by Candyce H. Stapen
Palm Beach, Aruba’s best stretch of wide, sugar-soft sands, is home to many of the island’s top resorts. The former Radisson Aruba Resort, Casino & Spa has the advantage that comes with being first: a great location with more land — 14 acres — and more beachfront — 1,500 feet — than comparable properties.
Opened as the Aruba Caribbean Resort in 1959, the hotel — the first high-rise to be constructed on Palm Beach — was built as a place for the King and Queen of the Netherlands to stay when they visited this Dutch island. Today, the Palm Beach strip offers shopping, dining and plenty of entertainment options.
Families will love the five restaurant options, large pool, white sandy beach and bicycle rentals at Hilton Aruba. For children, the hotel offers supervised activities for ages 5 to 12. For adults, the Hilton has the spa, the most inviting facility on the island, plus an onsite casino.
Our Editor Loves
- Beachfront resort
- Lots of activities available for kids
- Children's program for kids 5 to 12
- Theme Park
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
All rooms, whether garden, pool or oceanview, are the same size and come with either balconies or patios big enough for chairs. Complimentary Wi-Fi, bathrobes, coffee-makers, safes and mini-bars are standard. Beware of the latter because as soon as you pick up an item from the mini-bar, you are automatically charged for it. Since we usually remove drinks that we don't want and replace them with items we do want but purchased for less money off-site, we resorted to chilling our bottles of water and juice by keeping them in our ice bucket. We did not request a complimentary room refrigerator, although they are available. Connecting rooms are available. Cribs are complimentary, as are rollaways, assuming the occupancy is four people or fewer. A rollaway for the fifth person costs $55 per night.
The West Indian-style mahogany four-poster beds and cane chairs add an island feel to the guestrooms. One king or two double beds are available in the standard guestrooms along with a patio or balcony with ocean or garden views.
The suites feature a separate living room and bedroom and a sleeper sofa in the living room area. Suite guests can also pre-reserve a beach palapa during your stay.
from arrival to departure everything about this trip was wonderful , wedding on the beach was the prettiest thing ever and we all danced until midnight in the sand !! Pools, bar staff were great , hotel spot less
We had a fantastic family vacation at Hilton on palm beach. The location is perfect for walks at night. The staff at Sun set grill ( David and Juan) and Gilligans ( Marcel) were so attentive to our needs. Our rooms were immaculate, the pool and cabanas were so enjoyable. We can’t believe that we had such a wonderful time and nothing to complain about. For the money we’d recommend Hilton Aruba
Of all of the island's upmarket resorts along Palm Beach, Hilton Aruba offers the most beachfront and, consequently, the most palapas -- thatched, umbrella-like stands that provide shade. This is key, especially if you want a chaise lounge and some shade without a hassle or an extra fee. Numbered palapas and their accompanying beach chairs line the sands in front of Palm Beach's luxury resorts. To be sure of obtaining a spot on the beach, you must reserve a palapa. Guests who are staying in a suite are able to pre-reserve a palapa.
Along with swimming in Palm Beach's typically calm waters, kids like splashing in the resort's two pools. Although the resort doesn't have a dedicated kiddie pool, each pool has a shallow area. Lifeguards do not patrol the pools.
The kids' club program operates daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for ages 5 to 12. Kids can create crafts, play croquet, romp on playground equipment, challenge each other to video game competitions and meet the resort's birds. Except for strolling over to the bird cages, the activities take place in the Kids' Club room or outside on the adjacent playground. As a result, the program appeals more to younger children than to the older ones. With a parent or guardian, ages 4 and younger may join the group. Families can also borrow board games from the Kids Activity Center for no charge.
Guests will find breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and dessert at the Hilton Aruba's five restaurant options.
Sunset Grille serves outstanding steaks and is open for dinner only from 6 to 11 p.m. in an elegant atmosphere. The restaurant also serves lobster, crab cakes and chicken. Teens with hearty appetites will enjoy the treat. Although a children's menu is available, young children may get bored with the leisurely (but attentive) service.
Gilligan's Beach Bar
While Sunset Grille is special, the rest of the resort's restaurants are simply okay. Gilligan's Beach Bar, the open-air, poolside casual eatery, is a good place for lunch, serving quesadillas, pizza, burgers and salads. Kids can select chicken fingers, pizza, macaroni and cheese, hamburgers or quesadillas from the children's menu. Gilligan's Beach Bar is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Laguna Breakfast Bar
Laguna, which offers indoor or outdoor seating, serves a full American breakfast buffet from 7 to 11 a.m.
Friday Fish Market
Gilligan's Beach Bar turns into the fish market on Fridays with the ultimate in seafood displayed in an Aruban-style fisherman's boat.
Smit and Dorlas Coffee Shop
All day long, guests can satisfy their coffee fix at the coffee shop located in the lobby. Baked goods, sandwiches and gelato can also be find here.
Mira Solo Martini and Wine Bar
From 1 p.m. to midnight, this outdoor lounge overlooking the waterfalls is serving up cocktails.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
U.S. travelers go through U.S. Customs and Immigration in Aruba. The island recommends that you arrive at the airport three hours before departure. On your return to the U.S from Aruba, you don't need to allow extra time when making connections for those formalities.
Wi-Fi access is included in your rate.
The Art of Smart Timing
High season is late December through mid-April. Low season is May through September or October. Shoulder season rates may apply at some properties from November through mid-December, when Aruba typically gets some rain.
Many airlines service Aruba's Queen Beatrix Airport. These include Air Canada, American, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Airways.
A cab or rental car are needed to get from the airport to the resort.
For Mom and Dad
Try your luck at the resort's onsite casino. Unlike in Las Vegas, hotel casinos are tastefully situated in adjacent buildings. You and your children won't be required to walk around or through the casino to get anywhere on the property.
Also, we highly recommend a treatment at the resort's spa, among the island's nicest. With 13,000 square feet and nine treatment rooms, the spa has an intimate boutique feel. Before or after your treatment, lounge in the Asian-inspired, open-air relaxation huts, built of bamboo. Depending on occupancy, the spa might be offering discounts on treatments or shorter, less pricey versions of standard treatments. Check with the facility.
La Playa Torchlight Restaurant
For a romantic occasion or intimate dinner, adults can request to be served a four-course, fixed price menu on the beach, complete with a personal server.