We just spent a week at the Hyatt, and while there's a lot going for it, I don't think I'd stay here again. Too many niggling little things that I don't expect if I've paid a pretty high price for a good hotel.
The good: when we checked in there was a woman with chilled towels for us to wipe on our faces, which was lovely. They don't charge for parking if you park yourself across the street. There's a good system where you use your room key card to enter and exit the lot and we never had a problem finding a space. We had a room with a partial ocean view with 2 queens (we were traveling with our two children) and on the 7th floor close to the beach we had a great view toward the north end of Palm Beach.
The rooms are small but there is a nice desk arrangement so two people can sit (one on either side); the bathroom has plenty of places to put things, but it would have been great if the little table outside the bathroom (which had the coffee and fixings on it) had a plug so you could plug in the coffee maker and use it there. We had to make coffee in the bathroom by the sink and then put the coffee maker on the floor afterwards. Not a great hassle, but a little thought could have improved things. The coffee is free.
There are plenty of pool chairs (although we didn't spend a ton of time by the pool) and my daughter enjoyed the water slide - nice, but fairly basic, and it's not open all the time the pool is, so you may not be able to use it.
The maid service was good - coffee was replaced, things cleaned up well. We did find the first day they were a little aggressive in deciding what was trash. We had left part of a cinnamon bun in a paper bag on top of the chest of drawers (my daughter's which she planned to finish for snack later) and it was gone. Wasn't a huge deal, but after that we hid things in drawers that we didn't want cleaned up.
The staff were all polite and attentive. They have a business center where you can print your boarding passes (at no charge) when it's time to leave (boo!). We didn't use the casino, so I have no clue about that. There is a nice coffee shop off the lobby where you can get a few things (apples, banans, pastries, coffee, etc.) which is open great hours - 6am to midnight, I think. We often grabbed our after dinner coffee (starbucks) from them on our way back to our room.
There is a large palapa which is available to guests at no charge and we never had a problem finding a space under it when we went to the beach (except for the private function; see the "bad" section for more on that). The only thing you don't get with that is a little table, but for $35 a day - for the individual palaps - I think the big one is the much better deal.
There are several places to get something to drink or eat down by the beach (and charge it to the room, so you don't need cash). I don't recall being asked if I wanted anything by wait staff, so if there is waiter service there, it's pretty spotty.
Palm Beach is very pretty, but very crowded. Tons of people (and chairs), tons of boats and activity in the water. The Hyatt does have a buoy line out around the swimming area so you don't have to worry about the kids being taken out by some speed demon on a jet ski. The water is pretty calm (one evening there seemed to be a bit of an undertow), but there was a fair bit of seaweed some days and it was never clear enough to see your feet on the bottom. Last year were were at Grace Bay Beach (Turks and Caicos) and there's a reason why Grace Bay is number one :)
My daughter loved the parrots in cages on the grounds, one of whom is very talkative "hola" "hi Buddy" and so on. He also did a great wolf whistle which almost got my husband in trouble as two young women walked by!
The bad (or not so good; bad sounds a bit harsh). I knew about the step out balconies, but I really don't like them. The towel card system is a pain. They are only open from 9 to 5pm, so if you need a towel early in the morning you have to do it the night before, or if you come back with wet towels after 5pm you have to leave them in the room somewhere. Is there really such a problem with towel theft at the Hyatt that they have to do this?
The food at the hotel poolside restaurant and the beachside restaurant was barely OK. I ordered an albacore tuna salad sandwich one day expecting it would not be canned tuna - but it was. Another day I ordered roasted vegetable wrap and although the vegetables were OK, none of them were roasted (cucumber, asparagus, peppers). At the poolside restaurant I had a chicken sandwich and the chicken was so overcooked and dry it was tasteless.
When we checked in, the front desk explained that the area of beach to the right was $35 a day and to the left was no charge. It's good they're trying to explain, but it started this feeling of being nickeled and dimmed after paying for an expensive hotel. We knew that the hotel had WiFi only (no wired access in the rooms) but there are two Hyatt sites for the hotel, and one of them said there was free WiFi in the public areas of the hotel, which there isn't. The WiFi is $35 per week per device (we tried to use a travel router that should do WiFi to WAN but could not make it work with WifiAruba's service - that's who provides the Hyatt's WiFi). The WiFi is painfully slow as it is, but we decided to pay for one WiFi per person. They need to do something better about this - with people traveling with iPads and Kindles for the kids as well as their own devices, non-transferrable Wifi (it's connected to your MAC address) at that price per device is just not acceptable.
One afternoon we went down to the big palapa and there were signs everywhere saying it would be closing for a private function at 4pm. I'm sure the people using that would enjoy it, but I don't appreciate being thrown out of a hotel amenity because they want to sell it to someone else. They started setting up around us, and at some point I moved the chairs out onto the beach (by 4:30pm I figured I wouldn't fry in the sun).
Another night we were on chairs closer to the water and the staff putting away chaises said they had to take the chairs to put them away and they'd get us two white plastic upright chairs instead. The guy was polite, but why can't I sit and watch the sunset on the hotel chaises? I watched the guy help two pretty young women take pictures in the setting sun and there were still plenty of other chaises around (he cleaned them up eventually). It made me feel like I was in the way of their clean up by wanting to watch the sun go down, and again, I don't appreciate that sort of treatment from a high end hotel.
The hotel has some nice floats available from the towel hut by the beach. There's no charge, but you can only have them for 2 hours (they say they'll charge you $100 if you don't return it). We were once able to get one of those. How hard would it be to get some more (I can't imagine they cost anything close to $100) so guests could easily have one?
The mini bar - there's a great fridge in the room but you can't use it. There's a sign saying that if you remove things and put your own items in there, a $50 restocking fee will be charged. We used the ice bucket to store some milk, but it's idiotic not to let guests use the fridge.
They ask that you not dry swim things on the balcony "to preserve the aesthetic" but the flimsy line in the bath tub is poorly placed right over the edge - so the wet things drip all over the floor. We managed, but a little more thought in the renovation could have made this a lot easier.
So, not at all a horrible place, but not the delight I had hoped for :)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience an oasis of gracious elegance and warm hospitality. This jewel among beachfront hotels in Aruba offers a welcoming combination of superb amenities, ideal location and outstanding service. Discover countless ways to spend your days at our luxurious Aruba hotel and spa. Play tennis, relax on the white-sand beach, race down the waterslide, or pamper yourself at Stillwater Spa. Savor delicious cuisine from around the world. Take a chance in the casino. Whether you are looking for a fun-filled family vacation, a romantic getaway or a memorable business gathering, this year-round Palm Beach Aruba hotel destination is sure to delight. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Regency Aruba Hotel Palm/Eagle Beach
- Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort And Casino Palm - Eagle Beach
- Hyatt Palm/Eagle Beach
- Palm/Eagle Beach Hyatt
- Aruba Hyatt
- Hyatt Hotel Aruba