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Help! Getting Married in Aruba- Need help selecting a resort


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#1 ajannise

ajannise
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    Posted 10 July 2011 - 03:31 PM

    Hi!

     

    We're getting married in Aruba on May 7, 2012 and have started looking at all inclusive resorts. We have nailed it down to the RIU and Occidental. Can anyone give me feedback on either of those. Specifically, if you got married there. How was the service, atmosphere, venue, etc.

     

    Thanks in advance!



    #2 jmastr05

    jmastr05
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    • 189 posts

      Posted 11 August 2011 - 05:34 PM

      I was married in Aruba in July 2011. I also had my heart set on having my Aruba DW at an all-inclusive. After doing on line research, I chose 4 resorts to visit in April 2010. I ended up choosing the Divi/Tamerijn All-Inclusive, but the Occidental was a VERY close second. I stayed in Aruba for my honeymoon, and moved to the Westin, which is next door to the RIU. So I don't have direct wedding experience with either resort, but here are my observations.

       

      The Occidental is really beautiful, inside and outside. I was stunned by the pool. It sort of looks like a lagoon: curvy shape, lots of trees and vegetation around it, waterfall in the middle, a foot bridge to a tiny island in the middle (where the water fall is). When I visited, there were canopied bed/couches that I really liked because I can't be in the sun ALL day long. I thought the beach area felt a little crowded and claustrophobic. Like all the high rise resort beaches, there are rows of palapas (thatched, permanent umbrellas). But then there were also lots of palm trees planed between the palapas. (Check out the satellite view on Google Maps to see for yourself). As for the ceremony site, I thought was very pretty - right along the water. The reception could be held in 1 of 2 places: in a little opening on the sand, nestled between an alcove of trees and the first row of palapas closest to the hotel, or somewhere around the pool. I liked the cozy, semi-hidden feeling of the sand location.

       

      I know less about the Ru's wedding accommodations, since I never made an appointment with the resort's wedding planner. What I can say is that it's HUGE. The white palace-looking building was the most recognizable along the Palm Beach coast line when we were at sea on a snorkeling tour. It's both wide, covering a longer stretch of beach, and deep. I think this would probably make the beach feel less claustrophobic. They have multiple pools. I think it would be less monotonous to be able to hang out in different areas of the resort. I planned multiple excursions during the honeymoon portion of my stay on the island, so I only spent about 50% of my time at the resort. But if you're the kind of person who liked to just unwind and vegetate at the resort, you may appreciate a larger one.

       

      Hope this helps at least a little! Good luck in your planning!



      #3 MelissaBorge

      MelissaBorge
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      • 4 posts

        Posted 25 August 2011 - 07:54 AM

        Did you make a decision as far as the resort?

         

        I am also getting married in Aruba in October 2012. I also want an all-inclusive. The first two resorts that my travel agent recommended were the Riu and Occidental. But after reading tons of reviews in trip advisor, I like the sound of Riu way better. The only negative thing that I read about the RIu was that it has hard beds and that the wedding coordinator in the resort doesn't really care too much, other than that it looks like a pretty amazing place, great service, great drinks and great food apparently.

         

        I have also looked into the Hyatt, Marriott and Westin. They all offer all-inclusive plans, but they are a little pricey. That is the one thing that is killling me about Aruba, Mexico is so much cheaper!!



        #4 jmastr05

        jmastr05
        • Jr. Member
        • 189 posts

          Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:11 PM

          The low-rise resorts in Eagle Beach and neighboring areas tend to be less expensive than those in the high-rise/Palm Beach area. You may want to take a look at some of those resorts. I had my wedding at the Divi/Tamerijn All-Inclusive (the 2 resorts function together to make 1 "mega resort"). But the low rises have a different vibe than the high rises, so they may not be your cup of tea. (There were def my cup of tea though).  Have you ever been to Aruba and both the low- and high-rise resort areas?

           

          Also, Lissy Lampe of Ceremonies and Celebrations was my WC. She is independent of any one resort. You may be able to use her for a wedding at the RIU and bypass the RIU wedding planner that didn't get great reviews. If you're interested, it couldn't hurt to ask her. Lissy definitely cares about her work product and the happiness of her brides. She was really great. I have raved about her in other posts, but you can let me know if you want more details about her... or anything else for that matter!

           

          Originally Posted by MelissaBorge 

          Did you make a decision as far as the resort?

           

          I am also getting married in Aruba in October 2012. I also want an all-inclusive. The first two resorts that my travel agent recommended were the Riu and Occidental. But after reading tons of reviews in trip advisor, I like the sound of Riu way better. The only negative thing that I read about the RIu was that it has hard beds and that the wedding coordinator in the resort doesn't really care too much, other than that it looks like a pretty amazing place, great service, great drinks and great food apparently.

           

          I have also looked into the Hyatt, Marriott and Westin. They all offer all-inclusive plans, but they are a little pricey. That is the one thing that is killling me about Aruba, Mexico is so much cheaper!!



           



          #5 trbutler

          trbutler
          • Jr. Member
          • 224 posts
          • Wedding Location:Aruba

          Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:06 PM

          I'm have a terrible time selecting which location to have my guests stay at.






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