenging course, with several par 5's in a compact design that wraps around the resort villas, pools and restaurants. Experienced golfers can complete the course in two hours and still have time for the beach. On site is a pro shop, as well as a golf school that offers special clinics for kids and families to learn the game together. Though the course is open to the public, guests at the villas have preferred access to tee times.
For those not inclined towards golf, the main attraction at the Villas are the four swimming pools, including two smaller pools with zero entry areas perfect for toddlers, a larger pool by the reception area and an even larger pool in the center of the complex, which winds around in a lagoon-like fashion with lots of nooks and crannies for kids to explore. Next to the pool is a smaller kids-only pool, less than one-foot deep, as well as a Jacuzzi. The main pool also has a waterslide and swim-up bar. The resort frequently holds poolside activities for kids, including face-painting, T-shirt making and bingo games.
For a more complete kids' program, guests at the resort are welcome to make use of the Kids Club at the Tamarijn All-Inclusive resort, a 5-minute shuttle ride away, where kids ages 5 to 12 can participate in half- and full-day programs including arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, supervised pool and beach time and excursions to the Tamarijn's rock climbing tower. The Tamarijn also has a water sports center with kayak and sailboat rentals, as well as a bike rental hut, again, all of which are open to Village guests.
The Tamarijn and the Divi Aruba, which is also accessible by a short shuttle ride, also stage nightly entertainment on alternating weeks, which may include anything from a steel drum band to karaoke to a jazz quartet. Once a week, the Tamarijn also presents family-friendly movies on a giant screen on the beach.
In addition to all the activities at the Tamarijn, Divi Village has several tennis courts, which are lighted at night, and a driving range and putting green to practice your golf skills.
Divi Village has two main restaurants, both located in the main building, which also includes the pro shop and golf school. Guests at Divi Village can choose either an all-inclusive meal plan or European or American plans for meals. The latter is especially suited to those who plan to do a lot of cooking in the suite kitchenettes. A full-sized grocery store is situated within walking distance from the resort; it's also possible to take a shuttle if contending with several grocery bags. In addition to the full kitchens in the suites, a number of grills are scattered throughout the property, available on a first-come, first-serve basis to anyone who wants to play Grillmaster out in the open air.
On the lower level is Mulligan's, a casual restaurant that specializes in American and Caribbean cuisine. The restaurant serves breakfast in the morning, as well as lunch and dinner throughout the day, with entrees including sandwiches, pizzas, steaks and surf and turf.
Windows on Aruba
On the floor above is Windows on Aruba, a more upscale restaurant with a contemporary menu, including foie gras and beef carpaccio appetizers and entrees including lobster, rack of lamb and Chateaubriand for two. Despite the sophistication of the space, it remains accommodating to families, with a children's menu featuring beef and fish burgers, pizzas, chicken fingers and spaghetti.
Sea Breeze Cafe
A more casual restaurant by the pool, Sea Breeze Cafe offers al fresco dining with a breakfast buffet, wraps and sandwiches for lunch, and a candlelit dinner menu that focuses on local seafood, such as grouper and shellfish. The poolside swim-up bar also offers freshly popped popcorn as a snack at any time of day.
In addition to the restaurants at Divi Village, there are nine restaurants at the Tamarijn and Divi Aruba that are included in all-inclusive meal plans. The Divi features the upscale Red Parrot; the Caribbean spiced buffet at Pelican Terrace; pizzas and sandwiches at Coco Grill; and hamburgers and hot dogs at the Sandpiper Bar. The Tamarijn, meanwhile, includes the sophisticated Italian menu at Papparazi; the Asian sushi and noodle restaurant Ginger; the interactive Palm Grill; where families can grill their own stir-fry meals on a hot stone at the table; and the poolside pizza bar Pizza per Tutti.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
While Divi Village doesn't have a spa or fitness center, both options are available at the Tamarijn next door, which has a full-sized gym right on the beach, so you can look out at the waves as you work out on the elliptical machine. The gym also includes free weights, weight machines and stationary bikes. A friendly personal trainer is on hand to help guests stay fit while on vacation.
After a workout (or lack thereof), guests can treat themselves to a manicure at the nail salon, or try a massage, exfoliation or body wrap at the nearby Indulgence by the Sea spa. The spa is aptly named, working unusual ingredients such as algae, rose petals and citrus scrubs into luxurious treatments for both individuals and couples. In addition to several treatment rooms, the spa also uses a sheltered beachside cabana for treatments.
For nights out, babysitting can be arranged through the resort.
The Art of Smart Timing
Aruba is a year-round destination. Its location near the Equator features a consistently balmy temperature in the mid-80s, while cooling tradewinds keep humidity down. The low season runs from April to November, however, even during this time, hotels are often fully booked as this time coincides with winter in the southern hemisphere and long vacation periods in Europe. Rates, however, still tend to be lower this time of year than they are during the high season between December and March, when the majority of Americans flood the island.
Divi Village is, at most, a half-hour drive from the Aeropuerto Internacional Reina Beatrix (less if there isn't a cruise ship in town), located a few miles south in the city of Oranjestad. The airport is served by many airlines, as well as many international carriers. The resort doesn't offer transfers to the airports, but taxis are available for a flat rate to the villas.
The resort is easily walkable.
For Mom and Dad
No vacation to Aruba would be complete without a trip to the casino, and Divi Village is located next to a beautiful one: the Alhambra. The spacious gaming hall includes 450 slot machines, 16 table games, including blackjack and Caribbean stud poker and a sports bar with sports book and satellite feed. The casino complex also includes an upscale wine bar called Fusion, which is known for its potent martinis, tasty tapas, and cigar menu. It caters to a sophisticated crowd, including many Europeans and Latin Americans from the nearby low-rise hotel resorts.