Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Hotel

, Oranjestad, Aruba
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Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Hotel

, Oranjestad
J. E. Irausquin Blvd #230 - Oranjestad - Aruba Hotel Website | 297-58-63600
1327 Traveller

Reviews - Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Hotel

Historical Traveller Reviews of Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Hotel

We had great time

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Aug. 12-18, 2003 and had a great time. We were never treated rudely by the staff, as some reviewers have complained; in fact I was surprised by how pleasant everyone was after reading some of the other reviews. The rooms were clean and I always got extra towels and soap quickly after I called housekeeping. We were on the all-inclusive plan, which was fine, but if I were to go back to Aruba I don't think I'd go all-inclusive at any hotel. Aruba is a safe island with lots of resturants, so the all-inclusive is not really necessary, although I have heard it is more expensive without the all-inclusive package. We were on a budget and we knew we wanted to drink, so the all-inclusive did save us some money.
The food was fine; nothing gourmet, but it always seemed fresh to me. I don't eat meat and I still managed to find something at the buffet that I enjoyed every night that I was there, so I'm sure less picky eaters would be fine with the selection. The buffets were good, although the side dishes tended to be the same every night so it got a little repetitive after a few nights. The Miramar was pretty good, but you have to make reservations as soon as you get to your hotel room. I went to Aruba mainly for the nice weather and a great beach and the HI is abundant in both of those. I didn't even see a dark cloud the whole time I was there, nevermind a drop of rain. The constant wind is soothing and cooling. We went snorkeling, went on a semi-submarine and went on an island tour, which were all great. We booked the excursions with Pelican Adventures which is right on the beach in the towel hut-- Go see Joann; she was great! The cabanas on the beach fill up very early in the morning, so if you want to have one for the day, you must be out there at 6am to reserve one. Most people just find a palm tree to sit under later on in the morning, but if you do that make sure you put on PLENTY of sunscreen and reapply it often because YOU WILL BURN otherwise! The sun is potent! Visit the capital of Oranjestad if you have time; a cab from the HI will cost about $10. It is a beautiful little city with lots of shopping; as someone born and raised in NYC I was amazed by the quaintness of this city. Overall, I loved Aruba and would recommend the island to anyone. The bottom-line about the Holiday Inn: great if you are on a budget and are looking for a modest vacation but relaxing vacation, not so great if you are looking for the lap of luxury.

t expect much.

from Complete_Travel
We were at the Holiday Inn Aruba August 7 - 11 with our two teenage children. The first night we were put into the Curacao tower, which is at the far end of the property. You have to walk behind the Beach restaurant kitchen to get to the tower. I felt that it was the tower of forgotten rooms. The elevator was old and made strange noises, the room needed updating, the safe did not work, there was a coffee maker, but no coffee pot. We asked to be moved and did move to the Aruba tower, which we felt was much better. This was considered off season for Aruba, but unfortunately there were so many people there during that time that the hotels were not prepared. Holiday Inn surely did not have enough staff. We were on the all-inclusive plan, and thought the food was pretty good. The Miramar was really good for ala carte. The buffets were not bad, but seemed like the same old thing (slight change in menu, same salad bar, same desserts every night). We found the staff to be friendly. In the evenings they really need something for the teenagers to do, as they stand outside the casino waiting for their parents looking very bored. The manager listened to our complaints and explained that the reason they are so understaffed is because they used to be able to hire people easily from South America, however now it is very difficult for them to get work permits and the Aruban people tend to stay away from hotel jobs. So we tried to be more understanding, and they really do have a beautiful beach, good basic rooms, nicely groomed grounds, probably the most clean pool we had seen, although we swam the entire time in the beautiful ocean. We then went on to the Wyndham for 3 nights and their pool may be big and beautiful, but DIRTY! Hope this review helps.

Great Experience!

from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Hoilday Inn Sun Spree for 10 days, arriving August 9, 2003 and departing August 20, 2003. We read all the horror stories about how bad the rooms were, how unfriendly the staff was if you were all inclusive and how bad the food was. During our stay we didn't see much of that at all. The only small problem we had was during checkin at 11:00pm ( our flight was delayed 2hrs due to mechancial problems) the hotel didn't hold our reserved Jr. suite and we had to stay in a standard room over night. The next morning after normal checkout they provided us with a room right on the beach. The room was very clean and maintained by a freindly staff. Food at the Miramar was excellent, we ate there three times, but we enjoyed the different theme nights at the Boardwalk Cafe better. We really enjoyed our stay, and if you get a beach front room you will to.

Stayed at Holiday Inn Sunspree August 16th 2003 for one week.

from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I along with three other couples just got back from Holiday Inn Sunspree Aruba. We took the all inclusive plan and stayed for one week. We got our trip through Vacation Express and flew out of Cincinnati in to Atlanta-Aruba. The flight over was not bad but coming back was absolutely terrible because you have to go through customs in Aruba. This took a good two and a half hours. You did not have any time to shop in the duty free stores at the airport. Stand and wait! Last time I was in Aruba in 1997 you did not go through customs in Aruba.
When we got to the Holiday Inn we had to stand and wait for another hour. The employees at the check in desk are extremely rude. They barely wanted to speak to you let alone smile. No welcome cocktail. One couple with us were on their honeymoon and requested a room upgrade along with what ever else the hotel would provide. They got no upgrade and only a bottle of champage three days after they were there. The food in the Miramir restaurant where you make reservations was good.
You have to make reservations when you first get there or you will not get in. We got to eat there twice. Breakfast was a nightmare. They had one area to eat and you had to stand in line for thirty minutes. It was not worth it to me. If you ate at 8:00 you got in easily. All the other all inclusive resorts I've been to you just go through a buffet line get your food and sit down. This place you stood in line and waited to be seated. Lunch at Seabreeze grille was not bad and had a decent selection on the menu. Rooms were ok nothing great. I guess they were clean enough. The location of Holiday was great! Best beach area.
Getting a cocktail was another long wait. They did not have enough employees. Most of the time their was one bartender two at the most for many many people. I figure if you can not get waited on for such a long time the hotel is saving a lot of money on booze. Most all inclusives serve cocktails freely and quickly. Tipping was useless. These employees did not remember you. Again, most all inclusives you through down a twenty and they remember your name and what you're drinking.
Tried this twice with no results. Two or three of us from our group would request a total of eight cocktails at one time for all of us, the group and they told us we could not order that many at a time. If you wanted to get several cocktails and take to the beach forget it. I love Aruba but this hotel could have been a lot better. Basically it was dealing with rude staff. Management was no better. Their attitude was they didn't care. I had a great time in Aruba shopping and going on tours but I would truly recommend a different hotel. I go on atleast three vacations internationally every year and always all inclusive. I was shocked with the treatment I received. This gives Aruba a bad name and the other couples I travel with have no desire to go back. I will try another hotel. Last time I stayed at the Bushiri and it was one of my favorite vacations. This year it was closed.

A good vacation

from miy0k0
My husband, my 10-year-old daughter and I went to the HI Aruba Aug.9-16th. I read all the reviews here before we went so I did not have great expectations of the resort. We are used to going to Club Med where entertainment and activities are rated high so we did miss that.
The weather was great, beach was great and my daughter loved swimming there since there were no waves. The hotel room was clean. The only complaint was that the air conditioning was turned up really high even in the hallways so it was freezing inside and we all got colds upon coming home. As for meals, we did like the Miramar and the Seabreezes reastaurants which had lots of choice for our vegetarian daughter.
Buffets were pretty bland. One thing to note is that beach towels are included free of charge which I didn't know. We went to the Butterfly Farm (2x) which is within walking distance and went on the semi-submarine which left from the dock at the HI. We also took an island tour with Wix Tours. The minibus was broken so Marco rented a van and two 4x4s. My husband was happy to drive us around himself in one 4x4. We enjoyed all the side trips a lot. All in all a great vacation and you can't beat the price for room meals drinks and air.
Food is very expensive and would have cost us double to pay for meals and drinks outside. I would recommend the all-inclusive especially if you have kids.

Better than the reviews

from A TripAdvisor Member
Most people that sent in reviews are way too hard on the resort. Yes it's older,but the rooms are like most H.I. rooms with a balconey. It also has a great location with a terrific beach. I have never had any problems with the staff in six visits. Perhaps people are getting a reflection of thier own attitudes. Aruba has great restaurants, why would you go all inclusive? If you been saving for ten years or are on your honeymoon maybe you should spend more and visit Sandles. If you just like to travel and get a good value for your money the H.I. is your ticket

t Everything

from gert55
Spent one week at the Holiday Inn Sunspree from Aug. 9-16th, 2003. The hotel is very run down and in much need of some TLC. Although the room was OK, the whole place from the lobby to the restaurants looked dirty.
There was mold on the ceiling tiles and all the windows and glass doors looked like they hadn't been cleaned in ages! We thought all the buffets were pretty bad, in fact even though we were on the all-inclusive, we ended up eating out four nights! The breakfast buffet was the same every day, the only thing that changed was the shape of the potatoes! The food was always cold and the bread, rolls and danish were always stale! The only decent place to get a bite to eat was the Seabreeze because all the food was cooked to order. The lines to check in and out were unbelievable. Luckily our room was on the ground floor because for most of the week one elevator was always out of order.
There was only one working phone in the lobby on which to make calls back to the US and the wait to use it was sometimes up to an hour. It was almost impossible to get a hold of housekeeping if you needed more towels, etc. It always involved a trip to the front desk so they could relay the message. Forget about getting a hut in the shade on the beach, no matter what time you go out they always seem to be "reserved" with a towel or beach bag. The beach is pretty small with a lot of twigs and broken shells, it seems like it is never raked. The pool is very small and nothing special and seemed to be taken over by kids. The hotel is in a nice location and the beach is easily walked from hotel to hotel with a lot of water sport places in between. The island of Aruba is beautiful with a lot to see and do and we will definitely go back, only the next time our hotel will not be the Holiday Inn. I read all these reviews before we went and thought it couldn't be that bad but believe me, what you read here for the most part is absolutely true and spoken from true experiences. So, take into consideration what is written here.

ARuba is GREAT

from A TripAdvisor Member
I just got back from Aruba yesterday and I loved it. We stayed at the Holiday Inn and for the price I really have no complaints. The room was a good size and it was very nice, always very clean when we came back to our room for the afternoon. It was no glamorous hotel but if you are on a budget and looking for a nice good clean room this is a good place. The pool is the worst out of all the hotels but it doesnt matter because you can just go to the other hotels to swim in the pool anyway.
The beach at the Holiday Inn is absolutely gorgeous. The people in Aruba are very nice. I would definitely recomend taking the ATV island tour, you get to see the rest of the island and it was very very fun. I would also recomend Le Petit Cafe for dinner...there are three of them in Aruba. And if you are a gambler...I enjoyed the Allegro Casino the most!!!

VACATION 8-9-03 TO 8-16-03

from fedman14
Hopefully, this review will provide a lot of information to anyone who is either looking at staying at the Holiday Inn, has already booked the Holiday Inn, or is just wanting some general information about this hote. First, a little background about ourselves. I am a 35 year old attorney and my wife is 34. We honeymooned at the Hyatt in Aruba 2 years ago so we have something to compare the Holiday Inn to. We do not have kids. We booked the Holiday Inn through a company called Vacation Express and flew out of Cincinnati. We booked the Holiday Inn due to the good all-inclusive deal we got. After booking the Holiday Inn I started reading other reviews on this hotel. I noticed a couple of the reviews were seriously negative which gave me a cause for at least a little concern. I will try to keep this review in some sort of order as I intend to hit on a variety of topics. First, our flight out of Cincinnati was on time and we got into Aruba on Saturday at about 2:15 p.m. We were the only flight in at that time so we had no time getting through customs. TIP: If you are on a charter, take a taxi from the airport. It costs $20.00 but you will beat everyone else to the hotel and not have to stand in a long line. We did this and were in our room by 3:45 p.m. I had read reviews that suggested joining Holiday Inn's Priority Club, a type of "frequent flyer" program as you would not have to pay for premium drinks or pay a surcharge on certain item menus. We did this, but at check-in were told we could not use our Priority Club number. I didn't ask why, but I am guessing that it was because we did not book directly with Holiday Inn. Unless you have to have premium brand cocktails or premium beer, i.e. Bud Light, the Priority Club will not do you much good. People were given either a blue, green or purple wrist band for the all-inclusive program. Remember this when I get to the food portion of this review. THE ROOM: Our room was ready when we checked in. We were given a package upgrade through Vacation Express which promised us at least a partial ocean view room. I had read on at least a couple of reviews that the rooms smelled of "must and mildew." I can tell you that our room did not. The resort itself has 3 towers of 6-7 floors each. The A and B towers are connected to the main structure while the C tower is separate. We were in the C tower, which I understand is the newest tower. The Holiday Inn has approximately 600 rooms. To the best of my counting, only about 90-100 have exlusively ocean-views. Conversely, 90-100 have exlusively non-ocean view rooms. I talked to at least one couple from the A and B towers who stated that their room was fine also. One review I read said "If you are okay with the basics, the Holiday Inn will be fine." I would basically agree with this as far as the room is concerned. We had a king size non-smoking room which is what we had requested. The room was clean, but not extravagant. Then again, we did not go to Aruba to spend a lot of time in the room. Everything worked such as the hot water, which came on immediately. We also had a small refrigerator in our room. Maid service was fine. We also had an in-room safe. Overall, I would give the room a B- grade, but then again, we have stayed at the Hyatt. Each morning they will slip you a copy of the local newspaper under your door. The paper was up to date on local as well as events happening in the US.
There is only one elevator in the C tower which took a little while to get on some times. I would recommend the C tower over the others. There is entertainment each night on the pool deck which is overlooked by one half of the B tower. I don't know if it is loud or not. POOL: The pool is not huge, but it is adequate and was for the most part kept clean.
My wife and I were up each morning and at the pool by no later than 9:00 a.m. and they were always cleaning the pool each morning, as well as pressure washing the pool deck. BEACH: The beach is beautiful. Don't pay attention to the reviews that complained of a dirty beach. There were some cigarette butts, but then again, you'll have that if people are going to smoke. SHOPS: There are 5-6 shops in the hotel, including Little Switzerland. Prices are reasonable. Bud Light is $16.50 per 6 pack.... YES 6 PACK! MEALS: For breakfast, we ate once inside at the buffet. Either Monday or Tuesday, they opened the Sea Breeze bar and grille for breakfast. We ate outdoors overlooking the sea the rest of the week. The food is basically the same indoors as out and was decent.
For lunch, we never ate at the indoor buffet, but instead ate outdoors again at the Sea Breeze. They have hamburgers, hotdogs, quesadillas, salads, steaks, ribs, chicken tenders, etc. This food was very good.
For dinner, the hotel has outdoor theme nights each night of the week which is buffet style. This is done around the pool area. We ate around the pool on 2 nights. The food was pretty good. The main restaurant for dinner at the Holiday Inn is the Mirimar. You have to make reservations for this restaurant or you will not get in. The day we arrived, they were only taking reservations a day in advance so for Wednesday, you would have to make your reservation on Tuesday. Get up and be at the guest services desk by 7:50 a.m. or you may not get a reservation.
Also, be aware that the "rules" can change at any time. On Tuesday, we found out that they were now taking reservations for the Mirimar 2 days in advance even though this was not posted to the guests. The reservations go quick. We ate at the Mirimar 2 different nights.
Remember the different color wrist band thing? I asked at the check in desk what the different colored wrist bands meant. I was told that the blue and green were basically the same but the purple meant you did not have to pay for premium liquor and beer and you did not have to pay the surcharge for certain menu items. The food here was very good.
Probably, an A- grade. The most expensive item on the menu for the all-inclusive customer was the filet which cost me an extra $8.00 per steak. This is cheap when you figure that our actual bill for one steak, my wife's beef stroganoff, 2 salads, one appetizer and 4 beers came to $100-$110 each night. All the food is ala carte. You pay for the salad separate from the meal. Lunch costs nothing extra, but to eat at the Sea Breeeze, our meal would have been typically $30.00 to $55.00 per meal. Food is very expensive in Aruba. Aruba also has many very good restaurants to choose from, so if money is not an issue, you may not want to do the all-inclusive. If you intend on spending most of your vacation relaxing by the pool or on the beach consuming a few drinks, as my wife and I did, the all-inclusive is the way to go. TIP: If you are doing the all-inclusive and intend on drinking, tip the bar tenders on the first day you are there. Most of the bar tenders work the whole week and there is not much turn over. They remember who tips and who does not and you will get your drinks much more quickly if you tip. As far as drinks, margaritas, daquiris, and most mixed drinks are included in the all-inclusive unless you request the premium liquors.
There is a casino on the premises but the casino is not owned or operated by the Holiday Inn. You have to pay for the drinks at the casino, they are not included in the all-inclusive plan. OTHER ITEMS: We ate out 3 of our nights there. We ate at a place called "Salt & Pepper" which is about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. It has decent food ans is relatively cheap. We ate downtown at "Iquana Joe's" one evening after shopping downtown. Another place with good food is "Et Cafe Le Paddock." It sits downtown on the harbour. By far the best meal we had was at "Texas de Brazil." This is a must. You pay a flat fee of $33.00 and they bring you skewers of filet, chicken, lamb, and top sirloin to your table. You can eat until you can eat no more. Again, by far, this was our best meal and I would highly recommend it. It also is only about a 2 minute walk from the hotel. Again, there are many good restaurants in Aruba. There are many water-sports companies in Aruba.
There is one, Pelican, which operates out of the Holiday Inn. We did a 2 hour sunset cruise one evening. It was $30.00 per person which included appetizers and rum punch, no beer. It goes from one tip of the coast to the other. It was definitely worth the money. If you are going downtown, do not be afraid to take the bus system. There is a pick-up spot outside the hotel and it costs $1.00 each way. FINALLY, THE END OF MY REVIEW: No matter what you read, you will disagree with some reviews and agree with others, which is my case. Aruba is a beautiful island. I have been to many islands in the Caribbean, and to Cancun, and Aruba is by far my favorite. If you want luxury, stay at the Hyatt. If you want a nice, relatively cheap, vacation, the Holiday Inn will be fine. It has everything you need, just not the luxury of some other hotels.
Overall, I would give the hotel a B- to a B rating, just because I have stayed at the Hyatt and I know what an A rating is. LEAVING: Again, if you are with a charter, you may want to take the taxi for $20.00 to the airport. Lines were very long. It took us about 2 hours from the time we got to the airport to get to the gate. Also, as far as outgoing flights, the airport only has about 8 gates, far too few for the number of planes into and out of Aruba. Our flight was 1 hour and 15 minutes late leaving because they could not find a gate for our plane to come to. LAST: I hope I have not bored you, but I wanted to try to give a comprehensive review of the hotel, our experience, and some little extras. I will be happy to respond to all e-mails that I get if you have questions. Please be sure to indicate that the subject matter is my Aruba review. I get so many junk e-mails that I go through them quickly and would hate to overlook you question or comment.

Holiday Inn, Location-Location-Location

from A TripAdvisor Member
Holiday inn is up towards the end of the strip of high rise hotels. It is within walking distance of whole lot of restaurants and right next door to Pelican Pier where a lot of water sports activities start off from. The beach at HI is great, the pool is okay. If you are going for the best pool you want Marriott or Hyatt. The furthest Marriott has an Iguana sanctuary. We took a whole role of Iguana pictures! We did resort course scuba diving with Pelican. Max Buerba was one of the trainers, he also takes pictures and sells CD with pcitures of your dive and some other pictures that he has taken over the last couple of years. It is really awesome and worth the price. One night for dinner we went up to the restaurant by the light house. It was expensive, but it was the best italian food we had ever tasted. We were really happy with our time in Aruba.

Top Local Tips for Oranjestad

Buses and Taxis All transportation is good . Rates are Govnment set . so no rip off .. But try a Bus . clean ,fun and $1.25 Isld is small 19mi by 6 mi . so getting to see it is easy .. Downtown is a must . Go when Cruise boats are in . It is busier and fun .. BUT better to shop when there is no boat , prices seem cheaper .. and go back a street or two ( safe ) lots of bargains to be had . and dicker price in the stores . nobody pays retail ..There is a Harley Davidson store also ..a big supermarket ..lots of shopping ...a nice area of stores and a show ( theatre) at the marina ///wow ive talked myself into wanting to go back , and i will soon .......

Spend what you Save & All inclusive makes life easy September was a sunny tropical paradise in Aruba. Use the money you saved by staying at the Holiday Inn to go out and see the sights and take advantage of all Aruba has to offer. We recommend attending the orientation for $$$ discounts and engaging in the following activities: Mi Dushi Sunset Safari, Rancho Del Campo Natural Pool tour (afternoon), Sea Star to DePalm Island and DePalm Snuba adventure, La Ponderossa Waruri Beach/Gold mine Ruins

You May Not get What You Paid For We just came back from our third visit to Aruba, and just as the previous two times, we loved the Island and its climate. What we did not like is the Holiday Inn Sun Spree's accommodations and service. We had paid for an up-grade and didn't get it. I should explain that this resort has three different buildings the "Aruba", the "Bonaire" and the "Curacao" and they are rated in this same order with the Curacao being the least desirable therefore less expensive. Our upgrade was for a "Superior" room in the Bonaire building. When we arrived we spent nearly one hour at the check-in desk because they did not have the accommodations we had paid extra for; we had to settle for a inferior room at the Curacao building. The next morning we tried again to get the accommodation that we had reserved, but the staff was not very helpful, and they would not credit us for the price difference. The best way to describe the Curacao room is: "CHEAP MOTEL". There are much better places to stay in Aruba. My suggestion is go somewhere else even if you have to pay a little more. The money you might save here is not worth the aggravation you might get.


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  • Address: J. E. Irausquin Blvd #230 - Oranjestad - Aruba
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